Virtual 17th Century Transcription class

Wednesday, June 37:00—8:30 PMZoom MeetingOffsite Events , Dover, NH, 03820

“17th Century Handwriting: Reading Bradford’s Journal”

As New England marks this year the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower, join us for a workshop on William Bradford’s journal, “Of Plimoth Plantation.” Bradford was a Mayflower passenger and the longest-serving governor of Plymouth Colony. He maintained a journal that documented events in the colony from 1608 to 1647.

You’ll hear the story of Plymouth Colony and the surprising story of the manuscript itself, and then receive a tutorial on how to read early 17th century handwriting. It is easier than you might think!

Finally, we’ll work through selected passages from Bradford’s journal, and together experience the satisfaction of reading and understanding a 400-year-old handwritten manuscript.  Passages include: the first encounters with the natives, the origins of the the Mayflower Compact, the sickness and death of the first winter, and the first bountiful harvest the following year.

Prerequisites:  Though no previous experience with 17th century handwriting is required, this workshop will be difficult unless you are familiar with modern cursive handwriting as taught in schools until recently.

Materials: A PDF file of readings will be made available at the following URL:  It is recommended that participants print out and have these pages available during the workshop.

Bio blurb:

Robert Cameron Weir is a professional genealogist who specializes in early New England research. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the National Genealogical Society and the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists.

Registration for this event has now closed.