Benjamin Franklin Papers

Record of Birth, 6 January 1706

Record of Birth

MS Record, Boston Births, V, 113: City Registry, Boston

Benjamen Son     of Josiah Frankling & Abiah his     Wife    born 6 Janry 17061

1This entry is taken from an official compilation, made at some later time, from the original book of record. The clerk used the year dates of the New Style calendar (adopted by Great Britain in 1752), recording the year of BF’s birth as a simple 1706 instead of the technically more correct 1705/6. He did not, however, adjust the days of the month, but retained the Old Style January 6, not adding eleven days as the New Style calendar would require to make BF’s birthday January 17. The clerk thus followed a not uncommon practice: in his Epitaph (below, p. 111), for example, BF himself gives his birthday as January 6, 1706; and many places, including Boston, continued until well after the American Revolution to celebrate Washington’s birthday on February 11. The record is printed in facsimile in Col. Soc. Mass., Pubs., X (1907), facing p. 228.

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