John McCain

Birth Name: John Sidney McCain III

Date of Birth: August 29, 1936

Place of Birth: Coco Solo Naval Air Station, Panama Canal Zone

Date of Death: August 25, 2018

Place of Death: Cornville, Arizona, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish/Irish, distant Welsh

John McCain was an American politician. A Republican, he served as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona, from January 3, 1983 to January 3, 1987, and a U.S. Senator from Arizona, since January 3, 1987 to August 25, 2018, his death.

He was the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 2008. He was also a candidate for the Republican Party’s 2000 presidential nomination.

John was born at the Coco Solo Naval Air Station, Panama Canal Zone, to American parents. He was the son of Roberta (Wright) and John Sidney “Jack” McCain, Jr., a prominent admiral and submarine commander. At the time of his birth, the Panama Canal was an unincorporated territory of the U.S., and John’s father was serving there. John’s paternal grandfather, John Sidney “Slew” McCain, Sr., was also a prominent admiral, and a pioneer of aircraft carrier operations. John’s ancestry was English, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish/Irish, and distant Welsh.

John was married to businessperson, philanthropist, and humanitarian Cindy McCain, until his death. Cindy is of half Swedish descent. John had three children with his former wife, model Carol Shepp; and four children, including columnist Meghan McCain, with Cindy. His brother is actor and newspaper reporter Joe McCain.

John’s patrilineal line can be traced back to his third great-grandfather, Joseph W. McCain, who was born, c. 1773, in Scotland.

John’s paternal grandfather was John Sidney McCain, Sr. (the son of John Sidney McCain and Elizabeth-Ann Young). John’s grandfather John was born in Mississippi. John’s great-grandfather John was the son of William Alexander McCain and Mary Louisa/Louise McAllister. Elizabeth-Ann was the daughter of Samuel Hart Young and Catherine/Catharine Weeden Small.

John’s paternal grandmother was Catherine/Katherine Davy/Davey Vaulx (the daughter of The Rev. James Junius Vaulx and Margaret Garside). Catherine was born in Arkansas. The Rev. James was the son of James Vaulx and Eliza Geddy Fenner. Margaret was born in Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire, England, the daughter of Samuel Garside and Mary Ellin Dickens.

John’s maternal grandfather was Archibald “Archie” Wright (the son of Franklin Alexander Wright and Nancy Adeline/Adaline Atkins). Archibald was born in Mississippi, and was an oil wildcatter. Franklin was the son of Archibald Wright and Mary Paterson/Patterson/Peterson. Nancy was the daughter of Robert Taylor Atkins and Martha Jane Anderson.

John’s maternal grandmother was Myrtle Mae Fletcher (the daughter of Azariah Denny/Dennis Fletcher and Martha Melinda/Malinda “Mattie” Kidwell). Myrtle was born in Texas. Azariah was the son of Azariah Denny Fletcher and Mary Moore. Martha was the daughter of William Kidwell and Sarah “Sally” Higgins. Sarah was born, c. 1814, in Kentucky.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2016) stated that John’s genetic ancestry was:

*99.4% European
*0.5% Native American
*0.1% North African

Sources: Genealogies of John McCain –

Genealogy of John’s McCain (focusing on his father’s side) –


Curious about ethnicity

22 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    John’s patrilineal line can be traced back to his 3rd Great-Grandfather Joseph W. McCain, born c. 1773 in Scotland

  2. bearboy says:

    Mind sending a link to where it says McCain is 99.4% European, 0.5% Native American, and 0.1% North African. Also is season 3 of Finding Your Roots on book now? I thought it was but I can’t seem to find the book at any store or library.

  3. bearboy says:

    Senator John McCain is also part Welsh. 6th great-grandfather was Jonas Williams born 1660 in Wales and died 1744 in Virginia.

  4. Gogoboots says:

    “CORRECTION’ he isn’t only Northern Irish he has ancestry from Dublin

  5. Rachel says:

    McCain is not a Scottish surname, it’s Irish. Maybe he thought Scots-Irish meant a combination of Scottish and Irish ancestry, but it means that your ancestors came from the Scottish Lowlands, and they later moved to the Irish province of Ulster. They should really call it Ulster Scots like they do in the UK and Canada.

    • Mike S. says:

      Not quite. McCain, like many Western and Isles names derived from the Dalriadic migration from Ireland to W. Scotland, can be found in Ireland AND Scotland. However, John McCain’s family and mine (we are from the same immigrant family) originate from Glencoe of Clan MacDonald of Glenco, and this has been accurately traced to those origins by our families.

      It is a corruption of the actual clan branch name of MacIan.

    • JR says:

      I am also of the same McCain’s. John McCain is my mothers fourth cousin and Mike S. has it right. We originated from Clan MacDonald of Glenco. I think that maybe you should do a little research of your own before you go dismissing someones knowledge about their own family history.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.