Family Life: Second Cousins

Family is more important to some people than others. Elizabeth Klainer Wells, known as Whiz, found us, because family matters to her. She’s Sara and Matt’s second cousin. Their fathers, Jerry and Larry, were first cousins. Their fathers, Max and Joe, were brothers. Along with Ruben, they came to the United States with their parents Tillie and Sam, from eastern Russia. Max was the baby of the family; he was about three when the family came through Ellis Island.

Whiz lives in California; she’s here looking at colleges in the Seattle area with her son. Her daughter is part of the Klainer tradition at Tufts. Jerry’s brother Paul went to medical school there. Sara, Matt, and Paul and Jeanne’s daughter Suzie did their undergraduate work there. And now we have Hannah. Whiz and her family have connected with the Boston Klainers. Whiz is now on the track of the descendants of Ruben’s sons, Stanley and Albert.

The first time we met Whiz, I recognized what I call “the Klainer look”: curly dark hair, oval face, bright eyes, a certain forward lean into the world. I’m glad we’re reconnected with this branch of the family, because family matters to me too.

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