Most of the time you can tell between e and r with this fellow. Also, if you have to guess, pick either e or r, it'll never be an a or an o.
In general, the e will sit on the bottom of the baseline, and will ascend to the midline. The r will be set lower down and be shorter. This fellow is generally consistent about it.
I'd also like to hilight the characters d and R. These are also very consistent.
also, the dots over the y are not a diacritical in German. It's just a regular y. Notice that this clerk NEVER writes the character y without the dots.
The dots do appear sometimes in transcriptions. It is a mistake.