Today is my 79th birthday.I praise God I made it to this day, which is kind of a milestone on the way to 80 this time next year, if I make another 365 days.
It is a pleasure and a privilege to be able to communicate my ideas about how the family fits together to all of you on this Forum. Some think my hypotheses are too far out, but in all candor I HAVE achieved an OVERVIEW of the total information that is available to the slogging microfilm reader and the visitor to underlit courthouse storage rooms, - as opposed to the collector of internet downloads from just anybody who MAY have collected them from someone unskilled in weighing the data.
Principally what I want to deal with today is an insight I have just been given.I have wondered WHY I have had such a time convincing people that the SIGNATURES on the Revolutionary Pay Vouchers have identification significance.I have kept gettings explanations of WHY people think the indicated individuals did not necessarily sign the vouchers. It seems that we are talking about TWO different manifestations of the individuals' names.The voucher shows on the FRONT the name of the PAYEE.This is written by the clerk; this is NOT, and nobody said it was, a signature of the indicated person. But ON THE BACK is the ENDORSEMENT.THAT'S a signature of the person indicated.
Trouble is it seems that a percentage of the people discussing this issue are NOT aware of the HIND-SIDE SIGNATURE.They thought all along we were saying that the names on the front were signatures.They are NOT.It has come as a surprise to some that there is ANYTHING on the hind side.But THAT'S the signature; and it is comparable to OTHER signatures that MATCH in "hand", - in "style", in "letter formation". as seen on other documents of the day.THESE signatures are meaningful.They allow us to say WHICH John Fly was paid FIVE pounds and WHICH John Fly was paid NINE pounds. They show us WHICH William Fly got paid, and WHICH did not. We see the Clerk designate Elijah Fly to get paid, but assuredly it SHOULD have named Elisha, for there was a clerical mistake and so Elisha tried to write "Elijah" to get his money, only to misspell it "Eligah", and reveal the same capital E that he, Elisha, regularly used to sign Elisha correctly when assenting to a petition.
So I urge you do NOT reject what I'm telling you.Look at the stories that emerge when the significance of the conclusions of those SIGNATURES on the BACK are studied and thought through, with INSIGHT.
That's my sharing with you for today.God Bless You ALL.
Cousin Jim James Whitney Fly, b. Nov. 15 1921 Nashville, TN.