List of Scotch-Irish Americans

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Andrew Jackson, 7th U.S. President (1829–1837)
James K. Polk, 11th U.S. President (1845–1849)
James Buchanan, 15th U.S. President (1857–1861)
Andrew Johnson, 17th U.S. President (1865–1869)
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th U.S. President (1869–1877)
Chester A. Arthur, 21st U.S. President (1881–1885)
Grover Cleveland, 22nd & 24th U.S. President (1885–1889 & 1893–1897)
Benjamin Harrison, 23rd U.S. President (1889–1893)
William McKinley, 25th U.S. President (1897–1901)
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President (1901–1909)
William Howard Taft, 27th U.S. President (1909–1913)
Woodrow Wilson, 28th U.S. President (1913–1921)
Harry S. Truman, 33rd U.S. President (1945–1953)
Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th U.S. President (1963–1969)
Richard Nixon, 37th U.S. President (1969–1974)
Jimmy Carter, 39th U.S. President (1977–1981)
George H. W. Bush, 41st U.S. President (1989–1993)
Bill Clinton, 42nd U.S. President (1993–2001)
George W. Bush, 43rd U.S. President (2001–2009)
Barack Obama, 44th U.S. President (2009–2017)

This is a list of notable Scotch-Irish Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants. The Scotch-Irish trace their ancestry to Lowland Scottish and Northern English people, but through having stayed a few generations in Ulster. This list is ordered by surname within section. To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Scots-Irish American or must have references showing they are Scots-Irish American and are notable.


U.S. Presidents

Many Presidents of the United States have ancestral links to Ulster, including three whose parents were born in Ulster. The Irish Protestant vote in the U.S. has not been studied nearly as much as that of the Catholic Irish. In the 1820s and 1830s, supporters of Andrew Jackson emphasized his Irish background, as did James Knox Polk, but since the 1840s it has been uncommon for a Protestant politician in America to be identified as Irish, but rather as 'Scotch-Irish'.[original research?] In Canada, by contrast, Irish Protestants remained a cohesive political force well into the 20th century, identified with the then Conservative Party of Canada and especially with the Orange Institution, although this is less evident in today's politics.

More than one-third of all U.S. Presidents had substantial ancestral origins in the northern province of Ireland (Ulster). President Bill Clinton spoke proudly of that fact, and his own ancestral links with the province, during his two visits to Ulster. Like most US citizens, most US presidents are the result of a "melting pot" of ancestral origins.

Clinton is one of at least seventeen Chief Executives descended from emigrants to the United States from Ulster. While many of the Presidents have typically Ulster-Scots surnames – Jackson, Johnson, McKinley, Wilson – others, such as Roosevelt and Cleveland, have links which are less obvious.

Andrew Jackson
7th President, 1829–1837: He was born in the predominantly Ulster-Scots Waxhaws area of South Carolina two years after his parents left Boneybefore, near Carrickfergus in County Antrim. A heritage centre in the village pays tribute to the legacy of 'Old Hickory', the People's President. Andrew Jackson then moved to Tennessee, where he began a prominent political and military career. (U.S. Senator from Tennessee, 1797–1798 & 1823–1825; U.S. House Representative from Tennessee's at-large congressional district, 1796–1797; Tennessee Supreme Court Judge, 1798–1804; Federal Military Commissioner of Florida, 1821; U.S. Army Major General, 1814–1821; U.S. Volunteers Major General, 1812–1814; Tennessee State Militia Major General, 1802–1812; Tennessee State Militia Colonel, 1801–1802)
James K. Polk
11th President, 1845–1849: His ancestors were among the first Ulster-Scots settlers, emigrating from Coleraine in 1680 to become a powerful political family in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He moved to Tennessee and became its governor before winning the presidency. (13th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1835–1839; 9th Governor of Tennessee, 1839–1841; U.S. House Representative from Tennessee's 6th congressional district, 1825–1833; U.S. House Representative from Tennessee's 9th congressional district, 1833–1839; Tennessee State Representative, 1823–1825)
James Buchanan
15th President, 1857–1861: Born in a log cabin (which has been relocated to his old school in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania), 'Old Buck' cherished his origins: "My Ulster blood is a priceless heritage". His father was born in Ramelton in County Donegal, Ireland. The Buchanans were originally from Stirlingshire, Scotland where the ancestral home still stands. (17th U.S. Secretary of State, 1845–1849; U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, (1834–1845); U.S. House Representative from Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district, 1821–1823; U.S. House Representative from Pennsylvania's 4th congressional district, 1823–1831; U.S. Minister to the Russian Empire, 1832–1833; U.S. Minister to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1853–1856; Pennsylvania State Representative, 1814–1816)
Andrew Johnson
17th President, 1865–1869: His grandfather left Mounthill, near Larne in County Antrim around 1750 and settled in North Carolina. Andrew worked there as a tailor and ran a successful business in Greeneville, Tennessee, before being elected Vice President. He became President following Abraham Lincoln's assassination. (16th Vice President of the United States, 1865; U.S. Senator from Tennessee, 1857–1862 & 1875; 15th Governor of Tennessee, 1853–1857; U.S. House Representative from Tennessee's 1st congressional district, 1843–1853; Tennessee State Senator, 1841–1843; Tennessee State Representative, 1835–1837 & 1839–1841; Greeneville, Tennessee Mayor, 1834–1838; Greeneville, Tennessee Alderman, 1828–1830; Military Governor of Tennessee, 1862–1865; Union Army Brigadier General, 1862–1865)
Ulysses S. Grant
18th President, 1869–1877: The home of his maternal great-grandfather, John Simpson, at Dergenagh, County Tyrone, is the location for an exhibition on the eventful life of the victorious Civil War commander who served two terms as President. Grant visited his ancestral homeland in 1878. The home of John Simpson still stands in County Tyrone. (Acting U.S. Secretary of War, 1867–1868; Commanding General of the U.S. Army, 1864–1869; U.S./Union Army Lieutenant General, 1864–1866; Union Army Major General, 1862–1864; Union Army Brigadier General, 1861–1862; Union Army Colonel, 1861; U.S. Army Captain, 1853–1854; U.S. Army Brevet Captain, 1847–1848; U.S. Army 2nd Lieutenant, 1843–1853)
Chester A. Arthur
21st President, 1881–1885: His succession to the Presidency after the death of Garfield was the start of a quarter-century in which the White House was occupied by men of Ulster-Scots origins. His family left Dreen, near Cullybackey, County Antrim, in 1815. There is now an interpretive centre, alongside the Arthur Ancestral Home, devoted to his life and times. (20th Vice President of the United States, 1881; New York Port Collector, 1871–1878; New York Guard Quartermaster General, 1862–1863; New York Guard Inspector General, 1862; New York Guard Engineer-in-Chief, 1861–1863)
Grover Cleveland
22nd and 24th President, 1885–1889 and 1893–1897: Born in New Jersey, he was the maternal grandson of merchant Abner Neal, who emigrated from County Antrim in the 1790s. He is the only president to have served non-consecutive terms. (28th Governor of New York, 1883–1885; 34th Mayor of Buffalo, New York, 1882; Erie County, New York Sheriff, 1871–1873)
Benjamin Harrison
23rd President, 1889–1893: His mother, Elizabeth Irwin, had Ulster-Scots roots through her two great-grandfathers, James Irwin and William McDowell. Harrison was born in Ohio and served as a brigadier general in the Union Army before embarking on a career in Indiana politics which led to the White House. (U.S. Senator from Indiana, 1881–1887; Union Army Brevet Brigadier General, 1865; Union Army Colonel, 1862–1865; Union Army Captain, 1862)
William McKinley
25th President, 1897–1901: Born in Ohio, the descendant of a farmer from Conagher, near Ballymoney, County Antrim, he was proud of his ancestry and addressed one of the national Scotch-Irish congresses held in the late 19th century. His second term as president was cut short by an assassin's bullet. (39th Governor of Ohio, 1892–1896; U.S. House Representative from Ohio's 18th congressional district, 1887–1891; U.S. House Representative from Ohio's 20th congressional district, 1885–1887; U.S. House Representative from Ohio's 18th congressional district, 1883–1884; U.S. House Representative from Ohio's 17th congressional district, 1881–1883; U.S. House Representative from Ohio's 16th congressional district, 1879–1881; U.S. House Representative from Ohio's 17th congressional district, 1877–1879; Union Army Brevet Brigadier General, 1865; Union Army Colonel, 1862–1865; Union Army Captain, 1862)
Theodore Roosevelt
26th President, 1901–1909: His mother, Mittie Bulloch, had Ulster Scots ancestors who emigrated from Glenoe, County Antrim, in May 1729. Roosevelt praised "Irish Presbyterians" as "a bold and hardy race". However, he is also the man who said: "But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts "native"* before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen." (*Roosevelt was referring to "nativists", not American Indians, in this context) (25th Vice President of the United States, 1901; 33rd Governor of New York, 1899–1900; Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1897–1898; New York City Police Commissioners Board President, 1895–1897; New York State Assembly Minority Leader, 1883; New York State Assembly Member, 1882–1884)
William Howard Taft
27th President, 1909–1913: First known ancestor of the Taft family in the United States, Robert Taft Sr., was born in County Louth circa 1640 (where his father, Richard Robert Taft, also died in 1700), before migrating to Braintree, Massachusetts in 1675, and settling in Mendon, Massachusetts in 1680. (10th Chief Justice of the United States, 1921–1930; 42nd U.S. Secretary of War, 1904–1908; 1st Provisional Governor of Cuba, 1906; 1st Governor-General of the Philippines, 1901–1903; U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, 1892–1900; 6th U.S. Solicitor General, 1890–1892)
Woodrow Wilson
28th President, 1913–1921: Of Ulster-Scot descent on both sides of the family, his roots were very strong and dear to him. He was grandson of a printer from Dergalt, near Strabane, County Tyrone, whose former home is open to visitors. (34th Governor of New Jersey, 1911–1913; Princeton University President, 1902–1910)
Harry S. Truman
33rd President, 1945–1953: Of Ulster-Scot descent on both sides of the family. (34th Vice President of the United States, 1945; U.S. Senator from Missouri, 1935–1945; Jackson County, Missouri Presiding Judge, 1927–1935; U.S. Army Reserve Colonel, 1932–1953; U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, 1925–1932; U.S. Army Reserve Major, 1920–1925; U.S. Army Major, 1919; U.S. Army Captain, 1918–1919; U.S. Army 1st Lieutenant, 1917–1918; Missouri National Guard Corporal, 1905–1911)
Lyndon B. Johnson
36th President, 1963–1969: Of Ulster-Scot ancestry with patrilineal descent traced to Dumfriesshire, Scotland in 1590. (37th Vice President of the United States, 1961–1963; U.S. Senate Majority Leader, 1955–1961; U.S. Senate Minority Leader, 1953–1955; U.S. Senate Majority Whip, 1951–1953; U.S. Senator from Texas, 1949–1961; U.S. House Representative from Texas's 10th congressional district, 1937–1949; U.S. Naval Reserve Commander, 1940–1964)
Richard Nixon
37th President, 1969–1974: The Nixon ancestors left Ulster in the mid-18th century; the Quaker Milhous family ties were with County Antrim and County Kildare. (36th Vice President of the United States, 1953–1961; U.S. Senator from California, 1950–1953; U.S. House Representative from California's 12th congressional district, 1947–1950; U.S. Naval Reserve Commander, 1953–1966; U.S. Naval Reserve Lieutenant Commander, 1945–1953; U.S. Naval Reserve Lieutenant, 1943–1945; U.S. Naval Reserve Lieutenant J.G., 1942–1943)
Jimmy Carter
39th President, 1977–1981: Some of Carter's paternal ancestors originated from County Antrim, County Londonderry and County Armagh and some of his maternal ancestors originated from County Londonderry, County Down, and County Donegal. (76th Governor of Georgia, 1971–1975; Georgia State Senator, 1963–1967; U.S. Navy Reserve Lieutenant J.G., 1953–1961; U.S. Navy Lieutenant J.G., 1949–1953; U.S. Navy Ensign, 1946–1949)
George H. W. Bush
41st President, 1989–1993: Of Ulster-Scot ancestry. (43rd Vice President of the United States, 1981–1989; Director of Central Intelligence, 1976–1977; 2nd U.S. Beijing Liaison Office Chief, 1974–1975; 10th U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, 1971–1973; U.S. House Representative from Texas's 7th congressional district, 1967–1971; U.S. Navy Lieutenant J.G., 1942–1945)
Bill Clinton
42nd President, 1993–2001: Of Ulster-Scot ancestry. (40th & 42nd Governor of Arkansas, 1979–1981 & 1983–1992; 50th Arkansas Attorney General, 1977–1979)
George W. Bush
43rd President, 2001–2009: Of Ulster-Scot ancestry. (46th Governor of Texas, 1995–2000)
Barack Obama
44th President, 2009–2017: Of Scots-Irish ancestry on mother's side. (U.S. Senator from Illinois, 2005–2008; Illinois State Senator, 1997–2004)

U.S. Vice Presidents

Speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. Supreme Court Justices

U.S. Cabinet

U.S. Senators


U.S. House Representatives

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