Sunday, December 1, 2013

The proof is in the signatures

Remember how I told you that my friend Christina in Germany and I are working to find out how our two lines are connected?  Her family is Gläntzer (umlaut) and my family is Glaentzer (no umlaut).  The theory is that the common ancestor for us is Carl Friedrich Glaentzer (my 3rd great-grandfather).  Christina noticed something interesting with the signatures of Carl’s son Josef Glaentzer (my 2nd great-grandfather).  These signatures are from the birth certificates of 4 of his children.

Look Michele,
This is interesting: 4 signatures from 4 different years by Josef Glaentzer. The spelling of his signature varies.








Digital images copyright © 2013 Christina Gläntzer, used with permission


You bet it is interesting!  This is the first example that we have seen of one man writing his name both with and without an umlaut.  I think we are getting closer to the connection.


Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. The 1860 signature does not appear to be by the same hand as the other signatures. Do you know for a fact that he was able to sign his name?

  2. Good catch. Actually, there was a transition in Germany from one style of writing to another. It is not uncommon to see someone change their writing because of this. It happened again in the 1930s when the old script was being replaced by the new. My mother can write in two completely different ways. The Glaentzer family was quite wealthy, prominent and educated in Köln. Josef would have definitely been able to sign his name.