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Joe Biden’s ancestral homeland in Ireland celebrated his win over Donald Trump. The president-elect has ties to distant relatives in Ballina, Ireland, thanks in part to Megan Smolenyak, a genealogist and former chief historian at, who first began digging into Biden’s family origins before he became vice president. Through Smolenyak’s research, Biden was able to locate and meet his distant Irish cousins who went on to vocally support his candidacy through the 2020 race.

After Smolenyak detailed Biden’s ancestry in a 2013 article for Irish America, he later thanked her with a signed copy and an inscription that read: “Megan, I truly…

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Amanda Sakuma

Editor/writer. Words in GEN, The Atlantic, Glamour, The Intercept, MSNBC, NBC News, NYT, Vice, Vox, and more.