William Franklin

William Franklin (1731 - 1813)

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William Franklin
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamap
Ancestors ancestors
Son of and [mother unknown]
Brother of [half] and [half]
Husband of — married in St George's Hanover Square, Middlesex, Englandmap
Husband of — married in Marylebone, London, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in London, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 3 Jul 2008
This page has been accessed 7,912 times.

Categories: Franklin Name Study.


William Franklin (1731 - 1813) The illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin. His mother's name was never revealed. Some suggested that Deborah may have been his mother but that Ben took all the blame to protect her honor because they were not yet married.

Young William traveled with his father, attending school in England. On September 4, 1762, he married Elizabeth Downes in London.[1] They had one son, William Temple Franklin. Upon returning to America, William became Royal Governor of New Jersey. When the Revolution began, William remained loyal to England.

With Ben in America and William in England, father and son found themselves on opposite sides of battle during the American Revolution. This forever strained their relationship. Ben's Last Will and Testament left nearly none of his wealth to William, claiming that if William's England had won the war, Ben would have never had any wealth to leave.

1776 New Jersey militia, acting on resolution of Congress, deprives William Franklin of official functions as royal governor of New Jersey in January; confined to his home in Perth Amboy, he is arrested in June and sent under guard to Connecticut to be imprisoned. Franklin, in Congress, declines to intercede for his son.

William married Mary D'Evelin, (who died 03 Aug 1811)[1] on 14 Aug 1788 in Marylebone, London, England.[2]

He died in London on 16 Nov 1813.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dobson, David. American Vital Records from the Gentleman's Magazine 1731-1868. Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland. 1987. p104.
  2. "England Marriages, 1538–1973 ," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V52H-M1S : 10 February 2018), William Franklin and Mary D'Evelin, 14 Aug 1788; citing Saint Mary-St Marylebone Road,St Marylebone,London,England, reference , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 942 B4HA V. 51, 942 B4HA V. 52, 942 B4HA V. 54, 942 B4HA V. 55, 942 B4HA V. 56, 942 B4HA V. 57.

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

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William Franklin
William Franklin

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On 27 Dec 2013 at 20:09 GMT Jeanne (Lunn) Aloia wrote:

Please consider the proposed merges on the lower left of this page. If they are duplicates, please approve the merges.

Thanks! Jeanne Lunn Aloia

William is 18 degrees from SJ Baty, 19 degrees from Orville Redenbacher and 11 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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