When I was young I never gave my name a second thought. After I started into my 20’s, I remember starting to talk with my grandpa Charlie 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, that stood for unknown. One other interesting fact, which, had I been paying attention it would have saved me a lot of work, was that his grandfather Jakob called himself a “Swabian”.
KASTLER.NET was born in 2003 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 2002 I wrote a letter in German, with the recently discovered picture of my great-great-grandparents Jakob Kastler and his wife Catharina Rosina Rathgeber on the back. 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. I was able to keep track of several family groups that seemed to be developing out of my research.
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. A mass mailing to Kastlers living in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland yielded the beginnings of the website you see today.
I have devoted this website to all Kastlers and their relatives. 99% of 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 at the e-mail address at the bottom of the 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 feel free to contact me anytime.