Skip to main content

Franks, Jacob


FRANKS, JACOB (1688–1769), New York City merchant and founder of a prominent mercantile family. Franks, born in London, arrived in New York in 1708 or 1709. He became a freeman of New York in 1711. A year later he married Abigail Bilhah Levy, daughter of Moses *Levy, one of New York's wealthiest Jews. The couple had nine children, three of whom – Moses, David, and Naphtali – became successful merchants in England and the provinces. A daughter, Phila, married Oliver De Lancey in 1742, thus linking the family with New York aristocracy. Franks' vast trade activities, engaged in part with Moses Levy and Nathan Simpson, as well as his sons, included dry goods, liquor, and slaves. Other partners in trade were members of the Van Cortlandt, Philipse, and Livingston families. Franks was elected constable of the Dock Ward in New York City in 1720, but declined to serve. He did serve in the militia during the French and Indian Wars. Franks contributed to the building of the steeple on Trinity Church in 1711. Much involved in the congregational affairs of Shearith Israel in New York, he served in a variety of offices, including that of president (1729). He was a founder of the congregation's Mill Street synagogue, and also helped to purchase the congregation burial ground off present-day Chatham Square. Frank's interest in religious affairs was not continued by his descendants, and the family disappeared as Jews by the end of the 18th century.


L. Hershkowitz and I.S. Meyer (eds.), Letters of the Franks Family (1733–1748) (1968).

[Leo Hershkowitz]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Franks, Jacob." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 22 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Franks, Jacob." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (February 22, 2019).

"Franks, Jacob." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved February 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.