Show ContentsSchaffner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Schaffner is German in origin. It is derived from the Middle High German term "schaffaere," which referred to a shepherd, one who took care of sheep. [1] Alternatively, the name could have been derived from an German occupational name for someone "who made casks and barrels, a cooper." [2]

Early Origins of the Schaffner family

The surname Schaffner 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 name would later emerge as a noble family with great influence, having many distinguished branches, and become noted for its involvement in social, economic and political affairs.

Early History of the Schaffner family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Schaffner research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1569, 1813, 1787, 1425, 1503, 1451, 1624, 1677, 1653, 1699 and 1756 are included under the topic Early Schaffner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Schaffner Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Schaeffers, Schaefer, Scheaffer, Schaefers, Schaffer, Schafer, Shaeffer, Schefer, Shaefer and many more.

Early Notables of the Schaffner family (pre 1700)

Prominent figures of the time who bore the name Schaffner were Peter Schöffer (c.1425-c.1503), an early German printer, and worked as a manuscript copyist in 1451. Angelus Silesius or Johann Angelus Silesius (1624-1677), born Johann Scheffler, was a German Catholic priest and physician. He was known as a mystic and religious poet, born and raised a Lutheran. In 1653, he adopted the name Angelus (Latin for "angel" or "heavenly messenger") and the epithet Silesius ("Silesian") and converted to Catholicism. As a convert and priest, he tried to convince German Protestants...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Schaffner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Schaffner Ranking

In the United States, the name Schaffner is the 7,796th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Migration of the Schaffner family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Andreas Schaeffer, who emigrated with his family to England or America in 1709; and Hans Georg Schafer came to Carolina or Pennsylvania in 1709; John Shaver came to Nova Scotia in 1760.


Contemporary Notables of the name Schaffner (post 1700) +

  • First Lieutenant Dwite H. Schaffner (1889-1955), American soldier in the United States Army who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the World War I
  • Franklin James Schaffner (1920-1989), American film director
  • Louis Schaffner, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Illinois, 1876 [4]
  • D. W. Schaffner, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1928 [4]
  • Clarence D. Schaffner, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Allegany County, 1958; Member of New York Democratic State Committee, 1964 [4]
  • Charles H. Schaffner, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate in primary for Kentucky State House of Representatives 63rd District, 1975 [4]


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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