Place of migration:
Migrated to/Born in USA
[Photo © Independent.ie]

Patrick P. Blewitt of Ballina Co. Mayo was a maternal great-great-grandfather of Joe Biden (46th 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) worked 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]

PENNSYLVANIA 

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.

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  • 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.

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


Got a Blewitt in your family tree?

We'd love if you added them to our Ancestors roll-call here:

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1832  
Date of Death Nov 1911  
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.  
View less entries

References

BLEWITT Portrait & Bio Lackawanna County PA USA VIEW SOURCE
Irish Family History Centre Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Megan Smolenyak: Joey from Scranton USA VIEW SOURCE

Comments

  • Lots of info on Joe Biden's maternal Irish roots, but no information about his paternal connection to Ireland? What's up with that? My G.G. grandparents, (James O'Donnell & Margaret Fitzgerald) were from County Cork. The were married in 1844 at St. Barthlomew's Catholic Church in Kildorrery Co. Cork. James and Margaret had their first child baptised in 1845, a daughter who they named Bridget.

    James, Margaret, and Bridget fled Ireland, in 1848, during the "Great Hunger". They settled in Clairville, Ontario; Canada. Margaret gave birth to 8 more children in Clairville. In birth order they were named: Ellen, Thomas, John, Mary Ann, James(my G. Grandfather), David, William, and Michael.

    James and Margaret purchased 4 Lots in Clairville, in 1877. Margaret died in April of 1887, followed closely by James' death, in July of the same year.

    That's my Irish ancestral biography.

    Larry

    Sunday 24th January 2021, 04:48PM