Johann Balthasar Hasselbacher-

Drechsler (Turner) of Münchsteinach


We have kindly been allowed by the author and publisher to reproduce this fascinating article for internal family use. Please respect their copyrights.  I attach a pdf file of 525 kb in size.  It is written in German.  I made an initial attempt to translate it electronically.  I scanned the document and performed optical character recognition of the German text using Adobe Acrobat CS3.  I then took the text and processed it using Google's language translation tool. The cascade of manipulations by this novice user gave a poor result.  My software had trouble with the formatting of the original article, and because of its subject matter, much of the archaic ecclesiastic vocabulary was not recognized by the translation software.  Nonetheless, I (and I hope you) can at least tell what is being written about. (Try having two windows open side-by-side.)  If someone would like to contribute a better summary, or provide translations or comments, I would be glad to receive these.

Peter Hasselbacher
June 22, 2007



Johann Balthasar Hasselbacher- ein armer Münchsteinacher Drechslermeister am Ende des 18. und Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts..."  by Italo Bacigalupo. (pdf document 528KB)



Initial attempt at electronic translation by me!

19 Sep 2007


A relative from Diespeck kindly forwarded this recent article in a local paper (not known to me) reporting on Pfarrer Bacigalupo's paper above.  I reproduce it here with my inferior attempt at electronic translation. As best as I can determine, despite his artistic services to the church, he paid a heavy price in financial penance for fathering children out of wedlock in the year before his marriage to Anna Barbara Ströbel in 1780.  Maria Grüber was reported to be the mother of the illegitimate child whose name was Margaretha Magdalena.   Margaretha may have lived long enough to have children of her own. Her death record is here. The name of another woman, Elizabetha Ganßer, is also mentioned.  According to a cousin in Germany's interpretation, it appears that Balthasar made Elisabetha Ganßerin pregnant too, and had to pay 2 more guilders in penance (schwängern = to impregnate). I am unaware of the outcome of that pregnancy.

The heavy fines and church loans must have been difficult for Balthasar.  Ultimately he became bankrupt and lost possession of the family dwelling at 21 Neustädter Straße to the church. (Still, other Hasselbacher descendants lived there after Balthasar.) The full impact of the church fines is unknown to me but it has been suggested that there were other reasons for his financial distress. (Alas this is the consequence of not being able to speak German myself!  I am working on that.) 

Balthasar died in 1822.  His birth and death records are here.

We need the help of a better translator than I and my computer to sort out this interesting historical event.  If you can help, please contact me.



Balthasar Newspaper Article


Peter's poor-man translation