This unusual surname has two possible origins. It is usually a variant spelling of the medieval job-descriptive German surname "Shaefer or Schafer", meaning the shepherd. There are several variant forms, and the name as such appears in nearly every European country. However, it can also be confused with "Schaffer", an occupational name for the Steward or Bailiff of an estate, and that confusion applies in this case. The spelling as "Shafier" suggests an Anglicization of the name, as it is always found in its native land with the spelling as Schafier.The name recording examples include; Francois and Victoire Schaffier, who were recorded witnesses at their daughter Catherine's christening at Luneville, Meurthe et Moselle, France, on September 29th 1825. On July 7th 1859, Anna Catharina Schafier, the daughter of Casper (below) was born at Aldenhoven, Germany. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Casper Schafier, which was dated October 26th 1855, marriage to Margeretha Beezem, at Aldenhoven, Rheinland, Germany, during the reign of King Frederick William 1V of Prussia, 1840 - 1861. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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