This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
In the absence of statute any visible mark upon the paper, intended by a party to be his signature thereto, is sufficient as his signature. The common and most approved form of signature is for the party to write his full name with his own hand. This is not, however, necessary. If a person signs by a Christian name alone it is sufficient.1 Thus a mortgage of realty in which the name of the grantor's wife appears in full in the premises and in the acknowledgment, although she signs by her Christian name alone is valid.2 So a deed has been held valid where the true name of the grantor appeared in the premises and in the certificate of acknowledgment, although when he signed he wrote his name "Edmund" instead of "Edward."3 So a signature by one's surname alone is sufficient.4 A signature may be valid although it is not the true name of the party signing. Thus one who enters into a contract not required by law to be in writing, under an assumed name, he is bound thereby.5 Thus, a party to a contract was named William Couture. "Couture" being the French for "seam," he signed his name to the contract "William Seam." Such signature was held to be valid.6 So a promissory note signed by the maker's initials is valid.7 Misspelling the maker's name does not invalidate his signature to a promissory note if he can be identified. Thus a maker signed a note payable to himself and omitted one letter from such signature. He then indorsed it, spelling his name correctly in the indorsement. This was held to be a valid note.8
5 Globe Accident Co. v. Reid, 19 Ind. App. 203; 47 N. E. 947; modi-fied, 49 N. E. 291.
6 Taylor v. Dobbins, 1 Stra. 399.
7 Good v. Martin, 95 U. S. 90; Quin v. Sterne, 26 Ga. 223; 71 Am. Dec. 204; Allison v. Circuit Judge, 104 Mich. 141; 62 N. W. 152; Sclmltz v. Howard, 63 Minn. 196; 56 Am. St. Rep. 470; 65 N. W. 363; Salisbury v. Bank, 37 Neb. 872; 40 Am. St. Rep. 527; 56 N. W. 727; Seymour v. Mickey, 15 O. S. 515; Bright v. Carpenter, 9 Ohio 139; 34 Am. Dec. 432; Provident, etc., Society v. Edmonds, 95 Tenn. 53; 31 S. W. 168. See Sec. 1231.
1 Walker v. Walker, 175 Mass. 349; 56 N. E. 601. (Citing Sanborn v. Flagler, 9 All. (Mass.) 474; Peck v. Vandemark, 99 X. Y. 29; 1 N. E. 41.)
2Zann v. Haller, 71 Ind. 136; 36 Am. Rep. 193.
3 Middleton v. Findla, 25 Cal. 76.
4 Hodges v. Nalty, 113 Wis. 567; 89 N. W. 535.
5 Scanlan v. Grimmer, 71 Minn. 351; 70 Am. St. Rep. 326; 74 N. W. 146.