Archive for November, 2015

Oldest Known Hasselbacher Signature: 1736

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

While rummaging through the Archives of an old Castle in Mittelfranken, I discovered what may be the oldest known signature of one our family Hasselbacher. In 1736, Johann Paulus Hasselbacher of Stübach, Burghaslach, and Rehweiler signed a contract with the Countess of Castell to operate the Seemühlle (a mill) in Rüdenhausen for one year. Here it is:


I questioned the archivist about whether the signature was actually his and not the writer of the contract. I wondered about the ability of the common-folk of that time to read and write. My prejudice was that little schooling was available to our oldest families and that many of my ancestors were illiterate. I was pleased to learn that schooling was available in Sunday schools, especially during the winter when all hands were needed for agricultural work.

Note that Haselbacher is spelled with one ’s’ just as Balthasar Haselbacher carved his name a few decades later.

I thought this was pretty cool!! I will be writing more about this family line that included the Zinngiessers of Leutershausen and populated the area south of Ansbach that in which several modern Hasselbachers live today.