A Quick Family History of Every US President

Source: National Archives / Getty Images

Chester A. Arthur
> Heritage: Scottish and Irish
> Birthplace: Fairfield, Vermont
> Time in office: 1881-1885

Chester Arthur’s family roots include English ancestors. His father, however, was a Scotch-Irish clergyman from Ballymena, or what is now Northern Ireland, who moved to Greenwich, New York, in 1835. There were speculations that he was Canadian.

Source: cornelluniversitylibrary / Flickr

Grover Cleveland
> Heritage: Irish and English
> Birthplace: Caldwell, New Jersey
> Time in office: 1885-1889 and 1893-1897

Grover Cleveland, the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office, had two Irish lines of descent. His grandfather, Abner Neal, was born in Ireland in the 18th century. His great-great-grandmother, Ann Lamb, was born in Dublin sometime around 1722. Cleveland also had English ancestors on his father’s side who had emigrated from Cleveland, England in 1635.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Benjamin Harrison
> Heritage: Irish
> Birthplace: North Bend, Ohio
> Time in office: 1889-1893

Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president, was William Henry Harrison’s grandson — the only grandson of another American president. They had the same English heritage.

Source: politicalgraveyard / Flickr

William McKinley
> Heritage: Scottish and Irish
> Birthplace: Niles, Ohio
> Time in office: 1897-1901

The McKinley family were of Scottish and Irish descent. William McKinley’s great-grandparents were born in Pertshire, Scotland. The former president was also a descendant of David McKinley, who was born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. David McKinley moved to Otter Creek in Chanceford Township,Pennsylvania in 1742. McKinley’s mother’s family, the Allisons, were among the earliest settlers in Pennsylvania. McKinley was the last serving president who fought in the American Civil War.

Source: Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

Theodore Roosevelt
> Heritage: Irish and Dutch
> Birthplace: New York City
> Time in office: 1901-1909

Theodore Roosevelt had Irish roots on his mother’s side. His mother, Martha Bulloch, had Ulster-Scots ancestors who emigrated from Larne, Northern Ireland, in the 1700s. The president also had Dutch ancestry. Roosevelt’s grandfather, Cornelius Van Schaick Roosevelt, was the last full-blooded Dutch Roosevelt of his line.