November 21, 2014

Is Your Missouri Ancestor In My Kucker Photo?

Minnie Smith Yates - Springfield, MO



 

(Click photo for full size)

Before my grandmother Minnie Caroline Smith married Will K. Yates she had a teaching certificate for the state of Missouri.  I’m adding this photo today to share with anyone whose ancestor might be in it. Grandma Minnie is the young lady on the far right, second row down.

As you can see, the photographer’s name was Kucker and I believe he might have been in Springfield.  Since Kucker traveled around the area though, I have no proof of where this photo was taken.  This is a scan of the original photo that resides in our family pictures.  Judging by the age of my grandmother, it could have been taken around 1915-1917?

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy – Challenge #29 – Handwriting

An open notebook with an uncapped pen

Handwriting Traits In Your Ancestor’s Penmanship

After eighteen months of training, I became a Certified Handwriting Analyst through the International Graphoanalysis Society in 1987.  I had always been fascinated by the quirks I could see in other people’s handwriting, and as always, I wanted to know what it all meant.  Loops, curls, dots and cross bars.  Why did my handwriting look different than everyone else’s.

It was my mother’s penmanship I was exposed to early on and in great quantity. She signed the report cards, wrote letters to everyone in the family, and always in a beautiful script probably drilled into her in her formative years in grade school and high school.  I believe her form of handwriting might have been called the Palmer method which was developed as a uniform way of writing for business.  

The thing to remember about handwriting is that it is actually brain writing.   Your hand doesn’t do the thinking of course, it’s your mind that controls the way your hand (or any cursive writing method) transfers the information to the paper.

Crossing those T’s and dotting those I’s

Look at how you cross your T’s (lower case or capitals) to see where you put the crossbar.  Is it low, in the middle, high on the stem of the letter, or way above the stem, just kind of ‘floating’ up there?  To a graphoanalyst,  all of those locations mean something: goals.  As you can imagine, the low crossbar denotes low goals; in the middle denotes reasonable ones, high shows the person sets high goals. The one’s floating above…perhaps those are very high and not so reasonable or attainable.

You may not usually pay much attention to how you dot your lower case i, or j, but there are several traits we look for.  A “tick” or almost a check mark look could mean that the person could be quick to anger. The harder the person writes on the paper shows the depth and length of time the person might hold that anger. It could be a small irritation they will get over quickly, or along with several other traits we evaluate, it could mean you need to watch out for someone who could fly off the handle. Do you make a little circle above your dotted letters?  That could mean you have an idiosyncrasy of some sort. Big circles = big idiosyncrasies, with the converse being the opposite trait.  

Writing that looks flowing and with lots of extra loops and curls could mean the person had grown up in an era when life was more flowery (like the Victorian era) and “gilded” where it was all part of the person‘s personae to show good breeding with even their handwriting.

What We Don’t Know or Can’t Tell

The really intriguing thing about handwriting is what you can’t determine from just looking at it. You cannot determine the writer’s gender.  You may be able to tell what their health is like if it’s somewhat ‘squiggly’ if the writers handwriting was once more firm and controlled.  Additionally, you are not able to determine someone’s  age by looking at their writing. Of course, there’s exceptions to that rule, for instance if what you see is just scribbling it could be a very small child, but at the same time it could also be someone who has limited mental capacity.

One of the most scary handwriting is by persons who are serial murderers or other individuals who have committed violent crimes.  Their writing looks very “muddy”, and possibly very heavy or dark, depending on their writing instrument. Many times, an analyst will ask that an exemplar be done using a pencil or a ballpoint pen to get the most clear writing to examine.  Using other types of writing tools like roller ball or felt pen will not give a clear stroke to analyze.

Every single stroke of the pen tells the analyst a story they can picture in their mind and use to compose a personality report for business or even marital compatibility.  

Carol is not currently taking new clients at this time.  
© Carol Yates Wilkerson, 2010. Use of this article is not permitted without permission from the author.

Our Educated Ancestors

My ancestor’s educational records ran the gamut from none to the unknown.  Most of my father’s generation had high school educations, but many of them weren’t able to go onto college because they lacked the money and in their circles there were no family members to foot the bill for anything like it.  The alternative would have been to find private student loan lenders willing instead, to provide the funds.

I imagine that currently some high school graduates might be considering this kind of financing if one of their family members will co-sign with them, providing the co-signer has an excellent credit rating of their own.  Most likely, the better credit score the co-signer has the lower the interest rate the student would have to pay.  Private student loan rates can vary based on the LIBOR or Prime Rate at the time.

Private student loan rates are not restricted to just the full cost of your tuition, but also for any education related expenses such as books, transportation  or housing expenses.  There is no time limit when applying for a private student loan, it can be done at any time of the year.

How did your ancestors pay for their extended education?

 

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