Place of migration:
Migrated to/Born in USA

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Patrick P. Blewitt of Ballina Co. Mayo was a maternal great-great-grandfather of Joe Biden (47th Vice President of the US). 

He came from a long family line of civil engineers and surveyors that left their mark on both Irish and US soil. His father Edward Blewett Sr. (1795-1871) on the Ordnance Survey of Ireland (a world-first). He then worked on the General Valuation (aka Griffith's Valuation – a popular census substitute). SOURCE

  • Patrick grew up at Patrick Street Ballina. He worked briefly in Ballina as an overseer of public works [source: Irish Family History Centre]

  • When Patrick was 16, he crossed the Atlantic working as a cabin boy. Upon his return, Ireland was in the grips of the great Famine and his father decided the whole family should emigrate. 

  • Patrick, his parents and siblings arrived in America in Jan 1851. [source: Megan Smolenyak]


Ballina's Blewett / Blewitt family were early Irish settlers of Lackawanna County PA, settling first at Carbondale.

For a few years, Patrick was employed at Scranton surveying lots with his father and travelled extensively in the Gulf (which brought him to South America and New Orleans)

  • In 1859, Edward F. Blewitt (Joe Biden's maternal great-grandfather) was born in New Orleans but the family returned to Scranton PA when he was 6 months old. 

  • For three years Patrick was surveyor of old Luzerne County, and also served as city engineer for Scranton. 

  • In addition, he had a large private business as a civil mining engineer.

  • In 1871 he was appointed mine inspector for the second anthracite district, extending from Carbondale to Wilkesbarre (from Provence to the Luzerne County line) and was reappointed every succeeding 5 years, having done "efficient work in the inspection fo the 46 mines there". 

Interestingly Scranton and Ballina today are twinned sister cities.


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


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

In County Mayo, it is rare and 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 1832  
Mother (First Name/s and Maiden) Mary Mulderg VIEW SOURCE
Father (First Name/s and Surname) Edward Blewitt Sr. of Ballina  
Townland born Patrick Street (part of Garden Street) Ballina VIEW SOURCE
Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname) Catherine Scanlon  
Names of Children Edward F. Blewitt (1850-1926) civil engineer, businessman and PA Senator VIEW SOURCE
Names of Siblings John Blewett was a miner in Pennsylvania.  
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BLEWITT Portrait & Bio Lackawanna County PA USA VIEW SOURCE
Irish Family History Centre Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Megan Smolenyak: Joey from Scranton USA VIEW SOURCE