Why Study Kerschens?

If we don't remember Kerschen history, perhaps no one will.

It seems like a strange question, but it has been asked several times. Why care about our history? People have asked it as a serious question.

An initial gut response might be "How could one not care?" and "Why would one not care?" Socrates said that an unexamined life is a life that is not worth living. The quest for knowledge is one of the great things that sets us apart from the animals. The quest for knowledge is some of what sets civilizations apart from barbarism. Still, these are largely emotional reasons and not practical ones.

Knowledge of our past is not just knowledge of our genetics, but also knowledge of our environment. What we and our ancestors are made of and what we have experienced is what makes us who we are. We are a product of not just their genetics, but of their choices and their hardships. People sometimes argue about what is more important, nature or nurture, heredity or environment. Geneology is both. We are the products of our ancestors and their successes and failures.

There do seem to be an unusually large number of Doctors and Scientists among the greater Kerschen family. The quest for knowledge about how to improve life for ourselves and for our fellow men may be especially strong among Kerschens. Were we born that way? Or was that just the way grandma expected a good Kerschen to be? Perhaps it was a bit of both.

As Delmore Schwartz said, "Time is the school in which we learn". Remembering our own history is our privilege and our responsibility. Those who do not learn from the past may be doomed to repeat it. If we don't bother to remember our own history, no one will.

My own experiences with geneology

Arthur Kerschen (1967-Present) My parents had a very old family bible on a display rack from before I can remember, and my grandfather had written my fathers ancestors inside. I asked my mothers parents for all of thier ancestors to write them into the bible. I was sorely dissappointed to learn that they did not remember the birthdays and names of some of thier own grandparents. My Kerschen grandfather on my fathers side had significantly more information than that which he had included in the family bible. I learned that my great-great grandfather had died in Argentina, although the whole family was from Luxembourg. I wrote all of it down and started a card catalog for every one of my ancestors and relatives on December 21, 1981, which I still have today. I was 14 at that time.

Some time during my high school years in Phoenix, Arizona, about 1982, an article appeared in the paper about the discoveries in physics of Dr. Edward Kerschen at the University of Arizona down in Tucson, Arizona, two hours drive south of Phoenix. There was no mention of an Edward Kerschen in any of my family tree, but at the time I assumed he was a descendant of one of my grandfathers cousins that he had lost track of over the years.

In the late 1980s, when I began going to school at the University of Arizona, I sought out Dr. Edward Kerschen and asked him about our common family history. He didn't have alot of specific names and dates right there, but he said he would mention to his father that I was looking for some more information. What he did know made me sceptical of the validity of his information, because it did not mesh with the theory that his family came from Michigan.

It wasn't until June 23, 1992 that his father, Robert L. Kerschen, sought me out and sent me his complete geneology back four generations, along with copies of documents from other geneology researchers from the 1970s, who had gone to Luxembourg in search of the family roots. It was definately confirmed, we had no common ancestors back to 1800. The Kansas Kerschens were a different group from the Michigan Kerschens.

In the late 1990s, I'm not sure exactly when, I recieved an instant message chat request from a woman in Argentina who was herself a Kerschen. She sent me a fax image of a hand written family tree. The information did not go back far enough to include my great-great-grandfather, and it did not include dates, but at the time I believed the connection might be findable. Unfortunately, I did not record any of the information anywhere else and the data was lost at some point. She did mention that she had relatives in Canada.

On January 23, 2007, just a few days after I started kerschen.org and before I realised it was on any of the search engines, Patricia Kerschen of Canada e-mailed me. "I am a Kerschen living in Canada but born in Argentina."

This is why I created kerschen.org! All Kerschens from around the world can see how we each fit into the whole picture, or at least provide a few more pieces so we can try to build a clearer picture. I encourage all Kerschens to contribute what knowledge you have to help give everyone a clearer picture of Kerschen History. Arthur Kerschen

Saturday August 25, 2007, Arthur Henry Kerschen III of Tucson, Arizona. Born February 19, 1967 in Detroit, Michigan.

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