1822 - 1860
by Herman W. Witthoft, Sr.

This section covers "The Ancestors and Descendants of Daniel D. Shaver, 1822-1860, who is the author's maternal great grandfather.

It is included to bridge the gap of information between Daniel's son, Wellington, the author's grandfather, and the rest of the Maria Elizabeth Schaffer family. My mother, Florence Zula (Shafer) Witthoft, was never able to trace her family back to Johannes Schaffer. Most of the Schoharie County genealogists prior to 1985 were saying that the Johannes Schaffer line began with Gerhard Schaffer. With the publication of THE PALATINE FAMILIES OF NEW YORK 1710, 1985, by Henry Z. Jones, Jr., the origin of this Johannes family became much clearer. According to Jones, Johannes was not a son of Gerhard as Gerhard had only daughters, but was the son of Maria Elizabeth Schaffer. (Johannes' brother, Heinrich, did marry Gerhard's daughter, Anna Maria Margaretha.)

My grandfather, Wellington, was born in the Town of Mt. Pleasant, Whiteside County, IL, 19 February 1858. His parents had gone there homesteading, purchasing 160 acres of land 11 June 1855. Daniel made out a will, 16 January 1860, and died 13 February 1860, age 38, less than a month later. His son, Daniel, was born there less than 3 months after his death. His widow, Sophia Kilts, sold the farm and personal property and returned to New York State with her family of four young children, her son, Manillious having died in Illinois, 9 March 1857. She lived until her death, 8 May 1918, with her Kilts family on the Sharon to Argusville Road, T-Sharon, Schoharie Co., NY. In her later years she probably lived with her son, Wellington and was well known to my mother, Florence Zula.

My mother said that she and her father visited the old Warner Cemetery which is located up the hill behind an old school house and the former New York State Police Barracks, on the north side of State Highway Route 7, Warnerville, T-Richmondville, Schoharie Co., NY. He showed her a grave "Barney Shafer, died Sept 9, 1869, Aged 73 yrs 5 mos 24 dys", and said, "That is my grandfather, Barney." The gravestone next to it reads, "Look to Jesus, Polly, wife of Barney Shafer, died Nov 13, 1878, Aged 86 yrs 27 days".

So now I had the Daniel Shafer lineage mystery started at both ends, his father, Barney, buried in the Warnerville Cemetery and Johannes Schaffer, son of Maria Elizabeth Schaffer, documented in Henry Z. Jones, Jr. s book, THE PALATINE FAMILIES OF NEW YORK 1710. Robert A. Shaffer, 421 Park Ave., Waverly, NY 14892, sent me a copy of the Johannes Schaffer will which he had copied from the Cady records. In the will Johannes mentions a son, Adam, as does the Henry Z. Jones, Jr., book. I read the Adam will, and he mentions his son, Dewald (Tewalt or David). I read the Dewald will, and he mentions his son, Barney! Since Barney is not a very common given name in the Palatine German families or in the Schaffer family, I'm certain that this is the same Barney that is buried in the Warnerville Cemetery in the grave that Wellington showed my mother. So BINGO the ancestral line has been proven!

To document this Schaffer lineage I have included the wills of Johannes, Adam, Dewalt, Barney's widow, Betsey and Daniel D. Shafer, my great grandfather, who died in Illinois. Also included are some interesting documents relating Daniel D.'s existence in Illinois: recording document for purchase of 160 acre farm, 7 June 1855, the Administrator's accounting of the sale of the personal property, 14 April 1860 and sale of the farm, 7 January 1864.

Table of Contents, Schaffer

Copyright 2000. Herman W. Witthoft, Sr. and Berry Enterprises. All rights reserved. All items on the site are copyrighted. While we welcome you to use the information provided on this web site; this information is copyrighted and not to be reproduced for distribution, sale, or profit.
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