Alexander Schaeffer

Alexander Schaeffer (1711 - 1786)

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Alexander Schaeffer
Born in Schriesheim, Mannheim, Baden, Germanymap
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Heidelberg,Lebanon,Pennsylvaniamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Schaefferstown, Lebanon, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 8 Jun 2014
This page has been accessed 519 times.

Categories: Palatine Migrants | American Revolution | NSSAR Patriot Ancestors.

Alexander Schaeffer was a Palatine Migrant.
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Alexander Schaeffer participated in the American Revolution
Alexander Schaeffer is an NSSAR Patriot Ancestor.
NSSAR Ancestor #: A131177
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Alexander Schaeffer was born January 8, 1712, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, a son of Hans Henry and Anna Margaretha (Mayer) Schaeffer, who immigrated to Philadelphia, in 1738. According to Mills, He immigrated to America aboard the ship "Robert and Alice" arriving in Philadelphia 11 Sep 1738 with his wife Anna Engel. He settled in the Lebanon Valley.

  • "In 1758, he [Alexander] bought a tract of land in Heidelburg Township, and laid out a town which after his death came to be know as Schaefferstown. He subscribed to the Oaths to the Government 1n 1738; he took the Oath of Allegiance in 1777."[1]

”Schaefferstown was founded in June 1758 by German immigrant Alexander Schaeffer. He called his new village Heidelberg, but it was not long before people began referring to it simply as Schaeffer’s Town. The town Schaeffer planned was very much like those he had known in Europe. Building lots for homes and businesses were arranged around a large central square, at the intersection of two main roads, one running east to west, from Harris’s Ferry (Harrisburg) and Hummelstown to Ephrata via the Cornwall Iron Furnace, and the other north and south, connecting Conrad Weiser’s settlement at Tulpehocken with Lancaster, passing by Elizabeth Furnace. “ [2]

During the American Revolutionary War, Alexander took the oath of allegiance on August 4, 1777, and paid supply tax in 1779, in support of the Continental Army. Alexander was too old to fight in the military, but he is honored for his Patriotic Service, by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Their records indicate that he was twice married, first to Anna Engle and secondly to Catherine Unger. Applications for membership in the DAR have been made by the descendants of Alexander’s sons, Henry Schaeffer, who married Anna Eva Schweitzer; and John Nicholas Schaeffer, who married Barbara Miller; and through his daughters Anna Maria Schaeffer, who married Christopher Meyer; and Margaret Schaeffer, who married John Bright.

Dauphin county, Pennsylvania was established on March 4, 1785, from part of Lancaster County. Alexander died April 10, 1786, in Schaefferstown, Dauphin county, Pennsylvania. Lebanon county was established in 1813, and so Schaefferstown is in present day Lebanon county.

Researcher’s Notes

Benjamin Schaeffer's handwritten family history (not dated) provided much of the information on Alexander and his was not complete (few dates) but the memories of one who personally knew the family. Children of Alexander and Anna Engel are: John, Sabina, Margaret, Anna Maria, Catharine, Henry and Anna Eva Schaeffer.

According to Judge Green, Alexander Schaeffer was the founder of Schaefferstown, in Heidelberg township. He emmigrated from the Palatinate in 1740.[3]

Find-A-Grave listed this: "Alexander, son of Hans Henry and Anna Margaretha (Mayer) Schaeffer, immigrated to Philadelphia from Baden, Germany, in 1738. By the time of his death in 1786 he had laid out the town he named Heidelberg (now Schaefferstown), in Lancaster Co., PA, built the King George Hotel (the present day Franklin House), and created the first gravitational water conveyance system by underground pipes in all the British colonies. In about 1738 he married Anna Engel and together they had 7 children. He was of the German Reformed faith and was a guiding force in establishing that church in Heidelberg." [4]


  1. Harry W. Mills, "Descendents of Henry Bright, Senior", Washington: Private, 1941.
  3. A.G. Green HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE BRIGHT FALMILY, (Reading: Times Book Print, 1900) FHL # 1024704, item 10.


  • Shafer-679 was created by Colin Grove through the import of Default.ged on Sep 13, 2014

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Alexander by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Alexander:

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Alexander Scheaffer Pension record
Alexander Scheaffer Pension record

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On 12 Aug 2017 at 12:13 GMT David Schaeffer wrote:

Shafer-679 and Schaeffer-455 appear to represent the same person because: Obvious match with a spelling variation..

On 20 Nov 2016 at 06:01 GMT David Schaeffer wrote:

Shaeffer-116 and Schaeffer-455 appear to represent the same person because: Obvious match

On 12 Sep 2016 at 17:45 GMT Michele (Harrison) West wrote:

Shaeffer-14 and Schaeffer-455 appear to represent the same person because: There are three profiles for this person - a well documented immigrant who founded Shaefferstown in Pennsylvania.

Alexander is 17 degrees from SJ Baty, 21 degrees from Orville Redenbacher and 20 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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