Treasure Chest Thursday – Penmanship

I can identify my grandmother’s handwriting. When I look at the back of a photograph and see her distinctive script, I know who identified the people in the picture. I can pick up one of the notebooks that she kept and know that it is hers, even though her name isn’t there. But my recognition of family handwriting comes to a full stop when I move past my parents and grandmother. Until now. I found something to help me identify one set of great-grandparents’ handwriting – my grandmother Eveline Coates’ report card.

Eveline Coates Report Card Grade 12

Both of Eveline’s parents signed the report card and now I can use it to compare with the handwriting in the Coates family Bible.

Mary Ann Harris Coates signed it here:                   Joseph Coates signed it here:





Mary’s handwriting is angular with lines meeting in distinct points. Joseph’s handwriting is very round and circular.

Coates Family Bible – Births Page

Three samples of handwriting appear on the Births page. I presume that the early writers were Eveline’s parents, Joseph Coates and Mary Harris Coates.

Comparing the signatures on the report card to the entries on the Births page, it looks as though Mary wrote the first line and made the entires for Carl and John. Then the handwriting changes, and Joseph made the entries for Joseph and Amelia. Then back to Mary for Evelina, Blanche and Marjorie.

Eveline Coates began writing with the entry for Bernard and continued to the end of the page.

My grandmother Eveline’s handwriting appears on the Births, Marriages and Deaths pages, but only after her parents stopped writing in it. There is a fourth person’s handwriting on the Deaths page that I cannot identify. I believe that the Bible passed from Joseph and Mary Coates to Eveline Coates and then to whomever wrote the last two entries on the Deaths page. (Maybe Aunt Wilma?)

Eveline’s mother, Mary Harris Coates, was an immigrant from England. Eveline often told the story that her mother arrived at about 9 years of age. The other kids in school teased her so much about her accent that her mother schooled her at home. I imagine her spending a great deal of time practicing her flourishes and curlicues in the solitude of her home.

(I am SO ANNOYED because I have tried to add the Deaths page here about 20 times and every time I do, everything on the page messes up. If you would like to take a look at it, go to the previous post. I give up!)

Heard from my uncle after posting and he believes it is Aunt Wilma’s handwriting on the Deaths page.


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