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Mary Folger (Morrill)

Also Known As: "Morrell", "Morrel", "Morrills"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: England (United Kingdom)
Death: April 1704 (79-88)
Nantucket, Nantucket County, Province of Massachusetts (Natural Causes)
Place of Burial: Nantucket, Nantucket County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Wife of Peter Folger
Mother of Dorcas Pratt; Joanna Coleman; Bethia Barnard; Eleazer Folger; Bathsheba Pope and 5 others

Occupation: Housewife, a former indentured servant., Came To America As Indentured Servant To Hugh Peters. Peter Folger Paid 20 Shillings To Pay Off Her Servitude. Declared It Was The Best Appropriation Of Funds He Ever Made.
Notable Kin: Grandmother of Benjamin Franklin
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mary Folger

Mary Morrill (b. circa 1620 – d. 1704) came to the New World as an indentured servant, probably belonging to Hugh Peters. Her surname is alternately spelled as Morrel, Morrills, or Morill. She is best remembered as the grandmother of Benjamin Franklin.

Marriage & Family Life

Mary married Peter Folger in 1644. He had been one of the few white men in Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, Massachusetts (as a successor of Thomas Mayhew), and was a teacher and translator for the Wampanoag Indians. Peter Folger paid Hugh Peters the sum of 20 shillings to pay off Mary's servitude, which he declared was the best appropriation of money he had ever made. Their daughter, Abiah Folger (Benjamin Franklin's mother), was born on August 15, 1667 in Nantucket.

Cultural References

Mary was mentioned by name as a historical figure in Herman Melville's fictional Moby-Dick in chapter 24 which is entitled "The Advocate." This chapter is a defense of Nantucket's whaling industry. In it, Melville sets up a series of objections to that industry, one of which is "No good blood in their veins?" His response to this objection is:

"They have something better than royal blood there. The grandmother of Benjamin Franklin was Mary Morrel; afterwards, by marriage, Mary Folger, one of the old settlers of Nantucket, and the ancestress to a long line of Folgers and harpooneers--all kith and kin to noble Benjamin--this day darting the barbed iron from one side of the world to the other."

Notable Descendants

In addition to Benjamin Franklin, her notable descendants include:

  • Ezra Cornell -- co-founder of Cornell University
  • James Athearn Folger -- founder of Folger's Coffee
  • Henry Clay Folger -- co-founder of Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Mayhew Folger -- captain of the sealing ship Topaz that rediscovered the Pitcairn Islands in 1808
  • Rev. Phebe Ann Coffin Hanaford -- author, poet, suffragist, editor, and first female minister in New England
  • Rachel Miner -- actress
  • Maria Mitchell -- astronomer
  • Lucretia Coffin Mott -- feminist

Sources

Origins

Unknown.

Birth seen as 1617 Fowey, Cornwall, England without supporting evidence. Removed October 2019.

Mary (Morrill) Folger

  • Birth: 1620 Norfolk, England
  • Death: 1704, Nantucket County Massachusetts, USA

She is the grandmother of Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Founding Father and signator of the Declaration of Independence.

She is also the 5th great grandmother of James A. Folger(1835-1889), the founder of Folgers Coffee in San Francisco California.

She is the third great grandmother of Capt Mayhew Folger (1774-1828) who was the captain the ship Topaz when he rediscovered the Pitcairn Islands in 1808.

She is mentioned by name in Chapter 24 of Herman Melville's "Moby Dick":

"No good blood in their veins? They have something better than royal blood there. The grandmother of Benjamin Franklin was Mary Morrel; afterwards, by marriage, Mary Folger, one of the old settlers of Nantucket, and the ancestress to a long line of Folgers and harpooneers-all kith and kin to noble Benjamin-this day darting the barbed iron from one side of the world to the other."

The DAR chapter on Nantucket Island is named after her daughter Abiah Folger who was the mother Benjamin Franklin.


Mary married Peter Folger in 1643 in Nantucket MA.


GEDCOM Note

Category:MtDNA Haplogroup_V QuakersPuritan Great Migration

Category:Founders Burial Ground, Nantucket, Massachusetts

Biography

From https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Morrill-135

Unknown Origins

Mary's parents were shown on a merged profile as Abraham Morrill (Morrill-485) and Abigail Powell (Powell-5782). These parents are impossible, as they were born after Mary. Her parents are unknown. According toThe Genealogy of the Gardner Family, by Benjamin Hard Gardner, publ. 1953, she was an indentured servant to Mrs. Peters, wife of the Rev. Hugh Peters, and on the same ship as Peter (Ship Abigail, arrived MA in 1635). For these reasons, Abraham Morrill and Abigail Powell have been removed as her parents. Please do not add parents to Mary without discussingit first on G2G.

Birth

:: 1617/8, Fowey, Cromwell, Englandcitation needed

Immigration

1635, Ship 'Defence', Salem, Massachusettscitation needed Her name is not found on the manifest for the 'Defence,' but as an indentured servant, it is possible that it wouldn't be there.:: 1638 Norwich, Norfolk, England Vital Records of Nantucket: William C. Folger genealogical records.

Marriage

1644 Nantucket to Peter Folger. Vital Records of Nantucket: Vol. 4, Page 215. They had the following children: Vital Records of Nantucket: Vol. 1, Pages 465-496

  1. Joanna Folger
  2. Bethia Folger
  3. Doras Folger
  4. Eleazer Folger
  5. Bathsheba Folger
  6. John Folger
  7. Experience Folger
  8. Patience Folger
  9. Abiah Lee Folger

Marriage:

  • 23 June 1642citation needed
  • 23 JUN 1642/3
  • Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., Massachusetts

Death

:: 1704 Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts. Vital Recordsof Nantucket: Vol. 5, Page 271

Sources

view all 20

Mary Folger's Timeline

1620
1620
England
1645
1645
Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., Massachusetts
1645
Edgartown, Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States
1646
1646
Edgartown, Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States
1648
1648
Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard
1652
1652
Martha's Vineyard
1659
December 24, 1659
Dukes, Massachusetts, United States
1661
1661
Martha's Vineyard, (Present Dukes County), (Present Masssachusetts), (Present USA)
1661
Dukes County, Massachusetts