Sunday, August 22, 2010

Number Mystery - Not Solved Yet...

In my last Amenuensis Monday post, I wrote about the letter/number code Lodewijk Wesselo used in his letters. I asked on some genealogy forums for help, since I couldn't figure out what the code was.

I recieved some helpful answers. Someone suggested that it was the Medieval Roman numerals system. It nearly fit, but not completely. Some of the numbers don't add up and Lodewijk used a letter that's not in that system. So no luck there. Unles of course I used the system wrong, which is entirely possible.

Someone else though, provided me with some historical background information that might shed some light on why he was using a code. Here's what she said:

Many history-making events took place in the Netherlands around this time in both financial and illicit trade areas. Maybe your ancestor wished to separate himself from all the scandal by not making his figures available to just anyone?

He did use the code during the 20's, and also in letters sent during World War 2, where discretion also had its place. And besides that, from what I've been able to glean from his character by reading his letters, he was a very discreet and conservative man when it came to money matters.

I might not ever crack his code, but at least I have a reasonable explanation as to why he used one in the first place!

No comments:

Post a Comment