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Peter Folger

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Norwich, Norfolk, England
Death: Died in Nantucket, Nantucket County, Province of Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of John Folger, Jr. and Meribah Folger
Husband of Mary Folger
Father of Experience Folger; Eleazer Folger, Sr.; Dorcas Pratt; Joanna Coleman; Bethia Barnard and 9 others
Brother of Mary Vail; John Folger; Eleazer Folger and John Folger, III

Occupation: school teacher, surveyor, missionary, interpreter, miller, Teacher, Surveyor, Missionary, Famous Quaker, miller and schoolteacher, Joyner, Interpreter, Town Clerk, Farmer
Managed by: Ken Jon Schonberg
Last Updated:

About Peter Folger

Peter Foulger (d. 1690) was an interpreter of the American Indian language for the first settlers of Nantucket. He was the grandfather of Benjamin Franklin.[1]

He lived in Martha's Vineyard until 1663. He married Mary Morrell (d. 1704) in 1644. Their ninth child, Abiah, married Josiah Franklin. Parents of Ben. Franklin

A likely descendant, J. A. Folger (b 1835) of Nantucket, founded Folgers Coffee.

References

Franklin, Benjamin; Jared Sparks, William Temple, Franklin, G. F. Storm, Joseph Andrews (1856). The Life of Benjamin Franklin. Boston: Whitman, Niles, and Hall, 543. 

Retrieved from "<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Foulger>"

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Peter and Mary (Morrill) Folger

Peter FOLGER - b. 1618, Norwich, Norfolk, England; d. 1690, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. Son of John FOLGER and Meribah GIBBS. A teacher, surveyor, missionary, and interpreter, Peter moved to Martha's Vineyard about 1642 and to Nantucktet about 1657. He was chosen Clerk of Courts at Nantucker on Jul. 21, 1673, serving for a number of years. From his activity as missionary and Baptist preacher, Peter is recognized as a qualifying ancestor by the Society of the Descendants of the Colonial Clergy. His poem "A Looking Glass for the Time" was published Apr. 23, 1676, showing him as an advocate of religious liberty. From The Nantucket Way, by Mooney and Sigourney: "Peter Folger was called 'white chief's old-young man' by the Nantucket Indians, meaning he was wise for his age. Peter was a surveyor, Town clerk, Clerk for the General Court. He ground his own eyeglasses and made the frames. He was a public servant, miller, machinist, blacksmith, schoolmaster, author, poet, and preacher all rolled into one." Married about 1642, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA.

The Colonial Clergy and the Colonial Churches of New England

by Frederick Lewis Weis (1936, Lancester, MA), page 86

   Peter Folger, b. England 1617/8, son of John Folger of Martha's Vineyard; came to New England with his father from Norwich, Eng., 1635; was in the service of the missionary corporation as assistant to Rev. Thomas Mayhew, Jr., and was left in charge of Mayhew's mission when the latter sailed for England in 1657; missionary to the Indians at Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, 1656-1661; sett. Nantucket, 1663; grandfather of Benjamin Franklin; was learned in the Indian tongue and served as an interpreter; author of "A Looking Glass for the Times," 1675; d. Nantucket Island 1690.
   Closing lines of "A Looking-Glass for the Times;
   or, The former spirit of New England revived in this generation"
   by Peter Folger (1675)
   Thus, reader, I, in love to all,
      leave these few lines with thee,
   Hoping that in the substance we
      shall very well agree.
   If that you do mistake the verse
      for its uncomely dress,
   I tell thee true, I never thought
      that it would pass the press.
   If any at the matter kick,
      it's like he's galled at heart,
   And that's the reason why he kicks,
      because he finds it smart. 	
   I am for peace, and not for war,
      And that's the reason why,
   I write more plain than some men do,
      That use to daub and lie.
   But I shall cease, and set my name
      To what I here insert;
   Because, to be a libeller,
      I hate it with my heart.
   From Sherbon town, where now I dwell,
      My name I do put here;
   Without offence, your real friend,
      It is Peter Folger.

Mary MORRILL - b. 1620, Fowey, Cornwall, England; d. 1704; Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. From The Nantucket Way, by Mooney and Sigourney: "Mary Morrill came to the New World as a bondservant. It is said she so widened out in later years, that she had to sit in a special chair which she carried with her whenever she went visiting neighbors."

Children of Peter and Mary Folger

   See Notable Cousins for lines to: Henry Clay FOLGER, James Athearn FOLGER, Benjamin FRANKLIN, Garrison Fletcher HALL, and Lucretia Coffin MOTT.
  1. Joanna - b. about 1642, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA; d. Jul. 18, 1719, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. She was married in 1666 in Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA to John COLEMAN (d. before 1715), son of Thomas COLEMAN and Susanna. Children of Joanna and John COLEMAN: John married Priscilla STARBUCK; Jeremiah married his first cousin Sarah PRATT (daughter of Joseph PRATT and Dorcas FOLGER); Thomas married Jane (widow of John CHALLING); Isaac married first Ann REYNOLDS, and second Jane WATSON; Phebe married Gershom CATHCART; Abigail married James TISDALE; Benjamin; Solomon married first Mary MACY, and second Deliverance SWETT.
  2. Bethiah - b. 1643, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA; d. Jun. 6, 1669, Nantucket Co., MA. She was married on Feb. 26, 1667/8 in Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA to John BARNARD (b. Mar. 2, 1642, Salisbury, Essex Co., MA, d. Jun. 6, 1669, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA), son of Robert BARNARD and Joanne HARVEY. Bethiah and John drowned is a boat accident between Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.
  3. Dorcas - b. 1645, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA; d. Dec. 24, 1712; Charlestown, Suffolk Co., MA. She was married on Feb. 12, 1675 in Charlestown, Suffolk Co., MA to Joseph PRATT. Children of Dorcas and Joseph PRATT: Sarah married her first cousin Jeremiah COLEMAN (son of John COLEMAN and Joanna FOLGER); Joseph; Bethia married Sampson CARTWRIGHT; Benjamin; Dorcas died young; Phineas; Joshua; and Lydia.
  4. Eleazer - b. 1648, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA; d. 1716, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA. He was married in 1671 to Sarah GARDNER (b. 1655; d. Oct. 19, 1729, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA), daughter of Richard GARDNER (b, 1622; d. Jan. 23, 1688) and Sarah SHATTUCK (b. 1632; d. 1724). Children of Eleazer and Sarah FOLGER: Eleazer married first Bethiah GARDNER, and second Mary MARSHALL; Peter married Judith COFFIN; Sarah married Anthony ODAR; Mary married John ARTHUR; Nathan married Sarah CHURCH; Daniel; and Elisha.
  5. Bethsheba. Born in 1650 in Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA. Bethsheba died in Salem, Essex Co., MA. She was married about 1670 to John POPE, son of Joseph POPE and Gertrude. Children of Bethsheba and John POPE: Nathaniel married; Joseph died young; Bathsheba; Gertrude; Joseph; Enos; Eleazer; and Jerusha.
  6. Patience - b. about 1653, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA; d. Jan. 1716/7, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. Married John HARKER. Refer to Caution Note concerning this marriage.
  7. John - b. Dec 24, 1659, Polpis, Nantucket Co., MA; d. Oct 23, 1732, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. A Miller and farmer of that part of Nantucket called Polpis, he was a member of the Society of Friends. He was married about 1688 in Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA to Mary BARNARD (b. Feb. 24, 1667, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA; d. 1737), daughter of Nathaniel BARNARD & Mary BARNARD. Children of John and Mary FOLGER: Jethro married Mary STARBUCK; Bethiah married Samuel BARKER; Nathaniel married Priscilla CHASE; Jonathan married first Margaret GARDNER, second Deborah PADDOCK, and third Susannah GORHAM; Richard married Sarah PEASE; Shubael married Jerusha CLARK; Abigail married first her first cousin once removed Daniel FOLGER (son of Peter FOLGER and Judith COFFIN), and second Daniel PINKHAM; Zaccheus married Abigail COFFIN; and Hannah.
  8. Experience - b. 1663, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA; d. Aug 23, 1732, Nantucket Co., MA. She married John SWAIN (b. Sep. 1, 1664, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA; d. Jan. 29, 1739/40), son of John SWAIN and Mary WYER. Children of Experience and John SWAIN: William married Jemima COFFIN; Priscilla married Daniel BUNKER; John married Mary SWETT; Ruth married first George COFFIN, and second Jonathan UPHAM; Eliakim married Elizabeth ARTHUR; Katherine married Robert WYER; Stephen married Eleanor ELLIS; Hannah married Thomas GARDNER; and George married Love PADDOCK.
  9. Abiah - b. Jul. 15, 1667, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA; d. May 8, 1752, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA. She was married on Nov 25, 1689 as his second wife to Josiah FRANKLIN (b. Dec 23, 1652; d. Jan 16, 1742/3), son of Thomas FRANKLIN (b. Oct 8, 1598; d. Mar 21, 1679/80) and Jane WHITE (b. 1617; d. Oct 30, 1662). Josiah FRANKLIN had first married Ann CHILD, and they had seven children. Children of Abiah and Josiah FRANKLIN: John married Ms. GOOCH; Peter married Mary; Mary married Robert HOMES; James married Anne; Sarah married Joseph DAVENPORT; Ebenezer died young; Thomas died young; Dr. Benjamin FRANKLIN married Deborah READ; Lydia married Robert SCOTT; and Jane married Edward MECOM. 

--------------------

Peter Folger came to Nantucket in 1663

--------------------

Peter FOLGER - b. 1618, Norwich, Norfolk, England; d. 1690, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. Son of John FOLGER and Meribah GIBBS. A teacher, surveyor, missionary, and interpreter, Peter moved to Martha's Vineyard about 1642 and to Nantucket about 1657. He was chosen Clerk of Courts at Nantucket on Jul. 21, 1673, serving for a number of years. From his activity as missionary and Baptist preacher, Peter is recognized as a qualifying ancestor by the Society of the Descendants of the Colonial Clergy. His poem "A Looking Glass for the Time" was published Apr. 23, 1676, showing him as an advocate of religious liberty. From The Nantucket Way, by Mooney and Sigourney: "Peter Folger was called 'white chief's old-young man' by the Nantucket Indians, meaning he was wise for his age. Peter was a surveyor, Town clerk, Clerk for the General Court. He ground his own eyeglasses and made the frames. He was a public servant, miller, machinist, blacksmith, schoolmaster, author, poet, and preacher all rolled into one." Married about 1642, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA.

 A DENUNCIATION OF WAR
   If that the peace of God did rule,
   with power in our heart,
   Then outward war would flee away,
   and rest would be our part.
   If we do love our brethren,
   and do to them, I say,
   As we would they should do to us,
   we should be quiet straightaway.
   But if that we a smiting go,
   of fellow-servants so,
   No marvel if our wars increase
   and things so heavy go.
   'Tis like that some may think and say
   our war would not remain,
   If so be that a thousand more
   of natives were but slain.
   Alas! these are but foolish thoughts,
   God can make more arise,
   And if that there were none at all,
   he can make war with flies.
   It is the presence of the Lord,
   must make our foes to shake,
   Or else it's like he will ere long
   know how to make us quake.
   Let us lie low before the Lord
   in all humility,
   And then we shall with Asa see
   our enemies to fly.
   But if that we do leave the Lord,
   and trust in fleshly arm,
   Then 'tis no wonder if that we
   do hear more news of harm.
   Let's have our faith and hope in God,
   and trust in him alone,
   And then no doubt this storm of war
   it quickly will be gone.
   Thus, reader, I, in love to all,
   leave these few lines with thee,
   Hoping that in the substance we
   shall very well agree.
   If that you do mistake the verse
   for its uncomely dress,
   I tell thee true, I never thought
   that it would pass the press.
   If any at the matter kick,
   it's like he's galled at heart,
   And that's the reason why he kicks,
   because he finds it smart.
   I am for peace, and not for war,
   and that's the reason why
   I write more plain than some men do,
   that use to daub and lie.
   But I shall cease and set my name
   to what I here insert,
   Because to be a libeller,
   I hate it with my heart.
   From Sherbon town, where now I dwell,
   my name I do put here,
   Without offence your real friend,
   it is PETER FOLGER.
   [William P. Trent and Benjamin W. Wells, "Colonial Literature," New York, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1901.] 

--------------------

Came to New England with his father, John Folger (Foulger) in 1635 from Norwich, County Norfolk, England. He was about 18. They settled at Watertown. MA. Moved to Martha's Vineyard in 1642.

Peter taught school and was a surveyor. He assisted Thomas Mayhew in Christianizing the Indians. Became a Baptist. He was the grandfather of Benjamin Franklin.

--------------------

Peter Folger (1617–1690) was a poet and is more commonly known as the maternal Grandfather of Benjamin Franklin, and was instrumental in the colonization of Nantucket Island in the Massachusetts colony.

Peter Folger was born in Norfolk, England, son of John Folger, in 1617. He came to America in 1635 with his father, settling initially in Watertown, Massachusetts, and later moving to Martha's Vineyard, where he worked as a teacher and surveyor. In 1644 He married Mary Morrill, whom he may have met on the voyage from England. At the Vineyard Folger supported himself by teaching school and surveying land. He also worked with Thomas Mayhew to convert the native American population to Christianity, during which time he learned to speak the native language.

From time to time between 1659 and 1662, Folger journeyed to Nancucket in order to survey it for the proprietors. In 1663 Folger moved to Nantucket full time, having been granted a half a share of land by the proprietors, where he was a surveyor, an Indian interpretor, and clerk in the courts. Shortly thereafter, Folger's daughter, Abiah, was born, later to become the mother of Benjamin Franklin.

A Baptist missionary, teacher, and surveyor his dealings with the native population promoted harmony between the Native Americans and European settlers. His grandson, Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, son of Peter's daughter Abiah, referred to him fondly in his autobiography.

Folger died at Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1690. His wife Mary lived until 1704.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Folger_(1617%E2%80%931690)

When John passed away in 1665 his will excluded his only son Peter, which suggests their relationship may not have been ideal.

Peter himself by that time had moved away to Nantucket and had his own success. Besides a large and thriving family (9 children), Peter kept busy by working as a surveyor, miller, schoolteacher, machinist, blacksmith, eyeglass maker, published author (and poet), interpreter and preacher (sounds a lot like his grandson Benjamin!).

To fulfill his duties as a Baptist preacher – he converted to this very Flemish form of worship (a logical evolution of the Anabaptists) after arriving in the New World – Peter Folger mastered the Wampanoag language to better preach to the native Americans around Nantucket. He espoused religious and ethnic tolerance (in an age of witchcraft trials), demonstrated personal bravery during King Philip’s War (without carrying weapons) and was several times elected to serve as clerk of the court. He was esteemed by his neighbors, jailed for sticking up for the rights of others, respected by the Indians (who called him “white-chief’s old young-man” in recognition of his judiciousness and thoughtful demeanor), and especially adored by his youngest daughter, Abiah.

http://flemishamerican.blogspot.com/2009/02/franklins-flemish-forefathers.html

Peter FOLGER - b. 1618, Norwich, Norfolk, England; d. 1690, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. Son of John FOLGER and Meribah GIBBS. A teacher, surveyor, missionary, and interpreter, Peter moved to Martha's Vineyard about 1642 and to Nantucktet about 1657. He was chosen Clerk of Courts at Nantucker on Jul. 21, 1673, serving for a number of years. From his activity as missionary and Baptist preacher, Peter is recognized as a qualifying ancestor by the Society of the Descendants of the Colonial Clergy. His poem "A Looking Glass for the Time" was published Apr. 23, 1676, showing him as an advocate of religious liberty. From The Nantucket Way, by Mooney and Sigourney: "Peter Folger was called 'white chief's old-young man' by the Nantucket Indians, meaning he was wise for his age. Peter was a surveyor, Town clerk, Clerk for the General Court. He ground his own eyeglasses and made the frames. He was a public servant, miller, machinist, blacksmith, schoolmaster, author, poet, and preacher all rolled into one." Married about 1642, Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA.

http://kinnexions.com/smlawson/folger.htm#JFolger

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Peter Folger's Timeline

1617
1617
Norwich, Norfolk, England
1635
1635
Age 18
New England
1641
May 6, 1641
Age 24
Nantucket, Nantucket, MA, USA
1642
1642
Age 25
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
1644
1644
Age 27
Nantucket, (Present Nantucket County), (Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)
1645
1645
Age 28
Martha's Vineyard, Dukes, Massachusetts, USA
1646
1646
Age 29
Martha's Vineyard, Dukes, Massachusetts, USA
1647
1647
Age 30
Marthas Vineyard, Dukes, Massachusetts, United States
1648
1648
Age 31
Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard
1650
1650
Age 33
Edgartown, Dukes, MA, USA