Debby (Read) Franklin
Privacy Level: Open (White)

Deborah (Read) Franklin (1708 - 1774)

Deborah (Debby) Franklin formerly Read aka Rogers
Born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Daughter of and
Wife of — married 5 Aug 1725 in Christ Church, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamap
Wife of — married 1 Sep 1730 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, British Colonial Americamap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 66 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamap
Problems/Questions Profile manager: Caitlin Edwards private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 3 Jul 2008
This page has been accessed 24,177 times.


Notables Project
Debby (Read) Franklin is Notable.
Flag of England
Debby (Read) Franklin migrated from England to Colonial America.
Flag of Colonial America

Deborah Read was born about 1707 to John Read and Sarah White, the second of seven children.[1]

Deborah first met Benjamin Franklin in 1723 at age 15; he was 17 and had just arrived in Philadelphia. He soon began boarding at the Read home, and they grew close and discussed marriage. When Franklin left the following year to set up his own printing house and met complications, Deborah's mother sought a different suitor for her daughter.[1][2]

Deborah married John Rogers in 1725, and within weeks learned he already had a family in England. She left Rogers and returned to her mother's home. By 1728, Franklin returned to Philadelphia with a successful printing house. The two reunited and were joined in common-law marriage on September 1, 1730.[2]

They had two children together, Francis Folger Franklin, and Sarah Franklin Bache.[1] They also raised William Franklin together, Franklin's illegitimate son.[2]

She operated a stationery shop out of the front of Ben's printing house.[2]

Her fear of ocean voyages prevented her from traveling with Ben, so she spent many years alone in Philadelphia while Ben was in Europe.[2] They were apart while Ben traveled in England from 1757 to 1762, and left again around 1765. On December 19, 1774, while Ben was still away in England, she died unexpectedly of a stroke. They had spent only two of the last seventeen years of Deborah's life together. She is buried with Benjamin Franklin at Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia.[2][3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Deborah Read Franklin", History of American Women.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Stephen Coss. "What Led Benjamin Franklin to Live Estranged From His Wife for Nearly Two Decades?" Smithsonian Magazine.
  3. Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 08 June 2019), memorial page for Deborah Read Franklin (1708–19 Dec 1774), Find A Grave: Memorial #9405519, citing Christ Church Burial Ground, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Frank W Nichols (contributor 46614579) .


WikiTree profile Read-725 created through the import of HERMANSON_RICHARDSON.ged on Sep 13, 2011 by John Hermanson. See the [

Is Debby your ancestor? Please don't go away!
 star icon Login to collaborate or comment, or
 star icon contact private message the profile manager, or
 star icon ask our community of genealogists a question.
Sponsored Search by

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Debby by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Debby:

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

Comments: 1

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
What is the source for the birth date of 14 Feb 1708?
posted by Brian Taussig