The surname Schaeffer was first found in Hessen, where the name was closely identified in early medieval times with the feudal society which would become prominent throughout European history. The family's Coat of Arms was a blue shield with a silver lamb rampant. Spelling variations of this family name include: Schaeffers, Schaefer, Scheaffer, Schaefers, Schaffer, Schafer, Shaeffer, Schefer, Shaefer and many more.
   Our ancestry to this family can be traced to LAURENTZ SCHÄFFER. He had a son named HANS SCHÄFFER, b. 1611, in Schreisheim, Manheim, Baden, Germany. He had a son, HANS SCHÄFFER II, born in 1640 in Schreisheim, Manheim, Baden, Germany. He met ANNA MARGARETHA KARG, daughter of HANS KARG and ANNA. She was born in 1645. The child of HANS SCHÄFFER and ANNA KARG is:

  • HANS HENRICH SCHAEFFER, b. 17 Sep 1673, Schreisheim, Manheim, Baden, Germany; d. 13 Mar 1745/46, Schreisheim, Manheim, Baden, Germany.
  •    HANS HENRICH SCHAEFFER was born 17 Sep 1673 in Schreisheim, Manheim, Baden, Germany, and died 13 Mar 1745/46 in Schreisheim, Manheim, Baden, Germany. He married ANNA MARGARETHA MAYER 21 Nov 1702 in Schriesheim, Germany, daughter of HANS VELTIN MAYER. She was born 12 Jul 1681 in Hohensachen, Germany, and died 23 Aug 1761 in Schreisheim, Germany. They were married on 21 Nov 1702, Schriesheim, Germany, and had the following children:

  • ANNA MARIA SCHAEFFER, b. 09 Feb 1706/07, Schriesheim, Germany; m. HIERONIMUS TRAUTMAN, 24 Nov 1737, Germany; b. 22 Jan 1707/08; d. 17 Apr 1772, Lebanon, PA. Notes for HIERONIMUS TRAUTMAN: Information from The Trautman/Troutman Family History, compiled by Steve. E. Trautman, Gateway Press 1988. Lancaster Co. Penna, Soc. More About HIERONIMUS TRAUTMAN and ANNA SCHAEFFER: Marriage: 24 Nov 1737, German.
  • ALEXANDER SCHAEFFER, b. 08 Jan 1711/12, Schriesheim, Mannheim, Baden, Germany; d. 10 Apr 1786, Schaefferstown, PA.
  • Engel
       ALEXANDER SCHAEFFER was born 08 Jan 1711/12 in Schriesheim, Mannheim, Baden, Germany, and died 10 Apr 1786 in Schaefferstown, PA. had 8 known siblings, and 2 of them were also immigrants to America. One, Anna Maria Schaeffer, b 1707 Feb 9, married Hieronymus Troutman and also settled in Heidelberg Township, Lancaster County. Another of Alexaner's sisers, Anna Barbara, is also documented as emigrating to America, but whom she married was unknown. He married ANNA MARIA ENGEL, (ANGELICA) in Germany. She was born 09 Feb 1707/08 in Germany, and died 22 Nov 1772 in Schaefferstown, PA. (There seems some confusion as to whether the Engel was a middle name or her maiden name. Weiser, in wei2, page v, comments that her maiden name is unknown. This is substantiated in that in 1761 the Schaeffers sponsored a child, Anna Engel, to Christian Bernhard & wife.
       Alexander emigrated to the American Colonies in 1738, on the ship Robert & Alice (Oliver), landing at Philadelphia the beginning of September. This information from A Brief History of Schaefferstown, PA - By A.S. Brendle, Esq., A.M., Schaefferstown, PA.
       In 1758, Schaeffer and his wife, Anna, purchased the land surrounding Schaefferstown (formerly Heidelberg), laid out the town and sold lots to the squatters who already had homes. On July 16, 1763, he sold the land and spring (now Fountain Park) along with the pipes and troughs of the gravity water system to representatives of the people of Market Street. This act created the water company which later became the first chartered water works in the United States (This information was taken from a plaque on a Marker in the Cemetery at Schaefferstown, PA). After his death, the town assumed the name Schaefferstown. It is currently in Lebanon County, PA.
       Alexander and Anna Maria had the following children:

  • JOHN SCHAEFFER, b. 1729. Moved to Maryland in 1772. m. BARBARA MILLER. Their known children: John - b 1764 May 9; m (1) Elizabeth Hess; m (2) Angelica Troutman; m (3) Catharine Miller; John Henry - b 1766 Jan 12; m Rosina Hess; Maria Elizabeth - m Ludwig Young; Eva Catharine - b 1779 Oct 21; m John Rentch; John Leonard - m Mary Schroeder; John George - m Catharine Locher; Anna Mary.
  • HENRY SCHAEFFER was born 05 Jun 1749 in Schaefferstown, PA, and died 12 Oct 1803 in Schaefferstown, PA. He married (1) MARGARET HOFFMAN. He married (2) ANNA EVA SCHWEITZER 09 Mar 1773 in Jackson Twn, Lebanon Cty, PA, daughter of CASPAR SCHWEIZER and ANNA MARIA. She was born 27 Apr 1753 in Lancaster, Lancaster Cty, PA, and died 02 Jan 1790 in Schaefferstown, PA.
  • SABINA SCHAEFFER, m MICHAEL HOOK or HAAK. Their known children: Michael - b 1764 Apr 29; Maria Catharine - b 1766 Mar 13; John Jacob - b 1769 Nov; Anna Maria - b 1771 Jun 9; Henry - b 1772 Nov 21.
  • ANNA MARIA SCHAEFFER, b. Unknown; m. CHRISTOPHER MOYER; b. Millbach. Their known children: Maria Catharine - b 2 Feb 1766.
  • CATHERINE SCHAEFFER, b. Unknown. m 1764 Nov 11 to JOHN MEYER. Their known children: Henry; John; Michael; Catharine; Barbara.
  • CAPTAIN HENRY SHAEFFER, b 1749 Jun 5 (fm tombstone) d 1803 Oct 12 (fm tombstone) bd Schaefferstown Reformed Cemetery. Justice of the Peace built & ran a tile factory in Schaefferstown mil: Captain, served in the Revolutionary War. m (1) Anna Eva Schweitzer b 1753 Apr 27 (fm tombstone) d 1790 Jan 2 (fm tombstone) bd Schaefferstown Reformed. Their known children: Catharine - b 1774 Nov 27, m John Bomberger; Elizabeth - b 1776 Oct 29, m Abraham Rex; Anna Maria - b 1779 Jul 9, m Frederick Oberlin; Johannes - b 1782 Jun 15, m Esther Weiss; Susanna - b 1785 Oct 2; m Dietrich Goshert; Anna Eva - b 1787 Oct 5, d 1790 Apr 21.
  • Brecht
       Their daughter MARGARET SCHAEFFER married JOHANNES BRECHT (also known as JOHN BRIGHT), who was born February 20, 1735/36 in Heidelberg, Berks County, Pennsylvania, and died 1817 in Jonestown, PA.
       John may have fought in the Revolutionary War. The lists of persons taking the Oath of Allegiance, 1777-78, in Schaefferstown and vicinity, include the names of John, his two sons, Jacob and John, and his brother-in-law, Alexander Schaeffer. The Oath of Allegiance probably had nothing to due with citizenship or foreign birth, but rather swearing allegiance to the patriot cause against Great Britain. Either John or his John Jr. was in the Eighth Regiment -- Pennsylvania -- Continental Line-Records of War Department -- Adjustant General's Office. John Bright's name appears under the head of Pennsylvania against U.S.A. for depreciation of pay (it was probably John Sr., as John Jr. was about 12 years old at the time of the Oath).
       John and Margaret moved to Fredericksburg, now in Lebanon County, Pa., in 1782. Together, they had the following children:


  • HENRY BRECHT, b. 21 Nov 1760, Shaefferstown, Lebanon Co. PA; Baptized at the Reformed Church. D. 1858, Hubble, Lincoln, Co. KY; m. ELIZABETH POPE
  • MICHAEL BRECHT, b. September 10, 1762, Shaefferstown, PA; Baptized in Reformed Church; d. March 06, 1847, Plum twp. Allegheny Co. PA; m. BARBARA WINTERS. He died in March, 1847. In religious profession they were Lutherans. At the death of his father Peter took the farm.
  • JOHN BRECHT, b. 1764.
  • CATHERINE BRECHT, b. 1767.
  • SARAH BRECHT, b. 1770.
  • SUSAN BRECHT, b. 1772.
  • JACOB BRECHT, b. 1774.
  • GEORGE BRECHT was born 1776, and died 1829 in Centre Co. PA. He married EVA ELIZABETH STOVER, daughter of JOHANNES STOVER and JULIANA WOLF. She was born in Centre Co. PA, and died 1819 in Centre Co. PA. Eva Elizabeth of John Stover (Stoever) and wife Barbara, b. Jun 5,1780; bapt. Jun 25, 1780. Spon: John. Wm. Ehrli and Eva Wolf, both single.


    HANS SCHÄFFER, b. 1611, who begat...

    HANS SCHÄFFER II, b. 1640, who married ANNA MARGARETHA KARG and begat...

    HANS HENRICH SCHAEFFER b. 17 Sep 1673, who married ANNA MARGARETHA MAYER, and they begat...

    ALEXANDER SCHAEFFER b. 08 Jan 1711/12, who married ANNA MARIA ENGEL and begat...

    MARGARET SCHAEFFER, who married JOHN BRIGHT (b. @ 1735) and begat...

    HENRY BRIGHT (16 Apr 1789 - @ 1836) m. MARY SNYDER and begat...

    LOVINA BRIGHT (b. 1828) who married JAMES CAMPBELL MILLER (b. 1826) and begat...

    MARY MELISSA MILLER (1851 - 1886), who married JOHN PRITCHARD (1832 - 1897) and begat...

    WILLIAM PRITCHARD (1880 - 1958), who married NELLE WINTERS (1885 - 1974) and begat...

    DOROTHY PRITCHARD (b. 1918), who married ERWIN WENK (1910 - 1982) and begat...

    MARTHA WENK (b. 1940), who married CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, JR. (b. 1939) and begat...

    JEFF, KATHY (who married HAL LARSEN), ERIC (who married MARY MOONSAMMY), and MICHELE HAUSE.

    TOP PHOTO: The Alexander Schaeffer Farm, Route 501, Schaefferstown, PA. 17088. HISTORIC SCHAEFFERSTOWN, INC. is a non-profit Educational Organization. For more information on membership, events, tours, and publications. Please contact: Historic Schaefferstown, Inc., P.O. Box 307, Schaefferstown, Pa. 17088; phone 717-949-2244.


    —Another descendant is Patrick Joseph ("Pat") Buchanan, b. Washington, D. C., 2 Nov. 1938, author, columnist, commentator, Reform Party candidate for US President in 2000.

    —"I have just recently discovered that I am a descendant of Alexander Schaeffer from Schaefferstown, PA. My line is through his daughter Catherine who married John Moyer. Later descendants ended up moving from PA to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It seems as though much research on the family has already been obtained. This past weekend, I drove to the Alex. Schaeffer farm and met with a professor who (along with some college students) are conducting archeological research on the property. She said there is much that is not known about Alexander. Said there are about 20 years when they aren't clear what he was doing. I told the professor that I would reach out to other descendents to see if they knew anything. So, I'm hoping this e-mail makes it to you and that the family can start pulling together to conduct some research that will help in telling the story of Alexander. Even though the house is in much need of renovation, the group that owns it does not have the funds to preserve. One of my very ambitious goals would be to see if the family can't somehow try and get the word out about the property and it's significance so that funds can be raised. I would love to hear from your to see what we can do. Thanks much! Lorna Smith."

    Sources for the Schaeffer Family:

  • "Meyer 250 + Years in America" by Donald Moyer Clossom Press 1991.
  • "The Trautman/Troutman Family History" Compiled by Steve E. Trautman, Gateway Press 1988.
  • "Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present," J.H. Beers & Co., 1914. P. 579
  • "History of Shaefferstown," p. 147
  • "Family History Of Alexander Schaeffer"; from Historic Schaefferstown Record, 1973, p17-21
  • "Purchases At The King George Hotel, Schaefferstown, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, 1762-1773," by Weiser.
  • "A Brief History of Schaefferstown," by A. S. Brendle, 1903. Pennsylvania Archives; Publications of the Lebanon County Historical Society, Vol. 1, page 14.