Benjamin Franklin the Elder’s “Short Account of the Family of Thomas Franklin of Ecton, Northamptonshire.”

Benjamin1 Franklin was an older brother of Josiah1 Franklin. Josiah’s son, the Revolutionary War patriot Benjamin2 Franklin, was named for this uncle. Benjamin1 Franklin is often referred to as Benjamin Franklin the Elder, to differentiate him from his better-known namesake nephew. 

Although he was Josiah’s older brother, Benjamin emigrated to Boston more than thirty years after his younger brother set sail for America. His son Samuel had emigrated years earlier, joining his uncle and cousins in Boston. Despite having ten children with his wife Hannah Welles, all of the known descendants of Benjamin1 Franklin are through his son Samuel. 

Among the more prominent descendants of Benjamin are the nineteenth-century transcendentalist George Ripley as well as Friends and Criminal Minds actress Paget Brewster.

Benjamin Franklin’s Family Volume II: The Descendants of Benjamin1 Franklin is coming in 2020.