Franklin Family Researchers United
Last Updated: 23 Sep 2012
The Famous Ben Franklin
So, You're Related?
First, you will want to review several of the Top Ten Genealogy Mistakes to Avoid:
It appears that every
Franklin family has a tradition/fable/tall tale that
they are somehow related to Ben Franklin. If your family has a tradition that
says you are not
related the to the famous statesman, please let me
If your surname is Franklin and you have a family tradition that you are
from The Famous Benjamin Franklin, this is a
fable. The reason for this is simple. Ben Franklin had one son who lived to
maturity. That son had one son. He (i.e. Ben Franklin's grandson) had no sons.
So - you think you’re related through his brother John?
Quoting from an article in FFRU Volume 51:
Will of John Franklin of Suffolk County, Massachusetts
By Ben Franklin, Editor. This John Franklin is the brother of the famous Statesman.
Note that many, many persons who claim to be related to the statesman make the
claim through this John Franklin. Unfortunately for such claims, John Franklin leaves his estate
to his nephews, nieces, stepsons, sisters, etc., with no mention of children or
grandchildren, and thus it seems that there were none, or at least none who were
alive when his will was written.
Note also that just two days after the original will was written, he added a codicil.
One of the most common false connections through John Franklin is the
Surry County, North Carolina line, described and thoroughly debunked in
FFRU Volume 6.
John Franklin was born 7 Dec 1690 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, son
of Josiah Franklin and Abiah Folger. He was a soapmaker and tallow chandler by trade
(as was Josiah Franklin, his father), and was appointed deputy postmaster of Boston by
his famous brother. He died 30 Jan 1756 in Boston, Massachusetts.
The New England Historic and Genealogical Register
, Vol. 11, Jan 1857, pages 18-19
states: “8. John Franklin, born 7 Dec 1690; died Jan 1756; Married ______ Gooch; had but one
son John, lost at sea, a young man grown”
There are numerous words found in this will whose meanings have changed radically in the
intervening centuries. A prime example is the term “son-in-law” which was used in a more literal
and generic way than it is now, thus it meant any “son” whose relationship was legal rather than
by dependency, thus what we now call a step-son would be a “son-in-law”. This relationship
designation was common for those times. The “son-in-law” Thomas Hubbart mentioned in this
will, was actually a step-son, the son of John’s wife, Elizabeth (Gooch) (Hubbart) Franklin.
The daughters-in-law were the wives of his step-sons.
This will was written 22 Jan 1756, probated 6 Feb 1756.
In the Name of God Amen. This twenty second Day of January Anno Domini One Thousand
Seven Hundred and fifty six, and in the twenty ninth year of His Majesty’s Reign I John Franklin
of Boston in the County of Suffolk and Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England
Tallow Chandler do make this my last Will and Testament in Manner following. First-and principally,
I resign and recommend my Soul into the Hands of Almighty God, and my Body to the Earth,
trusting and hoping in the infinite Mercies of God for a Resurrection to Eternal Life thro’ the
Influence of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
As to my Worldly Estate which it has pleased God to bestow on me, I Will and Dispose thereof
Imprimis, I will that all my just Debts and Funeral Charges be paid in Due Time by my
Executor hereafter named.
Item, Whereas I have agreed with the other Proprietors of German Town so called in
Braintree in the County of Suffolk aforesaid upon a Partition of the same among our selves;
My Will is, that Partition be made thereof, and I do hereby impower Jonathan Williams
and Tuthill Hubbart both of Boston aforesaid Merchants to make and Execute proper Deeds
of Partition with the other Proprietors, and Will that my Interest in the said German Town
shall be as much bound by the Agreements and Covenants and Deeds made by the said
Jonathan Williams and Tuthill Hubbart as if they were made and Executed by me in my
Item, I hereby give and Devise to my well beloved Wife Elizabeth the one third part of
my Real and Personal Estate to be to her, her Heirs and Assigns forever, agreeable to my
Marriage Contract with her: And Whereas by a Marriage Contract I was also to receive of
Joseph Gooch Esqr. Trustee for my said Wife the Sum of Two Hundred and fifty Pounds
in Bills of the new Tenor, great Part of which I have received, hereby remit what soever
remains unpaid of the aforesaid Sum
Item, I give to my well beloved Wife Elizabeth During her natural Life the use of all the
Utensils belonging to my Business (that is to say) the Copper, the Iron Furnace, and other
Implements, and also the use of my Negro named Cosar; and after her Decease I give
all the same to my Kinsmen Peter Franklin Macom and James Barker equally between them
Item, I give to my said Wife a Suit of Mourning
Item I give to my Kinsman, Peter Franklin Macom a suit of Cloaths, but not of
Item, The Remainder of my Real and Personal Estate, I give to my Brethren and
Sisters equally and to the legal Representatives of such of them as are Deceased
Lastly, I Nominate and Appoint Jonathan Williams and Tuthill Hubbart of Boston
aforesaid Merchants Executors of this my last Will and Testament, revoking all
former Will and Wills by me heretofore made. In Witness whereof I have hereunto
set my Hand and Seal the Day and Year above written:
Signed, Sealed Published and
Declared by the said John (Signed) John Franklin
Franklin to be his last Will
and Testament in Presence
of us, who Subscribed our Names
in the Testator’s Presence,
Suffolk SS: The aforewritten Will being presented for Probate by the Executors therein
named Silver P. Gardner & Gillam Taylor made oath that they saw John Franklin the
Subscriber to this Instrument Sign & Seal & heard him publish & declare the same to be
his last Will & Testament and that when he so did he was of sound disposing Mind &
Memory according to there Separert of last discearning and that they Set to thear hands as
Witnesses thereof in the said Testators presence and John Perkins also made oath to the
same purpose Saying that he did not see ye Testator Sign ye same and observed that it
was not Signed when he came into ye Room but yet he saw Mr. Franklin a writing &
Supposes be Signed it for he saw it was Signed before he left ye room.
A Codicil to the foregoing Will
I John Franklin of Boston in the County of Suffolk Tallow Chandler, this Twenty
fourth Day of January Anno Domini One Thousand Seven Hundred and fifty six Do
Make and publish this my Codicil to my last Will and Testament in manner following
(that is to say) I give to Mr Jonathan Williams and Tuthill Hubbart whom I have
appointed my Executors, to each of them the Sum of Thirteen Pounds Six Shillings and
eight pence for their Trouble.
And Whereas I have given to my Wife the use of my negro named Cosar during her
natural Life, I now give my Executors Liberty to dispose of him if he behave ill and
my said Wife to have the use of the money and at her Decease to be equally divided
between my Kinsmen Peter Franklin Macom, James Barker and John Macom
I give to my Sister Jane Macom l pair of Silver Canns with my Arms upon them
I give to my Son in Law Thomas Hubbart one Silver Porringer
I give to my Daughter in Law Susannah Hubbart one Silver Porringer
I give to my Daughter in Law Elizabeth Hubbart my two Volumes of Chambers’s
Dictionary, and Lord Brions Works in three Volumes
I give to my Niece Grace Williams the Wife of Mr Jonathan Williams my Silver Salver
I give to my well beloved Wife my large Picture, likewise my Brother
Benjamin Franklin’s Picture during her natural Life, and after her Decease,
I give my Picture to William Franklin of Philadelphia the Son of my Brother
Benjamin Franklin Sigr; and I give my Brother Benjamin Franklin’s Picture to James Franklin
of Newport the Son of my Brother James Franklin Deceased
I give to my Maid Elizabeth Clements the Sum of Two Pounds thirteen Shillings
and four pence
In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal the Day and year above written.
Signed, Sealed and Declared
by the said John Franklin as a (Signed) John Franklin
Codicil to his Will & Testament
in presence of Jos. Edwards
(the following written on side of codicil)
Suffolk SS: The within written Codicil being presented for Probate Thomas Leverett
& Dudson Kilcup made oath that they saw John Franklin the Subscriber to this
Instrument Sign & Seal & heard him publish & declare the same to be his Last Will &
Testament and that when he do did he was of sound disposing mind & memory
according to these Deponents last discerning and that they Set their hands as
witnesses thereof in the Testators presence
Boston Suffolk Co 1756 T. Hutchinson
If you are still convinced that you are a Franklin descendant of Benjamin
Franklin, or if you think you have inherited an artifact from him or his
family, many researchers and historians will be delighted. Any of the
following will be enthusiastic to authenticate your find. Please contact
A few links
The Friends of Franklin, Inc,
international membership society interested in promoting the study and
scholarship of Benjamin Franklin. They have an on-going descendant project
which is managed
by one of their members, Elly Fitzig.
His last will
Benjamin Franklin: Glimpses of the Man,
by the Franklin Institute
Ben Franklin's Genealogy
, by the Franklin Institute
The Electric Ben Franklin
by ushistory.org "Congress of Websites," created and hosted by the Independence Hall
Association in Philadelphia. Their mission is to bring American history to life for
visitors worldwide on the Internet.
by the ThinkQuest
of Self, Friend of Society
, The Benjamin Franklin of the Autobiography
a paper by Adam Kissel.
Last but not least, for those who cannot document a connection, here is
the ultimate link.
Buy an Ancestor.
Warning!!! This is humor(!)
Please do not take this seriously!
Benjamin Franklin, 1785, By Charles Wilson Peale
(Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts)
A Few References
Of course, anyone interested in the actual genealogy of Ben Franklin, needs
to look closely at the research that he himself performed, starting in
. After that, you might want to look at:
Leach, Frank Willing, 1855-1943.
Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790.
In Genealogy of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. --
Vol. 11, p. 3196-3324.
Benjamin Franklin, signer of the Declaration of Independence from Pennsylvania,
was born in Boston, Massachusetts, 17 January 1706. He married Mrs. Deborah
Read Rogers (died 1744), widow of John Rogers, and daughter of John
and Sarah Read. They had a son that died as a child and a daughter, Sarah,
who married Richard Bache. Benjamin Franklin died 17 April 1790 in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. Descendants lived in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey,
New York and elsewhere.
Includes the Bache, Duane, Emory, Gassaway, Hodge, Perry, Scott and
other related families.
Shoemaker, Mrs. Robert W.
Descendants of Benjamin Franklin, through Bache -- Lott families
Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1967.
on 1 microfilm reel; 35 mm.
Microfilm of typescript (carbon copy,  leaves) at the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Richard Bache married Sarah Franklin (1743-1808), daughter of Benjamin
Franklin in Philadelphia, 29 Oct. 1767. They had eight children. Their
granddaughter, Margaret Bache (1803-1871), daughter of Louis Bache (1779-1819),
married Samuel Lott (1796-1870) in Philadelphia, 4 June 1822. They had
six children. Descendants listed lived in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana,
Includes the Crowell family.
Hessinger, Philip S., 1929-.
The descendents of Benjamin Franklin through the Bache, Lott, Birt
West Caldwell, New Jersey: P.S. Hessinger, c1982.
 leaves: facsim., geneal. tables, ports.
Richard Bache (1737-1811) immigrated from England to New York, and
in 1761 moved to Philadelphia. He married Sally Franklin (a daughter of
Benjamin Franklin). Descendants and relatives lived in New York, Pennsylvania,
Delaware, New York, Ohio and elsewhere.
Bibliography: leaves [23-24].
Includes Eyer, Marker, St. Clair and related families.
Parton, James, The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, Mason
Bros., New York 1865. See
“The Descendants of Dr. Franklin,” communicated by William Duane, Esq.
of Philadelphia and William Bache, Esq. of Bristol, Pennsylvania; The
New England Historical and Genealogical Register for 1854, Vol.B, P.374. See
Bache, William, Franklin Ancestry and Descendants in the Col. Louis
Bache (1779) Line to 1889, Bristol, Pa.1894 (Boston Public Library,
Rare Book Dept. K.13.24). See
Family History Archive
Sellers, E. J., Kollock Genealogy (Page 52) See
The General Court Martial of Lt. Col. Louis Bache,
Wilson Company Publishers 1815, (Philadelphia Free Library 1343.1 B12)
The Will of Col. Louis Bache, dated Sept. 1, 1819, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Historical Society, Doylestown., Pennsylvania. Book 9 Page 365, Will No. 4623
“Will of Henry Lott,” Index of Wills and Admin. Records Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. 1811-1831 by R.T.and Mildred C. Williams, Danboro, Pennsylvania.
197128. (1812 File 102 Will No. 4 Page 188)
Investigation of the Case Against the Reverend Garret J. Garretson
by the Reformed Dutch Church of Lodi (N.Y.) before the Classis of Geneva
in Extra Session April 7, 1853, (Philadelphia Free Library L343.1 G19)
“Transcript of Samuel Lott Family Bible” by Mrs. Robert Shoemaker Apr.
84, 1959 (Historical Society of Pennsylvania, F. 999)
See Google Books.
The Lott Family in America by A. V. Phillips, New York Public. See
Local and Family Histories.
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