List of Americans of Irish descent

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This is a list of Americans of Irish descent, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American-born descendants.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article and/or references showing the person is Irish American.






Film directors and producers[edit]

Gangsters and mobsters[edit]

Journalists, news producers, talk show hosts[edit]

Law enforcement[edit]







At least 22 presidents of the United States have some Irish ancestral origins,[47] although the extent of this varies. For instance President Clinton claims Irish ancestry despite there being no documentation of any of his ancestors coming from Ireland, but Andrew Jackson and Kennedy on the other hand have strong documented Irish origins. Also Ronald Reagan's great-grandfather was an Irish Roman Catholic, and his mother had some Scots-Irish and Irish ancestry. James K. Polk also had Scots-Irish ancestry. Only Kennedy was raised as a practicing Catholic.

Andrew Jackson (Scotch-Irish)
7th President 1829-37: He was born in the predominantly Ulster-Scots Waxhaws area of South Carolina two years after his parents left Boneybefore, near Carrickfergus in County Antrim. A heritage centre in the village pays tribute to the legacy of 'Old Hickory', the People's President. Jackson then moved to Tennessee, where he served as Governor.
James Knox Polk (Scotch-Irish)
11th President, 1845-49: His ancestors were among the first Ulster-Scots settlers, emigrating from Coleraine in 1680 to become a powerful political family in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He moved to Tennessee and became its governor before winning the presidency.[48]
James Buchanan (Scotch-Irish)
15th President, 1857-61: Born in a log cabin (which has been relocated to his old school in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania), 'Old Buck' cherished his origins: "My Ulster blood is a priceless heritage". The Buchanans were originally from Deroran, near Omagh in County Tyrone where the ancestral home still stands.[48]
Andrew Johnson (Scotch-Irish & English)
17th President, 1865-69: His grandfather left Mounthill, near Larne in County Antrim, around 1750 and settled in North Carolina. Johnson worked there as a tailor and ran a successful business in Greeneville, Tennessee, before being elected Vice-President. He became President following Abraham Lincoln's assassination.[48]
Ulysses S. Grant (Scotch-Irish, English & Scottish)
18th President, 1869-77: The home of his maternal great-grandfather, John Simpson, at Dergenagh, County Tyrone, is the location for an exhibition on the eventful life of the victorious Civil War commander who served two terms as President. Grant visited his ancestral homeland in 1878.[49]
Chester A. Arthur (Scotch-Irish & English)
21st President, 1881-85: His election was the start of a quarter-century in which the White House was occupied by men of Ulster-Scots origins. His family left Dreen, near Cullybackey, County Antrim, in 1815. There is now an interpretive centre alongside the Arthur Ancestral Home, devoted to his life and times.[48][50]
Grover Cleveland (Scotch-Irish & English)
22nd and 24th President, 1885-89 and 1893-97: Born in New Jersey, he was the maternal grandson of merchant Abner Neal, who emigrated from County Antrim in the 1790s. He is the only president to have served non-consecutive terms.[48]
Benjamin Harrison (Scotch-Irish & English)
23rd President, 1889-93: His mother, Elizabeth Irwin, had Ulster-Scots roots through her great-grandfathers James Irwin and William McDowell. Harrison was born in Ohio and served as a brigadier general in the Union Army before embarking on a career in Indiana politics which led to the White House.[48]
William McKinley (Scotch-Irish & English)
25th President, 1897-1901: Born in Ohio, the descendant of a farmer from Conagher, near Ballymoney, County Antrim, he was proud of his ancestry and addressed one of the national Scotch-Irish Irish congresses held in the late 19th century. His second term as president was cut short by an assassin's bullet.[48][51]
Theodore Roosevelt (Scotch-Irish, Dutch, Scottish, English & French)
26th President, 1901-09: His mother, Mittie Bulloch, had Ulster Scots ancestors who emigrated from Glenoe, County Antrim, in May 1729. Roosevelt praised Irish Presbyterians as "a bold and hardy race."[52] However, he also said: "But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts "native"* before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen." (*Roosevelt was referring to "nativists", not American Indians, in this context.)
William Howard Taft (Scotch-Irish & English)
27th President 1909-13[53]
Woodrow Wilson (Scotch-Irish)
28th President, 1913-21: Of Ulster-Scot descent on both sides of the family, his roots were very strong and dear to him. He was grandson of a printer from Dergalt, near Strabane, County Tyrone, whose former home is open to visitors. Throughout his career he reflected on the influence of his ancestral values on his constant quest for knowledge and fulfillment.[48]
Warren G. Harding (Scotch-Irish & English)
29th President 1921-23
Harry S. Truman (Scotch-Irish, English & German)
33rd President 1945-53[54]
John F. Kennedy (Irish)
35th President 1961-63 (County Wexford)
Richard Nixon (Scotch-Irish, English and German)
37th President, 1969-74: The Nixon ancestors left Ulster in the mid-18th century; the Quaker Milhous family ties were with County Antrim and County Kildare.[48]
Jimmy Carter (Scotch-Irish & English)
39th President 1977-1981 (County Antrim)[49]
Ronald Reagan (Irish, English & Scottish)
40th President 1981-89: He was the great-grandson, on his father's side, of Irish migrants from Ballyporeen, County Tipperary, who came to America via Canada and England in the 1840s. His mother was of Scottish and English ancestry.
George H. W. Bush (Scotch-Irish & English)
41st President 1989-93: (County Wexford) His ancestry has been traced to Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke (known as Strongbow), and to Dermot MacMurrough, the Gaelic king of Leinster.[55][56]
Bill Clinton (Scotch-Irish Irish & English)
42nd President 1993-2001: He claims Irish ancestry despite there being no documentation of any of his ancestors coming from Ireland. However, his mother's maiden name was the Irish surname Cassidy.[48]
George W. Bush (Scotch-Irish & English)
43rd President 2001-09: One of his five times great-grandfathers, William Holliday, was born in Rathfriland, County Down, about 1755, and died in Kentucky about 1811-12. One of the President's seven times great-grandfathers, William Shannon, was born somewhere in County Cork about 1730, and died in Pennsylvania in 1784.[56]
Barack Obama (Kenyan (Luo), English, and Irish)
44th President 2009-: His father was part of the Luo ethnic group in Kenya. His mother's ancestry was predominantly English, but a few of his maternal ancestors hailed from Moneygall, County Offaly.[57]




See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Slate "The important thing to know about Michael Flatley is that he's Irish-American..."
  3. ^ "Born in 1856 into an Irish immigrant family who ran a saloon on the Lower East Side..."
  4. ^ [1] " the son of Irish immigrants"
  5. ^ "Franklin Gowen, the fifth son of an Irish immigrant"
  6. ^ "On his father's side there was the Irish connection, his grandfather coming from Tipperary and his paternal grandmother from Cork..."
  7. ^ "The Irish-Catholic kid who learned to play golf as a 12-year-old caddy beat a champion..."
  8. ^ [2] "his father, Elias Disney, an Irish-Canadian"
  9. ^ [3] "whose mother came of Irish stock."
  10. ^ [4] "Irish based firm director John Huston"
  11. ^ [5] "My father was born in 1884 in Toronto, Canada, of a Scottish mother... and an Irish father... In 1964 I became an Irish citizen."
  12. ^ [6] "Leo McCarey was the first son of Irish-Catholic Thomas McCarey"
  13. ^ [7] "raised in a working-class Irish-American family."
  14. ^ [8] "Both of my parents are half Irish"
  15. ^ [9] "a young Irish columnist named Mike Barnicle..."
  16. ^
  17. ^ Smolenyak, Megan. "Ann Coulter's Immigrant Ancestors". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ [10] "...her Irish sensibilities"
  20. ^ [11] "Hannity, a proclaimed devout Irish Catholic"
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ [12] "O’Donnell has also been named to Irish American Magazine’s 2000 “Top 100 Irish Americans” list."
  24. ^ [13] "He was raised Irish-Catholic..."
  25. ^ Hammond, Ruth (August 1998). "Portrait of the Artist As a News Man". Pittsburgh City Paper. Pittsburgh. 
  26. ^ [14] "Ed Sullivan, whose heritage was Irish ..."
  27. ^ [15] "born to Irish immigrants..."
  28. ^ [16] "Irish-American family"
  29. ^ [17] "His parents were Irish-born and he grew up in a working-class Irish American community..."
  30. ^ [18] "Ethnicity Irish"
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q The Book of Irish American Poetry
  32. ^ [19]
  33. ^
  34. ^ [20] "...born at Ballysampson on Our Lady's Island, which is part of Tacumshin Parish in County Wexford, Ireland"
  35. ^ [21] "A policeman in Ireland"
  36. ^ [22] "Hickey is the son of working-class Irish immigrants..."
  37. ^ CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: The Irish (In Countries Other Than Ireland)
  38. ^ [23] "LEWIS, Andrew, soldier, born in Donegal, Ireland, about 1720"
  39. ^ [24] "born in Co. Dublin, Ireland, in 1736..."
  40. ^ [25] "One of the countless young Irish Americans queuing up in front of the recruitment offices..."
  41. ^ The Saratoga Rifleman
  42. ^ USS O’Brien
  43. ^ General John O'Neill"General John O'Neill arrived in the United States from Ireland in 1848..."
  44. ^
  45. ^ [26] "She survived her husband many years, known of course as Molly McCauly, and the statements so frequently made that Molly Pitcher was a young Irish woman..."
  46. ^ [27] "Philip's parents, came to United States in 1830... John and Mary were second degree cousins from County Cavan, Ireland."
  47. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  48. ^ a b c d e f g h i j
  49. ^ a b "Ulster-Scots and the United States Presidents" (PDF). Ulter Scots Agency. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  50. ^ Northern Ireland Tourist Board. discovernorthernireland - explore more: Arthur Cottage Accessed 3 March 2010.
  51. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 July 2010. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 
  52. ^ Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning Of The West, Volume 1, Kessinger Publishing, 2004, pg. 77
  53. ^ Marck, John T. "William H. Taft". Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  54. ^ Marck, John T. "Harry S. Truman". Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  55. ^ Chrisafis, Angelique (27 January 2005). "Scion of traitors and warlords: why Bush is coy about his Irish links". London: Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  56. ^ a b "American Presidents with Irish Ancestors". Directory of Irish Genealogy. Retrieved 15 April 2008. 
  57. ^ "Ancestry of Barack Obama". William Addams Reitwiesner. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  58. ^ Class of 2003 - MacArthur Foundation
  59. ^ The Submarine Inventor "John Philip Holland was born in Ireland in 1841. He emigrated to America where his first successful submarine design was paid for by Irish nationalists..."
  60. ^
  61. ^ Swebilius, Phyllis (2012-08-04). "Milford watching Olympic gymnast with local ties". Milford-Orange Bulletin. 
  62. ^ a b c Wickersham, Seth. "The Far Sideline: Scot McCloughan is NFL's best talent scout, self-employed and living on a farm". ESPN. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  63. ^ Michael Phelps
  64. ^
  65. ^ German-American Relations
  66. ^ [28] "John Dunlap, born in Ireland in 1747..."
  67. ^ ABC News "I am descended from a white man... who slept with a black slave. And we know from the analysis of the DNA that... goes back to Ireland."
  68. ^ Famous Irish Americans "A native of Ireland...
  69. ^ [29] "Hoban studied at the Dublin Society School in Dublin before emigrating..."
  70. ^ James E. Seaver - A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison at Google Books
  71. ^ Nsenga Burton. " Reveals Roots of MLK and Marcus Garvey". 
  72. ^ Paul Morphy Genealogy

Further reading[edit]

  • Barkan, Elliott Robert, ed. (2001). Making it in America: A Sourcebook on Eminent Ethnic Americans. ABC-CLIO. 
  • Byrne, James Patrick, Philip Coleman, and Jason Francis King, eds. Ireland and the Americas: culture, politics, and history: a multidisciplinary encyclopedia (3 vol. ABC-CLIO, 2008)
  • Delaney, John J. Dictionary of American Catholic biography (Doubleday, 1984), 625pp; 1500 short biographies, about half Irish
  • Glazier, Michael, ed. The encyclopedia of the Irish in America (University of Notre Dame Press, 1999)

External links[edit]