“Being Irish, without fear of contradiction, has shaped my entire life.” — Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

Joe Biden is among the 34.7 million Americans who claim Irish ancestry, according to the 2010 census.

With Irish ancestors traced in both his mother’s and his father’s families, he is estimated to be “roughly five-eighths Irish,” says genealogist Megan Smolenyak, who has researched his pedigree in-depth.

His late mother, Jean, was a Finnegan. Her Finnegans came from County Louth, close to the border with Northern Ireland. One of Joe’s granddaughters is named Finnegan Biden.

“I grew up in a household where my grandfather and grandmother Finnegan, all my mother’s brothers and my father told us about the courage and commitment it took for our relatives to emigrate from Ireland — in the midst of tragedy — to distant shores where they didn’t know what awaited them. And those values — their passion and principle, their faith and fortitude — shaped the way my siblings and I were raised.”


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