Archive for October, 2009

About Copyright and Privacy: Input Requested

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

I recently felt compelled to make a statement about copyright and to re-address the issue of privacy. I initially created this website as a way to organize my own family history and make information available to my relatives. Obviously there is also material on this site that is of general interest and it is my intent that anyone is welcome to view it. Recall that the family trees on this site contain the names of people who are only our remotest relatives by marriage. It is understandable that others may wish to learn more about their own direct ancestors even though they are not themselves Hasselbacher descendants. I am of mixed mind how to handle such interested persons and would appreciate your input.

I have seen examples of how some individuals have added names from this site to their family trees on (I myself have placed the names and dates of my direct ancestors there in a so-far unrewarded hope that a relative would find me.) Aside from the disappointment that there is no attribution as to their sources, they have made an absolute mess of the information by using various commercial sites’ uncritical automatic methods of adding information and making invalid links to other people. Such misuse and introduction of errors does us all a disfavor. (more…)

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.

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