Archive for October, 2010

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.

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 It carries the weight of a genuine historical document and gives an insight into the village clout of even the reformed church of Germany in those times.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.

Back from Germany: A Great Trip

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

I just got back from my seventh trip to Germany since 2005. As I build on the knowledge and relationships of previous trips, they just keep getting better and better. I had a couple of projects I hoped would keep me busy, and indeed some of them bore fruit. However it is always the unexpected opportunities that provide the magic of this hobby of ours.

I visited the area in southern Bavaria near Augsburg where my grandmother’s family lived as early as 1700. I stood in the farmyards in which they lived and died. The families living in those places today were wonderful to me and are beginning to feel like family in their own right. (more…)

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…)