Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Oldest Known Hasselbacher Signature: 1736

Thursday, 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.

Tuesday, 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

Sunday, 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

Monday, 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

Monday, 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

Saturday, 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. (more…)

Ferdinand Haselbacher of Austria and New York.

Wednesday, 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.

Navigation and Search on

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

I started the parent website ( for this Blog with absolutely no knowledge of how to code or structure a website. At first there were only a few pages and I gave little thought to a consistent method of navigation. Frankly, I’m still not sure what I should do. The pages on the site are heavily linked to each other and I usually try to have a link open in a separate window so that your place among the documents is not lost. I have relied on the “What’s New” link on the homepage, and to a less consistent extent on this blog to notify people when something new has been added or if there has been an extensive edit. (more…)

A Tale of Three Baptismal Fonts

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

One of my planned projects for my recent trip to Germany was to locate a baptismal font created by Balthasar Hasselbacher in the style of the one in Münchsteinach. I was successful. I also learned that the font in Münchsteinach that Balthasar copied was itself copied from one in the village of Herrnneuses. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, Balthasar’s Taufbecken itself has been copied in modern times for a church near Bayreuth. Read the story of my road trip and see the images on the website.

Individual Historical Summary for Wolff Hasselbacher

Monday, November 9th, 2009

I am experimenting with formats for adding narrative summaries of known information about individuals. This will also allow me to link up documents and information scattered throughout the site. I am not sure I have figured out the best way yet. I started with Wolff Hasselbacher, my 9th Great-Grandfather, and an ancestor of the vast majority of all known modern Hasselbachers. It is he, for example, that ties together what I call the Illinois, New Jersey, & Nebraska Hasselbachers; and the Hazelbakers.

This iteration was prepared with Omni-Outliner which is as it sounds, an outlining program that I like for organizing my thoughts. The problem is to elegantly turn its output into something that looks good in the HTML language of the web and for which the code is not so complex that I cannot understand and modify it. I do not think I am there yet, but it is a start. Expect to see a fair amount of non-uniformity for a while. (But you already are used to that, aren’t you!)