Franklin research yields new data on family history

Published 9:02 pm Friday, March 6, 2009

Today’s column is an update of the Franklin family genealogy, which was presented several years earlier. A genealogist and researcher of this family, Lisa Franklin, has shared new information, which was partially made possible by the popular family DNA research projects.

Some documents suggest that Thomas Franklin was born circa 1760 in England, but he may have been born in America in either North Carolina or Virginia. There are records of him residing in Pulaski County, Ga., during the early 1800s. He was involved there with Wilson Bass, possibly in a business, between 1809 and 1816. They appear to have been close friends, and Thomas named one of his sons Willson, likely after Wilson Bass. Some researchers feel that Thomas’s wife may have been Nancy Bass, as her last name has not been proven.

The death date of Thomas Franklin is uncertain, but he died before 1830. His wife, Nancy, was enumerated as the head of the household in the 1830 census for Covington County. At that time and through 1860, she was listed as having one slave in her household.

Thomas and Sarah Franklin reared the following children: Solomon Andrew Jackson, b. ca 1790; Elizabeth, b. ca 1792, d. Polk County, Texas, m. 1816 GA Joseph Harville; Willson, b. ca 1794 GA, d. ca 1836, m. 1822 Temperance “Tempy” Straughn (1788-1864); Moses, b. 1796 GA, d. 1875-1880 MS, m. (1) 1838 Cynthia Park (2) ca 1852 ? (3) ca 1860 Mary Y.; Josiah, b. 1800, d. 1848 MS, m. 1821 Harriet Park (1803-1860).

The oldest son, Solomon Andrew Jackson Franklin, may have been born in Georgia, or he may have been born where the family lived previously. His sister, two years younger, is listed as having been born in Georgia. In October 1815, Solomon is reported to have been charged in Superior Court in Pulaski County, Ga., for having assaulted someone. The next year, 1816, he is listed on the Pulaski County tax list and once again appeared in a court case as a defendant. In 1830, he is enumerated as residing in Covington County.

The oldest daughter, Elizabeth Franklin, was born in Pulaski County, Ga., where she was married in 1816 to Joseph Harville. They also appeared in Covington County in the 1830, 1840, and 1850 censuses. By 1860, they had moved to Woodville in Tyler County, Texas. He died in Polk County, Texas.

The next son, Willson Franklin, was born in Georgia, but he had moved to Alabama by 1822 when he was married to Temperance “Tempy” Straughn (1788-1864). Tempy was probably the daughter of an early settler, Travis Straughn, who settled here in 1826.

There was a Travis Strawn listed on the 1818 Conecuh County tax list, and Tempy was listed as a resident of Conecuh County in the state census for Conecuh County in 1820. Willson and Tempy were enumerated in the 1830 census as residing in Covington County. Willson died circa 1836 in the Loango community of this county.

In 1850, Tempy was listed as head of the household at 61 years of age and had five adult children with her. She and Willson reared the following children: William H., b. ca 1823, d. 1896, m. Elizabeth Jane “Eliza” Williams; James Wilson, b. 1825, d. 1900-1910, m. Jemima Pricilla “Prissy” Williams; John A., b. 1827, d. 1909, m. (1) Mahaley Celia Findley (2) Lou Ellen Wells; Serena J., b. ca 1830, d. after 1910, single; and Green T., b. ca 1832, d. 1901, m. Nancy ?.

The next son, Moses Franklin, was born in 1796 in Georgia. He was in Alabama by 1823 when he was married in Green County to Cynthia Park. He was enumerated in that county in the 1830 census, and he purchased two 40-acre tracts of land in 1837. However, he sold that land in 1839 and was residing in Marion County in 1850. Three years later, he was listed on the Chickasaw County, Miss., tax list. In 1852, he was married a second time, and circa 1860, he was married a third time to Mary Y. In 1870, he was living in the Atlanta community of Chickasaw County, where he died between 1875 and 1880. He had at least the following three daughters: Nancy Ann, Martha Elizabeth, and Judith Clementine as they are named in his will.

The youngest son, Josiah Franklin, was born in 1800 in Georgia. He was in Tuscaloosa County, in 1821 when he was married to Harriet Park (1803-1860. This family was residing in Tuscaloosa County when the 1830 census was taken. He purchased 80 acres of land there that year. They were still there in 1840, but Josiah died in 1848 in Chickasaw County, Miss. His brother, Moses, moved to the same area a few years after Josiah’s death. Josiah and Harriet had at least three sons: George Washington, Charles Pinkney and Solomon Jr.

The relationship is not known, but there was another Josiah Franklin enumerated in the 1850 census for Covington County. Josiah, 56 years old, born in Georgia, and a farmer, was living with his wife, Mary, 54. They had the following three children with them: Unity, 23; Sarahan, 21; and Mary, 10.

Since the above family of Willson and Tempy Franklin remained in Covington County, additional generations of their descendants will be outlined later in the next column. There are many families still residing in this county who descend from this couple.

The source for today’s writing were the family records of Lisa Franklin, a well-known genealogist. Lisa maintains an excellent Web site where she posts and shares considerable genealogical records such as censuses, cemetery censuses, local history and family files. She welcomes anyone to visit her site at and share new information for the site. A number of folks assist her and make financial contributions to the site.

Anyone who might have additional information on the Franklin families of Covington Country is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; call 334-222-6467; or e-mail: cthomasson@centurytel. net.