Culture Magazine

Maybelline Family's Relation to Benjamin Franklin

By Sharriewilliams










  Marriage to Anne Child

In 1677, Josiah Franklin married his first wife, Anne Child, and had 7 children: Elizabeth, Samuel, Hannah, Josiah Jr., Ann, Joseph (I), and Joseph (II). The first Joseph died soon after birth, and the next child was named for him. In 1689, Anne Child Franklin died of complications while giving birth to her seventh child in Boston


Ann Franklin is our family's direct descendant


Marriage to Abiah Folger 

  1. In November 1689, Josiah Franklin married his second wife, Abiah Folger, and had ten children: John (1690), Peter (1692), Mary (1694),James(1697), Sarah (1699), Ebenezer (1701), Thomas (1703),Benjamin(1706), Lydia (1708), andJane(1712).

Josiah Franklin married Anne ChildAnn Franklin Harris ,    (half sister of Benjamin Franklin)                       l                   Grace Harris (Williams),

                      l                     General Jonathan Williams.lll 
                      l                              
Josiah Williams
                     l       
Jonathan Williams
                     l            
Thomas Jefferson Williams - married Susan Ana Alvey
                                                          l                              
Pearl, Noel, Mabel, Tom Lyle, Preston, Eva Williams
                                                          l                               
                                                  Bill Williams                  
                                                          l                               
                                              Sharrie Williams                                              

Excerpt from Emery Shaver's genealogy 1932As a youth Jonathan lll, visited his grand-uncle Benjamin Franklin in England and through him secured a berth on several cruses to the West Indies.


Benjamin Franklin

Later, during the Revolutionary War, he was entrusted with several important commissions by Benjamin and was finally appointed Commercial Agent for the Colonies in Nantes, France, at the time that Franklin was Ambassador to France.  Later, through enemies of Franklin, Namely John Adams and Henry Lee, he was accused of dishonesty in an attempt to discredit Franklin, but he cleared himself, although it caused him the embarrassment of having to go into
bankruptcy.  

Maybelline family's relation to Benjamin Franklin

General Jonathan Williams lll


Political enemies of Franklin rejoiced when they succeeded in humiliating him and his grand-nephew, however, it did them no good as Jonathan Williams lll,  became famous as first Major, then Major General and finally Colonel Williams, organizer and first superintendent of West Point Military Academy

I have a Photostat of an engraving made from his portrait that I shall also give you.  While Jonathan lll, was Commercial Agent at Nantes, he fell in love with Marianne Alexander, the daughter of William and Christian (Aitchison) 
Alexander, of noble family and very rich. A It seems William Alexander did quite a bit of select spying for Benjamin and was one of his closest friends, so you may be sure that it proved a brilliant match when Franklin’s grand nephew and Alexander’s daughter were married at the home of the Dutch Ambassador in Paris, in and Franklin was present at the ceremony of course.     
Jonathan lll,  and  Marianne (Jonathan was not then an officer, you understand) lived at Nantes, where your great-great grandfather Josiah Williams in seventeen seventy five.


 Later when Col. Jonathan took command of West Point, they lived in Philadelphia,  Pa. and it was there that Josiah was raised along with his brothers Henry J., Alexander J., an sister Christine.  This is incorrect...

This information was researched in 1932 by our Great uncle, Tom Lyle Williams partner, Emery Shaver.  However,  It wasn't until recently after applying to the DAR, that our cousin Karen Bowser, discovered the truth about  General Jonathan Williams lll,  illegitimate son Josiah Williams, our link to Benjamin Franklin.

Excerpts from my cousin, Karen Bowser's book:

General Jonathan Williams lll,  father of Josiah, sowed his wild oats in France while working as an assistant to his uncle Ben Franklin.  This produced a son, Josiah for whom he shipped off to U.S. to be taken care of by Uncle Ben’s  illegitimate son, William Franklin

 I was able to prove his line by finding his personal papers which are stored in the Lily Library of the University of Indiana.  I asked for copies of all correspondence with Josiah..  From that I found out why he came to Kentucky, how he came to move to Union County and the connection was proved by Josiah saying he had named his son, Jonathan after his esteemed grandfather!

I have the letter that Josiah wrote to William “Billy” Franklin asking him to care for Josiah.  It was found in Ben Franklin’s papers sponsored by The American Philosophical Society and Yale University.  Letter dated April 4, 1782 in Nantes, France.

Letter from Josiah to Jonathan dated July 21, 1812 tells that Josiah is living in Woodford County but wants to move to Union County to follow his father in law, James Finnie.  Josiah is asking Jonathan for money as well as telling him that he has a grandson named after him.  That grandson, Jonathan John is the ancestor to the Maybelline family and the brother of my second great grandmother, Ann Williams Houston

I wanted to clear this  up, because over 4,000 people have looked at my family history. and the discrepancy was misleading. The truth is my family isn't related to Marianne Alexander, who was from a very rich, noble family and considered Royalty, because of  her father was the  Sheriff of Edinburgh Scotland.

We will never know who gave birth to Josiah Williams, our many times over great grandmother, but we can prove out direct line to General Jonathan Williams lll, Benjamin Franklin's, Great nephew. 


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