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Philadelphia's Venerable Castor Family Celebrates 275 Years In America

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - What's in a name? A lot, if you are a Castor.

A couple of hundred members of the Castor family are participating in a reunion all weekend long in Philadelphia.

It's the same family that includes Montgomery County commissioner Bruce Castor and gives Castor Avenue in Philadelphia its name.

Back in 1736, Hans Gerster -- changed to "Castor" -- arrived at Penn's Landing from Switzerland.  Twelve generations later, his ancestors are celebrating him and other family members.

Joy Castor, who helped to organize the reunion, says workshops will be held discussing contributions of the Castor family to Philadelphia.

"Horace Castor was an architect and he developed a lot of buildings in the Philadelphia area -- over a thousand buildings," she says.  "And then there was George Castor, who was a congressman in Philadelphia who died in office in 1906.  He built Stoneyhurst Mansion."

Family members will tour a portion of that mansion, enjoy birthday cake for Hans Castor's 300th birthday, and visit his gravesite and those of other family members.

A trip to the Historical Society of Frankford will also be made to view Castor memorabilia.

Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060

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