Jeff Franklin’s birth name probably was Thomas Jefferson Franklin, according to the death certificates of his sons John Franklin and Ananias Franklin. Jeff was one of the family leaders of the 14 Families that established St. John Colony. He and his wife, Sarah Franklin, were born slaves in Mississippi. Jeff was born in 1825, and Sarah was born in 1841. In the 1880 Census, he and his wife Sarah were designated as mulattos. Jeff and Sarah’s parents and siblings are unknown at this point.

On Ananias Franklin’s death certificate, Sarah’s maiden name is Lane. On John Franklin’s death certificate, Sarah’s maiden name is Tinnon. Ananias and John are the sons of Jeff and Sarah Franklin. E.M. Franklin, who was the Pastor of St. James Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, was the son of Ananias Franklin.

Jeff married Sarah J. Tinnon or Lane-Franklin circa 1862. The research did not produce a marriage license. They had eight children: William Franklin, Isaiah Franklin, Laura Franklin, Melissa J Franklin, John Franklin, Eva Franklin, Annanias Franklin, and Emma Franklin.

Jeff Franklin’s slave owner is unknown at this point. We know he was born in Mississippi and lived in Hogeye after slavery.

Jeff and Sarah purchased fifty acres of land in St. John Colony. He farmed the land, and she took care of the home. Death and burial locations are unknown.

Louis Simms