Paul McCartney Family History


James Paul McCartney was born on June 18th, 1942 to Jim and Mary McCartney in Liverpool.  His younger brother Michael was born two years later.  The family lived in a council flat in the Speke area of the town.

Paul’s mother Mary died when he was fifteen.  His father in his spare time had been a musician, playing in ragtime and jazz bands around Liverpool,  He bought Paul a nickel-plated trumpet to help him ease his sorrow after her death, thus – it was said – embarking him on his career in music.

Paul in fact swapped the trumpet for a Framus acoustic guitar. He would also play his father’s Framus Spanish guitar when writing early songs with John Lennon.

Paul first met John Lennon in 1957 soon after his mother had died.  They formed a local band called the Quarrymen which became the Beatles in 1960.  Their first hit, Love me Do, came out in the UK charts in 1963.

After the Beatles broke up in 1970, Paul formed his own band Wings which continued until 1981.  Since that time he has remained a hugely popular singer and performer.

One of Paul’s first songs, written when he was about fourteen, was When I’m Sixty Four.  It appeared on the Sergeant Pepper 1967 album.  Paul is now eighty plus and still performing.

From Ireland to Liverpool

The McCartneys were originally Irish.  It is thought that Paul’s great great grandfather was James McCartney, an upholsterer by trade, who left Ireland in the 1840’s, probably fleeing the Great Famine.  He went initially to Galloway in Scotland before moving south with his family and settling in Liverpool.

James’s son James was still a minor when he married Elizabeth Williams in Liverpool in 1864.  A son Joe soon arrived.  He and his wife lived in the Irish Catholic section of Liverpool.  James was a plumber and painter by trade.

His son Joe, Paul’s grandfather, was a tobacco-cutter.  He worked for one company, Cope Brothers & Co, from the time he left school until the day he died.  He was a traditionalist who liked opera and played an E-flat tuba in the local Territorial Army band in Stanley Park.  The story was that he never drank alcohol, went to bed at 10 o’clock every night, and the only swear word he used was “Jaysus.”

He and his wife Florrie had nine children (two dying in infancy), the third living being James (Jim), Paul’s father.  Their children all attended the local Steers Street School in Everton.

Jim McCartney and Mary Mohin, from another Irish family in Liverpool, were married at St. Swithin’s Roman Catholic chapel in Liverpool in 1941.  During the war Jim worked for a company making shell cases and was a volunteer fireman.  After the war he worked in the cotton trade.

In 1956 his wife Mary came home one afternoon and announced that she had been diagnosed with the late stages of breast cancer.  She then went into the bedroom, took out a crucifix and a picture of her first cousin who was an Irish missionary priest in Africa, and began to pray. A few short weeks later, she was dead.

Jim remarried in 1964 and died in 1976.  His second wife Angie McCartney wrote her autobiography My Long and Winding Road in 2013 which included the twelve years she was married to Jim.

Reader Feedback: Did James McCartney have a relative named Patrick McCartney who married Ann Farrall?  Bernadette McCormick (

Reader Feedback: Ellen McCartney Sullivan was my great grandmother.  I know she was born in England and died in 1916 in Washington DC.  How can I determine if she is part of the Paul McCartney family tree?  Bernadette McCormick (

Reader Feedback: I was told by a relative that the McCartneys of Liverpool were related tó US President Buchanan?  Steve Belcher (

Paul McCartney’s Family Tree

  • James McCartney from Ireland (born around 1820)
  • – Mary Ann McCartney (b. 1840) m. John Killeen
  • – James McCartney (1845-1930)
  • James McCartney m. Elizabeth Williams (b. 1847) from north Wales in Liverpool in 1864
  • – Joseph (Joe) McCartney (b. 1866)
  • – Mary McCartney (b. 1873)
  • – Annie McCartney (b. 1879)
  • Joseph (Joe) McCartney m. Florence (Florrie) Clegg (1874-1944) from Isle of Man in Liverpool in 1894
  • – John (Jack) McCartney (b. 1898)
  • – Edith (Edie) McCartney (b. 1901)
  • – James (Jim) McCartney (1902-1976)
  • – Mildred (Millie) McCartney (b. 1903)
  • – Annie McCartney (1905-1945) m. Albert (Bert) Danher
  • – Virginia (Gin) McCartney (b. 1910) m. Henry Harris
  • James (Jim) McCartney m. Mary Mohin (1909-1956) in Liverpool in 1941; rem. Angela Williams in 1964
  • – Paul McCartney (b. 1942)
  • – Michael McCartney (b. 1944) aka Mike McGear
  • Paul McCartney m. Linda Eastman from New York (1941-1998) in 1969; rem. Heather Mills in 2002 (divorced in 2008); rem. Nancy Shevell from New York in 2011.
  • – Heather McCartney (b. 1962), adopted
  • – Mary McCartney (b. 1969) m. Alistair Donald (divorced); rem. Simon Aboud
  • – Stella McCartney (b. 1971), fashion designer, m. Alasdhair Willis
  • – James McCartney (b. 1977)
  • – Beatrice McCartney (b. 2003)



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Written by Colin Shelley

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