Show ContentsShaffer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Shaffer 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 Shaffer family

The surname Shaffer 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 Shaffer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shaffer 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 Shaffer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shaffer 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 Shaffer family (pre 1700)

Prominent figures of the time who bore the name Shaffer 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 Shaffer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shaffer Ranking

In the United States, the name Shaffer is the 549th most popular surname with an estimated 52,227 people with that name. [3]


United States Shaffer migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Shaffer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johan Adam Shaffer, aged 30, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1739 [4]
  • Hans Georg Shaffer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1742 [4]
  • Philip Shaffer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1744 [4]
  • Hans Jacob Shaffer, aged 19, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1748 [4]
  • Carl Shaffer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1751 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Shaffer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Shaffer, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1820 [4]
  • Casper Shaffer, who landed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1838 [4]
  • Henry Shaffer, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [4]
  • John Shaffer, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [4]
  • Peter Shaffer, who arrived in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Shaffer Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joseph Shaffer, who landed in Wisconsin in 1921 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Shaffer (post 1700) +

  • Charles "Tim" Shaffer (1945-2022), American jurist and politician from Pennsylvania who served as a Republican member of the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1981 to 1996
  • Atticus W. Shaffer, American actor
  • John W. Shaffer (1864-1926), nicknamed Cannon Ball, an American Major League Baseball player who played for the New York Metropolitans in 1886 and 1887
  • John Wilson Shaffer (1827-1870), American politician and businessman, Governor of Utah in 1870
  • Alex Shaffer (b. 1993), American actor
  • Earl V. Shaffer (1918-2002), American outdoorsman and author
  • Jim G. Shaffer (b. 1944), American archaeologist and Professor of Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University
  • Brandon Shaffer (b. 1971), American educator, current President of the Colorado State Senate
  • Kevin Carl Shaffer (b. 1980), American football offensive tackle
  • Erica Shaffer (b. 1970), American actress
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. John J. Shaffer, III, American Lieutenant working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [5]


Suggested Readings for the name Shaffer +

  • Our Illustrious Shaffer, Shafer Family By Robert N. Umgerer.
  • The First Three Generations of the Frederick Shafer Family in America, 1817-1965 by Thomas J.S. Heim.
  • A History of the Shaffer-Miller Schrawder Families by Lois Green Schoffstall.

  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. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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