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Handwriting Help

If you have problems reading a document, this section may help you get the most from your research. To improve your research using testaments and other Scottish documents, you need to study a few things:

palaeography (the ability to read older forms of handwriting)
diplomatic (knowledge of the forms that documents take, for example, the form of the testament)
vocabulary (the specialist vocabulary in testaments, especially sums of money, agricultural produce and weights and measures)
Scots language (the spelling, grammar, and abbreviations in the older Scots tongue)

If you intend to read old Scottish documents regularly then we recommend you get hold of a good Scots Dictionary or look at Dictionary of the Scots Language

Use the help pages listed on the menu to look at the handwriting in testaments, the form of a testament, and how sums of money, produce and weights and measures are represented.

If you encounter problems reading a document, use the pages giving advice on what to do if you can't read a particular word or a particular letter.

For further help with palaeography visit ScottishHandwriting.com

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