You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

A long obscured branch on John Kerry’s family tree

More Jewish forebears, more tragedy

John Kerry's connection to Dr. Joan Wheelis of Cambridge begins with Benedict Kohn. He was a beermaker who lived during the late 19th century in a town called Bennisch in the Austrian Empire, which today is known as Horni Benesov in the Czech Republic. Kohn's first wife, Rosa Winter, had a son named Bernhard Kohn. It is from this family that Joan Wheelis descends, a family the Kerrys had known nothing about. After the beermaker's first wife died, he married Mathilde Frankel, and they had a son named Fritz Kohn, who would be Kerry's grandfather.

SOURCE: Kaulbach and Kerry families

Robert S. Davis, Patrick Garvin/Globe Staff

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of