Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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New topic 601: TITLE 601:Benjamin Franklin's Genealogy: Volume:
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Franklin Before Philadelphia
Long before he became famous, Franklin lived the first sixteen years of his life in Boston

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NEW TITLE 4315: Ben Franklin's Genealogy: Topic 601:

In Yale University's first Volume of an 80-Volume set of Franklin's collected works is found a 24-page summary of his known genealogy, with the editor's comment that it is limited to certain branches in certain ways. His father had two wives, and Benjamin was the thirteenth of fourteen children of Josiah Franklin. No attempt is made to equal that here, except for two comments.

The first comment is that Josiah's generation, or the one before that, changed its name from Franklyn to Franklin. Before that, Franklyne, and before that further, Francklyne. Aside from generalities of shortening, we have little idea of why or by which generation a change was made. It has been said that the greatest influence on Ben came from his uncle of exactly the same name, often referred to as Benjmin Franklin the Elder.

The second comment is that just to list all of the legitimate relatives would consume a full page of last names. Adding the descendants of Ben's four illegitimate children would simply overwhelm all interest. If you think you may possibly be related to Ben Franklin, you probably are.

Originally published: Friday, August 14, 2020; most-recently modified: Saturday, August 15, 2020


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