Andreas Bentz's Signature

The signature on the main page, and above, was taken from "Pennsylvania German Pioneers" by Ralph B. Strassburger and William J. Hinke, published in 1934 by the Pennsylvania German Society, Norristown, PA.

I don't have a copy of this book myself; I have a photocopied page, so I can't provide the precise context. The page I have is labelled "Ship Robert and Alice, December 3, 1740 List 79B". I would appreciate it if anyone has access to this volume to let me know what the signatures were for: immigration records, naturalization, etc. I'd also be interested in finding out where the original document is, in part possibly to get a cleaner copy.

I provide a link here to a scan of the entire page, as it isn't clear that Andreas himself signed the page. Looking over the written signatures, there is enough difference between examples of the various letters in different places to suggest that this document wasn't written by one person, and therefore might have indeed been signed by each individual. Look for example at the different way the letter "J" is written.

However, it is possible that some scribe wrote the names of those who couldn't write their own; this would mean that while the page has different authors, some of the signatures were written by the same individual. Take a look and make your own judgement.

Click here for the full page (2.02 MB)

I think his signature probably is original, because of the use of the German character eszett (sometimes called scharfes-S) at the end of his first name. (It is usually used in place of a voiced double s (ss) following a long vowel or diphthong. Originally it was a ligature of s and z):

I think it is unlikely that any American transcribing his name would use this symbol. It is possible, though, that one of the other passengers wrote his name for him.

This page maintained by Bryan A. Bentz
Last updated June 14, 2000