Notes on the Ancestry of Senator John Sidney McCain IV

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Several colleagues and I have traced the ancestry of Senator John McCain in some detail. A newspaper reporter from Scotland telephoned to ask about the Senator’s possible Scottish roots; the reporter wrote of McCain’s male-line Scots-Irish heritage and of his descent from (St.) David I, King of Scotland (died 1153). This last descent (and from David’s grandson William the Lion, King of Scotland, died 1214) through Mrs. Anne Coddington Fenner, an early eighteenth century immigrant to North Carolina, is McCain’s best Scottish royal line. His best English royal descent is from Edward I, King of England (died 1307), an ancestor of Mrs. Fenner through the Waller, Hampden, Ferrers of Groby, de Verdun and de Clare families. An ancestral uncle was the poet Edmund Waller (born 1606, died 1687), and an ancestral first cousin was English Parliamentary leader John Hampden (born about 1595, died 1643). McCain’s best French royal descent is from Louis VII, King of France (died 1180), and his best Spanish royal descent is from (St.) Ferdinand/Fernando III, King of Castile (died 1252).

Senator McCain’s immediate ancestry, as traced to date, is very largely Southern. He was born in the Panama Canal Zone; his parents were born in Iowa and Oklahoma. His grandparents were natives of Mississippi, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas. Earlier forebears were born or died in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, North Carolina, and Virginia. One great-grandmother, Mrs. Margaret Garside Vaulx (mother of Mrs. John Sidney McCain, Jr.), was baptized March 4, 1849 at St. Michael’s Church, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England. The Senator’s male-line immigrant ancestor was a Scots-Irish Hugh McCain who came to Caswell County, N.C., about 1778 (Hugh’s son Joseph McCain had a son William Alexander McCain, father of the first John Sidney McCain). Not surprisingly, since they are both Southern, McCain and First Lady Laura Bush appear to have ancestors in common. To date no connection has been found between McCain and the Southern ancestors of Senator Barack Obama. Research by several genealogists continues.

Gary Boyd Roberts

William the Lion, King of Scots
(St.) David I, King of Scosts
Edward I, King of England
Louis VII, King of France
(St.) Ferdinand III, King of Castile

Plus earlier forebears Eleanor of Aquitaine, William the Conqueror, Charlemagne, and various early German Holy Roman Emperors

Notable Kin:
First Lady Laura Welch Bush
English poet Edmund Waller
English Parliamentary leader John Hampden