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The handwriting of the early census are often difficult to read.  Here are some examples from actual census that shows some of the variations of the letters.  There are other ways to help read the census.

Use the State names on "place of birth" to learn how certain letters are formed.

Use the words such as Wife, son, daughter, mother, father nephew, niece.

Look for relatives that live together and near each other as clues can be gathered here.