Hasselbacher Family Website Taking Off

March 4th, 2011

Since the creation of this website, it has been viewed by a progressively increasing number of people. In the past few months, however, things have really taken off. In fact, discrete page views doubled from January to February 2011 to well over 110,000 discrete page views monthly! Of course a single viewer will look at multiple pages so the number of unique viewers is smaller. Nonetheless I am very pleased.

The majority of viewers arrive as the result of a Google search. Since we are well indexed by Google, this is not a surprise. If I make a change in the website, Google reflects the change within the day. Although I suspect the majority of the traffic reflects interest by the greater Hasselbacher community, there is a tremendous amount of information behind the homepage about the other branches of my family, and indeed the hundreds of other maternal lines. Google appears to be able to see details of the public family tree. There is also an increasing amount of information about geographic factors.

This amount of traffic inevitably makes me think differently when I receive suggestions from Google to monetize the site by allowing them to place advertisements. I did not start this website to make money. However there are very real costs involved in assembling the information and keeping it on the Internet. What are your thoughts about this possibility?

Thank you for your support and contributions over these past four years.

Navigation and Search on hasselbacher.org

November 28th, 2010

I started the parent website (hasselbacher.org) for this Blog with absolutely no knowledge of how to code or structure a website. At first there were only a few pages and I gave little thought to a consistent method of navigation. Frankly, I’m still not sure what I should do. The pages on the site are heavily linked to each other and I usually try to have a link open in a separate window so that your place among the documents is not lost. I have relied on the “What’s New” link on the homepage, and to a less consistent extent on this blog to notify people when something new has been added or if there has been an extensive edit. Read the rest of this entry »

A Tale of Three Baptismal Fonts

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

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

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Further Adventures in Münchsteinach

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. Read the rest of this entry »

The Best Beer Ever; and how we got our name, continued

June 6th, 2010

Early in my search for the oldest Hasselbachers, I stopped in an aptly named village in southern Germany and drank a special beer in excellent company. As I continue to digest the experience even today, my understanding of how we got our name is solidified. Additionally, just as one might assume there are other planets in the universe harboring life, so I must concede that someday I will find a Hasselbacher who is not related to us. Read about the episode here, and learn about the best beer I ever tasted.

Fish, Animal, or Plant– Who are we?

January 10th, 2010

What does our name Hasselbacher mean? We have a pretty good idea how we got our name, but what does it actually mean? Are we wild boar killers? Fuzzy bunnies? Cold-blooded swimmers? Or non-sentient living things?

I take my best shot at an answer here. What do you think?

Addendum: My initial wish to be a wild boar hunter may have some grounding!

WWI Military Records from Germany

November 14th, 2009

I found a source for the muster records and other military records for German soldiers in this war. Not all are immediately available to me. I was able to identify at least two dozen records for members of the families Hasselbacher, Bayerl, and Gnugesser. Records for cannoneers are not yet available. I await these anxiously. I have my grandfather’s WWI diary, but cannot tell where he fought before he was bombed from an airplane-perhaps a first in Sept 1914. You can see an introduction and some of the records here.

These military records have some basic family information including information about parents andd spouses. I think they will be useful to tie up some loose ends such as the Hasselbachers of Eschenbach and Markt Erlbach.

Addendum: The remainder of the records are now on-line including my grandfather’s. They tell exactly where and when he fought, where he was wounded, and what he did after.

Individual Historical Summary for Wolff Hasselbacher

November 9th, 2009

I am experimenting with formats for adding narrative summaries of known information about individuals. This will also allow me to link up documents and information scattered throughout the site. I am not sure I have figured out the best way yet. I started with Wolff Hasselbacher, my 9th Great-Grandfather, and an ancestor of the vast majority of all known modern Hasselbachers. It is he, for example, that ties together what I call the Illinois, New Jersey, & Nebraska Hasselbachers; and the Hazelbakers.

This iteration was prepared with Omni-Outliner which is as it sounds, an outlining program that I like for organizing my thoughts. The problem is to elegantly turn its output into something that looks good in the HTML language of the web and for which the code is not so complex that I cannot understand and modify it. I do not think I am there yet, but it is a start. Expect to see a fair amount of non-uniformity for a while. (But you already are used to that, aren’t you!)