Our family has spelled the name this way since the 1900 Census. In the 1880 Census it is recorded with the umlaut over the "a" and without the "e" which is the original German way. They come from Bavaria and settled in Saint Louis, Missouri. My brother is the only male Schaefer of our line, which is ironic because my father was adopted. The family had three sons, with one dying in his teens. The other two married, but never had children of their own. Dad is the only Schaefer in this branch to have served in World War II.