John Franklin was born in 1748 in Amherst county, Virginia, and died in Warren county, Kentucky in 1823.  He was the son of Henry Franklin and Margaret Hensley.
He is thought to have married Margaret Parmelia Dawson in Amherst, Virginia in about 1763. They possibly had the following children (see below for more details): 
John Franklin is not now, and was not then, an uncommon name. There was apparently another John Franklin (born c. 1753, died c. 1790, married Susan Wells c. 1777) in Amherst County. Susan's husband is currently listed in DAR records as the John Franklin who served as a Lieutenant in the 1st Rifle Company during the Revolutionary War, the son of Henry Franklin Senior of Amherst County, and the father of Anthony Franklin (born 17 Jul 1778, died 21 Apr 1859, married Polly Nelson 15 Feb 1802 in Garrard County, KY). The latter two claims differ greatly from the conclusions drawn here. If anyone can offer concrete evidence of the DAR John Franklin being the son of Henry Senior or the father of Anthony Franklin, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol Sikes at email@example.com.
One vital tool in the effort to sort through these early Franklins is DNA. If you're a male Franklin directly descended from any of the male Franklin's on this page, a study group of your fellow Franklins is willing to pay the cost of a 67 marker Y-DNA test. If interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Steve Franklin at email@example.com. Steve is Co-Administrator of the Family Tree Franklin Surname Research Project at http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Franklin/default.aspx.
According to Carol Sikes, The Patriots at the Cowpens gives John's birth date as 25 Dec 1748. But children Sarah Franklin Fletcher, Milly Franklin Scott, and James Franklin were all listed as "over 45" in the 1810 Census, meaning that they were born in or before 1765. That would mean that John had married and produced three children before the age of 17, which seems highly unlikely. Might 1748 have been an error or typo?  Alternatively, Yates Publishing's U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 shows his birth year as 1740, which fits better with his children's ages. 
John's first wife was Margaret Dawson,  daughter of Martin Dawson and his first wife Priscilla Sorrell. Martin Dawson's second wife was named Elizabeth. Again, if children Sarah, Milly, and James were 45 or over in 1810, John and Margaret would've had to marry in or before 1763.
3 Oct 1774: John Franklin witnessed a deed from Martin and Elizabeth Dawson to [brother] James Franklin. [Carol Sikes, from Amherst County, Virginia Deed Book D 1773-1778, p. 437-438] On that same date, John Franklin purchased 348 acres from Martin and Elizabeth Dawson, with [brother] James Franklin as a witness.
John had enlisted by 10 Aug 1776, serving under Captain William Barrett "of the 2nd Troop of Col. William Washington's Corps of Horse", the 3rd Continental Regiment of Light Dragoons. He fought at Guilford Courthouse, Cowpens, Camden, and finally Eutaw Springs, where he was wounded in both legs. He was discharged in Winchester, VA. But was this our John Franklin?
He nevertheless managed to return at least once to Amherst County during the war . . .
4 Sep 1778: He purchased 150 acres from Henry and Patty Kerby. One of the witnesses was [brother] James Franklin. John and Margaret sold the property to John Cottrell of Bedford County the following month.
1782 Amherst County Personal Property Tax List: John Franklin was shown with 1 white, 4 blacks, 12 cattle, and 5 horses.
3 Jun 1782: John Franklin and Richard Ballenger were securities on the £1,000 bond for Mary Ann Franklin as administratrix of the Henry Franklin estate.
5 Aug 1784: John Franklin of "Lincoln County, Kentucky", sold 150 acres at the head branch of Franklin's Creek in Amherst County to Jacob Smith for £80. Witnesses: John Smith, Phillip Smith, and William Smith. William Smith would marry John's sister Philadephia Franklin later that year. A Jacob Smith would marry John's daughter Milly in 1787.
21 Jun 1785: He assigned his military warrant for 200 acres, #3901, to William Reynolds. 
He appeared in the tax lists of Fayette County, KY from 1787, the owner of 100 acres on Jessamine Creek. When sold in 1801, this parcel was located in Jessamine County.
They moved to the area of Warren [later Barren] County, KY, settling on the south fork of Beaver Creek, about one mile west of Glasgow, in March 1798.
26 Aug 1799: John was granted 100 acres on Drake's Creek in Warren/Barren County. Drake's Creek lies south and east of present-day Bowling Green.
John Franklin Senior and Junior appeared on the 1800 Barren County Tax List. 
They joined Mount Tabor Baptist Church on Beaver Creek in 1801, Margaret in March and John in April, as did daughter Betsy Gorin and daughter-in-law Polly Franklin in May, son John in July. The minister was Carter Tarrant, brother of Reuben Tarrant, husband of Charity Ballenger Tarrant.
1801: John and Margaret sold 100 acres in Jessamine County to James Franklin. One date seen as a marriage date for John and Margaret is 24 Dec 1812. If true, he was married to two Margarets, as his first child was born as early as 1764.
1803: They sold 96 acres in Jessamine County to Thomas Akers.
6 Oct 1803: He received a grant for a second 100 acres in Warren County.
12 Dec 1806: John Franklin Senior sold a young male slave to John Franklin Junior for £40.
1807: John Franklin of Warren County sold land on Drake's Creek to Archibald Martin. 
1 Sep 1808: Margaret Dawson Franklin was mentioned in the will of father Martin Dawson. It was probated 16 Mar 1812. 
1810 Census, Barren County, KY: John Franklin Senior was shown with 1 male 16-26, 1 over 45; 1 female 10-16, 1 over 45; 8 slaves. He was listed next to [son-in-law] George W. Fletcher and John Franklin Junior. [p. 32] There was also a second John Franklin in Warren County with 1 male and 1 female over 45. [p. 257] Who was this second John? Or were John and Margaret enumerated twice?
1820: John Franklin Senior appeared on the Barren County Tax List.
1820 Census, Barren County, KY: John was enumerated with 1 male under 10, 1 over 45; 1 female under 10, 1 10-16, 1 16-26, 1 26-45; 1 person engaged in agriculture. [p. 11]
9 Aug 1822: John Franklin's 100 acres were mentioned as the adjoining property in a deed from Archibald Martin to Solomon Sharpe in Warren County.
4 Mar 1823: John Franklin died in Warren County, KY.
1834: Margaret Dawson Franklin was reported to have died 11 years after husband John.
John and Margaret's grandson Franklin Gorin described his grandparents.
It was said that Margaret Dawson was ... of English and Irish descent. She was beautiful in person and demeanor, the meekest woman ever beheld by the writer; yet she was cheerful and humble in a degree far beyond women in her circumstances generally are. She was kind and benevolent, and withal, a remarkable woman of sense and high virtues. She was never known to speak evil of her neighbors. She spoke but little of the trifles of the day. For all, she had a pleasant smile and a kind word.
Her husband, John Franklin, was like her. He was a man of retiring habits, and never held an office - never sought one, but avoided any and all distinction of the kind. He lived quietly and somewhat in retirement though fond of his guns and hunting, and his hounds and the chase. He was fond of his friends, neighbors and acquaintances. Like all his neighbors, he was generous and hospitable, indeed, the want of hospitality in those days was the exception.
He was always pleasant and agreeable. He was independent in his principles and a firm supporter of his government; he was independent though not wealthy in the world's goods. He had not a great many slaves, but enough for a comfortable support, but not enough to make him arrogant or proud or a drone [sic] on society; on the contrary, he was industrious, frugal and economical. 
As can be seen, the majority of the material on John Franklin was obtained from Carol Sikes, who wrote "The Life of John Franklin, Sr. of Amherst County, Virginia" on Franklin Family Researchers United, Vol. 35, p. 5-14. The FFRU site contains several articles on this line with addresses for their contributors. One of the articles is a "General Index to Real Estate Conveyances, Barren County, Kentucky", which includes deed abstracts [grantors only] for the family through 1862. I've chosen not to include any of these abstracted deeds for John's sons in the notes below, but they can be obtained at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ffru/Docs/FFRU_back/vol02.pdf; the home page for Franklin Family Researchers United is http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ffru/. Carol Sikes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children of John and Margaret Dawson Franklin:
1787: James appeared on the Tax List in Fayette County, KY. [Carol Sikes]
He conveyed a female slave to Thomas and Nancy Stovall in a deed of gift recorded in 1807. James owned land on the south fork of Beaver Creek, but also owned lots in Glasgow at various times.
1810 Census, Barren County, KY: Jas Franklin was listed with 1 male under 10, 1 10-16, 1 16-26, 1 over 45; 1 female 16-26; 5 slaves. [p. 63]
1818 Warren County Tax List: James Franklin was listed with 225 acres. 
1820 Census, Warren County, KY: The household contained 1 male 10-16, 1 16-26, 1 over 45; 1 female under 10, 2 26-45; 1 person engaged in agriculture; 4 slaves. They were listed next to Martin Franklin and William T. Diol, who was married to the widow of [brother] Joel Franklin. [p. 52/477] Diol was a variant spelling of Doyle.
6 Aug 1787: The bondsman for the marriage of Milly and Jacob in Amherst County was [uncle] Samuel Franklin, who gave oath that "Milley is above the age of 18 years and to the best of his knowledge exceeds 21 years". The witnesses were W. Loving and John Taliaferro. According to Carol Sikes, W. Cabell, and Henry Franklin were also involved. [Sweeny, Marriage Bonds and Other Records of Amherst County, Virginia 1763-1800; Carol Sikes, from Amherst County, Virginia Marriage Bonds, p. 27]
1810 Census, Amherst County, VA: Jacob Scott was shown with 2 males under 10, 2 16-26, 1 over 45; 2 females under 10, 2 10-16, 2 16-26, 1 over 45; 1 slave. [p. 285]
John and Elizabeth Gorin settled in Glasgow, KY, where they were the parents of the first white child [Franklin Gorin] born in the county on 3 May 1798.
John Gorin served in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, the latter in the Kentucky Militia.
1810 Census, Glasgow, Barren County, KY: John Gorin was listed with 3 males under 10, 1 10-16, 3 16-26, 1 26-45; 3 females under 10, 1 26-45; 2 slaves. [p. 19B]
Betsey Gorin was "rec'd by letter" into Mount Tabor Baptist Church in May 1801. 
John and Elizabeth are buried in Glasgow Municipal Cemetery.
The marriage of John and Polly was performed by Carter Tarrant, the minister of Mount Tabor Baptist Church.
John also owned land on the south fork of Beaver Creek.
On Mar 1800 John Franklin was listed as an Ensign in the 45th Regiment (Barren County) of the Cornstalk Militia, with no designation of Senior or Junior. On 30 Mar 1801 John Franklin Junior was listed as a Lieutenant in the same regiment. 
May 1810. Mount Tabor Baptist Church "rec'd Polly Franklin by experience". "John Frankling" was received in July 1810.
1810 Census, Barren County, KY: John Franklin Junior was listed with 1 male 26-45; 3 females under 10, 1 16-26, next to John Franklin Senior and [brother-in-law] George W. Fletcher. [p. 32]
John Franklin Junior appeared on the 1820 Barren County Tax List. [Carol Sikes]
1820 Census, Barren County, KY: John Franklin was enumerated with 2 males under 10, 1 26-45; 2 females under 10, 1 10-16, 1 26-45; 2 persons in agriculture. [p. 11]
22 Nov 1850 Census, DeKalb County, AL (District 24): John Franklin age 80, born VA, no occupation; Mary 66, born KY; farmer Joseph Asberry 17, born AL. [p. 391A]
23 Jul 1860 Census, DeKalb County, AL (Lebanon P.O.): Baptist minister John N. Franklin 36, , born AL, with real property valued at $3,000; Martha 30, born AL; Nancy 14; Frances 12; Anthony C. 11; Jane 9; Thomas 7; Lucinda C. 3; Martha L. age 1; John Franklin 90, born VA. [p. 180]
1810 Census, Barren County, KY: [p. 35] The George W. Fletcher household consisted of 1 male under 10, 1 10-16, 1 26-45; 1 female under 10, 1 10-16, 1 26-45. [p. 32] They were listed between John Franklin Senior and John Franklin Junior.
Sarah Franklin Fletcher may have died in Missouri.
1810 Census, Warren County, KY: 4 males under 10, 1 10-16, 1 16-26, 1 26-45; 2 females under 10, 1 10-16, 2 16-26, 1 26-45. [p. 245]
Molly reportedly died in Nashville, TN.
6 Mar 1802: Martin Franklin was serving as an Ensign in the 4th Regiment (Barren County) of the Cornstalk Militia. [G. Glenn Clift]
1818 Warren County Tax List: Martin Franklin was listed with 100 acres.
1820 Census, Warren County, KY: The household of Martin Franklin was enumerated with 3 males under 10, 1 16-26; 1 female 16-26, and 1 over 45. They were listed next to James Franklin. [p. 52/477] Was this another, younger Martin Franklin? He was next to James F. Franklin and "William T. Diol", husband of Polly Greer Franklin Doyle.
3 May 1811: An inventory of the James Waggoner estate was submitted by John Allen, Simeon Lewis, and Elisha Allen. [Rick Waggener]
19 Sep 1850 Census, Barren County, KY (2nd Division): John McDaniel 74, born VA, no occupation; Margaret 71, born VA. [p. 477]
June 1860 Census, Metcalfe County, KY (East Fork P.O.): Farmer Jennings McDaniel 56, with real and personal property valued at $1,700 and $700; Sarah E. 21; farmer Davis B. 18; Margaret M. 16; James W. 11; Margaret McDaniel 81, born VA. All but Margaret were born in KY. [p. 63]
Polly was the daughter of Aquilla Greer.
1816 Warren County Tax List: Joel Franklin was listed as the owner of 100 acres on the Barren Watercourse.
Joel Franklin died in late 1817 or early 1818. Widow Polly had married William T. Doyle by February 1819. Transcriptions of all probate documents by Mary Moltenberry Rabold & Elizabeth Moltenberry Price can be found at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ffru/Docs/FFRU_back/vol02.pdf.
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On 28 Apr 2017 at 22:17 GMT Bill Franklin wrote: