Thomas Franklin
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Thomas Franklin (bef. 1770 - 1828)

Thomas Franklin
Born before in Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Covington County, Alabama, United States of Americamap
Profile last modified | Created 16 Oct 2013
This page has been accessed 5,190 times.
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Thomas Franklin migrated from England to America.
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Ihave been researching our Franklin line for 37 years. We had been at a brick wall for nearly 20 years with ancestor Willson Franklin when Dad did a Y DNA test at Family Tree DNA and viola! Our match data took the two of us to the courthouse in Pulaski County, GA where we found documentation to tie our Nancy Franklin of Covington County, AL to Thomas Franklin of Covington County, who had died prior to the census, but left 'deed gifts' to his grandchildren in north Alabama. So over the wall we went! YAY! Now we are at another brickwall. We are trying to learn where in England Thomas was born?? The 1870 census for his son Moses Franklin in MS states Moses mother was born in the US, but his father was of foreign birth. Information from Charles Pinkney Franklin, Thomas' grandson through son Josiah, states specifically his grandfather was born in England.

Do you have any additional information? Any clues? Please post a comment here or send me a private message. I'd really appreciate it. Thank you! For additional information on our Franklin FY02 group's DNA research you can view Alex Williamson's Big Y Tree. For project information or to test into our project see Family Tree DNA. We are looking for more participants!

Born in England, sometime prior to 1770. Thomas Franklin is first found in Georgia Military Affairs, volume 1 in a "List of the Independent volunteer mounted Infantry Company Attached to the 43 Regiment Georgia Militia under Captain Benjamin Cleveland. This volume also includes "A Return of the persons who were exempted from malitia duty, under the law Authorising the enlistment of substitutes", indicating the persons exempted as Benjamin Green, John Green and Phillip Calhoon all with Thomas Franklin listed as the name of the substitute, "as per Certificate signed William Ross, Captain in first Regiment, State Troops, 20 Mar 1788". This Exempted/Substitutes list further states it is "A Return of the officer on the S.B. of Burke County Malitia, 1788. 2d Batallion Burke County, 1788". Thomas also appears in 1790 on a Governor's Commissions list for the Militia in Burke County, GA.

<-- 43 Reg. GA Militia | Militia Substitutes -->

We further find him, based on this same military service, receiving a military bounty warrant of 640 acres on 13 Dec 1794 upon discharge from service during the Oconee Wars in the First Regiment of State Troops in a Company commanded by Capt. William Ross in the Oconee War. This "State Troops Bounty Warrant" is marked "Order taken 17 Apr 1809 in favor of Maj. Wm. Devereux". This is the same day that Thomas also sold his original 1807 land lottery lot to James Thomas in a deed witnessed by Willson Bass!

<--Bounty | back-->

Thomas next appears on the 1796 tax list in Raiford's District, Jefferson County, GA.[1][2]

In the 15 Jul 1797 issue of the Augusta Chronicle we find mention of Thomas--

Sheriff's Sales
Will Be Sold
100 acres adjoining lands of Thomas Whitaker and Eli Cox, dec. both tracts taken as the property of John Connell at the instance of Thomas Frankland.

Next he is found on the tax lists of Montgomery County in 1797 and 1798. At that time he was being taxed on 130 acres of land (mostly pine). A plat record was also located in the oldest records (1700s-1880) of Montgomery County, GA at the courthouse there indicating ownership of 200 acres on Randall's Creek. This 200 acres was from his Georgia Headright Warrant to survey certificate, dated Nov 1797 and surveyed 26 Jan 1798.

<--Headright | back-->

This same headright land on Randall's creek is mentioned as having unpaid taxes in the 25 Aug 1812 issue of the Savannah Republican and the 11 Sep 1812 issue of the Augusta Chronicle. By this time the family is living in Pulaski County, GA so it is presumed he abandoned the land in Montgomery county at some point.

The last mention of Thomas in records of Montgomery County, GA is for having served as a juror in October 1804.

By 1805 we find him in Washington County, Georgia as evidenced by his living there and qualifying to draw in the 1805 land lottery of GA where he had two draws, neither winners. On 16 Sep 1807 he is a fortunate drawer of lot #283 in district 24 and lot #405 in district 8, both located in then Wilkinson County, GA, where he is listed as living upon registering for the draw in 1806. Lot 283, 202 1/2 acres in district 24 Wilkinson County, GA was granted to him on 31 Aug 1808. He sold this lot on 17 Apr 1809, purchasing on 27 Nov 1809, lot #256, 202 1/2 acres designated as being the lot originally won in the lottery draw by Zachary Fryar, and as located in then Pulaski County, GA. Both lot #283 and #256 are located in the Ocmulgee WMA in present day Bleckley County, GA in an area situated between Stone Shell Creek and Stone Shell Creek south which was known as Beaver Dam Creek during the time Thomas lived there.

Deed selling lot to James T. Thomas; wit-McGriffs & Bass

Deed purchasing lot from Zack Fryar; wit-Fryar & Gordan

On 10 Jun 1809 we find that Willson Bass is also living in Pulaski County, GA, as they both appear on a list of persons selected to serve as pettit jurors by an Act of the general assembly.

Thomas also appears in the records of Pulaski County, GA as having been selected for the petit juror list on 04 Jun 1810, and 23 Jul 1810.

On 20 Feb 1811 in Pulaski County, GA he entered and registered his brand with the county, described as: "a cross and under half moon in the left ear & a single split in the right". [3] Recent information has come to light that in both England and the early American colonies this under half moon or crescent was utilized in heraldry and other ways, as an indicator of birth order, with the crescent being symbolic of the second son born in a family, so this choice of brand could be indicative of Thomas' order of birth in his own family.[4]
John K. Derden in his history of the Bark Camp Baptist Church, which was established in 1788 in Burke County, GA, talks about the two main ways people had of making a living in this area of Georgia in the late 1700s. The first being in felling timber and the second "way of making a living was raising livestock. In this case, cattle, hogs, and some sheep were raised. Typically they were allowed to graze on an open-range basis. Branding and ear marking were used to differentiate owners. Private and commercial cowpens dotted the region and were used for milking, marking and branding, calves, selling, and collecting. Farming in the region originally involved growing corn, sweet potatoes, wheat, and some cotton". Thus we may assume that Thomas was likely one, among many, raising livestock in the wilds of Georgia.[5][6]

Pulaski County, GA records again list him as having been selected for the petit juror list on 30 Oct 1811, 27 Apr 1812 and 01 Jun 1812.

Thomas appears in the Pulaski County, Georgia estate of William A. Harper who died sometime prior to 1812 as purchasing a wagon and cart for $21.50, and a churn and trumpery (an attractive item of little value or use) for $2.50 on 17 Apr 1812.[7]

He was granted his second lottery land claim from the 1807 draw on 30 Sep 1813 (lot #405, district 8, 202 1/2 acres Wilkinson County, GA). This lot sits in present day Telfair County, GA and so far I have been unable to determine what happened to this lot after this time.

On 19 Oct 1814 in the Georgia Journal, we find the following notice:

"Lost, on the 11th day of September 1814, on the road leading from the Beverdam Creek to Standley's Mills on Lime Stone Creek, Pulaski county,
A Red Moroco Pocket Book, with forty dollars in bank bills, and one Note of hand on said Stanley for thirteen hundred collars, due the 20th of June 1813; also three notes on Shadrick Adkerson, with John Cocks security, twenty five dollars each, due the first day of January 1812; also one note of David Dewhart for sixty five dollars, with a small credit, due the 13th of December 1811; two notes on Thomas Franklin for twenty-one dollars each, due the 20th of November 1812, and some small notes and valuable receipts not recollected. Any person finding the Pocket Book and delivering it to the owner or giving him information so that he can get it, shall be entitled to the forty dollars in the Pocket Book.

Pat McGriff

He again appears on the Pulaski County, GA records as being selected for the petit juror list in April and October of 1814. He is next found on the 1816 tax list of Pulaski County. His final appearance in the records of Georgia occurs in Oct 1816 when he appears in the Superior Court Minutes in a case indexed as Daniel Rhodes, Adm. vs. Willson Bass and Thomas Franklin. This Willson Bass also leaves GA at some point and ends up in Covington County, AL, as does Thomas. Indeed I suspect that Thomas & Nancy Franklin's son Willson Franklin is named for this same Willson Bass. It is possible that this case could indicate that Nancy, Thomas' wife was a sister of Willson Bass' wife, however, I was unable to locate the actual case packet at the courthouse in Pulaski County when I was there, only the entry in the record book.

Thomas' home in Covington County, AL is listed by the Alabama legislature as being established on 22 Dec 1826 as the voting location in the Beat 2 precinct of Covington County, AL. The record shows his home was utilized for voting until 22 Jan 1829, at which time voting moved to the home of William Padgett. This is likely a good clue about when the death of Thomas occurred, likely narrowing it down to late 1828.

<--established | abolished-->

On 18 Jan 1828 Thomas Franklin of Covington County, Alabama deeded gifts of cattle to the children of his sons Josiah & Moses Franklin of Greene County, Alabama. While the records of Covington County, AL were lost in a courthouse fire, those of Greene County are intact thus allowing us to locate this record in that county. These two documents are unique in that they give full names for each of Thomas' grandchildren by the aforementioned two sons.

<--p127 p128-->

As Thomas' wife Nancy Franklin appears on the 1830 census of Covington County, AL alone, it is presumed that Thomas died there sometime after writing the above gift deeds and prior to the 1830 census enumeration.

A large number of his male Franklin descendants have Y DNA tested in the Franklin project at FTDNA and many more descendants, male and female have participated by doing atDNA testing at 23andMe and we are always excited to have more cousins join us in atDNA testing as new data has the potential to help us unravel more of our Franklin ancestry! So if you haven't tested, please consider doing so using one of the above test site links or contact me if you'd like more information on testing! Thank you.


  1. Jefferson County Tax Digest 1796. Page 25, entry line 33. Book located at courthouse in Louisville, Georgia. Image/copy taken on 22 May 2014.
  2. Augusta Genealogical Society Inc . Ancestoring. 1982. Volume V (5). p.55.
  3. Pulaski County, Georgia "Brands & Marks" Book, Pulaski County, Georgia Courthouse, Hawkinsville, Georgia
  4. Heraldic Dictionary, Cadency Marks
  5. Bark Camp Church by John K. Derden.
  6. Bark Camp Church history at
  7. Pulaski County, Georgia Estates. William A. Harper.
  • "Plat Book of Benton County, Arkansas", Published in 1903 by Imperial Publishing Co., Philadelphia, PA. (attached)
  • Jefferson County, Georgia and Some Surrounding Areas Land Records Volume One by Daniel Nathan Crumpton. (See attached copy)
  • Montgomery County, GA Tax List 1797/1798 (see attached copy)
  • 1805 GA Land Lottery Persons Entitled to Draw, Paul K. Graham, 2005.
  • Records of Washington County, GA by Marie DeLamar & Elizabeth Rothstein, 1985.
  • Jefferson County, Georgia and Some Surrounding Areas Land Records Volume One Mid 1700s-Mid 1800s by Daniel Nathan Crumpton. p110. (attached)
  • Early History of Covington County, Alabama 1821-1871 by Wyley D. Ward, p. 36.
  • The Second or 1807 Land Lottery of Georgia by Rev. Silas E. Lucas Jr., GA Land lottery registration lists Thomas Franklin as a resident of Wilkinson County, GA.
  • Early Court Records of Pulaski County, Georgia 1809-1825 by Lee G. Barrow.
  • Pulaski County, Georgia Deed Books A, B, C & D, 07 NOV 1807 to 30 MAY 1816 by Rudy Dennis. Same book has a reference as follows:
On 21 JUL 1810 James T. Thomas of Pulsaki County sold Elijah Blackshear and Joseph Blackshear of Washington County 101/5 acres of land (LL#283) in the 24th district of Wilkinson County, now Pulaski County, for $860. The land was originally granted to Thomas Franklin on 31 AUG 1808. Witnesses: John C. Bush, D. Blackshear, JP. Attest: Thomas Johnson for Richard H. Thomas, Clerk.
  • Georgia Tax Digests, PL/fh 1810 006.
  • Georgia Tax Digests, PL/ke 16 007.
  • Probate Records, Greene County, Alabama.
  • 1807 Land Lottery Grant certificates, Wilkinson County, GA, districts 8 & 24. (attached).
  • Montgomery County, Georgia Field Book, Montgomery County courthouse.
  • Greene County, Alabama Deeds. (attached)
  • "Montgomery County, Georgia A Source Book of Genealogy and History" by James E Dorsey & John K. Derden. Published - 1983, pp188-189. (attached)
  • 1830 US Federal Census - Covington County, Alabama
  • Beaver Dam Creek is the unnamed Creek on the district 24 map that lot 283 is sitting closest to. The other creek to the north is Shellstone Creek and that is the one found on the map online. Lot #283 situated between Shellstone Creek and Beaver Dam Creek in district 24, present day Bleckley County, GA.
  • State of Georgia:
This indenture made this seventeenth day of April in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred & nine in the thirty third year of the Independence of the United States of America Thomas Franklin of the County of Pulaski & Nancy his wife of the one part and James T. Thomas of the County and State aforesaid of the other part. Witnessseth that the said Thomas Franklin and his wife for and in consideration of the sum of Twelve hundred dollars to them in hand paid at and before the sealing and delivering of these presents the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, hath bargained, sold and delivered, Conveyed and Conferred and by these presents do grant bargain, sell and Convey and confer unto the said James T. Thomas his heirs and assigns all that tract, lot or parcel of land situate lying and being in the County aforesaid containing two hundred two and a half acres on the Beaver Dam Creek known & distinguished by number 283 in the twenty fourth district of Wilkinson, now Pulaski, drawn by and granted to the said Thomas Franklin on the 31st of August 1808. To have and to hold the said tract or lot of land with all and singular the rights members and appurtenances thereof whatsoever to the said James T. Thomas as being belonging or in any wise appertaining, with the remainder and remainders revertion? and reversing? rents? ???? and property thereof to the only proper use benefit and behoof of him the said James T. Thomas his heirs, Executors, administrators and assigns in the simple and the said Thomas Franklin and Nancy his wife for themselves their heirs, Executors and administrators, the said bargained tract or lot of land unto the said James T. Thomas his heirs Executors, administrators, and assigns against the said Thomas Franklin & his wife Nancy and their heirs, Executors, Administrators, and all any other person or persons shall & will warrant & forever defend by virtue of these present. In witness whereof the said Thomas Franklin & Nancy his wife hath hereunto left their hands & affixed their seals this day and year first above mentioned.
Signed, sealed & delivered in the presents of
Thomas McGriff
Elizabeth McGriff
Wilson Bass (his mark)
Signed by Thomas Franklin
and Nancy Franklin (her mark)
  • State of Georgia
Pulaski County
This indenture made the twenty seventh day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nine and the Independence of America thirty three-
Between Zachariah L Fryer of the County of Burke in the said state of the one part & Thomas Franklin of the County of Pulaski in the state aforesaid of the other part. Witnesseth that the said Zak L Fryer for and in consideration of the sum of five hundred Dollars to him in hand well and truly paid by the said Thomas Franklin at and before the sending and delivering of these presents. The receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged. Hate granted bargained and sold, released and confirmed and by these presents doth grant, bargain, sell release and confirm unto the said Thomas Franklin his heirs and assigns all that tract or parcel of land containing two hundred two and a half acres situate, lying and being in the twenty fourth district Wilkerson county, now Pulaski in the said state which said tracts of lots of the lands is known and distinguished in the plan of said districts by the number two hundred and fifty six having such shape, form and marks as appears by a plat of the same.
Thereunto annexed to have and to hold the said tract or lots of land together with all and singular the rights members and appurtenances thereof whatsoever unto the said Thomas Franklin his heirs and assigns to his and their own proper use, benefit and behoof Forever in ?ensimple Thomas Franklin his heirs and assigns forever and the said Zack L. Fryes for himself his heirs & and assigns forever and the said Zak L. Fryes for himself his heirs and assigns a tract of land and premises aforesaid and every part thereof unto the said Thomas Franklin his heirs and assigns against him. The said Zak L Fryes his heirs and all and every other person and persons whatsoever shall and will warrant and forever defend byb these presence---
In Witness whereof the said Zacharaiah L. Freyes hate hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year above written.
Sealed & delivered
In presence of
John Fryes
Alexander G. Gordon, J.P.
Zak Lewis Fryes
Entered this fifth day of April 1811
Attest R. H. Thomas, C.L.A.
  • Acts Passed at The Eighth Annual Session of the General Assembly of the State of Alabama Begun and Held in the Town of Tuscaloosa on the third Monday in November, 1826 (published 1827). Located at the Alabama State Archives, Montgomery, AL. (attached)
  • History of Pulaski And Bleckley Counties, Georgia 1808-1956. Volume I Hawkinsville Chapter, DAR. Located at Mobile Public Library Genealogy Room, Mobile, AL. p76 (attached).
  • Author: Marion R. Hemperley Title; Military Certificates of Georgia, 1776-1800. (On File in the Suveyor General Department). p86.
  • Georgia Headright certificate (attached)
  • Georgia State Troops, Military Bounty Warrant (attached)
  • North Georgia, 1783-1828 (,_1783-1828) re: end of the Oconee War
  • Jefferson County Tax Digest 1796. Page 25, entry line 33. Book found at courthouse in Louisville, GA. (attached)
  • Georgia Journal, Milledgeville, GA. 19 Oct 1814, Vol V #32. fp (attached)
  • Commisions from the Governor, 1790, Burke County Militia. Telamon Cuyler Collection at University of Georgia's, Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Athens, GA. ms1170.series1.
  • Georgia Military Affairs, Volume 1, 1775-1784. Georgia State Archives. (attached)
  • Franklin Family Researchers United. Volume 58. Page 3 (attached).
  • History of Pulaski County Georgia. by The Hawkinsville Chapter Daughters of The American Revolution. 1935.
  • Augusta Chronicle. 5 Jul 1797.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Thomas 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: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Thomas:

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What a beautiful profile! Thank you for posting all your primary documents. We can only aspire to create like this for all of our immigrant ancestors!
posted by Cynthia (Billups) B
Hello Lisa, the research you have on Thomas Franklin and his family is amazing. I appreciate not only how dedicated you are in seeking out the information so we might learn, but your unselfishness in sharing it with us at no charge. Thank you!  :)
posted by Howard Bloodsworth

Thomas is 21 degrees from Laurie Giffin, 30 degrees from Toni Morrison and 18 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.