The Irish-American Connection

From the very beginning, the Irish have played a critical role in the history of the United States. The first Irish settled in America soon after the founding of Jamestown in 1607, and their cultural, artistic, and military contributions began to help shape their new country.

As many as one-third to one-half of the American troops during the Revolutionary War were of Irish descent. Among them, 1,500 were officers and 26 were generals.

Eight of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were of Irish descent. The document itself was handwritten by Irish-born Charles Thomson and printed by another Irishman, John Dunlap.

Many of the great American folk heroes were really Irishmen. Among them was Sam Houston, the first president of Texas, the Lone Star State, whose family came from Ballynure in County Antrim. Daniel Boone, first to explore Kentucy, was originally Daniel Buhun. Davy Crockett, son of a Derry immigrant, became the "King of the Wild Frontier".

Eighteen of America's presidents were of Irish heritage: John Adams, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore Rossevelt, Woodrow Wilson, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and William Jefferson Clinton.

***Note: There are some that have emailed me and that dispute the Irish roots of the some of the presidents. As with all geneological research, you need to verify all information and family tree research is not always without errors.

There have been and still are many other famous Irish-Americans working in many different occupations from actors and other types of entertainers to senators, architects, industrialists, journalists, sports figures, writers, boxers, and a Supreme Court justice.

Return to Lady Anna's Pages