SCHAFFER/SCHAEFFER FAMILY

Standing left to right: Miles, James, Alice, and Frederick Schaffer; unknown Stuckey, unknown Stuckey, and Alf Stuckey.  Seated: Mable Shafer and husband Bill Stuckey.

According to a couple census listings, James, Alice, and Fred Shafer were born in Iowa.  As for their sister Mable, a couple census listings show her birth place as Iowa, but her death certificate gives it as North Dakota, and I have yet to find where baby brother Miles was born.

Mable is the only one of the Shafer siblings that I have a birth date for.  She appears on an 1910 census with a North Dakota birthplace, and Iowa as her father's birthplace. 

The great aunts, Mable's daughters, say that their father, George Philip Schaffer, was born in Pennsylvania, and that all five of his children were born in/at Fort Randall, [South] Dakota.

George Philip Schaffer, son of Jacob Schaeffer and Nancy Hanawalt, was, according to family stories, of Prussian descent.  The ancestor of both George and his father Jacob, came to the New World's at some point just before the Revolutionary War.  Just to make the research more interesting, George and Jacob's ancestor's name is said to be Jacob Schaeffer . . . the Prussian equivalent to John Smith.

Prussian Duels and the American Revolutionary War

According to my late great uncle George Stuckey, Jacob Schaeffer had been in the Prussian Army and for reasons unknown, got in a duel with his superior officer.

Though it should go without saying that he was the victor on that unknown field of honour, I say it because winning the duel was apparently Jacob's incentive to emigrate.  Perhaps he felt that his odds for survival would increase with a change of address.  Family stories also say that Jacob fought in the Revolutionary War, but without being able to fill the hole between Jacob father of George, and Jacob the Immigrant, it's difficult to pick him out of the many other Jacob Schaeffers, with assorted surname spellings, from Prussia, who also fought in the Revolutionary War.

Between 1719 and 1764, there were seven Jacob Schafers who came over from Prussia: four in Rupp's A Collection of Thirty Thousand Names, and three in Strassburger's PA German Pioneers Vol 1-3.  There are undoubtedly more.

The name of Jacob the Immigrant's wife has been lost to time but together they had at least one son.  Well, he didn't HAVE to have had a wife, but due to the quirks of mammalian reproduction, I know a woman WAS involved.  And just to make things a little more interesting, it is also unknown if this unnamed son was George's father or grandfather.

Family lore says that George's father Jacob was an aide de camp to General Grant.  When Jacob died, Nancy remarried . . . to another Jacob -- Jacob Sinn, who had three daughters from a previous marriage: Emma, Grace, and Ella.  Who was the mother of the three girls?

Did Nancy have any children with Mr Sinn?

Family Stories, Census Listings, and the Social Security Death Index

There is a great deal about this side of my family that I don't know, and more that I'm guessing at.

My guesses are based upon the family stories I have been told by the grandchildren of George Philip Schaffer and Mary L. Miller --my great aunts, Merle and Pink, and great uncles, George and Jack-- even though their stories didn't always agree with each other.

Then there are the census listings I've received from cousin Susan Williams, who has also shared info from other cousins who descend from George's parents Jacob SHAFER and Nancy HANAWALT, and the dibs and dabs I've found searching the Social Security Death Index and other vital statistic indexes.

And  I would like to thank those cousins of mine who have and are helping put this family puzzle together, namely John Stuckey, his sister Judy, Molly Stuckey, and Susan Williams.  Together, we are assembling a jigsaw puzzle without the picture on the box lid to guide us, each of us with our own little pile of pieces.

George Philip Schaffer

George Philip Schaffer is credited (by Merle and Pink) with "simplifying" family surname by dropping one of the Es.  In the Washington State Death Index, it shows that he died in Tacoma, Washington, September 22, 1913, at the age of 63; he's buried at the Oakwood Hill Cemetery in Tacoma, Washington, in the west half of lot 1, block 161, southwest corner.  There is no headstone but we're working on getting him one.  I'd like to find his date and place of birth first.

On March 13, 2001, Cousin John sent yet another bit of family lore (ya gotta love e-mail).

Lisa, another tidbit, whether it is relevant or not remains to be seen...

George Schaffer had run ins with the law (as some members of our family have).  When my father was young he used to sit on the beach at Dockton while great grandfather Schaffer would take target practice with his colt peacemaker.

According to dad, he was quite proficient with his sidearm and the gun itself had some distinguishing features: 12 notches.  When my dad asked him if the notches represented men that he had killed in gun fights Grandfather Schaffer replied, "They weren't men, they were Pinkertons."  The Pinkerton Detective agency was quite notorious in the old west and I believe still exists today!

Also George Schaffer was supposed to have had a mining claim in the Cascades somewhere around Tiger Mountain.  He claimed to have dynamited the mine when some Pinkertons showed up there looking for him.

Which, to me anyway, explains why George Schaffer has been so hard to find in the old records.

Prior to coming to the great Pacific North-Wet (Yes, I meant to type "wet"; it's a Seattle thing), George Philip Schaffer was either a mule skinner or a sheriff at/in Fort Randall, [South] Dakota.  The great aunts say George was born somewhere in Pennsylvania and is "Pennsylvania Dutch"; the great uncles agree, though they add that George wasn't Pennsylvania Dutch, he was Prussian.

George had two siblings that I know of:

Amon Schaffer -- who said he was going to Port Alberni, (in British Columbia, on Vancouver Island) Canada, back when the US and Canada were debating over just where the US/Canadian border was going to be (54-40 or Fight!).  No one knows what ever happened to Amon after that, (though there are some Schaffers listed in the Port Alberni area that I really need to write to).

Ann Schaffer.  I don't know who/if/when she married, but she had two children, Ida and Roy.

>Click here< to see the Stuckey tree.

If any of my family stories coincide with any of your family stories, drop me a line at: lisa@fortlangley.ca

Schaeffer Tree
(with my thanks to cousin Susan Williams for much of the following)

Generation 1

Jacob SHAFER, born circa 1819 in Pennsylvania, to Pennsylvanian born parents.
                                   died after 1885 in Holt, Nebraska

wife
Nancy Hanawalt, born circa 1832 in Pennsylvania to George HANAWALT and wife Sarah Brown, both of whom were Pennsylvanian born.

Jacob notes: His ancestor Jacob Schaeffer came over from Prussia in the late 1700s

Nancy notes: The surname HANAWALT has its origin in the Black Forest area of Germany.  Nancy's 2nd husband, Jacob SINN, had three daughters from a previous marriage: Emma, Grace, and Ella.

Generation 2: Jacob Schaeffer and Nancy Hanawalt's children

Dates estimated from info in the 1870 Federal Census from Walnut Twp, Jefferson county, Iowa post office Lockridge enumerated 7 Jun 1870

George Philip SHAFER, born circa 1850
     married Mary Louise MILLER

Amon S. SHAFER, born circa 1854
     went to British Columbia, where he died in 1941

Sarah Virginia SHAFER, born circa 1857

Mary SHAFER, born circa 1864

Anne SHAFER, born circa 1865

Ida SHAFER, born circa 1866

George notes: died 22 September 1913, Tacoma, WA and buried in the Oakwood Hill Cemetery in Tacoma.  He and wife Mary had 5 children.  the 1880 census say a Mary was born in Iowa.  The great aunts say she died in 1888 in the Dakota Territory.

Mary Louise Miller notes: Mary is the daughter of Jacob MILLER and Rachel "Rose" HILDEBRAND.

Amon notes: See BC Online Archives for Amon Shafer, who died in Freshwater Bay, BC, on Nov 13, 1941 at the age of 86, registration number 1941-09-597279, 
microfilm number B13173 (GSU # 1953633)

Ann notes: great aunts Pink and Merle say that Ann and her unknown husband had two children, Ida and Roy; Roy died in Montana.

Generation 3: George Schaffer and Mary L. Miller's children

James SHAFER, born circa 1874, in Iowa; died 1902, Washington State

Alice M. SHAFER aka Alica aka Alicia, born circa 1876, Iowa; married 1899 Pierce county WA, to Bob MILLER; death date/place unknown.

Frederick SHAFER, born circa 1878, Iowa; died 1902, Washington state

Mable Louise SCHAFFER, born May 17, 1883, IOWA; married November 1, 1899, Tacoma, WA to William John STUCKEY; died June 13, 1953, Seattle, Washington.   Death cert #10504

Miles SHAFER, born circa 1885, Fort Randall, [South] Dakota; died 1904, Washington State

Bob MILLER notes: Bob is also somehow related to Alice's mother Mary.

James Schaffer notes: No one seems to know what happened to James

General note for this generation: Two of Mable Louise's daughters say that Mable and her siblings were all born at Fort Randall, which is in what is now the south-western corner of South Dakota.  However, Mable's death certificate says she was born in North Dakota, as does a census record she and husband William John Stuckey appear in.  Was it a misunderstanding, or were all the Schaffer kids born in what is now North Dakota?  Fort Yates, perhaps . . . ? 

However, as of 17 April 2006, the above note for this generation may all be moot, due to me receiving info from the 1885 Nebraska State Census, Holt county, Willowdale Precinct, 11 June 1885, (thank you Susan Williams) which says and I quote:

House 130

NAME RACE GENDER AGE   MARITAL STATUS OCCUPATION BORN FATHER BORN MOTHER BORN
Shafer, George T W M 33   Married Farmer IA PA Pa
Mary L W F 28 Wife Married Keeping House IA PA PA
James W M 11 Son Single   IA IA IA
Alice M W F 9 Dau Single   IA IA IA
Frederick W M 7 Son Single   IA IA IA
Hattie W F 2 Dau Single   IA IA IA

They lived very near House 115, the home of...

NAME RACE GENDER AGE   MARITAL STATUS OCCUPATION BORN FATHER BORN MOTHER BORN
Shafer, Jacob W M 66   Married Farmer PA PA VA
Nancy J W F 53 Wife Married Keep House PA PA VA
Amon S W M 31 Son   Farming IA PA VA
Leester, Mary A W F 21 Dau Married Housekeeping IA PA PA
Roy W M 5 GrSon     IA IA IA
Ida May W F 2 GrDau     NE IA IA
Felton, Eugene W M 23 Boarder Single Laborer PA  PA PA
Generation 4: Alice SHAFER and Bob MILLER's children

Jessie Miller, born 1899, Washington state

Ethel Miller, born 1901

Elmer Miller, born after 1899 

Ray Miller, born after 1899; died as a young man; scalded to death in a saw mill

Generation 4: Mable Louise SCHAFFER and William John STUCKEY's children
Please see The family of Catherine Marie "Kit" Stuckey

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updated 18 April 2006