Posted by Kristie Wells on June 20, 2016 in Entertainment, Ireland

We’re incredibly proud to announce that Ancestry is chronicling Vice President of the United States Joe Biden’s trip to his family’s ancestral home, Ireland. Over the next six days, we invite you to join us in following the Vice President and his family on this journey. We also invite you to ask Biden questions about his family history as he will be responding to them throughout his trip there (see details at the end of the post).

To start, please enjoy this letter from the Vice President himself, explaining why this visit is so personally meaningful.

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I’m leaving for a very special trip tomorrow.

I’m going back to Ireland – the country from which my ancestors hailed, and a country whose independence the Easter Rising set in motion, 100 years ago this year. It is my first dedicated trip to this nation as Vice President – during which I’ll meet with the country’s leaders, discuss issues of trade, economic recovery, migration and refugee policy, and other national security challenges, and celebrate our shared heritage. Our shared values of tolerance. Diversity. Inclusiveness.

And it’s a trip I’m so deeply grateful to be taking alongside my children and grandchildren.

You can follow along right here.

Over the course of my life, I’ve been a lot of places. I’ve traveled all around the world – more than a million miles on Air Force Two alone. I’ve been honored to have held a lot of titles. But I have always been and will always be the son of Kitty Finnegan. The grandson of Geraldine Finnegan from St. Paul’s Parish in Scranton; a proud descendant of the Finnegans of Ireland’s County Louth. The great-grandson of a man named Edward Francis Blewitt, whose roots stem from Ballina, a small town in Ireland’s County Mayo – sister city to my hometown in Scranton, Pennsylvania. An engineer with a poet’s heart. Months after my mother passed away, I found an old box of his poems in my attic.

In his poetry, my great-grandfather spoke of both continents, and how his heart and his soul drew from the old and the new. And most of all, he was proud. He was proud of his ancestors. He was proud of his blood. He was proud of his city. He was proud of his state, his country. But most of all – he was proud of his family.

Joe Biden with his parents and grandparents
An infant Joe Biden with his parents and grandparents on the Finnegan side

And that is America: This notion that home is where your character is etched. As Americans, we all hail from many homes. Somewhere along the line, someone in our lineage arrived on our shores, filled with hope. We are blessed to experience that simultaneous pride in where we’ve found ourselves, while never forgetting our roots.

James Joyce wrote, “When I die, Dublin will be written on my heart.”

Well, Northeast Pennsylvania will be written on my heart. But Ireland will be written on my soul. And as we join the world in celebrating everything that Ireland has become, and indeed everything that she has always been, I could not be more honored to be returning.

You can see what I see right here and across social media.

I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

-Joe

Vice President Joe Biden

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Want to know more? Biden is proud of his Irish roots and would love to share his family’s history with you. Simply post a family history related question in the comments section below and we will do our best to have him answer it for you during his trip to the Emerald Isle.

 

Kristie Wells

Kristie is Ancestry's former Head of Global Social Media and Online Customer Engagement.

92 Comments

  1. Victoria Boydd

    My ancestor, great great grandfather Francis McShane, is my immigrant. He was born in county Tyrone in 1815 and came to America around 12 years of age. Sadly, records during that timeframe are practically non-existent. Good luck VP Biden as you touch upon your Irish ancestry.

  2. Bridget

    I look forward to following the vice president’s trip. Thank you Ancestry for this opportunity.

  3. Sharon

    VP Biden is fortunate to have so much information on his ancestors. I only know that my Irish ancestors, Peter Murray and wife Nancy McBride, were born in Ireland. They arrived in America abt. 1819 and may have entered the port of Philadelphia by way of Newfoundland. I believe that they may have sailed from a port in England, according to Peter’s citizenship record filed in Columbiana Co., OH. These courageous people were my ggg-grandparents.

  4. Gay Raab

    We should always remember and hold dear all the sacrifices our ancestors made to make us who we are today.

    I always loved this quote I came across while doing my family history:
    “There is a tradition in Mexico that states, Each person dies three times. First, there is the moment in which the body stops functioning. Second, there is the time when the remains are consigned to the grave. Third, there is that moment, sometime in the future,
    In which the person’s name is spoken for the last time. It is then that the person is really gone.”

    Let us not forget our ancestors and pass on their legacy to our descendants.

  5. Gary Wright

    Per Ancestry DNA I am 10% Irish and so far we are unable to track our specific lineage to Ireland. I will be following Mr. Biden’s journey with interest and anticipation — perhaps we are “shirt-tail” relatives!

  6. Linda Diehl

    Throught Ancestry DNA I was able to find out that I am 30% Irish. My daughter and I were fortunate to visit the Emerald Isle in March through a fabulous tour with GoCollette and considered staying in Ireland! What % Irish is Vice President Biden?

    • Kristie Wells

      Biden has not taken the AncestryDNA test as of yet, but he knows we would like him to. His mother and much of her family line are Irish so it runs through his veins, but we will ask him about percentage in the hopes he will take the test to know for sure. 🙂

  7. Cherie Mabrey

    I’m only 3% Irish but my children are 20% so I’m hoping to find out where in Ireland their heritage is. How did you find yours? Did you alway know?

  8. Betty Schatz

    My sister and I made the trip to northeastern Germany this last spring to visit the home towns of our ancestors. What a thrill to walk into a church dating to the 14th century and stand at the same baptismal font where my great great grandmother stood holding her son, my great grandfather, for his baptism.

  9. Arla Norton

    I joined Ancestry.com and took the DNA test as well. 60% of my lineage is Irish/Scottish/English, which is no surprise. My Irish ancestors came from Northern Ireland. It will be interesting to follow your journey. Maybe we’re related!

  10. Cornelius Barnett

    Our Family tree on Ancestry is based on great grand parents who left County Cork to settle in Northern New York at the time of the famine. We would love to know more about their Barnett ancestors who left England for Ireland.

  11. Julie Mc Carthy

    How lovely that he is able to share this historical trip with his grandchildren. Has he visited County Mayo or County Louth in the past? Did his grandparents talk of the Easter Rising and how it affected their families? Representing the USA with such heartfelt history can only help keep our relations with Ireland strong. Thanks, Joe!

  12. Barbara McKay

    As a Delaware resident of 40 years, I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Biden. I share his Irish lineage and have been to the townlands from whence I hail. I hope he can walk the land of his ancestors the way I have. What a memorable experience. Safe journey, Mr. Vice President.

  13. Sally Hopkinson

    How exciting for the Bidens to get to visit their ancestral home. It’s an exciting journey. I took my mother for her 75th birthday to the place her father was born in County Donegal. She didn’t want to leave. We connected with her first cousin, whom she had never met, and got to meet so many family members. Do the Bidens still have close relatives living in Ireland?

  14. Maureen Swift

    My great grandmother Margaret Egan was Irish but I’ve nsver been able to figure out if she was born in Ireland or the US. (She kept changing her mind from one census to the next!). I hope VP Biden has a great trip.

  15. Donnae Longere Dole

    I just did my DNA and discovered that I am 28% Irish. I am so excited to be related to the Kinney family. I am learning more everyday.

  16. Teddy Randall Spencer

    I am a New Member of Ancestry.com. I am very excited to follow our Nation’s Vice President, the Honorable Joe Biden, on a Journey to his Roots. I trust that his Experience will Educate and Inspire those of us who desire to Learn How to embark upon Opening the Door to our Past. Thanks to Ancestry. Com for featuring such a remarkable and legendary World Leader like our current Vice President to Guide us.

  17. Donna Randle

    The Biden family and Randle family are connected 2 or 3 generations back. It appears that VP Biden and I are cousins a couple of times removed. I must say how extremely proud I am to share a bloodline with a man who has served our nation with honor for so many years. Have a wonderful trip Cousin Joe !!!!

  18. Peggy Hawk

    I don’t know very much about my heritage. I do know my maiden name is Scot-Irish. My dad’s side of the family never gave us much information. I hope your trip will be very eventful, Mr Biden. Will be so excited to follow your travels. Did you have trouble getting started with both sides of your family?

  19. Jane

    What a grand opportunity for Vice President Biden and his family to explore their Irish Family history. It will be fun to follow along.
    For myself, I was recently tremendously surprised to discover via DNA testing that I’m likely 77% of Irish background. My Irish relatives have been difficult to trace where as the English, Scottish and French descendants thus far have traced much more easily including to some surprising relatives of note including past President William Howard Taft, Simon and Anne Bradstreet, multiple royal family lines and a few relatives as far back as 790 with farmers, blacksmith’s sea captain’s and everyone else in between.
    I long to know where my Irish relatives are from in Ireland and to definitively lay claim to the right Murphy family line. Alas my story is a sad tale, a Great Grandfather who I have just discovered died a young man in San Francisco trying to build a good life for his young family rebuilding the city in 1906 as a plumber post earth quake. Just a few short weeks into his new life on the West Coast, and two days before the birth of his baby Son in Western Massachusetts he died in a County Hospital. Thanks to a death index record found on Ancestry and a request from the San Francisco records department a part of a 110 year old family mystery has been solved. Alas I never knew either my Great Grandfather or my Grandfather. He was orphaned as a child when his Mother too died young and forchunately was adopted by a wonderful family. At least I was able to solve a piece of the puzzle but have not been able to definitively identify either of my Great Grandparents families to trace back to Ireland other than the Sur names of Murphy and Hurley.

    One question for Vice President Biden, how have your Irish relatives helped to influence who you are as a person and a leader? For me researching the various Murphy/Hurley families in Western Massachusetts at the turn of the century I’m struck by their tenacity, courage and sheer grit to build new lives for their families. I was completely surprised to learn of the sheer numbers and young ages of the children working in various factory jobs. I’m thankful for their courage and hard work and the impact they have had in shaping America and creating so many opportunities for current and future generations to come.
    Good luck with your pending journey and thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

  20. Deborah

    My grandmother is my Irish ancestor with the last name of Cannon. Can’t wait to hear of Vice President Bidens journey

  21. Kathy Robinette Winters

    I would find it interesting to see his ancestry and if it intersects with my family

  22. This past weekend I spent time exploring a part of my family tree that came from Ireland. I was preparing for this weekend when I will meet a 1st cousin for the very first time. As we are both adoptees, this is really an important and monumental step in completing our family searches. My paternal great-great-grandmother came from Ireland but I have not found information about her other than her name and 1 census record. The part of my paternal grandmother’s history provided clues to the other Irish part of my heritage and hopefully will help my cousin find her history as well. The best clue I have found is that I’m related to Georgia O’Keefe. She has been my favorite artist for so long and I spent an overnight visit at Ghost Ranch and saw her home there. All of that happened before my recent discovery that we are related. Awesome feeling to know about my Irish heritage as well as the Swiss, German, English, and traces of the others. Finding and meeting family members – AWESOME.

  23. Michele

    My siblings and I found out via AncestryDNA and genealogical research that our (adopted) great-grandmother was Irish, but raised by a French-Canadian family. We are excited to know that we are ⅛ Irish!

  24. Marilyn

    Being 29% Irish I’ve always been accused of being Green. I’ve been researching for over 40 years for my family history. I’m grateful to learn that a good part of the family have always been very politically inspired. I guess it was the rule of the English that led them to standing up for their rights. Of all our lines back to Ireland, Dillon, Brady, McGee, Smith and Gilligan, Cullen stands out the most. Jeremiah lived near or worked for David Mahoney who’s father was barrister for Daniel O’Connell. My 3rd Great Grandfather Jeremiah Cullen lived in Grangecon Hill in Ballynure, Wicklow. An Irish genealogist Peter Cullen Tynan Mahony, led me to discover that his Cullen line and mine were connected in some way. Years later when I found the connection, he had passed away. The connection seems to indicate that Jeremiah was in and around some of the people involved with trying to free Ireland from the English hold. Jeremiah’s line may have been involved in the 1790’s rebellion in that area. His Grandchildren and descendants have been active in the political scene along with many of their associates; O’Neil and Cooney.
    Good luck Joe. I’ll bet you find another politician in your line.

  25. Roger Nurnberg

    Ancestry.com has done a lot for our family research through the years. Hope you are successful in finding & visiting yours. We have literally travelled the world visiting our relatives. (No criminals yet

  26. Irmi Oswald

    I think it’s great Biden is taking his family to Ireland!!! My question is this: If he’s Irish, where does the name Biden come from? Was it Americanized? My last name is Oswald, there are Oswalds in Ireland and the rest of the UK. But they did not come from there. The Celts originally came from the Hallstatt region which is in Austria. The Celts migrated from the European continent to what is now the islands of the UK and Ireland. My DNA shows I’m 65% western European, and small percentages of everything else from Turkey to Ireland.

  27. Robin

    I wished I could find more info of my Irish Roots..One family came over abt 1845.. They lived in Maine.. Another family went to Massachusetts.. Abt 1846… Any info I find it only states Ireland..No Town or County is ever mentioned…There are way too many names with the same name for me to narrow it down.. McCluskey, Trull, Carr, Conner…Maybe someday I will…Good luck to you VP Biden…

  28. Ann

    My 2ggf immigrated from Ballina to Massachusetts around 1870, well after the famine. He was born in Scotland, so he really has 2 immigration stories. I work on my genealogy projects every day. The who, when, where are more easily answered than the why. I look forward to discovering more about life in Ballina.

  29. Kristie Wells

    @Jane @Peggy @Sally @Julie and @Linda: Thank you for your questions, we will pass them on to Joe and will work to get an answer for you.

  30. Marilyn M.

    So this is the reason I love Joe Biden so much! He’s Irish (his infectious smile and twinkle in his eyes gave him away)…please tell him he must get with ‘the times’ and get his DNA tested. Yes, I will be following his journey and wishing him and his family safe and fulfilling travels.

  31. Mary

    What an opportunity to take your family to Ireland and search for family. I only hope you have the experience that my husband had visiting his grandfather’s home in Castlehaven, County Cork last year. The house where his grandfather was born in 1892, is still partially standing. According to the Ireland Census of 1911, the house only had three rooms. My husband said it just awe struck him standing there. I hope he has that opportunity while there in that beautiful country.

  32. Doretta Blake

    Have a good trip Mr. vice President. please let me know if you come across the Blakes’ clan.

  33. I’m very excited about this, because Joe Biden and I are related through his Liddell/Bombarger line (on the Biden side.) We are fourth cousins. Good luck, Cousin!

  34. Margaret Hurley

    Because of ancestry.com and a DNA test, I found a close Irish cousin who is a direct link to my Irish grandmother (now deceased and whom I never met). Through my new cousin I was able to get enough information about my heritage to apply for (dual) Irish citizenship (by descent) and it was granted!!! Thank you DNA!!!

  35. Michelle Ballou

    What a wonderful opportunity for Mr. Biden and for all of us. I wonder how it will feel for him as his bones settle into his ancestral lands. I so look forward to hearing of his journey, both inner and outer. My Geraghty grandfather came from a long line of Dubliners. As a child, he was an eye witness to the 1916 Easter Uprising. He came to the states in 1949, so I am fortunate to have known him. My times in Ireland, before Ancestry, were spent turning over dusty blue pages of history, in search for more family. What I found, were unmarked graves of the working poor. I’m lucky to have found a few names, though I long to know more. Who were these people, what were their hopes and dreams? They are part of who I am, and I wonder so much about epigenetics, patterns that follow us into the future, and so much more. Looking forward to seeing how my DNA results will flesh out the family picture.

  36. Mary Ransom

    My mother came from County Monaghan Ireland when she had just turned 17. She fibbed about her age. Traveled alone to live with an Uncle in Pittsburgh. Se was born in 1905. She took me back in 1957 for her first visit and cried the whole time. I had no idea why.
    I am close to my McGroder cousins. My Aunt was the family genealogist and had a great deal on our family however the church burned to the ground.
    My 2nd Great Grandmother is Alice Finnegan whose father is John Finnegan b. 1784. I have Finnegan DNA connections. It’s a never ending puzzle. I hope he is able to track more ancestors thanks to Ancestry!

  37. One of my Hanlons from County Louth married a Finnegan. Have you done a DNA test, Vice-President Biden? Would love to know if we are related?

  38. Barbara Sheehan Faughnan Mehrhof

    This is exciting to me because when I read V. P. Biden’s book, “Promises to Keep” and he spoke of his upbringing and parochial schools, I felt an enormous kinship with him. I have greatly respected him for all that he has done for our country during his political career. The fact that we are not very far apart in age gives me a certain feeling of kinship.
    My Paternal Grandfather emigrated to the U. S. from County Waterford when he was in his teens. His mother did not know that she was pregnant when her husband passed away, so unless she remarried, he was the “baby”. He was sent to study for the priesthood and became what is known as a “spoil priest”. He realized that he wanted to teach, which he did in Brooklyn, eventually becoming an Associate Superintendent of Schools for the NYC Bd. of Ed. He married my grandmother when he was 40 and she 25. They had 6 children.
    When I was a child, my grandfather’s nephew visited us in Brooklyn, NY. He was Lord Mayor of the City of Cork, married to a woman by the name of Helen (if memory serves). They had 2 children, adopted I believe and was in the coal business.
    My grandmother’s parents also came from County Waterford. I believe that they married before coming here. My great-grandmother’s maiden name was Corbett. I was told that there were people in the family with the last name of Butler, I think.
    Not too long ago, I sent in a sample for my DNA test and am anxious to find out if it connects me with others.
    I do know very much about my mother’s family, she died at age 56 or 57 and there is no written oral history. It frustrates me because of the fact that my present husband knows that his mother’s ancestors arrived south of Boston in the 1600’s and eventually lived in Preston, Ct., one of the brothers had a farm, “Griswold”, which is now Griswold, Ct. Two sons, at least, fought in the Battle of Boston and other battles. After the Revolution was over, they two brothers were given military tracts in Honeyoye Falls, NY. My mother-in-law’s house (the same house that was built by the man with the land grant after the War, with wood that me milled himself, along with his brother) still stands. My husband knows that one cousin of the original family, Gates, married Myles Standish daughter. So, I would really like to know about my history.
    We would like to find out and then, if we can, travel to the British Isles with a stop in Ireland.
    Like V.P. Biden, Ireland is part of my soul, it’s almost like a craving.

  39. Lee Johnson

    Have a great trip to your ancestral home, Mr. Vice President and thanks for sharing your story here. My great great grandfather, Neal McFeely, came over from Donegal, Ireland at about 10 years of age in 1834. Through Ancestry.com I have found that he was in Brooklyn, NY when he joined the US Army in 1840 at age 16 as a musician, a fifer. He mustered out in Augusta, Georgia where he settled down and married and started his family. Just 2 weeks ago I visited his grave in Augusta for the first time as I had only recently found where he’s buried. I haven’t found any information about his parents yet.

  40. Karen Davison

    I hope you have a wonderful and fulfilling trip! I too am Irish and am descended from Finnegans. My great great grandmother Catharine Finnegan came over from Ireland during the potato famine and settled in NJ. Unfortunately, that is all that I know. However, last month I took a trip to England where I met relatives that I had no knowledge of until one of them posted a photo on Ancestry. It was truly the trip of a lifetime. Getting to know relatives you never knew you had …. priceless. I hope you have the same experience!

  41. Pat Kuehne

    Have a wonderful trip to Mayo VP Biden. It’s a beautiful place and the people are wonderful. I hope you get to visit Westport and Croagh Patrick where my grandparents were born and settled in that other Irish American City, Boston.

  42. Martha AJoeshley

    I am so excited and honored to follow on your trip to Ireland. I have added your name and that of all your family to my prayer book as of today. Safe travels. God Bless You, Joe. You are am amazing man who America is so proud of.

  43. Susan

    V.P. Biden’s mother grew up 1 mile away from where my grandfather (born in 1890) grew up on Ridge Row (now Roselyn Ave.) in Scranton. My Great Grandfather was an engineer for the D.L. & W. Railroad for over 40 years. It will be fun to follow his story.

  44. clara Pate

    I was able to locate my family in Belarus and make the trip there to meet some of them.We believed that . had not survivedI shall never forget that trip.I wish you and your family a wonderfull trip home.

  45. Imogene sorrell

    Do not want anything to do with Hilary or president you might be a good person but they are not

  46. Imogene sorrell

    Do not want anything to do with Hilary or president you might be a good person but they are not I see this as a power play

  47. Jo Ann Martin

    Supposedly my immigrant ancestor came to America in the 1600’s from Isle of Man. Is this considered part of Great Britain or Ireland or its own country? The surname is Christian. I loved visiting Ireland and hope Mr. Biden does too.

  48. Eileen Cabral

    I am so excited for you! I am part Irish but have not found the connection yet! Take the DNA! Who knows maybe we are related! I have been doing my tree on and off since I was 17! I find something new all the time!

  49. Gale

    I am a proud descendant of the Irish miners of Leadville CO. Because of my genealogy research I am now a citizen of the USA & Ireland. My Irish family comes from Limerick. These immigrants helped build the USA!

  50. Dorothy Thurston

    This is a great opportunity, thank you Ancestry. Thanks to your DNA program I have been able to find my biological Irish roots of my father I never had the chance to know. Although he has passed I have learned more than I knew before the test. I am a decendent of Michael O’Roark who was from Tipperary Ireland. It would be a great honor if I was a relative even distant to such a great and respected person as Vice President Biden. Looking forward to being part of his journey.

  51. Cindy Clark

    My husband’s great grandfather Michael Dillon married Anne Finnegan b. ca 1838 (daughter of Peter) in Clogherhead, Louth, Ireland, their children were baptised in Monasterboice and they were living in Drumshallon, Louth. Anne died in 1913. Will follow to see if there is a relation. My husband tested his DNA with Ancestry.

  52. Mary (Ward) Hammond

    I will enjoy visiting Ireland vicariously with the Bidens. We may be very distant cousins, as my Wards (John Ward and wife Mary Reap) emigrated from County Mayo – probably Ballina – c. 1845, settling in Dunmore, PA – just outside Scranton. My Great grandfather was born in Ireland, and in 1870 married Ellen Hurney, who was from County Galway. I’m looking forward to “seeing” Ballina with you!

  53. Margaret Stewart Mitchell

    Looking forward to reading more about your journey! We are 5th Cousins 1x removed through the Robinette/Pumphrey line! 🙂
    Safe travels Cousin Joe and enjoy!

  54. I believe that Vice President Biden’s great-great grandfather, Owen Finnegan, was the older brother (by two years) of our great-great grandfather, George Finnegan. The brothers both lived in Ovid, NY, and settled there shortly after emigrating from Ireland in the late 1840’s. We have good records for their families once they were in the US, but have not has as much luck with finding older wedding, birth, baptismal and death records in County Louth. Specific records pertaining to George’s arrival in the US has not been located, though we have one for Owen Finnegan arriving in New York City on 31 May 1849 on the ship “Brothers”. (Citation: Family Identification: 2642103 Microfilm Serial Number:M237 Microfilm Roll Number: 79) Long story short: we really look forward to any new information relating to the Finnegans in the US or Ireland, and wish the Vice President and his family the best on their visit to Ireland.

  55. Amanda Bowen

    I am looking forward to hearing more about Vice President Biden’s trip! I have several Irish branches in my family tree and I am even related to Mr.Biden through my maternal grandmother’s Robinette family. I’d like to know what encouraged his ancestors to come to the USA and what kind of work they did in the Scranton area. Our ancestors were Quakers who came over very early in the settlement of Pennsylvania.

  56. Mary Ann Thinnes

    Ancestry DNA says I’m 64% Irish. My maternal grandmother, Maggie Carroll, followed several siblings over several years from County Mayo (Killala & Crossmolina, near Ballina) to Indianapolis in 1913, at 21. My maternal great grandmother was Lizzie Ryan, (from Baltimore) whose grandfather was Owen Ryan from Limerick. I’ve been to Ireland once, for a cousin’s wedding, and can’t wait to explore these roots that make up near 2/3 of who I am. Both Maggie and Lizzie married sons of German immigrants. I have a feeling they had not been in Germany long, but may have migrated there from Ireland. It will be fun exploring this.

  57. Ann Thomason

    Looking forward to following this special experience in his life. Thank you, Ancestry, for giving us this opportunity.

  58. Diane Jean Barillaro

    I have just learned that even though my last name is Italian and I can trace that side back to Italy – My mom is Scot and think my grandmother’s who’s maiden name was Doyer really seems to hold most of my DNA 52%. Which I could trace family but most have past. I like the show: “Who do you think you are?” Wish they would do it for people like me not just famous people. However, I will enjoy following VP travel into his enlightment of his family.

  59. Sherry brown

    My grandfather (John Bradshaw) was born in Wilkes Barre, PA. His father was born in Ballycroy Ireland (County Mayo). I traveled there several years ago and found out that the great Irish Movie, “The Ballroom of Romance” was filmed close to my family’s property. See the movie if you can. It really speaks to life in the region at the turn of the 19th century.

  60. Rebeca E. Ponce

    Dear Mr. Biden, thank you so very much for your time and effort in sharing your background with me…and thousands more. My grandfather’s last name is Horrach from Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. When he arrived here, the Horrach name was changed to Ponce (his mother’s maiden name) per immigration because “it didn’t sound nice” would you believe that? Horrach is from Mallorca but not originally, it comes from somewhere in the British Isles…if there’s someone out there reading this with the last name of Horrach, please contact me since I can’t find anyone with that last name. That’s why I joined Ancestry.com, for Help. Mr . Biden, enjoy this trip with your family, I’m sure it will be unforgetable!…and thank you so much for sharing and for the awareness of how important it is to know our ancestors…wherever they are in the world. Thank you. Rebeca E. Ponce.

  61. Deborah Crowe

    What a wonderful trip for a wonderful family! Like most people in Delaware, I truly admire and greatly respect you and your family. America is very proud of you.
    I hope your experience in Ireland is as emotional as mine always is every time I visit. From the moment I stepped onto Irish soil, I was overwhelmed with love, and I never want to leave. Ireland is truly a magical place that draws you in and welcomes you.
    We found my husband’s Irish Crowe relatives living in a 200 year old cottage on a cliff overlooking the Irish Sea in County Wexford. It was like a dream! They are his link to his immigrant ancestors and our living connection to Ireland.
    America truly is a land of immigrants, and I hope your story will inspire others to be more compassionate and welcoming to those who immigrate to America, just as our ancestors did not so long ago.
    Enjoy Ireland and it’s amazing history as well as the wonderful Irish people.
    God Bless you and your family Vice President Biden.

  62. Jane M Cox

    We are not part of Cousin Joe’s Irish line, but the Robinett Family Association of America claims him too. Our association just had our 18th biennial gathering in Fulton, MO. The 12th century Church of St Mary, Aldermanbury, is where our ancestors from London, England, were married in 1653. It was rebuilt here on the campus of Westminster College in the 1960’s in honor of Winston Churchill. The message given in the church last Sunday included a tribute to Cousin Joe and his son Beau. I’d like to mail copies of the program and the message to him but need to know where to send it through U.S. Mail.

  63. kathleen croker

    Hi. My GF came over here in late !880’s. From County Kerry. Love investigating all this information. Have a safe and blessed trip.

  64. Kris Gleason Miller

    Thank you Mr. Biden for the humanity you bring to politics. I look forward to updates about your pilgrimage. I did the same a few years ago to find my Gleeson roots in Silvermines Tipperary, something I would never have been able to do without Ancestry.com. Through this site I have met relatives I never knew existed; I have been able to find myself through my ancestral past. I hope you are able to do the same.

  65. Jenny Willis

    This should be fun–my late father-in-law was born in Scranton, and I have traced all his lines back to Mayo, to the parishes of Crossmolina (Noones and Mulherins), Addergoole (McGreevys) and Robeen (Willises). In 2013 we were able to go to Mayo and meet some McGreevy and Mulherin relatives and see the old homes. Everyone was so nice to us.

  66. Maleia

    Not a question for the VP, but could you include a map to accompany the trip? It really helps in understanding. Thanks.

  67. Bill Rice

    I’ve heards in the past that Mr. Biden’s family comes from the Cooley Peninsula in Louth, as does my family. Do you know if this is true & which towns in Louth he will be visiting?

  68. Rosemary Saul

    Best wishes on your trip to the old country, Mr. Biden. It’s thrilling to walk in the steps of our ancestors. My daughter & I did so a few summers ago, right there in Ballina. My ggparents were married in St. Muredach’s Cathedral and had 3 children before immigrating to Scranton to work in the mines. We found lots of connections on our trip–hope you do, too!

  69. Mary Murphy

    Joe! I think my husband’s Murphy ancestors (most likely Willville, Templeton) on Cooley peninsula of Co Louth were your ancestors’ neighbors (and possibly distant relatives) in both Louth and Seneca Co. NY. One of our relatives has a Finnegan as a baptismal sponsor in Louth and Mary Murphy of Seneca Co lived down the road in Covert, Seneca Co and buried nearby to Owen and Jane in Holy Cross Cemetery in Ovid. Say hello to the Murphys of Louth while you’re there!

  70. David Paul Salter

    Joe,
    I have found that we are cousins through the Robinettes!
    Delaware just got a little smaller.
    Best regards to all the family.
    David

  71. I was in Dublin last month and for the first time saw the World Poverty Stone, the Famine Memorial and the statue of Molly Malone. All worth doing. Since my Irish ancestors came during the famine it was particularly moving. Of possible relevance to VP Biden is the famine memorial. I think Bill and Hillary Clinton helped sponsor it.

  72. William Henry Morgan

    My family is the original Morgan family from Ireland, Scotland and England including Wright, Morgant, morgain, ect. I hope the genealogy and teams working on our new root DNA can answer more questions. We have had some luck seems as we are the direct male line to King James I &VI of Scotland eight direct generations as being also Direct DNA match to Richard III R1b-U152 subclad of R-Z147 and it seems to go to Charlemagne to the Morgan’s of that time. I downloaded to Ancestry were related to also Cannon, Caphart, wright, singleton, glass, whitmire, applegate, Morris, McCartney, and list goes on. I hope well for the VP and Gods Grace be upon him and Blessings with him and his family as they are on their journey of ancient information gathering…

  73. William Henry Morgan

    I was wondering what Ancestry thinks about our families DNA can any information be added by your experts to assist my brick walls?

  74. Margaret Anne Baine

    If Vice President Biden encounters any Breslins in Ballina, they will be relatives of my grandmother, Anne Katherine Breslin, who emigrated to New York in the early 1900s, and married John Baine, formerly of County Galway, in 1906. Their descendants in the US now number five grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-grands.

  75. Catherine Charlton

    Thank you for emailing me. I am so happy for Mr. Biden and his family. I checked my DNA results and I do have some Finnegan results! Wonder if we have a connection. My great grandfather was Daniel Kelly he was born in Ireland. He died 13 Nov 1924 in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana at the age of 89. Sadly I don’t know much more than that. I have printed out the email I was sent but I would be very honored to receive an actual letter from Mr. Biden to put with my genealogy treasures. Please let me know if that is possible and I will send you my address. Thank you

  76. Carol L Fry

    My “Irish” comes from my 5th great grandparents from County Down who arrived in the colonies before the Revolution. So glad you are visiting Ireland and finding your roots! It’s such fun to find the heroes as well as the scoundrels! Hope you are enjoying your trip as much as I am!

  77. Marilyn Smith

    My Great Grandfather Peter Feeney was born in Sligo Co. about 1829. At the age of 19 left Liverpool on the ship Sheridan arriving in US Dec. 1848. Traveled to Davenport Iowa to be a farmer. Married Ann Foley from Roscommon. Very hard to find specific info on his descendants, because of different spellings and families with the same names. My DNA says I am 37% Irish and 35% English. Hope Joe has more time to trace his ancestors and not so much time talking to the big shots.

  78. Martha Rider Martin

    I am of Irish decent also! I was raised in an orphanage in Ar and knew nothing of my family except my mother and father’s name. Had it not been for Ancestry I would still be in the dark of a remarkable ancestry tree I uncovered!It is full of Kings,Queens,Presidents(G.Washington),Mayflower descendant Gov.William Bradford my 9th Gt-Grandfather and so many more that fill our history books! It took me from 2000 to 2016 to uncover my lost family finally at the age of 69. I did my DNA last year and it verified my Tree ancestry. 8% Irish,77% English. I am so happy now that I can leave this knowledge for my family, for generations to come! Thanks Ancestry.com! I couldn’t have done this without you! And Thank you, Mr.Biden, for all you do for this great country of ours! Enjoy your time in Ireland. I’m so jealous!

  79. Joe Cain

    Enjoyed all the info especially the info on Ballina where we just were the day before VP Biden was there visiting family just recently ‘found’
    . We even flew out of Knock airport to Scotland.
    I saw where genealogist Fiona Fitzsimons briefed Mr. Biden on his lineage. Anyone help me find my great grandmother, Mary Annie McDonnell, of Rinagry, Knockmore near Ballina–looking for her boat passage to USA late 1870s or 1880.

  80. Barbara

    What has inspired you the most on your trip? I come from a line of Dempsey, Finnerty, Gaven and Kennedy (yet only 14% per DNA). God bless you and your family, Joe Biden!

  81. Karen

    My grandfather (Ruane) family came from Ballina. Immigrated to the United States in 1921. My DNA shows that I am 84% Irish ( always knew I was green-blooded! ), 9% British
    ( ah well, nobody’s perfect. )

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