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Surname Schaefer - Meaning and Origin

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An Enlightening Journey with iGENEA DNA Test: Unravelling the Schaefer Surname Origins and Ancestral Lineage

Having taken the iGENEA DNA test, I have gained illuminating insights into my ancestry linked with the surname Schaefer. The extensive technical procedure employed by iGENEA, along with its accurate, detailed results about my paternal lineage and wider ancestral heritage, broadened my understanding of my origins and ancestral migration patterns related to the Schaefer name.

V. Schaefer

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Schaefer: What does the surname Schaefer mean?

The last name Schaefer is a German surname which means “shepherd” in English. In German, it is spelled Schäfer, with the German umlaut over the letter “a”. It is thought to have originated as a nickname for either a herder of sheep or a person relatively poor who made a living as a shepherd.

Over the centuries, the spelling of the name has varied from one generation to the next, ranging from Schafer, Schaeffer, and Shafer to Schaefer. It has even been shortened to the name “Schae” in some cases.

The name is very common throughout Germany and is also found in other countries such as the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand. It can also be found among German-speaking communities in the bordering countries of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, and Switzerland.

Though it's unclear how far back the name can be traced, records exist of individuals bearing the name from Germanic regions dating back as far as the 13th century. One such individual is Jones Schaeffer of Boppard, Germany who is recorded in the town’s archives in 1272.

The name Schaefer continues to remain a popular surname in Germany today and can still be found in a variety of countries including America where it was first brought to by German immigrants as far back as the 1700s.

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Schaefer: Where does the name Schaefer come from?

The last name Schaefer is a German surname that is very common today, especially in countries with a German-speaking population. Schaefer is also very common in North America, particularly in the United States and Canada. In the United States, Schaefer is ranked 437th among the most common surnames with over 34,000 individuals with the last name. In Canada, Schaefer is ranked 457th and is estimated to have around 22,000 individuals bearing the last name.

In Europe, the last name Schaefer is most common in Germany. There, it is ranked 16th with around 524,000 individuals having the last name. It is also common in the Netherlands, where it is the 99th most common last name with over 126,600 individuals having it. Additionally, Schaefer is common in other German-speaking countries such as Austria (66th most common name) and Switzerland (76th most common name).

Outside of Europe, the last name Schaefer can be found in countries with German-speaking populations such as Brazil and Argentina as well as other countries where German immigrants have settled over the years. It is also common in countries such as Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, and Australia. In these countries, the last name Schaefer may be found localized with different spellings in different local dialects in order to accommodate the pronunciation.

Variations of the surname Schaefer

Schaefer, a German surname, is a common spelling and is pronounced as “Shay-fer”. The German meaning of the surname is “shepherd”.

The variant spellings and surnames of Schaefer include Schaeffer, Schafer, Schaffer, Schaeffer, Schaefers, Schaffers, Schaffer, Schaefers, Schaufer, Shafer, Schaeffers, Scharf, Scharfen, Scharff, and Scharffen.

In North America, the most common variants of Schaefer are Shafer, Schaffer, and Schaeffer. Schaffer is the most widely used spelling in the US, with Shafer and Schaeffer frequently used as well. Schaefer is the most common spelling in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In Germany, amongst other places, it is also spelled Schaefers, Schaffers, Schaeffers, Scharf, Scharfen, Scharff, and Scharffen.

The Schafer, Schaeffer, and Shafer surnames have become well-established with their own family lines. The main branches of the Schaefer family line include the following associated surnames: Schaefer, Schafer, Schaffer, Schaeffer, Schaefers, Schaffers, Schaeffers, Schaufer, Shafer, Schaeffers, Scharf, Scharfen, Scharff, and Scharffen. Each of these variants has its own specific family line and can trace their roots back to a common ancestor. Families who are part of these branches may use different spellings and surnames, but their true origins lie with the original Schaefer line.

Famous people with the name Schaefer

  • Lewis Schaefer: an American actor and editor who appeared in popular films such as The Hangover, 8 Mile, and Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny.
  • Steven Schaefer: an American baseball player who competed in the Major League Baseball for the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants.
  • Anne Schaefer: an American actress and singer who starred in films such as A Few Good Men, Amistad, and Flubber.
  • Kristen Schaefer: an American television host and producer, best known for her work on shows including The Real World and Survivor.
  • Henry Schaefer: an American physicist and Nobel Laureate who was instrumental in the development of theoretical chemistry.
  • Carl Schaefer: a German-American architect and inventor who developed the first modern fireproof building in America.
  • Deborah Schaefer: a former American fashion model who was a popular face in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
  • Philip Schaefer: an American writer and illustrator of children's books with works such as The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber and Pirate Mom.
  • Yvonne Schaefer: a Swiss-French actress who is well known for her leading role in the movie My Uncle.
  • Christopher Schaefer: an American film director and producer who is best known for his work on the comedy films The Ringer and Tropic Thunder.

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