Peter’s Trip to Germany: Aug-Sep 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.

Identified a new branch of the Hasselbachers of Franconia in Mühlhausen whose connections are still undefined and which sent members to America.

Found the mill in Burghaslach where Peter Hasselbacher/ Hazelbaker’s mother Helena Lang was born. Recovered papers deeding the mill to Peter’s grandfather in the early 1700s. (It is likely that the Hasselbachers of Rehweiler trained in this mill.)

Visited the very different Pietist Christian church in Rehweiler that received one of the Hasselbachers exiled from Stübach and also the the site of the Hasselbacher mill in that village.

Visited the village of Haselbach in Thüringen and found the expected Haselbach stream.

Visited the church archives in Nürnberg and advanced by one year the earliest recorded presence of Wolfgang and Kunigunda Hasselbacher in the Aischgrund. Confirmed the presence of two other adult Hasselbachers (Andreas and Adam) in even earlier years.

Visited the City of Ansbach and its church books to further trace this branch of our Hasselbachers.

Systematically photographed the Diespeck church records of Johann Hasselbacher of Diespeck, his children and grandchildren. Also copied the birth and marriage records of Johann’s father in Stübach. This family line sent the most explorers to America: Cincinnati (6), New Jersey (3), Nebraska (1), and three others I have not been able to trace.

Opened multiple lines of future inquiry and exploration.

Took 3000 photographs and several hours of new video.

Reconnected with old friends and relatives, and met new ones.

Ate Karpfen (twice), Nürnberg sausages, wild deer sauerbraten, drank much beer, and was wonderfully entertained.

This trip reaffirmed for me the value of trying to learn to speak German and to read the old German script. Without these admittedly feeble current skills, I would not have accomplished even a small fraction of these results, nor would I have had so much fun! I will report on all of this in greater detail with illustrations and photos in future posts!


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