What are Joe Biden’s Irish roots?

What are Joe Biden’s Irish roots?
What are Joe Biden’s Irish roots?

Democratic US presidential candidate Joe Biden has spoken about his Irish heritage several times, came here for an official visit as Vice President in 2016 and even referred to the poet Seamus Heaney in his speeches.

Mr Biden can trace his Irish roots to both Co Mayo’s Blewitts and Co Louth’s Finnegans.

His great-great-grandfather Patrick Blewitt was born in Ballina, Co Mayo, in 1832. Patrick left Ireland in the fall of 1850 to settle in America. However, he returned to Ireland the following year to bring his parents Edward and Mary and siblings to America.

The Blewitts settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Patrick became a mining inspector, often working in South America.

Patrick had a son, Edward F. Blewitt, who was born in New Orleans in 1859. It was named after Patrick’s father, who died in a drowning accident in 1872.

Edward F. Blewitt graduated as a civil engineer and worked as a city engineer prior to his election to the Senate in 1907.

Blewitt married Mary Ellen Stanton and they had four children together – Gertrude, Patrick, Arthur and Geraldine. Geraldine married Ambrose Finnegan and they had a daughter Jean, born in 1917, the mother of Joe Biden.

Biden’s other great-great-grandfather was Owen Finnegan of the Cooley Peninsula in Co Louth. He married Jean Boyle in 1839. The first four children were born there, including James Finnegan in 1840, Biden’s great-grandfather.

The family moved to America in the late 1840s and settled in Seneca, New York. The family emigrated with Owen’s brother, John, and other cousins. Owen and Jean both died in 1874, and James and his wife Catherine Roche moved to the Scranton area. They had six children, including Ambrose J. Finnegan (who, as we know, married Geraldine Blewitt).

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