Fraktur, Birth and Baptismal Certificate for Georg Henrich Wetzel

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  • Unidentified
  • Virginia
  • ca. 1800
  • Ink or ink and watercolor on laid paper
  • 1984-305-2

The alternating use of two different colors in the lettering and in the circular design adds to the decorative quality of this simple piece. The certificate contains the usual information regarding the dates of the subject's birth and baptism, but the wording is simlar to that of a "gottelbrief," or "godparents' letter," a type of record common in Europe but rarely found among surviving Virginia fraktur.

The existence of a very similar certificate made for Elisabeth Wetzel, who was born on December 3, 1801, suggests that George's record may have been made some years after his 1775 birth [note 1].

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