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

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.

abby2. Abigail Folger, one of the Manson Family's victims "“ she was the one that escaped and ran outside, only to be stabbed on the Polanskis' front lawn. She was the great-great granddaughter of J.A. Folger.
3. Ezra Cornell, the co-founder of Cornell University, was Ben's first cousin, five times removed. OK, go back to Uncle Eleazar. His other kid, Sarah, is the great-great-great grandmother of Ezra. His cousin, Paul Cornell, was a famous land developer in Chicago. He's responsible for Hyde Park, Washington Park and Jackson Park, among others.

MITCHELL4. Maria Mitchell, Astronomer. She was a first cousin, four times removed (Ben's Aunt Joanna's great-great-great granddaughter), and quite an impressive woman in her own right. She discovered a comet in 1847 (only the second woman to ever do so), was the first professional female astronomer in the U.S., uncovered the true nature of sunspots, was the first woman member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences AND of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She traveled in Europe with Nathaniel Hawthorne, became the first person ever to be appointed to the faculty at Vassar College and was named the Director of the Vassar College Observatory. When she found out that she wasn't making as much money as males who didn't have her experience, she demanded a raise. And got it.

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.

mott6. Lucretia Coffin Mott. That Eleazar Folger had some pretty potent genes. In addition to Ezra Cornell and J.A. Folger, he also begat one of the most important suffragists and abolitionists ever. Lucretia was a great inspiration for Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she was the first president of the American Rights Association, was an acclaimed author and helped to incorporate Swarthmore College (among many other accomplishments).
7. Henry Clay Folger was the nephew of J.A. Folger. He was the president and chairman of Standard Oil of New York, but is probably best known for founding the Folger Shakespeare Library.

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!

5 Subtle Cues That Can Tell You About Your Date's Financial Personality

Being financially compatible with your partner is important, especially as a relationship grows. Fortunately, there are ways you can learn about your partner’s financial personality in a relationship’s early stages without seeing their bank statement or sitting them down for “the money talk.”

Are they a spender or a saver? Are they cautious with money? These habits can be learned through basic observations or casual questions that don’t feel intrusive. Here are some subtle things that can tell you about your date’s financial personality.


Casual conversations about finance-related topics can be very revealing. Does your date know if their employer matches their 401(k) plan contributions? Do you find their answers to any financial questions a bit vague—even the straightforward ones like “What are the rewards like on your credit card?” This could mean that your partner is a little fuzzy on some of the details of their financial situation.

As your connection grows, money talks are only natural. If your date expresses uncertainty about their monthly budget, it may be an indicator that they are still working on the best way to manage their finances or don’t keep close tabs on their spending habits.


If you notice your partner is always watching business news channels, thumbing through newspapers, or checking share prices on their phone, they are clearly keeping abreast of what’s going on in the financial world. Ideally, this would lead to a well-informed financial personality that gives way to smart investments and overall monetary responsibility.

If you see that your date has an interest in national and global finances, ask them questions about what they’ve learned. The answers will tell you what type of financial mindset to expect from you partner moving forward. You might also learn something new about the world of finance and business!


You may be able to learn a lot about someone’s financial personality just by asking what they usually do for dinner. If your date dines out a lot, it could be an indication that they are willing to spend money on experiences. On the other hand, if they’re eating most of their meals at home or prepping meals for the entire week to cut their food budget, they might be more of a saver.


Money is a source of stress for most people, so it’s important to observe if financial anxiety plays a prominent role in your date’s day-to-day life. There are a number of common financial worries we all share—rising insurance rates, unexpected car repairs, rent increases—but there are also more specific and individualized concerns. Listen to how your date talks about money and pick up on whether their stress is grounded in worries we all have or if they have a more specific reason for concern.

In both instances, it’s important to be supportive and helpful where you can. If your partner is feeling nervous about money, they’ll likely be much more cautious about what they’re spending, which can be a good thing. But it can also stop them from making necessary purchases or looking into investments that might actually benefit them in the future. As a partner, you can help out by minimizing their expenses for things like nights out and gifts in favor of less expensive outings or homemade gifts to leave more of their budget available for necessities.


Does your date actually look at how much they’re spending before handing their credit card to the waiter or bartender at the end of the night? It’s a subtle sign, but someone who looks over a bill is likely much more observant about what they spend than someone who just blindly hands cards or cash over once they get the tab.

Knowing what you spend every month—even on smaller purchases like drinks or dinner—is key when you’re staying on a budget. It’s that awareness that allows people to adjust their monthly budget and calculate what their new balance will be once the waiter hands over the check. Someone who knows exactly what they’re spending on the small purchases is probably keeping a close eye on the bigger picture as well.


While these subtle cues can be helpful signposts when you’re trying to get an idea of your date’s financial personality, none are perfect indicators that will be accurate every time. Our financial personalities are rarely cut and dry—most of us probably display some behaviors that would paint us as savers while also showing habits that exclaim “spender!” By relying too heavily on any one indicator, we might not get an accurate impression of our date.

Instead, as you get to know a new partner, the best way to learn about their financial personality is by having a straightforward and honest talk with them. You’ll learn more by listening and asking questions than you ever could by observing small behaviors.

Whatever your financial personality is, it pays to keep an eye on your credit score. Discover offers a Free Credit Scorecard, and checking it won't impact your score. It's totally free, even if you aren't a Discover customer. Check yours in seconds. Terms apply. Visit Discover to learn more.

Where Do Birds Get Their Songs?

Birds display some of the most impressive vocal abilities in the animal kingdom. They can be heard across great distances, mimic human speech, and even sing using distinct dialects and syntax. The most complex songs take some practice to learn, but as TED-Ed explains, the urge to sing is woven into songbirds' DNA.

Like humans, baby birds learn to communicate from their parents. Adult zebra finches will even speak in the equivalent of "baby talk" when teaching chicks their songs. After hearing the same expressions repeated so many times and trying them out firsthand, the offspring are able to use the same songs as adults.

But nurture isn't the only factor driving this behavior. Even when they grow up without any parents teaching them how to vocalize, birds will start singing on their own. These innate songs are less refined than the ones that are taught, but when they're passed down through multiple generations and shaped over time, they start to sound similar to the learned songs sung by other members of their species.

This suggests that the drive to sing as well as the specific structures of the songs themselves have been ingrained in the animals' genetic code by evolution. You can watch the full story from TED-Ed below, then head over here for a sample of the diverse songs produced by birds.

[h/t TED-Ed]


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