John F. Kennedy

by ethnic on March 25, 2014

Birth Name: John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Date of Birth: May 29, 1917

Place of Birth: Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S.

Date of Death: November 22, 1963

Place of Death: Dallas, Texas, U.S.

Ethnicity: Irish, along with distant Scottish

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as President from January 20, 1961 to November 22, 1963. He was elected to the position in 1960. He served as president until his assassination. He was the first Catholic to become president. He was previously a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts, from January 3, 1947 to January 3, 1953, and a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, from January 3, 1953 to December 22, 1960. He was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 1961.

President Kennedy was the son of Rose Elizabeth (Fitzgerald), a philanthropist and socialite, and Joseph Patrick Kennedy, a businessman, investor, and politician. He was married to Jackie Kennedy (born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier), until his death. The couple had four children, including John F. Kennedy, Jr. Among his three grandchildren is Jack Schlossberg. Among his siblings were politicians Robert F. Kennedy (Robert Francis Kennedy) and Ted Kennedy (Edward Moore Kennedy). His niece is journalist Maria Shriver. He was the great-uncle of politician Joe Kennedy III, author Katherine Schwarzenegger, and actor and model Patrick Schwarzenegger. His sister, Patricia Kennedy Lawford, a socialite, was married to British actor Peter Lawford.

President Kennedy was of Irish descent. He also had distant Scottish ancestry (his patrilineal Kennedy line traces back to Scotland, and President Kennedy had Scottish-born ancestors in the 1600s). President Kennedy visited Ireland in 1963, with the goal of fostering connections between Irish Americans and their ancestral homeland. He also visited Dunganstown, a place where previous Kennedys had lived.

All eight of President Kennedy’s great-grandparents were born outside of the United States, a rarity among American Presidents.

President Kennedy is one of three Roman Catholics nominated for President of the United States by a major American political party. Al Smith, in 1928, and John Kerry, in 2004, are the others. All were/are Democrats.

He was played by Cliff Robertson in the film PT 109 (1963).

President Kennedy’s paternal grandfather was P. J. Kennedy (Patrick Joseph Kennedy, the son of Patrick Kennedy and Bridget Murphy). President Kennedy’s grandfather P. J. was born in Massachusetts, and was a businessperson and politician. President Kennedy’s great-grandparents Patrick and Bridget were both from Dunganstown, Ireland. President Kennedy’s great-grandfather Patrick was the son of James/Patrick Kennedy and Maria/Mary Johanna. Bridget was the daughter of Philip or Richard Murphy and Mary Barron.

President Kennedy’s paternal grandmother was Mary Augusta Hickey (the daughter of James Hickey and Margaret Martha Field). Mary Augusta was born in Massachusetts. James was from Cork, Munster, Ireland, the son of Michael Hickey and Catherine Hasset/Hasselt/Remnage. Margaret was from Rossearbery, Ireland, the daughter of Patrick Field and Mary Sheehy.

President Kennedy’s maternal grandfather was John Francis Fitzgerald (the son of Thomas Fitzgerald and Rosanna Cox). President Kennedy’s grandfather John was born in Massachusetts, and was a politician, who served as Mayor of Boston (from 1906 to 1908, and again from 1910 to 1914), and as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts (from 1895 to 1901, and in 1919). Thomas was born in Co. Limerick, Ireland, the son of Michael Fitzgerald and Ellen Wilmouth/Wilmot. Rosanna was born in Lough Cur, Limerick, Ireland, the daughter of Philip Cox and Mary McGovern.

President Kennedy’s maternal grandmother was Mary Josephine “Josie” Hannon (the daughter of Michael Hannon and Mary Ann Fitzgerald). President Kennedy’s grandmother Mary Josephine was born in Massachusetts. Michael was from Lough Cur in Ireland, the son of John Hannon and Ellen Noonan/Newman. Mary Ann was from Bruff, Ireland, the daughter of Edmund/Edward Fitzgerald and Mary Linnehan/Lenihan.

Sources: Genealogies of President Kennedy –

Genealogy of President Kennedy (focusing on his father’s side) –

President Kennedy’s mother on the 1900 U.S. Census –
President Kennedy’s mother on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Notes on President Kennedy’s maternal ancestry –

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew August 20, 2017 at 3:55 pm

How is Jackie Kennedy not on the site??

andrew February 2, 2017 at 1:15 pm
madman August 11, 2016 at 11:29 am

He was played by Cliff Robertson in the film PT 109 (1963).

andrew February 2, 2017 at 1:17 pm
andrew June 28, 2016 at 6:03 pm
gel January 12, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Correction: The Irish Kennedys did NOT originate in Scotland. They are far older.

follers January 12, 2016 at 3:38 pm

If you follow President Kennedy’s patrilineal line here, he did have distant Scottish-born ancestors, in the 1600s.

bearboy February 23, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Col William Randolph II was born in 1651 in England. Both parents from England. JFK’s 7th great grand-father. Source

follers February 23, 2015 at 1:06 pm

That family tree misidentifies President Kennedy’s maternal great-grandfather.

His great-grandfather was Thomas Fitzgerald, born in 1835 in County Limerick, Ireland.

That geni tree incorrectly states that he was a Thomas Fitzgerald who was born in 1823 in Amelia Springs, Amelia, Virginia, and who did have English ancestry.

bearboy February 23, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Oh okay. Too bad isn’t as reliable as I thought it was.

andrew June 23, 2015 at 6:11 am

maybe is correct but not

follers January 12, 2016 at 3:39 pm

I linked census entries about President Kennedy’s mother’s family. All came from Ireland. The thing is incorrect.

cdonorab February 22, 2015 at 6:58 am

Correction. While most of his immediate ancestry was Irish he also has Scottish, English and French ancestry as well. I’ve also read that people have traced the Fitzgeralds back to an Italian family who moved to Ireland in the 12th century though don’t know hoe accurate that is.

follers February 22, 2015 at 10:03 am

Well, if it isn’t confirmed, and it goes back to the 1100s…

cdonorab February 22, 2015 at 10:07 am

The Italian ancestry I’m not sure about, but the Scotish, French and English ancestry is accurate.

follers February 22, 2015 at 11:25 am

Who were President Kennedy’s Scottish, French, and English ancestors? Although if it was before the 1500s there’s no point in recording it, since every person of British Isles descent has some if you go back that far.

cdonorab February 22, 2015 at 5:11 pm

The first Scottish that I found was in the 1600s Isabelle Campbell who was married to a Kennedy. She was connected to other Scots familys Douglas and Stewart. The English and French are before the 1500s.

follers February 23, 2015 at 10:37 am

I added President Kennedy’s Scottish ancestry, as it’s relatively recent (an ancestor born in the early 1600s, as I understand it).

Fatmonkey February 22, 2015 at 6:16 pm

You’re right to an extent. The Fitzgeralds are said to descend from the lineage of Hiberno-Norman colonists from the late Medieval. Still, mind you, Hibernian ancestry is not the same as Spanish, nor is Norman same as French. Rather, those are specific ancient/ medieval ethnic groups which gradually mixed up genetically and culturally, and gave rise to the nationalities we have today. Also, as follers said, the time gap between any JFK’s non-Irish ancestors and him is centuries long, so it doesn’t actually make sense to make mention of them. All of us, no matter how much homogenous, have certain distant ancestors of ethnicity different than ours, for that matter.

andrew February 23, 2015 at 5:32 am

I personally read an article where Ted Kennedy claimed Fitzgerald family descends from an Italian family named “Geraldini” who moved from Florence or Venice ( I dont remember) to London long time ago, I dont know how much is relevant in terms of ancestry

andrew June 23, 2015 at 6:29 am


Fitzgerald family descend from Otho Geraldini/Gherardini, Duke of Tuscany, born c. 1006 in Florence, Tuscany, Italy.

Nikki May 31, 2014 at 11:54 am

he possibly could’ve been a little scottish. His surname is scottish and irish

ses101 August 23, 2018 at 9:35 am

Yeah, he does appear to have Scottish blood from the Kennedy clan, which originated in Scotland.

levangelista36 June 19, 2012 at 5:14 am

His wife, Jackie, is supposed to have some distant African ancestry. Someone claimed she was related to a South African born in the 1800’s.

I think you can really see it in their daughter, Caroline. :]

Danielle August 25, 2010 at 5:52 pm

He was a great president. Always in my heart.

Bill August 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Good president.

bearboy March 20, 2016 at 2:41 am

One of my favorite presidents!

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