On one of my first trips to the Hasselbacher ancestral homeland in Germany, I bought a book in Münchsteinach that cataloged the history of all of its old houses. In addition to a continuous list of occupants back as far as the late 1600s for some houses, it compared two photographs of each house: one from early in the 20th century, and a more modern one. The dates of the various pairs of photos is obviously not the same for each house. Some are more modern than others. I have encountered other such books about the history of various towns and villages. I am always amazed at the fact that the information exists to allow such compilations, but also at the interest and commitment of the communities to assemble them.

The book was of interest to us because the name "Hasselbacher" appears several times in at least three places. The individuals are the drechsler (turner) Johann Georg Hasselbacher, his son Balthasar, his grandson Peter, and Great Granddaughter Katharina. Johann is, of course, the father of the American Peter Hazelbaker. With permission, I posted these pages and photos on this web site early on. Below are the published pair of old and new photos of House #55, the Hasselbacher house.  As it happens and as became evident later, both these photos are relatively new.  [Additionally, I learned in 2010, that the young woman holding the oxen below lives still in Münchsteinach!]

I confess that I was always a little confused about the orientation and appearance of Hausnummer 55, the Hasselbacher House, and its neighbor #56. A current neighbor told me that there had been a fire once. That seemed to explain the relatively modern appearance of the house. When I revisited House #55 last July, the current occupant showed me the remains of its old foundation seeming to reinforce its antiquity.  Case solved?

In preparation for my presentation at a Hazelbaker Reunion in August 2009, I looked at a number of old and new village maps and aerial photographs. I was able to orient myself with the help of a very old fish or millpond and the monastery. Rather than clarify matters, I became even more uncertain about the configuration and history of the houses. As a result of this fresh look, I believe I have repaired my confusion and on the next page I hope to convince you that we now have a photograph of the very house where Hasselbachers of Münchsteinach were born.

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