When you carry the last name “Sheaffer” you are accustomed to misspellings, in fact I am more surprised to see it spelled correctly…..at least correctly in the version my family has been known to carry it for some 180 years. Below is an example of just how difficult it can be researching a name with so many variations of it’s spelling.
By Michael S Sheaffer
The letter was written to send money for some sort of paper that John E Sheaffer had paid for. Jacob had owed his father $2.50 which he sent $2.00 cash and 50 cents worth of stamps. What I really found eye opening was the letter was signed and envelope made out with the name “Shaffer”. As you notice I spell my name with the “E” And I know both of these ancestors had other documents signed officially later on with the “E”. My assumption on this is that someone other than Jacob wrote this letter, possibly someone at the post office itself. Seeing the last name Sheaffer misspelled is nothing new, after all there are 8 variations of the name. It’s been said and passed down that our original spelling “Schaeffer” was changed by Henry Sheaffer father of John E Sheaffer when he became an adult.
As you see here in Jacob’s handwritten will, he has written the last name Sh(e)affer in version family has been known to carry. This was 50 years after letter from 1889 so a handwriting analysis might not be very accurate as this Will was written shortly before his death.
What is your opinion of the misspelling by Jacob?? Love to hear them!