Announcement of His Departure
As an experiment, I did a search on the name "Hasselbacher" in Google's Book search. I was surprised how often my own name came up, as well as that of Frederick Hasselbacher, the notorious anti-Mason propagandist of Nazi Germany. Offsetting these less useful finds was this one. It occurred in the September 4, 1857 issue of the Fürther Tagblatt, a newspaper of Fürth (near Nürnberg). It appears to be a legal notice that Johann Peter Hasselbacher was going to America, and this was the last chance to try to recover any debts. ( Full size page here.) I will give my attempts at transcription and translation below with uncertainties noted. (Cousin Dieter of Germany subsequently came to my rescue and corrected my mess.)
Der Mauergeselle Johann Peter Hasselbacher
von Putchendorf beabsichtigt, eine
Reise nach Nordamerika zu machen.
Allenfallstige Forderungsanspruche an den
Freitag, den 11. September I. Js,
früh 8 Uhr,
bei Meidung der Richtberücksichtigung hierorts anzumelden.
Hertzogenaurach, den 28. Aug. 1857.
The apprentice mason Johann Peter Hasselbacher
of Putchendorf intends to travel to North America.
Any outstanding claims on the same are
by Friday, September 11 at 8:00 am
[Legalese here paraphrased: ...must be registered.]
Herzogenaurach, 28 August 1857.
Royal District Court
Cousin Dieter of Germany was able to provide some background for this notice. To make emigration difficult as a means to avoid debt, many municipalities made laws requiring public announcement of that intention. A passport to leave Germany would not be available until a set period had passed for claims to be made, and presumably settled. It would be interesting to know if any claims against Johann Peter were actually made. Such information would be relevant to the life in the old country and why people chose to emigrate.
On a more concrete level we see that Johann Peter was said to have been a Maurer or mason, and further described as an apprentice or journeyman. In 1857, he would have been 29 years old. Certainly it was common for the Hasselbachers of that time and place to be Maurers. I do not understand fully the degree to which a "gesell" is less than a fully trained Maurer. In America, Johann Peter is soon described as a farmer.
We are also told that Johann Peter was from Putchendorf. In that time of more limited geographic mobility, to be said to be from a place might imply that you were born there. Might it also mean that he was living in that place in 1857?
Additionally, we might imply that Johann Peter had not yet left Germany as of 11 Sept 1857. Historical records from Peoria tell us that he arrived in America 27 Nov 1857 after a journey of 48 days, finally arriving in Peoria on Dec 4. Forty-eight days backwards from Nov 27 is October 10. That would leave at least a month to take care of final affairs. I was able to find the passenger list for Johann Peter and his wife Eva Maria. Although I do not know when the ship sailed from Germany, it was a slow boat taking at a minimum of more than 32 days. Some travel time was also necessary to get from Putchendorf to Bremen.