Hasel family

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Hasel, name of a Swabian family of Württemberg, of which a number became Anabaptists; one of them was an early martyr while others immigrated to Moravia where they became active in the Hutterite brotherhood.

The earliest representative of this family was a Hans Hasel (of Neckarrems or Riembs) who was baptized in 1530 at Ossweil near Esslingen but suffered martyrdom for the sake of his new faith only one year later (1531) in Pfalz-Neuburg.

Around 1555-57 a relative of this man, Peter Hasel of Rudersberg near Schorndorf (Württemberg), together with his wife Barbara and four small children immigrated to Moravia, where they joined the Hutterites. The father died in the following year but his three sons in due time became outstanding members of the brotherhood. Their names were David, who in 1581 became Diener des Wortes (preacher), was sent to Württemberg as a missioner, and died in 1599; Peter, who became Diener der Notdurft (steward) and supervisor of many farm economies of the brethren around Schäkowitz, Moravia, and died 1597; and Michael, who also was sent out as a missioner (Sendbote) to his native Württemberg, where he was soon caught, made prisoner, and kept in the castle of Hohenwittlingen (where once Paul Glock, had been a prisoner) until his death in 1592. By profession he was a weaver, hence is often called Michael Weber.

Of the next generation we learn in the Hutterite Chronicle of two more Hasels, one Kaspar (died in Moravia 1619) and one Thomas (died also in Moravia in 1622 at the time of the complete expulsion of the Hutterites from that country). Both were Diener der Notdurft and obviously quite important members of the community.

The best known of these men is Michael Hasel, a true witness to his faith. At his death, the reeve of the castle (Burgvogt) of Hohenwittlingen remarked that "if such a man did not go into heaven, he himself would not dare to knock at its door. Yea, if he knew the end would be like Hasel's, he would rejoice even now" (Geschicht-Buch, 437; The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660: 1088 f.) .

There are three Hutterite manuscript books extant signed M. W. (Michael Weber) and we may rightly assume that he either merely owned these books or was also the copyist of them, as we know that such book-writing was a favorite activity among the brethren. All three codices contain the great Article Book, either complete or in a shortened version. The one codex in the State Library of Wolfenbüttel (Biblical Augustana), dated 1582, says expressly that it was written by this brother. It contains only three of the five articles, and in addition to them an outstanding epistle by Peter Walpot to the "Swiss Brethren" in the Rhineland (1577), his farewell address before his death, some prayers and 20 hymns by different authors, five of which have not yet been published (the codex has 235 pages and is written in careful penmanship with red letters for titles and initials). The other codices are in Olmütz (Olomuce, Moravia) 1582, and Bratislava (Slovakia), in the State Archives, dated 1583. Michael is also the author of two hymns which he wrote in prison 1590 f., "Merkt auf ihr frommen Gotteskind" and "O edler Gott und höchster Hort" (Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, Scottdale, 1914, 798 and 800).


Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967.

Bossert, Gustav. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer I. Band, Herzogtum Württemberg.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doopsgesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts,..., 1685: Part II, 787.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 1088. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 262 f.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. De Graaf, 1965.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923.

Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943.

Author(s) Robert Friedmann
Date Published 1956

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MLA style

Friedmann, Robert. "Hasel family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 4 Aug 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hasel_family&oldid=145424.

APA style

Friedmann, Robert. (1956). Hasel family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 August 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hasel_family&oldid=145424.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 675. All rights reserved.

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