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.