When I was young I never gave my name a second thought. After I started into my 20’s, I remember talking with my grandpa Charlie (Charles Jr.) about our Kastler family, usually over a great barbequed cheeseburger, with fresh Iceburg lettuce, homegrown Beefsteak tomatoes, and heavy on the ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. He told me that his grandfather Jakob immigrated from Germany in the late 1800’s with his children, one of whom was his dad Charles (Karl). Jakob’s reason for coming was that he hated the Kaiser, and he didn’t want his boys to go to war. My grandfather could only remember his blood grandmother’s name as Catherine Unk. I found it odd that Unk was a German name, but what did I know. Of course I later found out that stood for unknown (was from a photo). One other interesting fact, which if I had been paying attention would have saved me a lot of work. It was that my great-great grandfather called himself a “Swabian”. Jakob died of “Chronic Bright’s Disease”, which in modern medicine is known as acute or chronic nephritis.
Kastler.net was born in 2002 out of a desire to publish my own family’s genealogy, which was in it’s infancy at that time. As I began to research my family, I found that the Kastler name was very rare in the world. In 2003 I wrote a letter in German, and with it the picture of my great-great-grandparents Jakob Kastler and his wife Katharine Rosina Rathgeber given to me by my cousin Wendy Kastler-McClain. Because of the fact that there were a reasonably small amount of male Kastlers in the phone books of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (German-speaking countries), I was able to send a letter to all 270 of them. As I received back many letters and emails, I began to see groups emerging from specific areas. I started keeping track of all information I received, which eventually bloomed into the website you see today.
Since I started the website, I have located several close relatives. I located one cousin through random e-mails, and two others by sending letters out. My grandfather’s cousin, Evelyn Kastler, provided the key information I needed to break the brick wall I was up against, and locate the town in Germany where my great grandfather Charles Kastler was born. From that point on I was able to begin the research into church records. I also started compiling email addresses and physical mailing addresses from all over the world. Siegfried Kastler, a Lutheran Preist from the area my ancestors ended up coming from, helped me to find my family roots. He had studied all the church records as he worked his way through the area to build most of the family tree that you see today. Other branches were built by contributions over the years.
I have devoted this website to all Kastlers and their relatives. Everything I know about any Kastler is on this website, and I’m always acquiring new information as more and more information is placed online. If you have any information to contribute, have corrections, or just need assistance, please contact me using the Contact page. Occasionally I come across something that I filed away, but forgot to add to the website. If you sent something to me but cannot find it, please contact me.