Archive for September, 2011

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.

Peter’s Trip to Germany: Aug-Sep 2011

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

It was a wonderful trip. I feared I had run out of things to find but that was not the case. As usual, it was the unexpected things that were the best. Among the highlights are:

Important brick wall breached. I found my Great-Great Grandfather’s birthplace in Großbreitenbach. With it came a photograph, four more generations back, and new cousins.

Visited the archives in Bamberg only to find everyone away on holiday for the month of August but still came away with more information from my historian friend who lives there.

Found a new Hasselbacher family in Leutershausen whose connections are back through the Hasselbachers of Ansbach, Rehweiler, Burghaslach, and Stübach.

Found the Zinngießermeister Johann Friedrich Hasselbacher of Leutershausen and his Zinngießer son Johann Leonhard who trained in Nürnberg when his father died.

Found the Jewish Hasselbacher family of Vestensbergsgreuth. A simultaneously wonderful and tragic story. Members of this family emigrated to America. (more…)