Thursday, September 30, 2010

Program Review - "What Was Great-Grandpa Really Like?"

Paula A. Sassi, a Master Certified Graphologist, dazzled the audience of 50 at the 29 September program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society.  You can read the description of Paula's program and her curriculum vitae here.

Paula said that a master graphologist can "see into the souls of your ancestors" - and can find clues to the intellect, personality, education, physical and emotional control, self-image and ego, and social tendencies of a person, based on their signature and their writings by hand.

Her presentation including different handwriting styles from the 17th century to the present, detailing colonial writing, copperplate and English round writing, Spencerian writing, Copybook and Palmer method handwriting styles.  Examples of famous people from each time period were shown, with comments about what their writings reveal.  The signers of the Declaration of Independence, George Washington (from youth to elder), Abraham Lincoln, Jesse James and others were some of the examples discussed. She said that signatures reveal a public self-image, but writings often reveal much more than a signature does.

Baseline slope (up indicates optimistic, down indicates pessimistic), letter slant (to the right indicates future-oriented and concern for others, to the left indicates past-oriented and concern for self), relative size of ascending or descending parts of letters, form control (consistency in writing), letter size, connectivity and shape, writing pressure (light or heavy), g and y descender details, loops in lower case d's and t's, shape of capital I's, and several more indicators tell the graphologist about the person.  Paula has some free handwriting insights on her website at  She also sells a kit called Handwriting Insights - 64 connected, illustrated cards that teaches handwriting analysis as you use it.

After the formal presentation, Paula analyzed about 15 writing examples submitted by the audience.  Gary scanned them into his computer, and then projected them on the screen while Paula analyzed each one.  This was fascinating!  Some attendees brought whole pages of writing, others had only signatures or entries in a vital or church record.

Randy brought in a page from a family Bible that had the writing and signature of Devier J. Smith, his second great-grandfather.  Based on the writing, Paula said that Devier was down-to-earth, logical, analytical, enthusiastic for ideas, opinionated and controlled. 

Paula is an excellent presenter, an expert in her field, and her presentation and analysis of the writings was a big hit with the attendees.

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