Are the Münchsteinach Peter and the Soldier Peter the same person?

Where did Peter Hazelbaker come from?
My website makes it appear as a fact that Peter Hasselbacher was born in Münchsteinach, Mittelfranken, Germany. I do not doubt that the family lore and secondary sources are correct that some Peter was conscripted in Germany to fight in the American Revolutionary War for the British as a member of the Ansbach/ Bayreuth Regiment. Soberingly, there is a paucity of primary documents that contain his name. We have a birth record from the village of Münchsteinach, and (now) two military documents containing the name "Peter Hasselbacher" and confirming that he did not return with his company to Germany after the war. I am willing to count as a primary document the initials "PH" on the gravestone recently found by Craig Hazelbaker in exactly the place where it was supposed to be. However, to my knowledge, there are no records of marriage, baptisms, wills, or deeds available the contain his name, let alone information about where he came from.

I confess that I have promoted the assumption that he came from Münchsteinach. Except for one source that I will mention below, all my arguments that the Peter of Münchsteinach is the same person as the Peter of Allan Township, PA are circumstantial.

1. His birth in 1759 would make him of military age at the onset of hostilities. Indeed, since we now know that he came to America in 1877, the Münchsteinach Hasselbacher would have been 18 years old.

2. There were not very many Hasselbachers in Franconia at that time, and of all of the ones I know of, the Münchsteinach baby was the first to be named "Peter." It was not a family name yet. He was named after his godfather and not an ancestor.

3. There is no death record or marriage record in the church-books of Münchsteinach for our Peter as there is for a nephew named Peter or for many of his immediate family for that matter. It is of course possible that he moved away. This Peter was not the oldest son of his father. At least one older brother, Balthasar, stayed to carry on the father's trade as turner and woodcarver in Münchsteinach. (I need to look for the death record of his mother.)

4. Previous family speculation assumed that Peter came from Ansbach, some 50 km south of Münchsteinach. However no one has shown any records from Ansbach with his name, nor for that matter (in that century) of any Hasselbacher in Ansbach. (I have not looked myself.) The Ansbach/ Bayreuth Regiment was named for the jurisdictional domains of its Margrave (ruler), not for the towns of those names. Münchsteinach was within the jurisdiction of the Margrave and there is ample evidence that soldiers were conscripted widely through the land. There is no affirmative evidence that Peter came from the town Ansbach, although he certainly came from the "kingdom" of Ansbach.

5. I have previously marshaled the fact that Jochen Seidel, a noteworthy scholar of the Ansbach/Bayreuth Regiment, annotated in a list of non-returning soldiers that the soldier Peter Hasselbacher was from Münchsteinach. I assumed he obtained that fact from the list of such soldiers known to be available. However, I recently obtained a copy of the 1956 dissertation of Dr. Erhard Städtler, one of the primary sources used by Herr Seidel. It is written in German but my own German has improved to the point that I can confirm that Peter's name does indeed appear in the "missing" list of Stadtler's manuscript but his place of origin does not. I will discuss these documents further elsewhere but it is clear that Stadtler, and presumably Seidel, obtained information from sources other than muster lists of soldiers. I will try to contact Herr Seidel. He has a special interest in what happened to the soldiers who stayed behind. Alternatively there may be information we do not yet know about.

Addendum, Nov 2012:  I have not been able to make contact with Herr Seidel. However, I discovered a new document that confirms that Peter the soldier was the same person as Peter of Münchsteinach.