Finnegan v. Lucy, 157 Mass 439, gives a detailed description of how the law came to be, and how it should be interpreted. The case differentiates between situations where a “signed” document is required, and those where a “written signature” is called for. “Signing does not necessarily mean a written signature, as distinguished from a signature by mark, by print, by stamp, or by the hand of another. There is no reason that we can see why a signature in the proper handwriting of the plaintiff should be required...”; “…the ordinary cases of wills, deeds, contracts, notices, demands, and other documents…do[es] not require such formality.”
The Governor’s Revised Executive Order No. 455 (04-04) details how a Notary Public may notarize the signature of someone who signs with a mark in Section 5: “Scope and Description of Duties.” Section 5 (i) lists the requirements for a notary who may sign the name of a principal who is physically unable to sign or make a mark on a document presented for notarization.