John McCain

official photo of 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 and Swiss-French

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. His father was born in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa. His mother was born in Muskogee, Muskogee Co., Oklahoma. 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 and Swiss-French.

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. Meghan is married to political commentator Ben Domenech.

John’s patrilineal line can be traced to his great-great-great-grandfather, Joseph McCain, who was born, c. 1784, 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 Teoc, Carroll, Mississippi. John’s great-grandfather John was the son of William Alexander McCain and Mary Louisa/Louise McAllister, who was born in Alabama. Elizabeth Ann was the daughter of Samuel Hart Young and Catharine/Catherine Weeden Small.

John’s paternal grandmother was Katherine/Catherine Davey/Davy Vaulx (the daughter of The Rev. James Junius Vaulx and Margaret Garside). Katherine was born in Fayetteville, Washington, 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 Dickens.

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

John’s maternal grandmother was Myrtle Mae Fletcher (the daughter of Azariah Dennis Fletcher and Martha Malinda/Melinda “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. 1815, 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

An AncestryDNA test taken by John’s daughter Meghan whose results were displayed on the show The View (2018) stated that Meghan’s genetic ancestry is:

*62% England, Wales & Northwestern Europe
*34% Ireland & Scotland
*2% Norway
*1% Native American–Andean
*1% Senegal

Sources: Genealogies of John McCain –

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

Marriage record of John’s paternal great-great-grandparents, Samuel Garside and Mary Dickens –


Curious about ethnicity

31 Responses

  1. Mr. Postman says:

    People born in the Panama Canal Zone used to be called Zonians. Maybe that could be a tag?

  2. andrew says:

    According to familysearch and MyHeritage, his “Vaulx” line traces back to Switzerland (formerly “Devaux”):

  3. italiano90 says:

    1% Senegal has to be from a slave whose african bloodline was bred out. I cant think of any other reason why that would pop up. At the end of the day its just noise.

    • andrew says:

      It may be on his wife’s side.

    • passingtime85 says:

      AncestryDna is the worst admixture test on the home market.

      • jackson9 says:

        I don’t know. I found from a lot of obsessive DNA testing that the most to least reliable of the three is 23andme, ancestry DNA, and last myheritage DNA. Although with the most recent ancestry DNA update everyone with any connection to the British Isles has way too much Scottish in their ethnicity report. People have been mentioning that on a lot of genealogy groups I am apart of.

        • passingtime85 says:

          I read so many reviews for AncestryDna, about 8 years ago mind you, and the users at the time, said that AncestryDna always overestimates admixture from the British Isles.

          At the time I also recall a lot of incorrect estimations for African users. A lot of people saying they were born in Africa and they knew the particular tribe/ethnic group they were from, but AncestryDna would designate them as a neighboring tribe, and the users seemed pretty miffed.

          I don’t know know much about MyHeritageDNA, it wasn’t available when I started taking note of home admixture tests, so I never looked into them.

          I chose FamilyTreeDNA instead, which is comparable to 23andme, although with different designations at roughly the same percentages.

          • jackson9 says:

            I wish DNA tests could trace back more than 500-1000 years. My cousin by marriage is half Ashkenazi Jewish and instead of being told by all these tests that he is “half Jewish” he would love to know where in the levant which tribes he came from thousands of years back.

          • passingtime85 says:

            That’s a tall order. I don’t think they’ll ever be that accurate. Unless 100s of millions around the world start doing the tests. Or maybe just every Jewish person and all their surrounding neighbors did it, would suffice but that is most likely an impossibility. Not just that, but ten ancient tribes are lost to time, only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remain.

            The closest thing he could do is look at his paternal haplogroup and see if it matches the families of the Kohens or that of the Levi, both family names are thought to represent priests/rabbinical families. Their DNA haplogroups are petty old and contiguous from way back pre-biblical times and have been exhaustively researched.

  4. fuzzybear44 says:

    He must have truly disliked Trump, not to even want the man at his funeral

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