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A wee bit of info to help you in your journey to discover your Scottish Ancestors and maybe even crack a brick wall or two!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Ancestor Autograph Book

A couple of years ago, I wrote away to the local church in the village where my father was born and raised. I was looking for a copy of his baptismal record. As genealogical serendipity would have it, the clerk was an old flame of my dad’s from his pre–marriage days. She was delighted to have received the letter stating that it brought back many happy memories of years gone by. She spoke fondly of my dad and times spent at his family’s home. She enclosed a couple of photographs along with the copy of the baptismal record. One I had not seen before. I turned the photo over and immediately recognized my dad’s handwriting. My dad passed away at a very young age in 1987. Seeing his handwriting so unexpectedly created a flood of warm emotion.  

Since that time, I have made a special effort to really look at the signatures of my ancestors when  they have signed official documents such as marriage registers or attestation papers or when they have signed as a witness or informant on birth, marriage or death registers.  

I have long been an advocate of preserving family history in a format that will make it available for future generations. To that end, I have created Family Books for each of my lines as well as for my husbands lines so that our children and grandchildren will know their history.

I create personalized heritage calendars, scrapbooks, family newsletters and other family “ephemera” that I hope one day will be passed down as family treasures. I recently thought it might be fun to put together an autograph collection of my ancestor’s signatures. Of course, this is a much smaller collection than any of the other formats provide, but it is a piece of our family history and one that will hopefully create enough interest in future generations to make them want to hold onto the emotion they feel when they see the handwriting of their ancestors. Perhaps this will be the one thing that will spark a descendant to want to carry on the torch as family historian and preservationist.



  1. Great idea. I too am a collector of autographs. Had not thought of a scrapbook page. :)

  2. Great post and like Fran had not considered the scrapbook option.