When viewing names on the census or other handwritten forms and you find you can't read a letter(s) in the names, take a minute and look around the page and see if you find the same letter(s) used in another name.
You may find that another name that shows the letter done totally different and its not what you thought it was.
For example, to see how the person writing did the letter "S" I look for names that are clearly Smith.... For "J" I look for Jones or John... many times just finding the letter(s) in another area, where maybe the handwriting is so scrunched or garbled brings the letter(s) into clear view.
I've found this tip to be very useful especially on census forms. Good luck & happy hunting!