[Photo © Independent.ie]
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.
ABOUT THIS SURNAME
Blewett /Bleuett (aka Bliúit/ Blaod / Bluet/ Bleuitt) is an Anglo-Norman Irish surname most numerous in Cork and Limerick.
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).
Got a Blewitt in your family tree? Add them to our Ancestors roll-call HERE.
|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.|