Wayne County Bios
The Shaffer Family Coming to America
Provided by Martha Shaffer Thompson
Johanne (John) Shaffer was probably born in Hessen-Kassel, Germany, in 1745. He came to America some time before the Revolutionary War. According to family stories, John was a stowaway, hiding in a hogshead barrel until the ship was at sea. After his arrival in America, he may have been sold into indentured servitude to pay for his passage.
John Shaffer most likely lived in Pennsylvania with his sister and brother-in-law, Hans Ulrich Swingle, before moving to Orange County, New York, where he married Margaret Forbes, around 1771. It is said that he was married three times.
After the war, John heard from some
hunters of some land along Middle Creek in Pennsylvania, and he
(along with Hans
John built a gristmill on Middle Creek where corn and rye were sifted by the women folk through an improvised sieve made of buckskin.
The early settlers lived in an isolated wilderness and endured many hardships. Their clothes were homespun and patched; their feet were bare.
John‚s legacy was his children:
The twins: Catherine & Christiana (b. May 14, 1772) N.Y.
1783 New York
South Canaan, Pa.
Eve 1787 South
Mary 1789 South
March 14, 1791 South Canaan, Pa. (from whom we descend)
Samuel Shaffer was a tanner and shoemaker and used large grindstones obtained from the nearby mountains to ground the tanning bark. He married Rachel Wagner on April 20, 1809, and they built a home in Varden (AKA. South Canaan) in 1813. They were members of the Methodist Protestant church.
Rachel had 13 children: all born in Varden, Pa.
1813 (from whom we descend)
After his wife died in 1851, Samuel remarried Mary (Curtis) Reed in 1854. Samuel died July 28, 1864 in S. Canaan Twsp.
It is said that it was Samuel who gave
land to the Twsp. For a cemetery.
was born in South Canaan September 20, 1813.
He engaged in farming and lumbering.
He and his wife, Priscilla Curtis had 15 children:
B. January 30, 1846 (from whom we descend)
Lineage of Priscilla Curtis