Re-boot of the Hasselbacher Family Website

July 15th, 2018

I was sadly surprised to find that when I opened up underbelly of the site to add new material, that my last entries were in the Fall of 2015! I am frankly embarrassed and ashamed! It is not that I am not looking for and analyzing new material. I continue to travel to Germany every year. In fact, I have more original documents that I can process. The truth is that I became involved in some controversial matters at my University in which I hoped to make a difference (I did), and there were some distracting personal family matters that successfully competed for my time. In any event, I want to get going again. I turned 72 this year and I need to get things down on paper or other permanent media before I swing-off. I will need to learn to navigate the upgrades to the website and family-tree software I have been using, but I do not want the perfect to be the enemy of the good, so off we go again as almost beginners.

I have lots of stuff to show you. I plan to use the interactive family tree graphic model to make original documents available to you. I will update the family trees that I have. I will post what is perhaps the largest Hazelbaker family tree in existence- a gift from the late Imogene Sawvell Davis. I hope to tell the stories of my field trips in Germany. Bear with me, and please stay in touch to give me inspiration. It helps to know that others are interested in the same things I am.

Keep an eye on the “What’s New” link on the homepage of this site for new materials as they are added. I need to learn how to place a Google search box on the pages to navigate an increasingly huge and ponderous site. (Any advice?)

15 July 2018

Oldest Known Hasselbacher Signature: 1736

November 12th, 2015

While rummaging through the Archives of an old Castle in Mittelfranken, I discovered what may be the oldest known signature of one our family Hasselbacher. In 1736, Johann Paulus Hasselbacher of Stübach, Burghaslach, and Rehweiler signed a contract with the Countess of Castell to operate the Seemühlle (a mill) in Rüdenhausen for one year. Here it is:


I questioned the archivist about whether the signature was actually his and not the writer of the contract. I wondered about the ability of the common-folk of that time to read and write. My prejudice was that little schooling was available to our oldest families and that many of my ancestors were illiterate. I was pleased to learn that schooling was available in Sunday schools, especially during the winter when all hands were needed for agricultural work.

Note that Haselbacher is spelled with one ’s’ just as Balthasar Haselbacher carved his name a few decades later.

I thought this was pretty cool!! I will be writing more about this family line that included the Zinngiessers of Leutershausen and populated the area south of Ansbach that in which several modern Hasselbachers live today.


Ernst Daniel Andrew Hasselbacher, Painter in Cincinnati.

March 17th, 2015

When I began this family website some years ago now, I knew there were Hasselbacher relatives who had immigrated from my ancestral German Hasselbacher village of Diespeck to Cincinnati in 1872, but I could not find a single living relative. As I hoped would happen, one of them found me! Since then, I have fleshed out this branch of the family a little more, but confess that I have not updated the website as I would have wanted to. A recent communication has prompted me to do just that. After all, this American branch of the family is one of the closest to my own. Only the lost Hasselbachers of Red Cloud, Nebraska are closer.

The sparking event was an email from Karen H. (not a Hasselbacher) who as her habit would have it, rescued two oil paintings from an antique store/flea market in an attempt to restore them to someone who would care. She found this website and generously gave me the paintings to find them a good home. All she had to go on was the name on the back, Ernst Hasselbacher of Glenmore Ave. in Cincinnati. As it happens, I knew exactly who he was— the grandson of the barrel-maker Andreas Friedrich Hasselbacher of Diespeck, and son of Johann Konrad Hasselbacher who also became a cooper in that American city. Andreas Friedrich, his wife Katharina Popp, and 6 of their living children immigrated in 1872 through Baltimore to restart their life in Cincinnati. I have long known much about their lives in Diespeck. I present many of their church and one civil record elsewhere on this website.

The following is extracted from Ernst’s entry in the interactive family tree of this website. He was born in Cincinnati in Dec. 1887 and died there 23 April 1962 at the age of 74. He is buried in the Walnut Hills Cemetery with his family in Section 1, Grave 292, Row 44. (I badly need to make a field trip to that cemetery!) In the 1920 census, he is said to be a mail clerk for the railroad and by the time of his WWII registration was working at the US Post Office at Dalton & Liberty Sts. in Cincinnati. His next of kin at that time was his mother Henrietta with whom he was living on Glenmore Ave. (The Glenmore Ave address is the same as printed on the back of the two paintings of 1955.) On his death certificate (#28805) it is indicated that he was married, but a living relative tells me Ernst was never married and I have no evidence to prove that he was.

Both paintings are 9X12 inches, oil on a “canvas” board. They are signed Ernst Hasselbacher and appear to be numbers 2 and 3 of a series of winter scenes and are dated 1955. I cannot interpret the word(s) on the back of the painting of the children with a sled.

Who can tell us more about Ernst Hasselbacher and his family? While I am waiting for someone to find this, I will put this and additional material on the website. Help me accumulate more.

Peter Hasselbacher
Louisville, KY
March 16, 2015



Access to Public Version of Interactive Family Tree Curtailed

January 26th, 2014

I supposed it was just a matter of time, but spammers have found a way to take advantage of the TNG software I use for the interactive family trees on this site. There have been two versions, one open to the public containing less information, and a second available only to those who are family members and which requires a log-in and password. This private tree contains (except for living people) more information and all my notes.

Some automated system is sending me messages from the public version by taking advantage of the “Proposed Change” function available when viewing individual records. (No one is able to change anything except me.) There should be no sensitive information about people such as addresses or phone numbers on the site. Since I have never asked anyone to register for the public site, there are no email addresses or other information to steal. I am not getting any ads or websites posted in the emails I am receiving. I do not know what the purpose of the spamming is.

I have no evidence of any spam from the protected family site. If anyone is getting messages purporting to come from me or the TNG Family Tree Software, please let me know.

Until I can gather more information, I have closed public access to the Hasselbacher Family Trees altogether. Those registered for the Private Trees should see no difference. Registration for the private tree requires that a user satisfy me that they are actually members of the Hasselbacher family in some way and willing to contribute information.

Sorry about all this. There are tens of thousands of names in the database, most very distant from the Hasselbacher main lines. However, because Google has been able to explore the site, many individuals have had access to wonderful information about their own more distant family lines.

When I have updated the software and consulted with its creators and am comfortable that we can proceed, I will make appropriate access available again.


Original Church Records From Münchsteinach

September 30th, 2013

I have begun to post and analyze original church records from Münchsteinach. The first batch are abstracts of births, deaths, and marriages from after 1760 or so. In coming weeks I will post and discuss the actual sacramental records themselves, as well as older records that were not abstracted by the church.

New 1776 German Document Containing the Name of Peter Hasselbacher

September 23rd, 2013

As mentioned in the recent summary post about my summer trip to Germany, I found the names of Peter, his mother, and two of his brothers in the lists of communicants and confirmands from the Church in Münchsteinach. These add to the precious few documents we have containing the name of Peter, the patriarch of the Hazelbaker family of America. Take a look at the images and incremental speculation.

July 2013 Trip to Germany: Still Finding Great New Information

July 13th, 2013

Friends and Family.

I just got back from my annual trip to Germany– three weeks this time. I feared that I had already picked the low-hanging fruit and was prepared to accept a lower yield of material. A smaller haul might actually have been good, because I am long past the point where I have collected more material than I have had time and intelligence to write about. I must confess that now, matters are even worse.

Of course, one of the major reasons I like to return to Germany is to keep fresh the friendships and professional contacts (often both simultaneously) that I have made over the last 8 years. I should not have been surprised that the inevitable expanding network of contacts and trust has funneled ever expanding amounts of information into our pipeline. This is exactly what has happened. I am still being blown away!

I will try hard to elaborate and share my new adventures and primary materials as quickly as possible. So you may have an inkling of what to expect, some of the highlights are listed below. Read the rest of this entry »

Haselbachers of Burgenland, Austria

May 6th, 2013

burgenland_mapMy last addition to the website identified a new Haselbacher (with one S) family that emigrated to New York City from Austria in 1921, retiring further upstate, and to Connecticut. A little more sleuthing on the Internet turned up additional information relevant to the themes we have been developing.

• Ferdinand and his wife Teresa emigrated from that furthest eastern part of Austria just south of Vienna known today as “Burgenland.” On the border of Eastern and Central Europe, it has a complicated political history. Following the 30 years war, it also received many Protestant religious refugees from resurgent Catholic Austria.

• I originally could not identify where in Austria Ferdinand and Teresa came from, but I found them! A neat little piece of detective work if I say so. The three villages mentioned in the Ferdinand Hasselbacher’s passenger list, Poksdorf (today Bocksdorf), St Michaels, and Strem are strung along a road like beads, essentially within walking distance. The town of Neustadt is almost certainly Wiener Neustadt, just to the north.

• Between the villages of Pocksdorf and St. Michael’s, lies the stream Hasselbacher. There were several Hasselbacher (and Hanzl) families living in Saint Michaels. Unless they came from elsewhere, such as central Austria, it is easy to imagine how they got their name. On the other hands, the stream may have been named after the family! I found at least one example of this latter possibility in my ancestral part of Germany.

• Many immigrants from Burgenland came to America, peaking around 1921. The immigration of large numbers of people from a relatively small area predictably has led to interest groups here in America. I found an amazing cooperative Burgenland family history website containing a wealth of information. The website even contains information about the families of Ferdinand and Teresa!

• It took no time at all for me to connect with living descendants of Ferdinand and Teresa. I hope to learn more from them about the circumstances surrounding their coming to America. Their story helps illuminate my story – our story.

Pinning down the geographic origins of this family has enabled me to weave in additional, otherwise seemingly isolated Hasselbacher emigrants. Keep an eye on the “What’s New” link on the home page or here for further details about this and other discoveries.

Gosh, this is great fun!


Ferdinand Haselbacher of Austria and New York.

March 6th, 2013

and his son Frank, guitar-maker of New York and Volutown, CT.

haselbacher-guitar150wA guitar for sale led me to this family. Ferdinand emigrated with his wife and daughter in 1921 from Austria. Son Frank had a notable career as a Fire Chief and later as a maker of fine classical guitars. I would like to learn more about where in Austria they came from, and how they came to immigrate. Read more here.

Haselbacher Family in Adrian Michigan in 1870.

January 26th, 2013

lenawee-county-mapTrying to fill in the gaps of orphan Hasselbacher families, I hope to attract some information about the family of the stonemason John Haselbacher who lived in Adrian, Michigan in 1870. Who can help us find out where he came from?