I dedicate this page to the memory of my father, Richard C. Schaefer (1933-2009), and all the Schaefer & Crown relations who have gone before. And to us, the ones whose stories are still being written.


This website pertains to the genealogy research of the ancestors on my father's side who made their way to America:

  1. My paternal 2nd g-grandparents on my father's side:
    • Peter SCHÄFER, born 1843 in Udenhausen, Rhein-Hunsrück-Kreis, Prussia; he was a carpenter who came to NYC in 1867. After marrying in Brooklyn in 1870, he and his brother Philip took their new families to Murray, Iowa. There, it is presumed, Peter died before 1885 - we have not been able to find a record to confirm what became of him.
    • Maria Magdalena VIERLING, born 1846 in Dorndiel, Darmstadt, Hessen, Deutschland came to NYC in 1866 to meet other of her Vierling siblings. She married Peter in 1870 and traveled with him to Iowa where she had several more children, most of whom did not survive. After 1885, Mary Schaefer returned to Brooklyn with her three surviving children, one of whom died shortly after the return to NY. The remaining two children were Madeline "Lena" and my g-grandfather, Charles Schaefer. We don't know what ever became of Maria.
    • Cécile Pauline GRIMM, born 1860 in Strasbourg, Alsace, then Germany, a widow and single mom who brought her children to NYC in 1892. She died in Brooklyn in 1921. Her daughter, Marie, married Charles Schaefer in 1903.
  2. My maternal 2nd g-grandparents on my father side:
    • Patrick CROWN, born 1843 in Drumlease parish in County Leitrim, Ireland, arrived in NYC in 1870, already married and with five children which included a set of twins. He opened and operated a hotel and a bar/restaurant in Brooklyn, and died there in 1903.
    • Ann CLANCY, born 1842 in Cloonclare parish of County Leitrim, Ireland, was probably accompanied by her widowed mother, Jane Gilroy, on the voyage to America. Ann was the mother of four more children after arriving in America, and of her 9 children, 3 survived to have families of their own: Sarah Crown McDermott (died shortly after birth of her first child), Annie Crown Connors, and my g-grandfather, John J. Crown. Ann Clancy Crown died in Brooklyn in 1888 at the age of 45.
  3. And finally, the maternal 3rd g-grandparents on my fathers side:
    • Johann Christian KAISER, born about 1822 in Prussia - we know the least about his origins or when he arrived. He was a farmer who owned a fair amount of property on Rockaway Ave in Canarsie. Sadly, he was stuck and killed by a Manhattan train in 1889.
    • Christine DUNMEIER was also born around 1822 in Prussia. She may have been married before coming to America, but after arrival she had three children, one of whom, Johann Friederich (aka John F.) Kaiser was my 2nd g-grandfather. Christine died in 1901.
    • Johann Friederich Carl (aka Charles) EISENMANN was born 1834 in Trauzenbach, Königreich Württemberg, Deutschland. He was orphaned at the age of 6, and came to NYC around 1855. Carl was also a farmer and involved with the St. Paul's German Lutheran Church. He died in 1887.
    • Elizabeth MÜLLER, born 1833 in Rehborn, Rheinpfalz, Bayern, Germany. She had 11 children in NYC, the oldest girl was my 2nd g-grandmother, Katharina Eisemann, who later married John F. Kaiser. Elizabeth died in Jamaica, Queens, NY in 1906.

So! There is obviously a whole lot of German heritage in this family, with one very strong dollop of Irish. The stories of all these families arriving into the melting pot of New York are amazing. The Germans and Irish, the Lutherans and the Catholics, the large families with twins, the single mom, the orphan, and the brothers who ventured off to the American West, never to return. All of them left behind a world filled with violence and poverty for most, and came into the unknown filled with hope and ideas about a better life, the life we have inherited and are all living for the better today.

I am happy to correspond with anybody who might be connected with these family lines!

Last Updated on September 7, 2016

top burning questions

  1. What ever happened to our gg-grandparents, namely Peter Schaefer and Maria Magdalena Vierling Schaefer? Both of these people were original immigrants to America. They married in Brooklyn in 1870, and moved to Murray, Iowa between 1875-1880. Peter is thought to have died there before 1885, although I have not been able to find any record to confirm that. Maria (known by her American name Mary) returned to Brooklyn with at least three of her surviving children, Louis, Charles, and Lena. This family was last seen living at 895 Grand Street in Brooklyn on the 1900 census. Mary was 53 years old. What became of her is also a mystery. I would dearly love to complete the story of our German pioneers - but for them, I would not be writing this now.

Posted on March 25, 2014