His mother is German and his father Irish.
Republican Paul Ryan, elected from Wisconsin, had a surprise while filming the PBS show Finding Your Roots. The television program films Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard scholar, as he helps an assorted section of people to explore their ancestry. According to Gates, he successfully traced Ryan’s lineage to the Republican’s 10th great grandfather, a personage living in the 16th century. As per the findings, Ryan is about three percent Ashkenazi Jewish.
Gates told the media that Ryan was extremely surprised at first and then became proud of his heritage. The scholar continued on to say that he and his team was unable to find out the name of his Jewish descendant, but they are sure that his Jewishness came from his mother’s line. The latter is originally from Germany. It is clear that a Jewish German had fruitful relations with a Christian German and that offspring continued the bloodline. Paul Ryan is not the only politician who has participated in the show. The list of other lawmakers includes Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat elected from Hawaii and Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican elected from Florida.
Ryan follows Roman Catholicism. He is the fifth generation of his family after they settled in Wisconsin after emigrating from Europe. The Republican has Irish blood from his father’s side and English and German from his mother’s side. The politician is not the sole prominent American to have Jewish origins. The PBS show also researched the ancestry of Sarah Silverman, the comedian, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, and Andy Samberg, the actor. Prior seasons of the show had Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, comedian Amy Schumer, and noted actress Scarlett Johansson.
Gates, for his part, is happy to see that Americans are interested in his work. He said it is inspiring to see many US citizens exploring where they came from. In his statement, he said that such a curiosity is welcome at a time when immigration has become a sensitive and controversial matter. He pointed out that each episode of the program shows in clear detail that the only way to move the United States forward is to accept the fact that the nation was made by immigrants. He said that when a person knows his or her origins, the more that person can richly lead a better life, In the end, he said, all Americans are immigrants and this is something to be proud of.