According to New York Times, Jun 28 2013
To commemorate family milestones, 18th-century German-speaking immigrants in America hired calligraphers to record dates and biographical details on rag paper documents. Along the margins, the scribes painted birds, hearts, zodiac signs and flowers. The art form is called fraktur (FRAHK-tuhr), after the fractured-looking, sharp-edged Germanic calligraphy. At museum shows now, the colorful borders attract visitors, and then the texts reveal tragic underlying narratives, sometimes of premature death.
According to Folk Art Museum, Jun 2013, with minor formating changes,and text clarifications:
The term fraktur encompasses a number of embellished calligraphic forms produced within Germanic communities in America. Because they were commissioned by or received from active members of their own community, fraktur are rarely signed. However, the distinctiveness of certain artistic styles has led to the identification of individual artists or particular bodies of work. [For example] a large number of lively Taufscheine, [birth and baptismal certificates], has been attributed to the "Flying Angel Artist", so-called because of the humorous [flying angel] motif seen in the upper corners of this example and the majority of his work.