Fraktur Birth Certificate of William P. Browning
WILLIAM / P. / BROWNING / WAS BORN / OCT. [Innocence] XIII / MDCCCXIII / BY W. L. WILLIAMS.
Artist: W.L. Williams. This is one of two known works by this hand. Both examples include similar Roman block and Gothic fraktur lettering. The other example, unsigned and commemorating the 1817 birth of Lydia Ann Rockhill, was found pasted inside a small miniature chest with a Kentucky history. Nothing is known of the artist, W. L. Williams, at this time. A “W. Williams” advertised the opening of a school for boys in the August 1823 Kentucky Gazette and the Kentucky Reporter, both of which were published in Lexington, KY.
William Perry Browning, son of Capt. James Browning and his wife Jane Morrow, was born October 13, 1813 in Clark County, Kentucky. He appears in the 1850 Fayette County census as W.P. Browning living with his wife, Emeline Armstrong, and their three daughters, and working as a blacksmith. The Brownings and the Morrows migrated to Kentucky from Culpeper County, Virginia in the late 18th century. William was a third generation Kentuckian.