Joe Biden

Biden in 2017, photo by palinchak/

Birth Name: Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.

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

Date of Birth: November 20, 1942

Ethnicity: Irish (62.5%), as well as English, German, and remote French, Scottish, and Welsh

Joe Biden is an American politician. He was the Democratic Party’s 2020 nominee for President of the United States, and won the election. He has also 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. In 2020, he won the most votes ever cast for U.S. President. He is the first member of the Silent Generation to be elected president.

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

He was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2020 (sharing the award with running mate Kamala Harris).

Vice President Biden is the son of Catherine Eugenia “Jean” (Finnegan) and Joseph Robinette Biden. He was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and was raised in Claymont, and then Wilmington, both in Delaware. His father was a used car salesman who had at one point been wealthy.

Vice President Biden is of approximately five eighths Irish descent (62.5% Irish). His father was of English, Irish, German, and distant French, Scottish, and Welsh, descent, with his German roots from, for example, his Bomberger, Launderslager, and Shoemaker lines. He had roots in Maryland going back to the mid 1600s. Vice President Biden’s mother’s ancestry was entirely Irish.

He is the first Catholic, Vice President of the United States. He is also the second Catholic to be elected President of the United States, after John F. Kennedy in 1960; and is the first person who is both Irish-American and Catholic to have been nominated for President by a major party since Kennedy.

Vice President Biden is married to Jill Biden, an educator. He was previously married to Neilia Hunter, until her death. He has had 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/Anne 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 Robinette lines traces to Allen Robinett, who was born, c. 1632, in St. Michael, Queenhithe, London. Vice President Biden’s great-grandmother Mary Ann was born in West Virginia, 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 Cooley, County Louth, Ireland, the son of Owen Finnegan and Jane Boyle. Catherine was born in New York, to Irish parents, Thomas Roche and Bridget Fox.

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, who was a Member of the Pennsylvania State Senate from the 22nd District, from 1907 to 1909, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Irish parents, from Rappagh, co. Mayo, Patrick F. Blewitt and Catharine/Catherine “Kate” Scanlon. Vice President Biden’s great-grandmother Mary Ellen was born in Pennsylvania, to Irish parents, James Stanton and Mary Arthurs.

Vice President Biden is a distant cousin of Irish rugby union players Rob Kearney and Dave Kearney, through his Finnegan ancestors. He is also a fourth cousin, once removed, of vice admiral, aviator, and politician James Stockdale. Vice President Biden’s paternal great-great-great-great-grandparents, George Robinette/Robinett and Sarah/Sally Ann Dozier/Dazier, were also James’s maternal great-great-great-grandparents.

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

Information about Vice President Joe Biden’s Irish ancestry –

Genealogies of Vice President Joe Biden –


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