Author Topic: Seeking help deciphering witness signature  (Read 386 times)

oneilln

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Seeking help deciphering witness signature
« on: October 04, 2020, 02:15:17 PM »

Hello everyone!

I am hoping someone can help me read the witness signature in this image from my great, great, grandfather's 1873 marriage record in Belfast. It's the name below James Donnelly, it says Margret (by her mark) ??? ??

The nearest I can guess is Crozier but I don't think that's it. I have even read through lists of names in the Belfast street directories beginning with A or C looking for clues to no avail. Could it start with an O maybe?

https://i.postimg.cc/43PJ3WqK/witnesssignature.jpg

Many thanks in advance for any assistance.

N.

[size=78%]

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Re: Seeking help deciphering witness signature
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2020, 05:27:33 PM »
Hello everyone!

I am hoping someone can help me read the witness signature in this image from my great, great, grandfather's 1873 marriage record in Belfast. It's the name below James Donnelly, it says Margret (by her mark) ??? ??

The nearest I can guess is Crozier but I don't think that's it. I have even read through lists of names in the Belfast street directories beginning with A or C looking for clues to no avail. Could it start with an O maybe?

https://i.postimg.cc/43PJ3WqK/witnesssignature.jpg

Many thanks in advance for any assistance.

N.

[size=78%]

Hi there,
I did some work on your OíNeill Spamount St some time ago.
It would help if you were to post the whole marriage cert to enable letter comparisons to be made.
However I understand if you wish your relative to be kept private.


oneilln

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Re: Seeking help deciphering witness signature
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2020, 05:35:03 PM »
Hello

Copy attached using this link, I hope! I also suspect I obtained it through your diligent efforts. Thanks!

https://i.postimg.cc/PqXMMmKp/John-Keenanmarriage.png

Niall

17124

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Re: Seeking help deciphering witness signature
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2020, 02:34:28 PM »
As usual Niall,  cross referencing to othe available records can also be inconclusive!  The Church marriage transcription shows Mary living at 5 Stephen Street .  Street directories for 1870 & 1877 name a John Graham at nbr 5 - Stephen St is Little Donegal St to Kent St (Johns given address).  I am struggling to see the word Stephen on the record you have provided however, the priest may not have known the correct spelling and has spet it incorrectly as Steven.  You could almost be forgiven if you were to transcribe it as Stewart Street

The second part of the church transcription names witness name as Margaret CROSLY, indeed I can't see the spelling of that name in the 1877 street directory, there are Crossley and Crosby but when looking at the "Y"s on both the Mary & The Murphy which are clearly "Y" the same cannot be said for Margret surname.  I'm not convinced that her surname begins with a "C", it could easily be "G".  It's a pity really as the priests handwriting is fairly clear on both the entry for their marriage and the one below, but there really isn't anything there to give any other clues.I should also point out that the same transcription names the other witness as Frances Donnelly not James and Johns father named as James not John,  either the Priest was having a bad day or .. it speaks volumes about the quality of the transcription.  I have, before now, telephoned St. Patricks & asked that they check ALL the actual details in their register!

Perhaps go through the street directories for Kent & Stephen Streets & see if there are any familiar names that may give you a clue.  Also try 1901 census using the surname variants

Marriage can be viewed here (pay to view)  http://ifhf.rootsireland.ie
There are some birth/Marriage  entries for Margaret Crosley & name vairants which you may find helps you   http://ifhf.rootsireland.ie/quis.php?page=0&prevStartQuery=0

Street directories  https://streetdirectories.proni.gov.uk

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie

Do you know whether is is a possible family connection or is she simply one of Mary's friends? 

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Re: Seeking help deciphering witness signature
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2020, 02:56:15 PM »
As usual Niall,  cross referencing to othe available records can also be inconclusive!  The Church marriage transcription shows Mary living at 5 Stephen Street .  Street directories for 1870 & 1877 name a John Graham at nbr 5 - Stephen St is Little Donegal St to Kent St (Johns given address).  I am struggling to see the word Stephen on the record you have provided however, the priest may not have known the correct spelling and has spet it incorrectly as Steven.  You could almost be forgiven if you were to transcribe it as Stewart Street
The second part of the church transcription names witness name as Margaret CROSLY, indeed I can't see the spelling of that name in the 1877 street directory, there are Crossley and Crosby but when looking at the "Y"s on both the Mary & The Murphy which are clearly "Y" the same cannot be said for Margret surname.  I'm not convinced that her surname begins with a "C", it could easily be "G".  It's a pity really as the priests handwriting is fairly clear on both the entry for their marriage and the one below, but there really isn't anything there to give any other clues

Perhaps go through the street directories for Kent & Stephen Streets & see if there are any familiar names that may give you a clue.  Also try 1901 census using the surname variants

Marriage can be viewed here (pay to view)  http://ifhf.rootsireland.ie
There are some birth/Marriage  entries for Margaret Crosley & name vairants which you may find helps you   http://ifhf.rootsireland.ie/quis.php?page=0&prevStartQuery=0

Street directories  https://streetdirectories.proni.gov.uk

This one was and is bugging me big time. Better still it is also bugging my 12 year old grand daughter who is helping Granda 😍🤣.
Like yo we tried all of the directories either side of the 1873 marriage. We compared the letters and the joining of letters etc but alas to no avail.
I took the plunge on GRONI and parted with 5 Credits to view the marriage certificate.









The surname is more clear in this hand writing BUT once again after lengthy trawls I have not been able to identify a host of surnames which equate to the spelling. Same goes for the street name.

The upshot is my Grand daughter is now on Ancestry making her own family tree. 👍🏼👍🏼


17124

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Re: Seeking help deciphering witness signature
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2020, 04:39:08 PM »
Oh BB, looks like you could have saved a few "G"s there, you've pulled up the same record that Niall posted!
Yes, I started with the brides address & partly decided it was Stewart/Steward Street.  A search of 1868 directory gave me a little hope when I found living at 12 Steward St a GROSHER George, engineer & I haven't yet ruled it out .. and a GOSHEN, RC Annie, spinster, in Meath in the 1901 census.  I'm also leaning toward COOPER.  Glad you agree no letters to help in the handwriting, especially when you look at the S in spinster, S in spinner and the S in the alleged Stephen St.  all three completely different.  There is no way I can make the surname end in a Y when you compare the Y in Mary, Donnelly. and the two in Murphy.

There would be no joy searing for the entry at NI Catholic registers eitheer ... guess what .. that is one of the registers that has allegedly  taken a mysterious wander!
Perhaps a wee tot later might improve our vision  ;)

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Re: Seeking help deciphering witness signature
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2020, 07:02:47 PM »
Oh BB, looks like you could have saved a few "G"s there, you've pulled up the same record that Niall posted!
Yes, I started with the brides address & partly decided it was Stewart/Steward Street.  A search of 1868 directory gave me a little hope when I found living at 12 Steward St a GROSHER George, engineer & I haven't yet ruled it out .. and a GOSHEN, RC Annie, spinster, in Meath in the 1901 census.  I'm also leaning toward COOPER.  Glad you agree no letters to help in the handwriting, especially when you look at the S in spinster, S in spinner and the S in the alleged Stephen St.  all three completely different.  There is no way I can make the surname end in a Y when you compare the Y in Mary, Donnelly. and the two in Murphy.

There would be no joy searing for the entry at NI Catholic registers eitheer ... guess what .. that is one of the registers that has allegedly  taken a mysterious wander!
Perhaps a wee tot later might improve our vision  ;)

17124, you know me a wee bit better than that.... I cannot afford to squander shekels.  the Grandkids inheritance
The two photostats are NOT the same.
However they have been written by the same hand BUT one set of letters is clearly different from the other, namely the surname.

Look at the distance between the two lines, marked in red ink, of bride and grooms name... itís distinctly wider as red ink shows.

The Green indicator.... the 1973 & Mary are offset to each other.... they are level in the other photostat.

The green indicator on the word street... the word slants down from left to right... the other is level

Finally the surname ... first four letter are far clearer and Cros easily see.

So, yes, written by the same hand but totally different.
Pity they didnít use typewriters 😂😂😂😂😂😂

However.... no spellcheck in those days either 😳👏👏👏🤣





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Re: Seeking help deciphering witness signature
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2020, 08:19:01 PM »
Remember that game we all played in the comics....Spot the difference.... in yellow.  probably others.👍🏼🤣