The domestic, maternal spaces occupied by early modern English women defined and demarked the forms of writing that they produced within those spaces. While many valuable studies have considered women’s writing in relation to men’s lives and the traditions of male authorship, scholars increasingly have access to information about women’s domestic lives that allows us to consider a women’s textual tradition. This tradition, while necessarily intertwined with the lives and work of men, stands apart from the male tradition of authorship because women’s writing was once thoroughly associated with women’s matemalistic roles within their households, those living and work spaces occupied by members of a group of men and women closely connected through their domestic interactions and their work. 1 Although only some of the forms of what I call “household writing” have been actively considered by scholars, women’s writing – defined as recording any part of the alphabet worked or drawn in any form – encompassed a number of activities. These activities may be placed on a continuum, from those that provide very little information about their composers to those that provide a great deal of information. The traces of women’s textuality in brief notes and messages, alphabets in stitchery or calligraphy, initials, ciphers, and sententiae, tease us with what they suggest about the importance of these less articulate forms of household writing. Account books, art work, receipt or recipe books, letters, diaries, calligraphic manuscripts, and published texts offer more fulsome although sometimes no less mysterious means to consider the textuality of early modern women. This essay concentrates on four such types of trace writings: vestigial notes or messages, initials, a cipher, as well as two diaries in order to demonstrate that the examples available of women’s textuality complicate our sense of maternal roles in the early modern household.