Joan Jett

iHeartRadio Music Festival Las Vegas 2013 - Day 2

Jett in 2013, photo by

Birth Name: Joan Marie Larkin

Place of Birth: Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Date of Birth: September 22, 1958

Ethnicity: Irish, as well as English and Scottish

Joan Jett is an American rock singer, songwriter, composer, musician, record producer, and actress. She is a member of rock group Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, and was a founding member of rock group The Runaways. Cherie Currie and Michael Steele were also members of The Runaways.

Joan is the daughter of Dorothy and James Larkin. Joan has stated:

My father was Irish, and I believe he came from County Mayo. [I] Want to explore that a little bit more when I have the time…

Joan stated that she also has Scottish and English ancestry.

In an article in The Irish Times, Joan was compared to the concept of “black Irish” (Irish people with dark hair). Her friend, Kenny Laguna, stated in the same article that there are a “ton of Duffys in her family.”

Joan’s paternal grandfather was Michael Joseph Larkin (the son of Michael Larkin and Maria Flaherty). Joan’s grandfather Michael was born in Claremorris, Mayo, Ireland.

Joan’s paternal grandmother was Helen “Nellie” Duffy (the daughter of Michael Duffy and Mary/Maria Kenny). Helen was born in Knockbrack, Kilkelly, Mayo, Ireland. Michael was the son of Martin Duffy and Mary Clark.

Sources: Information about Joan’s roots –

Joan’s grandparents –

Joan’s father on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Joan’s paternal grandparents, Michael J. Larkin and Helen V. Duffy, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

8 Responses

  1. madman says:

    Michael J. Larkin –> Michael Joe Larkin (the son of Thomas Larkin and Mary Ann).

    She actually made up that Jett was her mother’s maiden name. According to her maternal grandparents were:

    Roy Emerson Thomas (the son of Alonzo Abbott Thomas and Mabel Emma Chase). Alonzo was the son of Henry Abbott Thomas and Flora Adelaide Peterson.

    Mary Elizabeth Phelps (the daughter of Allen Darius Phelps and Alice Elizabeth Maynard). Allen was the son of Francis Henry Phelps and Esther Antoinette Hall. Alice was the daughter of Samuel Taylor Maynard and Mary Eliza Eddy.

    • follers says:

      Has Joan Jett herself stated that Jett was her mother’s maiden name?

      Do we know for sure that those are her maternal grandparents?

      • madman says:

        I don’t know for sure. It’s spread around on internet biographies to the extent that it’s nearly impossible to know if it’s her own claim or not. It’s also said that Jett was her mother’s middle name (which likely isn’t true).

        Wikipedia now mentions that she made up the claim. The source links to an interview, but at least in that specific time spot she doesn’t mention it. BUT, she did mention once that her mother passed away on August 26, 2010, the same date as the woman in the family tree is listed as having died.

        If the tree is wrong then it’s wrong. In Mary’s obituary, she has a daughter named Dorothy M. Larkin, so I don’t know where Lloyd came from. At the very least, it appears that all these people are real this time.

        • follers says:

          The Mary’s obituary that you linked me to says that her son-in-law is named Bob Larkin, which isn’t Joan’s father’s name. This couple also seems to have been born in the early 1940s, and is thus probably too young to be Jett’s parents.

  2. bablah says:

    Could this be her aunt?
    Her parents are Duffy and Larkin and she has a niece Joan

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