Place of migration:
Migrated to/Born in USA

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Edward Blewett Sr. (1795-1871) was a maternal x3 great-grandfather of Joe Biden (47th Vice President of the US, and now 46th President-elect). 

He studied engineering in Dublin and served on the Ordnance Survey of Ireland (a world-first). He then worked on the General Valuation (aka Griffith's Valuation – a popular census substitute). He was the author of many works on surveying, civil engineering and calculation. SOURCE

  • He married Mary Mulderg and resided at Patrick Street, Ballina. They had 9 children.

During the distress of the Great Famine, Edward worked as the general overseer in Ballina Workhouse from 1848-1850.  [source: Irish Family History Centre]

Prompted by his son Patrick (who had crossed the Atlantic as a cabin boy in 1848) Edward then made the decision that the whole family would emigrate to America, arriving in Jan 1851. [source: Megan Smolenyak]. 


The Blewitt family were early Irish settlers of Lackawanna County PA, settling first at Carbondale. Edward first found employment as a weigh-master in the Ox-pond mines. He went on to assist Joel Amsden in laying out and surveying Scranton PA, after which he engaged in civil engineering and railroad surveying. SOURCE

Interestingly Scranton and Ballina today are twinned sister cities.

In 1871, Edward Blewit, age 76, died tragically in a drowning accident. The family plot is at the Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton. 


  • Patrick P. Blewitt (Biden's great-great-GF) followed in his father's footsteps as a civil engineer. 

  • Edward F. Blewitt (Biden's great-grandfather) went on to become the first Irish Catholic to serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. 


  • James Finnegan (Biden's great-father) who emigrated to NY from Carlingford Co. Louth. 

WATCH Joe Biden awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom 2017


Blewett /Bleuett (aka Bliúit/ Blaod / Bluet/ Bleuitt) is an Anglo-Norman Irish surname most numerous in Cork and Limerick.

Rare in County Mayo, it centres around the neighbouring parishes of Kilfian and Ballysakeery (between Killala and Ballina):

  •  Edward Bleuett of 24a Ballymackeehola was recorded here in Griffith's Valuation. His bachelor namesake was the only Bleuitt still there in the 1901 Census of Ireland

  • Edmond aka Edmund Blewitt of 4a Seeaghanbaun was recorded in Griffith's Valuation. He married into a Preston farm here. (See Ellen Preston living at 4b). 

  • Hubert Bluet aka Bluit of 1 Colladussaun was recorded in Griffith's Valuation. His unmarried sister (Mary Bleuitt 1812-1903) and son's family were still present in the 1901 Census

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Additional Information
Date of Birth 1795 VIEW SOURCE
Date of Death 1871 VIEW SOURCE
Associated Building (s) Ballina Workhouse  
Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname) Mary Mulderg  
Place & Date of Marriage    
Names of Children John Blewitt b1830 | Pat Blewitt 1832-1911 | Maria Blewitt b1832 | Michael Blewitt b1837 | Thomas Blewitt b1839 | Edward Blewitt b1840 | Catherine Blewitt b1843 |  
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How Biden's ancestor saved lives during Famine Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Megan Smolenyak: Joe Biden's Irish Roots USA VIEW SOURCE

Buildings Associated with this Ancestor