You might be aware that President Barack Obama has Irish ancestry. It turns out that Vice President Joe Biden does as well. In March of 2013, Joe Biden was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame.
Megan Smolenyak is the well known genealogist who not only traced Barack Obama’s Irish roots, but also Joe Biden’s Irish ancestry (when he was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame). She found that Joe Biden is roughly five-eighths Irish.
According to Megan Smolenyak, Joe Biden’s mother’s entire family tree traces to Ireland, with ancestors who had surnames like Arthurs, Blewitt, Boyle, Roche, Scanlon and Stanton along with her family surname of Finnegan. The last one-eight comes from Joe Biden’s father’s side, which contributed the Hanafee name.
Joe Biden’s mother’s full name was Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden. Her father was named Ambrose Finnegan, and her mother was named Geraldine Blewitt. One of Joe Biden’s granddaughter’s is named Finnegan Biden. Joe Biden’s Irish ancestors with the surname Blewitt came from County Mayo. Joe Biden’s ancestors with the surname Finnegan came from County Louth.
Vice President Joe Biden’s great-great-great-grandfather was Edward Blewitt. It was he who decided to immigrate to American in 1851. He traveled with his wife and seven children, including 18-year-old Patrick Blewitt (who was Joe Biden’s great-great-grandfather).
On the other side of Joe Biden’s family, Owen Finnegan was the first to immigrate to America. He arrived in New York on May 31, 1849. Later on, in 1850, Owen’s wife Jane immigrated to American with the couple’s children. The Blewitts and the Finnegans immigrated to the United States in the same year, but he Finnegans arrived first.
The government of Ireland has given Vice President Joe Biden a long-standing invitation to come visit with the Irish government, and also to further research his roots in Ireland. So far, Joe Biden has made some stopovers in Shannon Airport, but has never properly visited Ireland with his family.
That is about to change. Vice President Joe Biden will visit with Irish leader Enda Kenny in June of 2016. It will be a four day visit which will include the opportunity for Joe Biden to visit his family roots in County Mayo. Enda Kenny just so happens to be from County Mayo himself. The visit has been described as Joe Biden “coming home”.
Image by Marc Nozell on Flickr.
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