Telling my family's stories
A man named William Haasch was born in Treptow, Pommerania at the end of the 19th century. He’s not a close relative of the other Haasches in Milwaukee, instead sharing a common ancestor about 1750.
He trained to be a civil servant for the district, and ended up in charge of sorting and preserving genealogical records for the area. During World War I, there was pressure to collect scrap paper and recycle it at mills for new use, so his job was to determine what paper was useful and what wasn’t.
He got interested in doing genealogy, and compiled the history of the Haseke clan, via access to all the original documents still in existence. This allowed him to reconstruct the family tree back to about 1550, with educate guesses about descent from the mid 14th century, when the Haseken farmstead was granted by the local nobility to the clan. He reconstructed all branches of the Haasch clan that were in Pommerania up to the 20th century, including the branch that the Milwaukee Haasch group comes from (Ferdinand Haasch’s descendants), who he calls the “House of Seehof,” since they moved away from Lietzow (the original home town) to Seehof (a few miles away).
He did most of this work in the 1920s, and then emigrated to Milwaukee, because employment in Pommerania was very bad. After he left, World War II happened, and Pommerania was ethnically-cleansed of germanic people. The ensuing destruction of churches and records means that, today, we have very few available records for most of Pommerania. The town he lived in, and all the other relevant towns, are now a part of Poland.
This means that it’s very likely that if William Haasch hadn’t done the work when he did, it would have been lost forever.
Source: William Haasch’s “Haasch Stammbuch 1631AD,” edited by Don Haasch.