Adopt a Memory – Fraktur


Fraktur is a birth and baptismal announcement in the dining room of the Nash House.

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Look closely at the Fraktur in the dining room of the Nash House.  What do you see?

A Fraktur has been defined as “the manuscript art of the Pennsylvania Germans.”  The calligraphic text is central and one of two essential elements of a fractur.  The second component of the fractur is the ornamental embellishments that surrounds the text.  The text itself is German. The lettering is angular, of the “Gothic family” and came to be known as a style of lettering (font).  This form of folk art flourished from about 1750 through 1840 and roughly corresponds with the golden age of folk art among various ethnicities in the United States.  The fracture font, which was central to this form of folk art, was developed in the early sixteenth century and was dominant in Northern Germany.  The name fractur derives from its angular, fractured appearance. (Source; Viewed10/30/2020)

There were several types of fracturs.  This attractive celebratory document is a Taufscheine or birth and baptismal certificate.  The infant is the same Michael Grossen that, as an adult, brought his family in a covered wagon to Delaware County, Ohio.   The translation of this fraktur is:

These two married spouses, Jacob Grossen and his housewife, Susanna, her maiden name Kleine, Lutheran religion, brought a son into this world as Michael born in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ on the 12th of August at …time, …Township North Hampton County in the State of Pennsylvania for holy baptism.  Mr. Ernst Diener of the Fatherly baptized him.  The witnesses (godparents) invited were Johan Michael Troll and his housewife Mala Margarete and gave him the name Michael.

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