My mother’s mother was born a Haunstetter, the eldest of three children: Emilia, Louis and Anna. Louis and Anna emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900. My mother was born in 1907 to a girl who was barely seventeen and had no more children. Anna never married and louis had one son, Norman, who was found ahot to death in the trunk of his car in his early thirties. My great grandfather also had a brother, Adam Haunsteetter, who dies in California about 1941. My mother and I arrived in 1949, but did not stay in California for long. We left for Chile in 1954 and were back in the U.S. within the year.

I mention all this because it was always my impression that the Haunstetters were somehow defective. Anna died in an insane asylum and Nnorman was basically impractical. Now it turns out that Haunstetten is actually a significant subdivision of Augsburg, a city north of Munich that had a rather minimal population in the early 1900s.

So, I’m wondering if the fellow who settled in Munich in about 1890s wasn’t just a reject who assumed the name of where he came from. Haunstetten is the name of five planning districts, which was annexed to Augsburg after World War II And had to be rebuilt since, as home of the Messerschmidt factories, it had been pretty much destroyed.

Augsburg has a long history going back to the Roman era when it was on a road leading to Rome.

It is my considered opinion that Europe has been exporting (encouraging the emigration of) its ne’er do wells to the Americas for a long time and the emigrants, of course, consider themselves hot stuff, a superior lot. The African exports, on the other hand, were tough survivors and skilled craftsmen whom it required considerable effort to exploit.


The source for “haun” seems to related to “hauen” which is to chop or bash and “Hun” the population known to lay waste. Surely not the people of Hungary, who are known for their culture.
But then, “erst kommt das fressen, dann kommt die Kultur.” In other words, creative destruction. Perhaps it is a Germanic trait.
Anyway, a Haunstetter would seem to be a hewer who settled down. Where my great uncle Louis is concerned, my abiding memory of him is sitting at the kitchen table by the window drinking a combination of wine and gingerale. When he got a commission to paint a house, he would go into the garage and open a couple of old cans of paint which he combined to come up with a satisfying tint.
His house was white back in 1949. Now it is sort of muddy. Seems fitting.