Josiah Franklin

Josiah E. Franklin (1657 - 1745)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Josiah E. Franklin
Born in Ecton, Northamptonshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Ecton, England, United Kingdommap
Husband of — married in Boston, Essex County, MAmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts Bay, New Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 3 Jul 2008
This page has been accessed 15,168 times.

Categories: Franklin Name Study | Boston, Massachusetts | Granary Burying Ground, Boston, Massachusetts | Ecton, Northamptonshire.



England flag
Josiah Franklin was born in England.


Josiah Franklin was born on December 23, 1657 in Ecton, Northamptonshire, England, the ninth child of Thomas and Jane (White) Franklin. [1][2]


Josiah was first married to Anne Child in 1677, who bore seven children. Elizabeth, Samuel, and Hannah were born in England; Josiah Jr., Ann, Joseph I, and Joseph II, born in Boston. Anne died from childbirth complications in 1689 after giving birth to Joseph II. [1]

Josiah arrived in Boston from Banbury, Oxfordshire in about 1682,[3][4][5] hoping to be able to be able "to exercise their religion with freedom.[2] Josiah learned the trade of dyer in England, but when he arrived in New England, there was so little need for dyers that he gave it up[2] and subsequently he made his living as a candle and soap maker, supporting his family on a very modest income.[2][6]

Josiah married, second, Abiah Folger (daughter of Peter Folger) [3] in November of 1689. Josiah and Abiah were the parents of ten children; four daughters and six sons, one of whom was Benjamin Franklin. [3] Because he made a very modest income, Josiah could not afford to send his sons to school for more than two years. So, he commanded his sons to learn a skill or trade. This insistence is what prompted young Benjamin Franklin to become an apprentice printer to his older brother,[1] and quite possibly helped foster his love for knowledge and learning.

Josiah, the man

"He had an excellent constitution, was of a middle stature, well set, and very strong." He drew, played the violin and sang with an agreeable voice. He had some mechanical knowledge, and could work with the tools of other trades. He had "sound understanding" and "solid judgement." He was frequently visited by leading men of public affairs and of the church, and by private individuals, all "who showed a great respect for his judgment and advice."[2]

Death and Burial

Josiah Franklin[3] died on January 16, 1745[1] at age 87[3] and was buried with his wife in Granary Burying Ground, Boston, Massachusetts.

His monument placard reads simply Born: 1655 Died:1744 Aged: 89[7]


Josiah Franklin and Abiah his wife lie here interred. They lived lovingly together in wedlock fifty-five years. Without any estate, or any gainful employment, by constant labor and industry, with God's blessing, they maintained a large family comfortably, and brought up thirteen children and seven grandchildren reputably. From this instance reader, be encouraged to diligence in thy calling and distrust not Providence. He was a pious and prudent man; she, a discreet and virtuous woman. Their youngest son, in filial regard to their memory places this stone.[8]

Boston Marriages

1689: Josiah Franklin & Abiah Foulger were married by the Rev. Samuel Willard Nov. 25. (p.186)

Boston Births/Baptisms

1685: Josiah of Josiah & Ann Franklin born Aug. 23. (p. 165)
1686: Ann of Josiah & Anne Franklin born Jan. 5. (p. 169)
1687: Joseph of Josiah & Ann Franklin born Jan. 5. (p. 174)
1689: Joseph of Josiah & Anne Franklin born June 30. (p. 184)
1690: John of Josiah & Abia Franklin born Dec. 7. (p. 189)
1692: Peter of Josiah and Abia Franklin born Nov. 22. (p. 201)
1694: Mary of Josias and Abiah Franklin born Sept. 26. (p. 214)
1696: James of Josiah and Abiah Franklin born Feb. 4. (p. 226)
1699: Sara of Josiah and Abiah Frankling born July 9. (p. 247)[9]
1701: Ebenezer son of Josiah Frankling and Abiah his wife, born Sept. 20, 1701. (p. 7)
1703: Thomas son of Josiah Frankling and Abia his wife born December 7, 1703. (p. 21)
1706: Benjamen son of Josiah Frankling and Abiah his wife born January 6, 1706. (p. 46)
1708: Lydia daughter of Josiah Frankling and Abiah his wife born August 8, 1708. (p. 55)
1712: Jane daughter of Josiah Franklin and Abiah his wife born March 27, 171. (p. 82)[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Josiah Franklin on Wikipedia
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Franklin, Benjamin. The Life of Benjamin Franklin; containing the Autobiography, with Notes and a Continuation. Continuation by Jaren Sparks. Boston: Tappan and Dennet, 1844. [1]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Wright, E. (1997). Franklin of Philadelphia, (8th ed, pp.14-15). Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Print.
  4. Bigelow, J. (1868). Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: Edited from his manuscript, with notes and an introduction. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. p82.
  5. The 1844, Sparks version of the autobiography says came in 1685.
  6. Benjamin Franklin, A&E Network, 2009. Accessed June 6, 2016 at
  7. Cemetery Monument.
  8. Memorial Monument in Granary Burying Ground, Boston, MA as pictured on
  9. Appleton, William S. City Document 130. Boston Births, Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths 1630-1699, Registry Dept. City of Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, Rockwell & Churchill Printers, 1883
  10. City Document 43. A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston containing Boston Births From AD 1700 to AD 1800, Rockwell and Churchill Printers, Boston, Massachusetts, 1894

See also:

  • Roberts, Oliver Ayer. History of the Military Company of the Massachusetts, Now Called the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, Volume 1. p426.

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored by MyHeritage

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

No known carriers of Josiah's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 3
Franklin Obelisk placard
Franklin Obelisk placard

Franklin Obelisk
Franklin Obelisk

Will of Josiah Franklin
Will of Josiah Franklin


On 6 Apr 2017 at 03:22 GMT Terry Phillips wrote:

Franklin-8616 and Franklin-2 appear to represent the same person because: Same Person.

On 21 Jul 2016 at 17:44 GMT Rocky Franklin wrote:

Josiah Franklin died 1-16-1745 in Boston, Mass

On 9 Jun 2016 at 12:54 GMT Chris Hoyt wrote:

Should this child be removed from the parents?

DartmouthVR list Abel as son of James Franklin. Dartmouth Births FRANKLIN, Abel, s. James, May 18, 1690. (p. 89)<ref>Vital Records of Dartmouth Massachusetts to the Year 1850, NEGHS, Boston, Massachusetts, 1929</ref>

On 7 Jun 2016 at 00:05 GMT Summer (Binkley) Orman wrote:

Interesting source on early life of Benjamin, may include some things for Josiah.

On 2 Mar 2015 at 13:08 GMT Dave Patrick wrote:

Franklin-5400 and Franklin-2 appear to represent the same person because: It's appears these are the same person. Please merge the profiles so that we can work towards the wikitree goal of one single family tree.

On 15 Jan 2015 at 13:50 GMT Guy Constantineau wrote:

Where are the sources for such an important profile ??

On 27 Dec 2013 at 19:58 GMT Jeanne (Lunn) Aloia wrote:

Ruth, check out this profile:

On 28 Apr 2013 at 03:50 GMT x Farrar wrote:

What documentation is there that Josiah Franklin is the father of John and Benjamin Franklin ? Thanks, Ruth

Josiah is 17 degrees from SJ Baty, 18 degrees from Orville Redenbacher and 13 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

F  >  Franklin  >  Josiah E. Franklin