Benjamin Franklin

portrait of Benjamin Franklin, c. 1778, by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis

Date of Birth: January 17, 1706

Place of Birth: Boston, Massachusetts Bay, British America

Date of Death: April 17, 1790

Place of Death: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, some Cornish

Benjamin Franklin was a Founding Father of the United States. He was a civic activist, polymath, author, printer, freemason, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, political theorist, politician, and humorist.

He was Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly, from May 1764 to October 1764, the 1st U.S. Postmaster General, from July 26, 1775 to November 7, 1776, the U.S. Minister to France, from September 14, 1778 to May 17, 1785, the U.S. Minister to Sweden, from September 28, 1782 to April 3, 1783, and the sixth President of Pennsylvania, from October 18, 1785 to November 5, 1788. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment, and the history of physics, for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity.

Benjamin was the youngest son of Abiah (Folger) and Josiah Franklin. His father was born in Ecton, Northamptonshire, England. His mother was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, to English parents. Benjamin had a common-law marriage with Deborah Read, until her death. He had three children, including William Franklin, who was Colonial Governor of New Jersey, from 1763 to 1776. He was the grandfather of journalist, printer, and publisher Benjamin Franklin Bache, Texas military figure Richard Bache, Jr., and diplomat William Temple Franklin.

Benjamin’s paternal grandfather was Thomas Franklin (the son of Henry Franckline/Franklin and Agnes Joanes/James). Thomas was born in Ecton, Northamptonshire. Henry was the son of Thomas Frankline/Franklin and Margaret Meadows.

Benjamin’s paternal grandmother was named Jane White (the daughter of Thomas White and Jane). Jane was born in Ecton, Northamptonshire.

Benjamin’s maternal grandfather was Peter Folger (the son of John Folger and Meribah/Meribell Gibbs). Peter was born in Norwich, Norfolk. John was the son of John Folger and Elizabeth. Meribah was the daughter of John Gibbs and Alice Elmy.

Benjamin’s maternal grandmother was named Mary Morrill/Morrell/Morrel. Mary was born in Fowey, Cornwall.

Sources: Genealogies of Benjamin Franklin –

1 Response

  1. savanna says:

    His grandmother is from Cornwall.. does that make him part Cornish?

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