Mental Floss

The Quick 10, Sort Of: 10ish Famous People Related to Ben Franklin

Stacy Conradt
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I was researching the homeschool article from yesterday when I came across some fascinating stuff about Ben Franklin "“ he's related to a lot of interesting people. Actually, most of that is because of his relation to the Folger family, but it's interesting nonetheless. I thought it was perfect fodder for a Quick 10 - hope you guys are as entertained by this as I was!

1. J.A. Folger, the founder of the Folger's Coffee empire. OK, follow along with me, here. Ben's uncle Eleazar Folger had a son, Nathan. Nathan had a son, Abishai. Abishai had a son, George. George had a son, George. That George had a son, Samuel, who was the dad of J.A. Folger. I think that makes coffee magnate Ben's cousin, fives times removed, the same as Ezra Cornell.

abby
abby /
MITCHELL
MITCHELL /

5. Mayhew Folger was the captain of the ship that found the Pitcairn Islands after the Bounty mutineers had decided to settle there. Only one of the original mutineers was still alive. Mayhew was Ben Franklin's first cousin, three times removed.

mott
mott /

And here are three questionable descendants: Actress Rachel Miner (also Macaulay Culkin's ex-wife). I can't seem to easily trace that. I don't doubt it, though "“ the Miners have a very long, documented history.

And I found one site that casually mentioned Samuel Clemens and Will Rogers as descendants, but couldn't find a single bit of information to prove either one. What do you think, _flossers? Probable? Ridiculous? Share in the comments!

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