Most Wednesdays on this blog I post a photograph for “Wordless Wednesday” but I find I am unable to not write a long story about it, so over the past year it has developed in to “Not So Wordless Wednesday” here at Nutfield Genealogy. Today's post is usually developed to fit into the Amanuenis Monday meme, but it would also be appropriate for the "Madness Monday" or "Mystery Monday" blogging memes.
This document has rendered me speechless, and also “transcription less”. I am not fluent in Spanish, and even my native Spanish speaking husband is unable to transcribe this. At the Spanish National Archives website we searched for the surname Rojo and the names of some of the villages near Aranda de Duero, in the province of Burgos, Spain where his ancestors lived. When we received a hit, we were initially excited, but then flabbergasted when we saw this document.
Our only solace is that this is not unusual for a document from Spain. Scribes purposefully made their handwriting illegible so as to preserve their jobs. Only they could transcribe or read back their own documents, thus ensuring they wouldn't be dismissed. Job security. Also "a scribe’s handwriting style was registered with the Royal Chancellery, and a copy of each scribe’s scribal signature and handwriting was kept on file and used to “verify” documents written and authorized by that particular scribe" [from Papal Bulls, Expirtadors, and the Madrid Codex, by John F. Chuchiak, page 67 at the website http://clio.missouristate.edu/chuchiak/template/Chuchiak-Madrid%20Codex.pdf ]
However, five hundred years later we are struggling to read this post Visigothic script (a secretary style called Cortesana or Procesal?). According to the Spanish National Archives it describes a Jew and a Converso with the surname Rojo, and a lawsuit over some oxen in the village of Peñaranda. It is dated 1491.
Can anyone help?
Source: Reclamación de unos bueyes que le prendaron a Mahir Corcoz, judío de Peñaranda. Archivo General de Simancas RGS. LEG.149103.506 via http://www.pares.mcu.es/ the website Portal de Archives Españoles for the National Archives of Spain
Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo