When researching old records, reading the writing of many of our pioneers is a challenge. Those recording the records, as well as those submitting bills and receipts, may not know how to spell and writing can be an obvious challenge.

Then there are the spellings of many words, which leave you shaking your head. On top of that, the words used by our pioneer fathers are not used any longer. Such is the case in some of these Probate Court cases.

In the first estate filed in Pickaway County, the appraisal records a hatchel, which is an instrument for cleaning flax or hemp. It has a set of teeth fastened to a board which combs through the flax. It also included a trundle bed. This is a very low bed, with casters, so that it can be rolled under a full size bed.

Spelling was a problem in another estate in which was listed two pairs of “Strickd” overalls. Surely, they were striped overalls. Also listed were nine blind bridles. These were horse bridles which had a flap on the side to obstruct the horse’s side view.

Two hones and a raser were also listed. Hones are fine compact stone used to sharpen razors. A gray hors coalt was sold in the Hugh Foresman estate. You may recognize this as a gray horse colt. Then, there are the descriptions of horses: roan, brindle, sorrel and bay. Brindle is a grayish color, bay is reddish brown, sorrel is a reddish or yellowish-brown color and roan is a combination of the former colors mixed with gray or white.

A pot trammel appeared in the estate records of John Denny. Trammels are two piece hooks which are adjustable and used to suspend cooking pots from a fireplace crane. When was the last time you heard the word hogshead? It is a large barrel.

While sometimes difficult to read, the challenge of spelling is interesting. Most times, the words, after you figure them out, are just the way they sounded when spoken.

Darlene Weaver is the director of the Pickaway County Historical & Genealogical Library.

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