Updated: Jun 12, 2022
I've hit a bit of a dead end for now on tracing back the first Laufer in our family. What I know so far is
Edward Had a brother who predeceased him (the bio below is from 1896)
He was married to Rose Laufer
The complication for her, is her birthday was listed as 1820, but she was listed in her 80s when she died in 1881. Probably an issue in linkage.
They owned land in Fosters Meadow Long Island
Both Michael and Rosetta left wills
When he arrived
Michael came to America in 1852 from a town called "Stosestedt"
There is no place that pops up with a search for that name. My working theory is the correct name is "Tostedt", part of the "Harburg" district. This town is near to Bermen (port of departure), and Lower Saxony itself is a large farming area.
Why come to America in 1852?
A religious reason to leave?
Potential Break throughs
I think the four most likely breakthroughs will be
Finding Edward's brother name
Finding Michael, Rose, Edward in the Reformed Church records
Notably, Calvin Laufer was a famous hymnist on Long Island in the Reformed Church. He was listed as the pastor at Steinway Reformed Church from 1900-1905. I have not been able to link Calvin with Edward's family yet; they may have a common ancestor.
Finding a different surname/progenitor of Michael, starting in Germany
Finding a link in the Dutch Church records