The name Schroeder (and all of is mix-and-match variants like S(c)hra(t)der and S(c)hro(e)ter) is a common and old family name with origins in medieval Northern Germany. It comes from the Middle Low German word(s) schroden/schraden which means "to cut," and it was a surname first given to tailors (people who cut cloth for a living), occasionally shoemakers (people who cut leather for a living), and also to draymen who would drive around large carts and deliver bulk quantities of beer and wine. Now we're talking!
I have been able to trace my husband's Schroeder family back to Frank Schroeder, who came to America probably sometime around 1850. I don't know the exact year because I haven't found his immigration ship manifest yet. In the 1860 Census, his place of birth is listed as Oldenburg, Germany, which is in the northern part of the country.
©2012, copyright Emily Kowalski Schroeder