Archive for the ‘Interesting & Fun’ Category

Who Is The Rock Collector George Hasselbacher?

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Who knows who the rock collector George Hasselbacher is? For the past few months, a number of specimens collected by George and labeled with his name have been put up for sale on eBay. I contacted the seller, but he knew nothing about George. Surely one of you out there can flesh out the story for us. Contact me privately.

Further Discussion of What Our Name Means: No Rabbit Need Apply

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

I thought I had a handle on what our name, Hasselbacher and its variants, meant. We are peoples who stem from places named Haselbach or Hasselbach. The common thread which gives our name its meaning is a brook or stream named the Haselbach, and the presence of Hazelnut bushes. My scientific theory took a hit when I found the Wappen or insignia of a volunteer firefighter’s corps in Haselbach near Pfaffroda. It contained a rabbit jumping over a brook– the embarassment of my childhood revived!

As it happens, this exception proves the rule. The rabbit is not a traditional part of the logo of the village. Everyone in town assumes my expected explanation: the brook that runs through both the town and the hazelnut bushes on its banks.

Learn more about this interesting story on the website.

Peter, 20 May 2012

The Römhilds of Großbreitenbach

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Until a few years ago, I knew not even the name of my maternal Great-Great Grandfather. He was one of the figurative “Brick Walls” genealogists fear. I made a major break-through last month when I discovered the village in Germany from which he emigrated in 1854. As is usually the case, once you can identify the ancestral village, a hundred years or more of records and information pours fourth– as it did for me last month. I also met some wonderful new cousins. As an added bonus, I even found a photograph portrait of Gustav as a grown man that had been sitting in an obscure book on a shelf for over 130 years. (It is the only known image of him.)

You can follow my adventures and watch the process of analyzing old German church books as I publish my findings on the Hasselbacher Website.

The Death of Paulus the Elder, 1750

Friday, October 29th, 2010

I just posted the first of several original documents recovered during my recent trip to Germany. It is the original burial record of Paulus Hasselbacher and one I have been coveting for some time. It carries the weight of a genuine historical document and gives an insight into the village clout of even the reformed church of Germany in those times. I collected and translated a considerable body of information about this prominent ancestor of many of us and will present it in detail soon. For now, I hope you will share my reverence for such original documents that have the power to connect us with our past in an unparalleled ways.

Further Adventures in Münchsteinach

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Although I personally am not a son of Münchsteinach, my Hazelbaker friends in America are, as are some of my new relatives in Germany. Therefore, whenever I return to the Aischgrund (the plain of the river Aisch in which our little villages lie) I make it a point to visit. Even when I come with a game-plan, I generally stumble on something unexpected. After all, that is what an adventure is all about. My visit in October 2010 was no different– that is to say, full of surprises. (more…)

The Best Beer Ever; and how we got our name, continued

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Early in my search for the oldest Hasselbachers, I stopped in an aptly named village in southern Germany and drank a special beer in excellent company. As I continue to digest the experience even today, my understanding of how we got our name is solidified. Additionally, just as one might assume there are other planets in the universe harboring life, so I must concede that someday I will find a Hasselbacher who is not related to us. Read about the episode here, and learn about the best beer I ever tasted.

Fish, Animal, or Plant– Who are we?

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

What does our name Hasselbacher mean? We have a pretty good idea how we got our name, but what does it actually mean? Are we wild boar killers? Fuzzy bunnies? Cold-blooded swimmers? Or non-sentient living things?

I take my best shot at an answer here. What do you think?

Addendum: My initial wish to be a wild boar hunter may have some grounding!

Military Records of Peter Hasselbacher 1777-83

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Following my acquisition of the Doctoral Thesis of Erhard Städtler related to the Ansbach-Bayreuth Regiment, I took another swing at outlining what we know and do not know about the timing and circumstances of the conscription of Peter Hasselbacher (Hazelbaker) in 1777. A high priority for the family, it seems to me, is to obtain a copy of the relevant muster lists that are available in the Public Documents of England, and which may be available on microfilm in Nürnberg. Stadtler shows us a sample page of such a list from 1883.

I also present a time-line of Peter’s first year in Virginia during which he met and married Elisabeth Shively.

How the Hasselbachers got their name.

Friday, October 16th, 2009

I have speculated elsewhere on the Hasselbacher Family Website about how we got our name. I think we continue to get closer to having a satisfactory answer to this question. Once we learned that we came from Gresten, Austria, an obvious geographic possibility presented itself. The farms on which the late 16th and early 17th century Hasselbachers lived were in or near the headwaters of the Haselbach, and in the upper reaches of the Haselgraben carved out by that brook. Indeed, there was and still exists a farm in exactly that area named Haselbach. Because there was a precedent elsewhere in Europe that when last names were given out some people took the name of the farm on which they lived, it seems very reasonable to assume that this occurred for our family in Gresten.

I recently found a document at the GFF in Nürnberg that puts this assumption on a more scholarly basis. The 20th Century person with the best understanding of the names and places of old Gresten came to the same conclusion. Take a look at the document and additional discussion.

Peter Hasselbacher, Oct 16, 2009

Hasselbachers Left Behind!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Until a few weeks ago, I thought all the Hasselbachers of Gresten participated the Counter-Reformation Exodus from Austria to the Aischgrund of Mittelfranconia. Of course we always knew that at least one Hasselbacher in the Aischgrund (Valley of the River Aisch) came from villages nearby Gresten, but until this summer it was not possible to attempt any family connections to modern Haselbachers living elsewhere in Austria.

During an additional study of Gresten church books from the 18th century I found at least one Haselbacher who remained in Gresten. His name was Adam and I present his history in the Hasselbacher Family Website.