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No. I. p. 4.
REMARKS ON THE ORIGIN AND GENEALOGY OF THE FRANKLIN FAMILY.
THE origin of the name of Franklin, in England, may perhaps be traced to a different source from the one supposed by Dr. Franklin. The name Francquelin or Franquelin, is found in France; and, while he resided there, he received letters from several persons bearing that name, who claimed relationship, as having the same ancestry. It was said, that the name could be traced back at least to the fifteenth century in Picardy, and that the records of the town of Abbeville contained the names of John and Thomas Franquelin, woollen-drapers, who were inhabitants of that town in the year 1521. From this part of France, the emigrations to England at that time and previously were frequent, and it was inferred, that one or more families of the name of Franquelin were among the number, and that in England the orthography of the name was changed, according to a common usage. In the absence of direct proof on the subject, this conjecture is perhaps worthy of some consideration.
Dr. Franklin seems to have taken much pains to search out the history of his immediate ancestors. He traced them back four generations to Thomas Francklyne of Ecton, in Northamptonshire. His grandfather had nine children, of whom his father, JOSIAH, was the youngest. Josiah Franklin emigrated to Boston, New England, in the year 1684, or in the early part of 1685.
By the Record of Births in Boston, it appears, that there was a family by the name of Franklin among the early settlers. In 1638 the birth of Elizabeth, daughter of William Franklin, is recorded. There were other children, one of whom was Benjamin, who also had a son of the same name. The descendants of this family were
numerous. It is likewise probable, that one or two other families, of the name of Franklin, settled in Boston some time afterwards; but it is believed that no relationship can be traced between any of these families and that to which Dr. Franklin belonged.
When Josiah Franklin established himself in Boston he had three children, born at Banbury, in Oxfordshire. After the birth of four others, his first wife died. He then married Abiah Folger, daughter of Peter Folger, of Nantucket, probably in the early part of the year 1690. By this marriage he had ten children, making seventeen in the whole; ten sons and seven daughters. BENJAMIN was the youngest son, and the fifteenth child, his sisters Lydia and Jane being younger.
All the brothers and sisters of Josiah Franklin lived and died in England, except Benjamin, who emigrated to Boston in the year 1715. His son, Samuel, a cutler by trade, had preceded him. This Benjamin was born March 20th, 1650. At the age of sixteen he began to learn the trade of a silk-dyer, and served an apprenticeship of seven years. He afterwards set up that business in London, and followed it there till he removed to America. He was married to Hannah Welles, daughter of Samuel Welles, a clergyman of Banbury, on the 23d of November, 1683. In one of the manuscript volumes of poems, mentioned by Dr. Franklin, is the following printed advertisement.-"Wrought things, printed English or India calicos, cloth, silk, and stuff, scoured; linen, cloth, silk, and stuff, dyed, printed, or watered; and black cloth, silk, and stuff, dyed into colors; by Benjamin Franklin, at the Indian Queen, in Princes-Street, near Leicester Fields." He had ten children, six sons and four daughters. They all died young, except Samuel, the eldest. His wife died on the 4th of November, 1705. From a brief account of himself, preserved in manuscript, and from some of his pieces in rhyme, he seems to have had many afflictions. Poverty, adversity, and sickness pursued him through life. When he left England, his wife and all his children, except his eldest son then in Boston, had been dead several years. After his arrival in Boston, he lived with his brother Josiah four years, till 1719, when he went to reside with his son, who had recently been married and become a housekeeper.
The manuscript volumes of poetry, before mentioned, are curi
The handwriting is beautiful, with occasional specimens of short-hand, in which Dr. Franklin says his uncle was skilled. The poetical merits of the compositions cannot be ranked high, but frequently the measure is smooth and the rhymes are well chosen.
His thoughts run chiefly on moral and religious subjects. Many of the Psalms are paraphrased in metre. The making of acrostics on the names of his friends was a favorite exercise. There are likewise numerous proofs of his ingenuity in forming anagrams, crosses, ladders, and other devices. The specimens below were written to his nephew and namesake; the first two, when he was four years and a half old.
Sent to his Namesake, upon a Report of his Inclination to Martial Affairs, July 7th, 1710.
"Believe me, Ben, it is a dangerous trade,
The sword has many marred as well as made;
War fills with want to-morrow,
and with woe.
Ruined estates, the nurse of vice, broke limbs and scars,
Sent to Benjamin Franklin in New England, July 15th, 1710.
"Be to thy parents an obedient son;
Each day let duty constantly be done;
"Fraud and all falsehood in thy dealings flee,
Adore the Maker of thy inward part,
Now's the accepted time, give him thy heart;
In heart with bended knee, alone, adore
None but the Three in One for evermore."
The following piece was sent when his Namesake was seven years old. It would appear that he had received from him some evidence of his juvenile skill in composition.