Below is an image I'm trying studying to find a marriage date. It's either the 2nd or 20th of October, 1834. I know that in some handwriting they used an ordinal indicator such as 1o to signify first, 2o to mean second, etc. So does this mean second or 20th?


  • @ColeValleyGirl Thanks for posting the image!
    – tralston
    May 30, 2013 at 17:24

2 Answers 2


To me that looks like a D comparing it earlier on the same page where it is clearer and written in the same way so I think that it is the 2nd.

It is always useful in this type of case to look at entries close to the one that you are looking at to see if the handwriting is clearer and you get to start to see how the author actually writes and it make it easier to interpret the record you are really interested in.


The ordinal indicators you mention are used in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. If you come across records written in these languages or have reason to believe that the original recorder may have spoken one of these languages, then it is possible for a document to contain this type of shorthand. However, this document is in English, making it highly unlikely that these marks are "º" symbols.

I would agree with Colin that the marks are "D" for 2nd, not "0" for 20.


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