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This book is designed to teach you how to read and understand the handwriting found in documents commonly used in genealogical research. It explains techniques for reading early American documents; provides samples of alphabets and letter forms; defines terms and abbreviations commonly used in early American documents such as wills, deeds, and church records; and, furthermore, presents numerous examples of early American records for the reader to work with. Each document--nearly 100 of them at various stages of complexity--appears with the author's transcription on a facing page, enabling the reader to check his own transcription. Also covered in the work, with particular emphasis on handwriting, are numbers and roman numerals, dates and the change from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, abbreviations and contractions, and standard terms found in early American records.