Archive for the ‘Hazelbaker Family’ Category

Newly Discovered Hasselbacher Document from Germany in 1802.

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Peter Hasselbacher of Münchsteinach and Peter Hasselbacher of Virginia are one and the same person.

I would like to imagine it was something more than chance, that the founding patriarchs of three of the major American branches of the Hasselbacher family who came from Germany were named Peter. There was (Johann) Peter Hasselbacher of Puschendorf who settled in Peoria, Illinois; (Johann) Peter Hasselbacher of Diespeck who settled in Red Cloud, Nebraska; and of course, the Peter Hasselbacher who came to fight for the British in the American Revolutionary War but who stayed to father the largest branch of the Hasselbacher family, the Hazelbakers. There may even be a Wolfgang Peter Hasselbacher who was a tailor in New York City in the middle 1800s whose descendants are lost to me. My father, who was born in Germany, was not named Peter but I hope to have done my part to carry on the family name as a first generation American Hasselbacher.

I also like to think that one of of the things that I have helped contribute is the European history of the Peter Hasselbacher who became the first Hazelbaker, and to make the connection with other branches of the Hasselbacher family in America and Germany.. The family lore of the Hazelbakers stated that their Peter was conscripted from Ansbach, Germany. A birth record of a Peter Hasselbacher of the right age had been discovered in the church books of Münchsteinach, Germany, but there was no known contemporaneous document linking that rural boy to the soldier. I speculated that there may have been some confusion due to the fact that the soldier Peter’s military unit was the Ansbach-Bayreuth Regiment assembled by the Margrave in whose domain both Ansbach and Münchsteinach lay. That the two Peters were probably the same person was not an unreasonable assumption. There was neither a marriage record nor death record for a Peter in Münchsteinach (although a younger Peter who would have been a nephew was born later.) As a second son, it would have been common for our Peter to have had to move elsewhere to make his living. When I discovered that Peter of Münchsteinach had Hasselbacher cousins in Ansbach about the time of the war, I realized that I needed to keep an open mind. Regardless of where he lived at the time of conscription, I just found a contemporaneous official document that proves the two Peters are one and the same!

One of the universal truisms that has revealed itself to me as an amateur family historian, is that the smallest of clues from unexpected places will open doors that one never knew even existed. So it turned out to be for this story which you can read here. I want to use this opportunity to urge you again to add your two cents (or more) to this wonderful family history of ours.

Peter Hasselbacher
December 4, 2012

Do you know Ida M. Hazelbaker of Ohio?

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

One of our readers informs us that the Ohio Unclaimed Funds website lists Ida M. Hazelbaker as having unclaimed funds in the Citizens National bank of Ripley, OH. The reader is a Great-niece of Ida and thinks she lived in the Cincinnati area. Ida is thought to have had a daughter (and other descendants?) who would be entitled to those funds.

If any of this rings a bell, it is suggested that you visit the Ohio website and process a claim.

The Gravesite of Peter Hasselbacher/ Hazelbaker: Video & Photos.

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Last Spring I visited Allen Township in Pennsylvania to get the lay of the land. I had an opportunity to visit the cemetery on the old Spahr farm where the patriarch of the Hazelbaker clan was buried in 1800. It is an absolutely gorgeous setting, but the graveyard itself is under threat. I posted some video on YouTube. Take a look here.

Peter Hasselbacher 2011

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…)

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.

Hazelbakers in the Civil War: Pension Files

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Over the weekend I visited the National Archive in Washington DC. I copied a huge number of records for 8 of the 11 Hazelbakers who filed for a disability or survivor’s pension. These files are a gold mine of Hazelbaker information. The applicant had to prove by record or affidavit that they were who they said they were, lived where they claimed, were married and had the children they claimed. There are detailed medical records and information about their service in the war. The actual signatures of family members are present. There is more than I can handle. If one of these men is your ancestor, contact me. I have a feeling I am going to want to offer what I have in exchange for someone analyzing the information for the rest of us. At the very least, I am offering a trade! Please note that the files are huge (5 MG each) and will require some basic knowledge about manipulating computer images.

There were no Hasselbacher names in the Pension File Index. There is a Haselbacher (with one ‘s’) from Michigan, but I was not able to review his file in the time available.

Peter Oct 14, 2009

The Value of Collaboration

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

I do not consider myself an expert on the Hazelbaker family, at least not since they came to America in the late 1700’s. I have however, enjoyed interacting with this largest discrete branch of the Hasselbacher clan, and I know as much about the pre-American Hazelbakers as anyone. Therefore with some trepidation, I agreed to participate in a history presentation at a Hazelbaker family reunion this past August. There are so many knowledgeable Hazelbaker historians out there that I had the feeling that I would be taking coals to Newcastle. I think I held up my end of the exchange with some brand new observations at the interface of the old and new countries. I was even more pleased to see one of my basic assumptions validated again: the interaction and sharing by interested people never fails to uncover new information and extract new insights from the known. Additionally, I learned again the value of revisiting what I thought I knew in the light of what I have learned since. In my experience, a second look by yourself, or even better with someone else, rarely fails to improve understanding.

Specific examples of brand new or better understanding resulting from preparing for this one meeting alone include the following: (more…)

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

Successful Family Reunion in Vermillion Co., PA.

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

The Hazelbakers of Vermillion County Illinois had their most recent of a long string of family reunions earlier this month. It was a special event to celebrate the 250th birth year of their family patriarch, Peter Hasselbacher/ Hazelbaker. If you have looked at these pages, you will know the story of the 18 year-old Hasselbacher boy from Münchsteinach who was conscripted by his Margrave to fight for the British in the American Revolutionary War. Family legend and secondary sources tell of his remaining behind and moving from Virginia (where he was captured and held) to Pennsylvania where he sired the largest discrete Hasselbacher family line of which I am aware.

Mark Hazelbaker (who has contributed to these pages) and his cousins John and Tammy Hazelbaker organized a wonderful reunion picnic for well over 100 persons. On the evening before, a family history night was held at which Craig Hazelbaker (also a contributer) and I gave presentations related to the family history. In honor of Peter the Elder, I focussed on events in his family life in Germany and before he moved to Pennsylvania. Craig and I were both made to feel very welcome. (more…)

Last Minute Information about Hazelbaker Family Reunion

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Hi everyone.
Well, it is only a couple weeks until we have our 75th Hazelbaker reunion. This year we have added a celebration to commemorate the 250th birthday of our first American forefather, Peter Hazelbaker. We have invited Hazelbaker’s from all over the country to join us at our reunion on Sunday, August 9th at Kickapoo State Park. We look forward to seeing all of you there as well. As always we will serve our potluck dinner at 1 pm. We will have signs in the park to direct you to our shelter. (more…)