Joe Biden

official photo of Joe Biden, c. 2013, by David Lienemann, White House

Birth Name: Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.

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

Date of Birth: November 20, 1942

*English, German, Irish (father)
*Irish (mother)

Joe Biden is an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 47th Vice President of the United States, from January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017. He was elected to the position in 2008 and 2012. He was previously a U.S. Senator from Delaware, from January 3, 1973 to January 15, 2009, among other duties.

He is a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 2020.

He was also a candidate for the Democratic Party’s 1988 and 2008 presidential nominations.

Vice President Biden is the son of Catherine Eugenia “Jean” (Finnegan) and Joseph Robinette Biden. His father was of English, Irish, and German descent (the latter from his Bomberger and Launderslager lines), and also possibly had remote French roots (from the family surname Robinette). Vice President Biden’s mother’s ancestry was entirely Irish.

He is the first Catholic, Vice President of the United States.

Vice President Biden is married to Jill Biden, an educator. He was previously married to Neilia Hunter, until her death. He has three children with Neilia, and a daughter with Jill. His sons include Beau Biden, who served as Attorney General of Delaware, from 2007 to 2015, and who died in 2015; and lawyer Hunter Biden.

Vice President Biden’s patrilineal line can be traced to William Biden, who was born, c. 1795, in Sussex, England, and to his wife Mary Elkins.

Vice President Biden’s paternal grandfather was Joseph Harry Biden (the son of George T. Biden and Mary Emily/Emeline Lidell/Liddell). Vice President Biden’s grandfather Joseph was born in Maryland, and was an oil businessperson. George was the son of Joseph J./Harry Biden and Lydia Ann Randle. Mary Emily/Emeline was the daughter of Robert Theodore Lidell/Liddell, whose father was English, and of Susan E. Bomberger.

Vice President Biden’s paternal grandmother was Mary Elizabeth Robinette (the daughter of George Hamilton Robinette and Mary Ann Hanafee). Vice President Biden’s grandmother Mary Elizabeth was born in Maryland. George was the son of Moses Johnson Robinette and Jane Elizabeth/Eliza Pumphrey. Vice President Biden’s great-grandmother Mary Ann was the daughter of John Hanafy/Hanafee, who was Irish, and of Mary Ward, who was born in London, to Irish parents, from Galway, Gaillimh, Ireland.

Vice President Biden’s maternal grandfather was Ambrose Joseph Finnegan (the son of James Finnegan and Catherine Roche). Ambrose was born in Pennsylvania. James was born in Ireland, the son of Owen Finnegan and Jane Boyle. Catherine was born in New York, to Irish parents, Thomas Roche and Bridget.

Vice President Biden’s maternal grandmother was Geraldine Catherine/Catharine Blewitt (the daughter of Edward Francis Blewitt and Mary Ellen Stanton). Geraldine was born in Pennsylvania. Edward, a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Irish parents from Rappagh, co. Mayo, Patrick Blewitt and Catharine/Catharine “Kate” Scanlon. Vice President Biden’s great-grandmother Mary Ellen was born in Pennsylvania, to Irish parents, James Stanton and Mary.

Sources: Genealogies of Vice President Biden –

Family history of Vice President Biden (focusing on his mother’s side), by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak –


Curious about ethnicity

6 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    according to, his “Robinette” line can be traced as far as back to this man:

    Not French, thus. Most likely a Norman origin but we go back to 1066.

  2. cwm85 says:

    I have a lot of respect for him but he needs to retire after 2017.

  3. cwm85 says:

    Good old Joe Biden…

  4. bearboy says:

    RIP Beau Biden.

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