FACSIMILE OF ENTRY OF FRANKLIN'S BIRTH IN BOSTON TOWN RECORDS.
"A MAN," wrote Franklin, "who makes boast of his ancestors doth but advertise his own insignificance, for the pedigrees of great men are commonly known"; and elsewhere he advised: "Let our fathers and grandfathers be valued for their goodness, ourselves for our own." Clearly this objection extended to pride of birth alone, and not to knowledge of one's forebears; for Franklin himself displayed not a little interest in his progenitors, and when he went to England as the agent of his colony he devoted both time and travel to searching out the truth concerning them. Nor was he, in fact, wholly without conceit of family. In default of discovered greatness in his kindred, he expressed pleasure in an inference that the family name was derived from the old social order of small freeholders, and, therefore, that they were once the betters of the yeomen and feudatories.