Where possible, the editors identified the individuals that had a role in writing a document. Author describes the person who wrote the document, or a majority of the document. Signer describes the person or persons who signed their own name, or made their mark, usually at the end of a document. Named describes a signature of someone’s name written by someone else. For example: if one partner in a partnership signed the name of both partners, he is the signer, and the other partner is named. Endorser describes anyone that formally attested to a document, that amended or added to the body of the document, or that appended or signed a subsequent statement regarding the document. Recipient describes the person to whom a letter is addressed. Each document may have multiple participants with the same role, such as endorser. The author of a document described as a copy, is the person who wrote the copy, not the original author or signer.
The pool of names in the database as described above also contains every participant in a document, categorized by five roles: author, signer, named, endorser, or recipient.