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Josiah Franklin

Birthplace: Ecton, Northamptonshire, England (United Kingdom)
Death: January 16, 1745 (88)
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts (Natural Causes)
Place of Burial: Tremont, Boston, Sufolk, MA, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Franklin and Jane Franklin
Husband of Ann Franklin and Abiah Franklin
Father of Elizabeth Douse; Samuel Franklin; Hannah Cole; Josiah Franklin, Jr.; Ann Harris and 12 others
Brother of Mary Bullock Angell; Thomas Franklin; Samuel Franklin; Henry Franklin; John Franklin and 10 others
Half brother of John Franklin

Occupation: Tallow-chandler & soap boiler, Candlemaker/Tallow Chandler/Soapmaker, Tithingman, Printer, a tallow chandler, soaper, and candlemaker.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Josiah Franklin

Josiah Franklin (1657-1745) was the father of Benjamin Franklin.

Josiah was born in the tiny town of Ecton, Northamptonshire, England on December 23, 1656. Josiah was the ninth and the last child of his parents, Thomas Franklin, blacksmith and farmer, and his wife were the death of Jane White Franklin. Thomas Franklin remarried and had other children. Josiah was a well-versed Puritan and industrious young man who worked as a dyer of textiles in Ecton. He married twice and had 17 children, ten boys and seven girls, altogether after moving to the American colonies in 1683. In Boston, he adopted a new trade, becoming a soap and candle maker.

In 1677 Josiah Franklin married his first wife Anne Child in Ecton, England. Over the next few years, the couple had three children: Elizabeth, Samuel, and Hannah. After the family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, the couple had several more children, including Josiah Jr., Ann, Joseph (I), and Joseph (II). The first Joseph died soon after birth, and the next on was named for him. In 1689 Anne died of complications while giving birth to her seventh child in Boston.

In November of 1689, Josiah Franklin married his second wife Abiah Folger in the Old South Church. Abiah of Nantucket, Massachusetts, was the daughter of Peter and Mary Morril Folger. Peter Folger was a schoolmaster and a miller. Abiah went on to bear Josiah ten more children: John, Peter, Mary, James, Sarah, Ebenezer, Thomas, Benjamin, Lydia, and Jane.

Josiah insisted that each of his sons must learn a trade.

He had great dreams of Benjamin becoming a minister, but Josiah could only afford to send his son to school for two years. As young Benjamin loved to read, he apprenticed him to his brother James, who was a printer. Later, Benjamin Franklin borrowed books from his friends and taught himself arithmetic, grammar, and philosophy. Benjamin had a very strong relationship with his father, who had a great impact on Benjamin.

Josiah Franklin died in 1745, age 87.


Feinstein, Stephan, Read About Benjamin Franklin. Enslow elementary, 2006.

Gaustad, Edwin S, Benjamin Franklin. Oxford University Press, 2006.

Lemay, Joseph A. Leo, The Life of Benjamin Franklin. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.


Birth: Dec. 23, 1655

Death: Jan. 16, 1744


Josiah Franklin and Abiah his wife lie here interred. They lived lovingly together in wedlock fifty-five years. Without any estae, 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.

J. F. born 1655, died 1744 Age 89

A. F. Born 1667, died 1752 Age 85

Family links:

 Anne Child Franklin (1655 - 1689)*
 Abiah Folger Franklin (1667 - 1752)*


 James Franklin (1697 - 1735)*
 Ebenezer Franklin (1700 - 1700)*
 Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)*
 Lydia Franklin Scott (1708 - 1758)*

*Calculated relationship

Burial: Granary Burying Ground Boston Suffolk County Massachusetts, USA

Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Jan 01, 2001 Find A Grave Memorial# 1496


[3026504.ged] Owned a shop "at the sign of the Blue Ball" on Milk Street in Boston. Was a candle and soap maker.

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Josiah Franklin's Timeline

December 23, 1656
Ecton, Northamptonshire, England (United Kingdom)
March 2, 1678
Ecton, Northamptonshire, England
May 16, 1681
Ecton, Northamptonshire, England
May 25, 1683
Banbury, Oxfordshire, England
Age 26
August 23, 1685
January 5, 1686
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
February 6, 1688
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
June 30, 1689
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States