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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

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