Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Abiah Folger and Josiah Franklin
This simple obelisk is located at the Granary Burial Ground in Boston. Benjamin Franklin erected this memorial to his parents, Abiah Folger and Josiah Franklin, and I decided to write about it this week for Independence Day. After all, it was the day the Declaration of Independence was ratified, and Ben was one of the signers.
Abiah Folger, Franklin’s mother, was born 15 August 1667 on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, daughter of Peter Folger and Mary Morrill. Peter Folger came from Norwich, England to Massachusetts with his father John in 1635. In 1663 he went to Nantucket as an Indian interpreter for Tristram Coffin. Mary Morrill was a servant to Reverend Hugh Peters, so Peter bought her for 20 pounds to pay off her servitude. He declared it was the best appropriation of money he ever made. Now you know where Benjamin got is sense of humor! (from History of Nantucket, by Obed Macy, 1835)
Abiah Folger married Josiah Franklin on 25 November 1689 at the Old South Church in Boston. Josiah was from Ecton, Northamptonshire, born on 23 December 1657, and he died on 16 January 1745. He had previously been married to Anne Child, who left him with seven children when she died on 9 July 1689. You can see he wasted no time in remarrying Abiah, who not only raised his other children, but she had ten more! Benjamin was number eight, and the youngest son.
How do I know so much about this family? Well, my 7x great grandmother was Bethshua Folger, Abiah’s sister! Yes, Benjamin Franklin is my first cousin 8 generations removed. Bethshua (also known as Bathsheba) was born about 1650 on Nantucket Island, and she married Joseph Pope in 1679 in Salem, Massachusetts.
I previously blogged about my Franklin connection here in my post http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2009/09/treasure-chest-thursday-at.html about the Franklin Chest, also known as the Pope Valuables Chest.
Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo