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A shipping trunk and a search for Pa. Dutch woman Emma Schafer’s relatives

fosterTracy Foster bought this shipping trunk at an sale. Now she’s trying to find the family of Emma Schafer, named on the trunk. Also of interest: When ‘Sauer Kraut’ loaned its name to this Pennsylvania Dutch neighborhood in York.

Tracy Foster came home with shipping trunk from an auction in 2012.

“Since then I have attempted to find any living relatives of the owners,” she wrote. “There are 2 names on the trunk. They immigrated from Germany.”

She is seeking to locate the family of those so named.

“I can’t imagine this trunk not going to someone who would cherish it. I paid way too much for it, but I wanted it to have the rightful home.”

She has this much information, as she related to a note sent to a friend:

Emma Schafer was from Dodenau, Germany, and arrived in ship of whose name is unknown in New York.  She was born in 1861 and died 1953. Her parents were Yost and Marie (Glasser) Schaffer.

She ran into a problem many researchers confront:

“I have found some spellings relating Schaffer as Schaefer,” Tracy wrote to her friend.

She said she is down to a great grand daughter, Emma Katherine Schimph, believed to have been in the Reading area.

She wrote to me:

“The 2nd name I could not find anywhere on the passenger lists with her. I know people often get other names due to the spelling, but no real luck. Maybe he ended up not coming?

Tracy wants to return the trunk to the family, for the amount she paid for it.

If you can help in any way, contact Tracy Foster or comment below.


Another view of the trunk. For more stories and photos about the Pennsylvania Dutch, check out this Pa. Dutch category.