Back from Germany: A Great Trip

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.

I spent a few days in Nürnberg reconnecting with my cousins there who are related closely, and another more distantly. Nothing tastes better than little Nürnberger sausages on a roll with mustard in the plaza outside the cathedral. In the antiquarian bookstores I frequent, I found books about the old villages, and wonderful old maps, including a World War I military map of Grafenwöhr where my grandfather trained as a cannoneer before the war. It will be fun to try to match the old photographs I have with the map. (I recently was able to recover my grandfather’s military records which were as revealing as I hoped.)

In Franconia, where the Hasselbachers flourished, I had some wonderful adventures. I explored the roots of some Hasselbacher creative activity as well as its legacy. I climbed old church towers. I went to wine-fests and German dinners. I ate Karpfin for the first time in memory of my grandfather. Although the weather was not particularly good, I had some spectacular successes in old archives. I was able to photograph several hundred original family documents, many of which I had only known through transcriptions, and some which were brand-new. I even corresponded with some new Hasselbachers who we will have to try to connect with the family. And more…

Given that I am way behind in posting older materials to this website, it is going to be a challenge to keep up. I will try however. I encourage you to keep returning to these pages to see what I have added, as well as to contribute to the effort. I will always make a note in the “What’s New” link on the homepage.

Peter Hasselbacher
27 October 2010

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