Archive for the ‘Interesting & Fun’ Category

Birthplace of Peter Hasselbacher/ Hazelbaker 1759

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

One of the first things I posted on this site were photographs of the old houses in Münchsteinach where Hasselbachers were said to have lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since then my German has improved enough for me to learn that one of the houses burned early in the 20th Century. I revisited the neighborhood this summer and came to a conclusion very different from my first! I believe I have found a photograph of the house before it burned. It was reconstructed soon after in a location slightly different than its original one. This is what led to my confusion. The half-timbered house looks old enough to have been the birthplace of Peter Hasselbacher the First in 1759. See if you agree with my reasoning here.

Of course, all this assumes that the Peter of Münchsteinach is the same person as Peter the soldier.

Peter Hasselbacher the Younger
Oct 7, 2009

On Spellings and Origins

Friday, November 16th, 2007

I have already lost the sense of name permanence as I learned to dig in old family history. I have enough personal experience now with old church and immigration records to know that there was a certain amount of creative spelling and name evolution. Specifically, as I looked early-on for places named Hasselbach from which Hasselbachers might spring, I did not know what to make about the significance s, ss, or ß in my name. (I still do not fully understand, but I no longer worry about it.) There is a however, a certain amount of non-randomness in the geographic variation of the spelling. The old scientist in me wants to find meaning in non-random events so I continue to investigate.

For example, if one enters place names into Goggle’s Map function for Germany, there are 9 Haselbach locations and 8 Hasselbach locations. However, if one enters the same names for sites in Austria, there are 10 Haselbach locations and no Hasselbach ones! I did not have to dig out my old statistics book to tell that this was not a random variation. (more…)

How Do We Pronounce Our Name?

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

If you have a name like Hasselbacher or something close, you no doubt have heard many pronunciations, seen many misspellings, and have developed your own method of helping people over the phone. This problem has probably been with us forever, and was accentuated when our ancestors were funneled through the ports of America and into its workplaces. Some of us chose, or had chosen for us, new ways of spelling or pronouncing our names. (more…)