Special Report

22 US Presidents With Irish Heritage

Source: Wikimedia Commons

6. Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886)
> Birthplace: Fairfield, Vermont
> Party: Republican
> Term: 1881-85 (21st president)

Chester A. Arthur, who became president following the assassination of James Garfield in 1881, had Irish lineage on his father’s side. His father, William Arthur, was born at the Draen, in County Antrim, in 1796. During Arthur’s term, his administration enacted the first immigration law that established categories of foreigners considered “undesirable” and was used to limit immigration of Chinese laborers.

Source: iip-photo-archive / Flickr

7. Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)
> Birthplace: Caldwell, New Jersey
> Party: Democrat
> Term: 1885-89 and 1893-97 (22nd and 24th president)

Grover Cleveland, the only president to serve non-consecutive terms, had two lines of Irish ancestry. His maternal grandfather Abner Neal left County Antrim in the late 18th century to come to the United States. Cleveland’s great-great grandmother Ann Lamb was born in Dublin in the early 18th century. Cleveland, who had established himself as a man of rectitude, fought against wasteful federal spending and during his tenure, the Interstate Commerce Commission, the nation’s first regulatory agency, was created.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

8. Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901)
> Birthplace: North Bend, Ohio
> Party: Republican
> Term: 1889-93 (23rd president)

Benjamin Harrison, the nation’s 23rd president, had Irish lineage on his mother’s side. Harrison’s Irish descendants — James Irwin and William McDowell — were emigrants from the province of Ulster in Northern Ireland. His mother, Elizabeth Irwin Harrison, grew up in a Scotch-Irish community in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. During Harrison’s term, Montana, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and North and South Dakota all joined the Union.

9. William McKinley (1843-1901)
> Birthplace:Niles, Ohio
> Party: Republican
> Term: 1897-1901 (25th president)

William McKinley, the nation’s 25th president, was the great-grandson of James McKinley, who emigrated to America from Conagher in County Antrim in the mid-18th century. McKinley, whose tenure included the Spanish-American War and the acquisition of territories such as the Philippines, became the third American president to be assassinated in 1901.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

10. Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
> Birthplace: New York City, New York
> Party: Republican
> Term: 1901-09 (26th president)

Besides his well-documented Dutch ancestry, Theodore Roosevelt also had Scotch-Irish lineage on his mother’s side. His maternal side, the Bulloch and Irvine families, came from Larne in County Antrim. The two-term president helped transform the United States into a world power, led regulatory efforts to curb corporate excesses, and championed conservation.

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