Take a magnifying glass to handwriting

You don’t have to be a handwriting expert to draw insights on family members. A single mailed letter from each of my Hodson great-grandparents offers me enough information to challenge the conventional family view of their personalities. (The letters and my analysis are posted elsewhere on this site.)

How literate were they? What were their speech patterns? What did they observe around them?

You can go to the handwriting books and experts, but it’s easy to see the energy in big, even wild script, versus the control in tiny penmanship. Do the lines remain horizontal, or do they veer upward (positive energy, we’re told) or downward (depressive)?

Oh, how I wish I had more! How I lament the fact that my great-aunt Vera lost her correspondence from my great-great-grandparents only a few years before I undertook this research.


Has handwriting – or even letter content – ever told you something about your ancestors? Have you ever had access to personal diaries and journals? Or, better yet, love letters?


5 thoughts on “Take a magnifying glass to handwriting”

  1. Amazing website. Stumbled upon this looking for information on George Washington Hodson and Sarah Elizabeth Powell, from whom I descend. I did have a question – you referenced <> where Glen C. Walker quotes George Washington Hodson’s granddaughter, Mahala (Hodson) Reynolds. Do you have an electronic copy you would be willing to share, or could you possibly tell me where I might find a copy of this document? Thank you so much – I was very impressed with your well researched, well written site. So much information! Regards, Bridget

    1. Ancestral Line of Nancy J. Overstreet (mimeographed, August 1957), – apologies – this is the document I’m interested in. It was cut off from my comment. Bridget

    2. It was a mimeographed copy with no other documentation. If I find any more, I’ll be happy to pass it along.
      Look forward to hearing more from your findings. Each of us is working on pieces of a very big puzzle, and others often see something we’ve overlooked.

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