Abe Franklin "Old Abe" was born in 1753. He married Lucille Vaughan daughter of Patrick Vaughan c 1774. They had at least two children, Abraham, Jr (Abe II) . born c1775 and Mahala. Old Abe supposedly joined George Washington's army at Yorktown, VA in 1776 and was with him until 1781. We do know, from documentation, that he served in the Virginia State Militia during this timeframe. We find Abraham appearing on the Henry Co., VA tax list for 1779  Lucille died either in VA or after Abe moved to Richland, Burke County, NC c1781 with Abe II, Mahala and possibly Lucille. He moved to Scott County, VA c 1815 & settled on a 1200 acre tract on Copper Creek just outside Estilleville (present day Gate City) with his son Abe and daughter-in-law Sarah "Sally" Spears
There is no formal documentation of Old Abe or Abe II. Dan Mohn's history of our Franklin's starts with Abe II, his wife Sarah "Sally" Spears & 4 of their kids, Abel (1797), Bird (1806), Shadrach (1811) & Mahala (c 1811). My birth & death dates for old Abe & birth date for Abe, his son, are based on family lore dictated by his 2g grandson Frederick Franklin to his son Frederick C. Franklin in the late 1930's (with edits by Jack R. Templeton based on Scott County, VA tax & census records), and Bible records of Johnson County, KY descendants of Abe III showing birth & death dates of Old Abe & his descendants.
The "Franklin History" is somewhat confusing. It is difficult to determine when Frederick--who was in his 80's when he dictated family history to his son--is talking about Old Abe, Abe II or Abe III. My edits were as follows:
(1) He says Old Abe " then [>1781] went to Richland, Virginia where he met his first wife, her name was Spears They moved to Estesville [sic], Virginia on a farm or tract of land which had 1200 acres on a Creek, at that time called Copper Creek. His wife didn't live long, they had no children. He soon married Lucile[sic] Vaughan daughter of Patrick Vaughan. They had seven children."
-Since Abe II was supposedly born c1771, Old Abe's first marriage probably occurred c 1770 in tidewater VA-- not in Russell (present day Scott) County, VA
-Since we know (1) from subsequent census records that Abe II's 1st 3 documented children Abe III (1797), Bird (1806) & Shadrach (1811) were born in NC, & (2) typical migration routes were from east to west;i.e., from higher cost lands to lower cost lands, it seems unlikely that Old Abe would have migrated from tidewater VA to Richland, Tazewell County, VA & then moved back east to NC. I opined that the Richland he moved to was Richland, Burke County, NC where his son, Abe II met & married Sarah Spears.
[I am in the process of confirming this record is Old Abe: Greg Faust aka "gsf"]
Slaveowners Name: Abraham Franklin
Name of Slave: JUDY or JUDE & CHINA
Parent(s) of Slave: Unknown
BirthPlace of Slave: Unknown
Age of Slave: one over 16 years, one under 16 years of age
Sex of Slave: Female (probably)
Color of Slave: Unknown
Other Description: None
Other Information: Abraham Franklin listed on tax rolls of Henry County, VA for tax years 1782, 1783, 1784 and 1785
Source Document: Tax Book of Henry County, VA page 12 of 1783 book & page 17 of 1784 book
County: Henry County
Year of Source Document: 1783 & 1784
How to Access
Source Document: interlibrary loan of microfilm reel #194, Henry County, VA tax books for 1782-1830 in collection of Virginia State Library
Per Jack Templeton who cites Don Mohn:
"I have found records for Abraham Franklin of Henry County (tax list, 1779; oaths of allegiance; 1782 claim for expropriation of a horse by the military, etc.). Others taking the oath of allegiance at the same times were Isham Hall, Ambrose Mullins, Jesse Hall, Lanceford/Lansford Hall, and others. The children of Isham Hall and of my Bird, Shadrack, and Abel Franklin families intermarried and followed the same timetables/pathways of migration further west – through Scott, Russell (later Wise) Counties, and into KY."
"Both Abraham Franklin and Isham Hall show up on the tax lists of Franklin County in 1787, indicating they lived in the section that was carved away from Henry.
"This intermingling is the proof that the Abraham Franklin of Henry County is 'our' Abraham 'Old Abe'."
Henry County. A Proud Look Back.1976. First National Bank of Bassett. pp21, 24.
"Many of the men of Henry County had served as members of the Committee of Safety, recruits fo the Continental Army, State Militia and County Militia while a part of Pittsylvania County."
"FRANKLIN, ABRAHAM: in State Service."
1778-1780 Tax Lists of Henry County, Virginia Lela C. Adams. 1973. p20
↑1778-1780 Tax Lists of Henry County, Virginia Lela C. Adams. 1973. p20
A History of Henry County, Virginia by Judity Parks America Hill. p306, 313, 320.
"The General Assembly of Virginia, when The United States was in its infancy, passed an Act to oblige all free male inhabitants of the State above sixteen years of age to give assurance of allegiance to the same. The following is a list of those who took the oath from the original record among the files in the Clerk's Office. ...
County Levy Is Made
To Abraham Franklin for 1 day's guard .....25
Feb. 1782. "Abraham Franklin produced proof that while he was in the State service he had a horse taken by an office in Col. White's Com. of light Dragoons worth 15 pounds in specie."
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Abraham by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:
P.S. In theory, that new "Terminal SNP" only applies to descendants of Gary & Larry's common ancestor (Abraham "Abe III" Franklin) However with our genealogically documented lineage to "Old Abe", in my judgement it's safe for family historians to apply it to all of "Old Abe"s descendants.
Gary & Larry took ftdna's Big Y test which discovered a new Terminal SNP" for all descendants of Abraham "Old Abe" Franklin's descendants. The following SNP "Line of descent" shows how our haplogroup/SNP evolved over the years: R-L21 > DF63 > CTS6919 > A92 > BY654-> BY17928. I recommend that all descendants who can afford it take the SNP BY17928 test since ftdna will not update your haplogroup until they have tested you for your new "Terminal SNP". ALSO, many thanks to Gary & Larry for taking the Big Y test
I am currently working with Jack Templeton as part of the Franklin Surname project at Family Tree DNA to determine the paternal lineage of Abraham. Jack has speculated that it may be James Franklin born 1730 of Rhodes Island, son of James Franklin 1697-1735 a.k.a. James the Printer, brother of the statesman Benjamin Franklin, but thus far no documentary or genetic proof has been found.