Hasselbachers of Illinois

Four Hundred Years of Hasselbachers

Family List of John Peter and Maria's descendants.

Photos of recent trip to Emskirchen and Franconia.

Johann Peter's Report Card from Puschendorf, Germany

Historical Sketch of John Peter from a County Publication.

German Newspaper Announcement of Departure of Johann Peter in 1857.


About 1857, John Peter Hasselbacher and his new wife Eva Maria Gundacker immigrated from Herzogaurach, Germany to the area near Peoria, Illinois. The couple founded a very large family. (See the historical sketch in adjacent column.) The majority of Hasselbachers I have been in contact with in the USA come from this family. The family was blessed to have a known relative in Germany, the late Fritz Hasselbacher, who was an inspired genealogist. He and his cousin Annemarie Hasselbacher rooted through original church records in both Germany and Austria to trace their family line back to the 1500s. I met or worked with a number of people in this family in the US and Germany. My  hypothesis was that my best chance for being able to trace my own old-world lineage back further than its 1750 origins in Diespeck would be if I were able to tie myself into this well-documented family. I felt a link was very likely because all the families came from a very small area of Franconia, and (in any given era) shared many of their given names. Indeed, when there has been at least some information available,  I have not yet personally found a Hasselbacher in the United States who did not come from this area or from this lineage. [I have found two lines where I cannot yet make a connection. 5-27-2010]

Armed with this information, in October, 2006, I revisited Diespeck and recovered an additional several dozen death and marriage certificates to supplement the 55 birth records I obtained the previous year. There is no question that the Diespeck line, and therefore the Nebraska, New Jersey, and Cincinnati lines are all related to the original family of Steffan Hasselbacher and to the Hasselbachers of Illinois. To orient you, the common ancestor between my Diespeck line and the Illinois line is Paulus Haselbacher the Elder who lived in Oberroßbach, Stübach, and who was buried in Diespeck. His oldest son, Adam, founded the line that eventually immigrated to Illinois. A second surviving son, Paulus the younger, founded the line that went to Diespeck, Nürnberg, and New Jersey.

All these names have been merged into the two major databases in this website.  The user will be able to trace the lineage of the Illinois Hasselbachers back to Steffan Hasselbacher of Gresten, Austria in the late 1500s. Indeed, some of the maternal lines in Germany can be traced back even further.  I have copies of the original church records in hand. Many of these and other historical documents still need translation. If there are those of you who can help, I have wonderful material yet to be incorporated.

Peter Hasselbacher
Louisville, KY
Jan 2007, Revised 18June2007; 27Sep2010

The Pioneer Couple
Johann Peter Hasselbacher (1828-1913) and Eva Gundacker (1826-1919)  immigrated to America in 1857.  This precious photo was contributed in 2010 by a descendant.  The photo of the couple and their 4 surviving children was probably taken around 1910. [Full size image here.]

Illinois Hasselbachers.
Ludwig was the oldest son of John Peter Hasselbacher and Eva Marie Gundacker and the first of the Illinois Hasselbachers to be born in the USA. This photo, taken c1915, was provided to me by relatives living in Germany.