An Introduction to My Family Tree

The Beginnings – The Karn – Ashton Family Lines

I believe it was probably more than a year ago now, when I wrote that I was going to write more about my family heritage. So I guess it’s about damn well time I got started, don’t you think?

So let’s begin, I was born in the hospital in Riverside, New Jersey. My mother thinks she was there but she was never sure! They zonked her with some strong drugs and the next thing she knew, I was in her arms!

Anyway all the DNA evidence points to the fact that I am the son of Edward Karn and Helen Ashton. Born in Riverside, NJ on October 1, 1951. A date that always made me the oldest person in our class that hadn’t been held back. The reason was that the cut-off date for enrolment was September 30th!

The Ashton Family

John Heen Eva Ashton Family Picture
John, Helen and Mon Elva

My mother was Helen Ray Ashton. The middle name Ray is correct. She was given that name by her grandmother Charlotte Trout Regars. Ray was the name of my grandmother‘s sister Cora‘s first husband! Note I said her first husband! So much for using an in-law‘s masculine first name for your granddaughter‘s middle name! Well, Cora’s second  husband was William Atz, so I guess Ray is better than William!

At least she picked the names of her brothers for her grandsons. One grandson‘s name came from her brother Howard – John Howard Ashton.The other one Elmer was from another brother and her grandfather. – James Elmer Ashton. Jimmy hated the name Elmer so much he would tell people his name was James no name“ Ashton.

Helen Ray was born in Tupelo, Mississippi I’m sure. But my mother was born in Beverly, New Jersey on June 12, 1928. She was the daughter of John Sherrington Ashton IV and Elva Mildred Regars. John was born in Beverly. Elva was born in Florence and raised in Burlington.

Helen was the third of three children Her oldest brother was the aforementioned John Howard born in 1923. James Elmer was born in 1923.

I never knew my Uncle Jimmy. He was killed on July. 1944. in the „hedgerows of hell“ in France. Shortly after D-Day as Us troops moved away from the beaches of Normandy.

Uncle Johnny I knew well and I will write about him in a future post.

John Sherrington Ashton IV

My Grandfather John Sherrington Ashton IV was the son of John Sherrington Ashton and Margaret Agnes McCloskey. He was born in Beverly, NJ
While my grandmother, the daughter of John McCloskey and Mary Stewart, was born in Northern Ireland. She had too many brothers and sister to list them here.

The Karn Family

Arther, Kenny and Edward

My father Edward Henry Karn,  Jr. was the son of Charlotte Frieda Meyer and, drumroll please, Edward Henry Karn. He was born in Riverside,NJ on June 23,1923 and was the oldest of the three Karn boys. His brothers were Arthur Herman Karn and Kenneth Irving Karn. Uncle Kenny may belong to the what the kind of name is that, club! I’ve never understood where Irving came from.

Edward Henry Karn

My grandfather was born in New Jersey, his parents were Henry Karn and Pauline Heckler. Edward was the younger of five children. He had two brothers Harry and Charles and two sisters Emma and Anna.

Based on the only immigration records that’s I can find for a Heinrich Karn that match Henry indicate that Henry was born in Hesse, Germany.

Pauline and her family came from Switzerland.

Charlotte and Irmagard

Charlotte Meyer

My paternal grandmother, Charlotte Meyer was born in Dresden Germany. She was the daughter of Herman Adolph Meyer and Helene Wendel. Herman was born in Konigswalde, in the Kingdom of Saxony and Helene in Dresden.

Charlotte had one older sister Irmagard and one brother Albert. Both Charlotte and Irma were born in Dresden while Al was born in NJ.

Summarizing My Ethnicity

Ok so based on the above here is my ethnic background. Karn -German, Heckler – Swiss, Meyer and Wendel -German, McCloskey and Stewart -Irish and Ashton- English and Regars your guess is as good as mine!

So there you have it! My family tree back through my great-grandparents. Two of the families, the Karns and the Hecklers came to the US In the 1880s. The McCloskey‘s arrived in the late 1870s. The Meyers and Wendels came in the early 1910s. Herman was the first to arrive coming in 1911, with Helene and the girls coming the following year.

I hope this initial story wasn’t to boring but it lays the groundwork for further explorations of my various family lines. I will try to tackle their stories, at least as much as I know about them, one post at a time! First up, in the next post, will be the Ashtons!

Featured Image: the Karn Family at my first birthday party at the table: me and cousin Jim Ashton. Family: left to right: Father’s Brother Art, Nana Karn, behind her Art’s wife Polly, John Ashton’s wife Jim’s mom Jean Plant Ashton, My dad Edward Karn, his brother Kenny and my grandfather Edward H Karn Sr.

Pauline was born in Switzerland.