From the May 2008 Idaho Observer:

The Three Stooges go to Washington: Part 1

Among the many lies we are taught in school is "Anyone can become president." On the surface, that may seem true: Bill Clinton was the bastard son of a prostitute from Little Rock, Arkansas and; GW Bush is a phenomenally inarticulate man with no skills or personal accomplishments to his credit. However, when we look past the phony public personas and media cover stories, we find that, without exception, those who find their way to the pinnacles of political power in America are not who they are pretended to be.

Out of the starting gate for the primary round of Election 2008 was a large field of Democrats and Republicans vying for their party’s nomination for president. Quickly, the field narrowed to two Democrats and two Republicans. Only Ron Paul’s genealogy, history, words and deeds add up to the man named Ron Paul running for president of the United States. The other three, when you look past the veneer, are not just regular folks whose exemplary careers in public service have qualified them to be elected our nation’s 44th president. We actually find that we don’t know what they are.

Part 1 in this series by intuitive researcher extraordinaire Don Nicoloff will take a close look at the curious ancestry of Sen. John McCain (or is it McCann?). Part 2 will bring us up to date on what the senator from Arizona really is.

Left: Rear Admiral John Sydney McCain, Sr., the grandfather of presidential candidate SenatorJohn Sydney McCain III (R-Arizona). Right: Admiral John Sydney McCain, Jr., Senator McCain’s father.

Considering their rank and the high-profile nature of their occupations, there are very few photos of these two men. There is also an amazing number of conflicts between their public records, official documents and genealogical data.



by Don Nicoloff

Senator John Sidney McCain III

John Sidney McCain, III, according to traditional biographical sources, was "born at the Coco Solo Naval Base, Panama Canal Zone on August 29, 1936." He is third in a succession of U.S. naval officers cultivated from the same family.

One would think that these two sentences, the first which states where he was born and the second which describes the legacy he inherited, would be easy to check and prove. But they are not. So we must go backward in time to either prove he was born into a naval family at Coco Solo—or not.

John Sidney McCain, Sr. [McCain, III’s grandfather]: The Official Story

John Sidney McCain, Sr. (JS McCain I), was born August 9, 1884, in Carroll County, Miss., to John Sidney and Elizabeth Ann Young McCain. JS McCain I was attending the University of Mississippi when he met his future wife, Katherine Davey Vaulx (Katherine was born January 9, 1876 in Fayetteville, Arkansas), a Greek and Latin teacher eight years his senior.

He then transferred to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis where he graduated 79th in a class of 116 in 1906. The U.S. Navy career of JS McCain I began by taking part in the World Cruise of the "Great White Fleet," from December 16, 1907 to February 22, 1909.

JS McCain I and Katherine were married August 9, 1909 at Colorado Springs, Colorado. The McCains had one child, John Sidney McCain, Jr. (JS McCain II), who was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on January 17, 1911.

JS McCain I came up through the ranks and was promoted to rear admiral in 1941.

Rear Admiral JS McCain I died of a heart attack on September 6, 1945 at his home in Coronado, California—four days after witnessing the Japanese surrender at Tokyo Bay. He was posthumously awarded the rank of full admiral and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Katherine died in San Diego May 29, 1959 and is buried next to her husband.

JS McCain I had an older brother, William Alexander McCain, who also attended the University of Mississippi before transferring to the United States Military Academy; he retired as a brigadier general.

JS McCain I: The unofficial story

According to official biographies, "John Sidney McCain, Sr." was born to "John Sidney and Elizabeth Ann Young McCain" at Teoc, in Carroll County, Mississippi on August 9, 1884 and died on September 6, 1945 at the age of 61.

There is no information on the birth or parentage of JS McCain I or Elizabeth Ann available through traditional sources (claims that "they just didn’t keep good records back then" are excusive. People and cultures, particularly prominent families and governments, have been keeping "good records" for thousands of years).

After attending the University of Mississippi for a year, McCain enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy, where he graduated 79th out of a class of 116. Despite his meteoric rise as an unremarkable, even incompetent naval officer, the Annapolis Naval Academy does not list "Admiral John Sidney McCain, Sr.," as a "notable" graduate from the Class of 1906.

The first anomaly in the ancestry of John McCain, Sr. appears in his "wikipedia" biography. Though the author of this particular historical account of Admiral McCain is unknown, the article is consistent with other genealogical accounts of the McCain family in that the first "John Sidney McCain"—the presumed father of JS McCain I, was not called "Sr.," or "I" which are the customary designations for fathers who name sons after themselves. 

This elder McCain is claimed to have been born in "Mississippi" in 1851 (no birth date or place indicated). Regarding the death of this patriarch, we are only given the year, "1934," with no date and no location. The same is true for Elizabeth Ann—birth year (1855) and state (Mississippi) and death year (1922) and state (Mississippi) only.

Genealogical databases and public records are devoid of specific information legitimizing "the McCains from Mississippi." The deaths of a decorated U.S. Navy admiral’s father and mother should have at least prompted the publishing of obituaries in the local newspaper that would reveal more clues for future genealogists, but that is not the case.

The McCain family history dead ends at this point.

(We have now stumbled onto a clue that the Senator from Arizona (JS McCain III) is not who he pretends to be. Like we learned when attempting to trace the genealogy of the "George Herbert Walker Bush" clan (The IO, April—June, 2007), these people don’t just appear out of a vacuum. They came from somewhere, usually from Europe and, in those days, by ship.

A single maritime record dated April 26, 1924, from Ellis Island shows that a "John McCain," a "British" citizen of "Scotch" origin (yes, the document says "Scotch"), "age 59," claimed he had been sailing as a crew member with the "Wandsworth [Gas] Works" shipping company for "10 years" as an "A.B." (able boatsman).  That claim would place his birth date closer to 1865, not "1884," The recorded physical descriptions of this McCain match what is revealed in later photographs of JS McCain I. He was not a large man, his weight fluctuated from 130-145 lbs. throughout his career with Wandsworth Works and, if this is the same man, the U.S. Navy. He was also short in stature, his declared height ranging from 5’-5" to 5’-8".

A review of public records does not reveal a "John McCain" having been born in England or Scotland in 1865. So, where might this "John McCain" have been born? Certainly not in Teoc, Mississippi. And what is the significance of this 59-year-old  "John McCain" arriving in New York as a foreign national working on a foreign ship? The answer will be found in photographs taken during and near the conclusion of World War II.

Naval historian E.B. Potter noted that, "John Sidney McCain defied the image of the senior naval officer. Bony, wizened, with a hooked nose and sunken cheeks, he turned sixty during World War II and looked at least ten years older."

Other accounts agreed, though most blamed his weathered appearance on "the stress of years at sea."

Upon viewing several U.S. Navy photographs of McCain, one assumes he is looking at images of an 80-year-old man, an opinion shared by many others who have viewed the same photographs. The most logical explanation for the age discrepancy is the Ellis Island ship crew’s manifest that recorded John McCain’s age—and likely his alias—in 1924.

During further attempts to determine a more accurate birth date for JS McCain I, another discrepancy was discovered in the Social Security Death Index. Entering John Sidney McCain’s name into the main search engine produces a "No Results" warning. However, when entering McCain’s Social Security number (found in an "Individual Record" on the Family Search web site), a singular entry appeared with "1874" listed under the "Birth" column. The same document also states that "October, 1945" is the date of death. So, in which year was he born; 1884, 1874, or 1865? When did he die—September or October, 1945?

Adding the 19-year difference to the death of JS McCain I, officially proclaimed to be at age 61, would mean he died at age 80, not 61 and was born in 1865—not 1884.

From these clues, one can reasonably conclude that "Admiral John Sidney McCain, Sr." was not born in the United States and was illegally, though purposefully, "inserted" into the U.S. Navy.

The next question becomes, "Why would this unremarkable seaman with limited skills and experience be inserted into the U.S. Navy?

Another Ellis Island "Passenger Record" documents the arrival of "John McCain," "age 33," from "Ireland" on "March 26, 1892." On this trip, McCain, a crew member of the "City of Chicago S.S.," (an Irish liner built in Glasgow, Scotland in 1883) was listed on Manifest Line Number 0014. Unfortunately, the crew’s manifest does not appear on the Ellis Island page, having been intentionally replaced by a completely unrelated document. In fact, most of the "John McCain-related" passenger manifests have been surreptitiously replaced with unrelated documents.

After viewing hundreds of records while searching for the origins of JS McCain I, the following record was found (quite by surprise) on the web site. As previously mentioned, a specific search for McCain’s Social Security number yielded no results, yet this record reveals some remarkable similarities. This McCain’s birth date, "August 22, 1874," is more representative of the photographic anomalies because it is a closer approximation of his actual birth date being only 13 days after the August 9 references found in biographical accounts. The S.S. number reveals the same data on the Social Security Death Index. The same search without this number yields: "No Results" (This anomaly is a clue. Many foreign spies, including those from Operation Paperclip, were issued S.S. numbers, many originating in Florida and New Jersey. Nazi spies Otto Skorzeny, Reinhard Gehlen, Martin Bormann and Josef Mengele received S.S. numbers and aliases courtesy of the CIA).


Birth Date: 22 Aug 1874

Death Date: Oct 1945

Social Security Number: 265-28-5976

State or Territory Where

Number Was Issued: Florida

First Name: John

Last Name: McCain

Ethnicity: Ireland

Last Place of Residence:

Date of Arrival: Mar 26, 1892

Age at Arrival: 33

Gender: M

Marital Status:

Ship of Travel: City of Chicago

Port of Departure: Liverpool & Queenstown

Manifest Line Number: 0014

(From FamilySearch, U.S. Social Security Death Index)

Katherine Davey (Daisy) Vaulx McCain

Katherine Davey Vaulx, the grandmother of JS McCain III, was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas January 9, 1876 and died May 22, 1959, according to the Arlington National Cemetery website and wikipedia. Independent genealogical accounts vary, however, making it difficult to sort fact from fiction. For example, many amateur and professional genealogists incorrectly spelled "Katherine" with a "C," sometimes transcribing her middle name from "Davey" to "Daisy." These seemingly incidental types of errors and omissions, commonly discovered while researching the genealogies of certain families, effectively prevent the American people from discovering the true identities of key players in their contemporary political midst.

There also remains confusion about Katherine’s birth and death dates. Some guess her birth to have occurred in 1884, likely confusing that date with the incorrect (but published) year of JS McCain I’s birth. Still, others claim she was born in 1877.

A photo of the Arlington Cemetery tombstone for JS and Katherine Vaulx McCain shows Katherine’s birth date of January 9, 1878 and the death date of May 29, 1959. It also shows that JS McCain I was born Aug. 8, 1884 and died Sept. 6, 1945.

Historically, stonecutters/engravers do not make mistakes and only etch into stone, for all time, exactly what they were told to etch. Though we now know that Katherine was six years older than her husband and not "eight years his senior" as noted by wikipedia, we are still left with the previously unknown details about McCain’s admission that, in 1924, he was 59 years old.

After reviewing all of the records and comparing the patterns to other genealogical studies I have conducted, my sense is that the original records are all inconsistent with one another because they are all false.

An exhaustive search of the Social Security Death Index for Katherine also concludes with "No Results." Katherine was spared the inconvenience of a Social Security number. There remains no reliable method to substantiate claims of her birth "in Arkansas," nor claims that she had a "sister in Council Bluffs, Iowa" whom she supposedly visited when giving birth to her only child JS McCain II while her husband JS McCain I was at sea.

John McCann (aka John Sidney McCain, Sr./JS McCain I)

A crew’s list index from Port of Seattle passenger records included, once again, the name of "John McCain." Beneath this single entry were numerous entries with the name, "John McCann."

Who was John McCann? The name had appeared frequently in genealogical records on countless web sites in conjunction with this research, but it was not the name we were searching for. The official crew’s list provides clues indicating that JS McCain I and John McCann are the same man.

John McCann had also sailed on the "SS Old North State," a ship that belonged to the United States Lines, a company in operation during the 1920s and early 1930s. The United States Lines was founded by Kermit Roosevelt, the son of President Teddy Roosevelt. Kermit had also previously founded the Roosevelt Lines with two partners, John M. Franklin and Basil Harris. Franklin’s father headed International Mercantile Marine Company (I.M.M.), originally owned by JP Morgan, purchaser of the famed British White Star Line. McCann’s name appeared on numerous White Star crew’s lists as a "steward," "mechanic," and "able boatsman." 

In 1941, the SS America, another ship in the US Lines fleet, harbored the infamous "Duquesne Spy Ring" and two German spies, Franz Joseph Stigler and Erwin Wilheim Siegler, who obtained intelligence on military defense preparations and ship movements at the Panama Canal for the Nazis. The two spies eventually served 16-year and 10-year prison sentences, though the connection to "John McCann," through his documented employment with both shipping lines, had never previously been disclosed.

The genealogy of John McCann

(aka John Sidney McCain, Sr.)

The following birth record appears at the LDS web site at



Birth: 06 OCT 1865

Renfrew, Scotland






This record is a significant find for several reasons. We now have a birth date and a place of birth for a man from Scotland born in 1865. Not surprisingly, Peter McCann and his wife Susan Brown had no parents, no birth dates, no places of birth, no death dates, nor any places of death. So how and to whom was John McCann born?

The answer to this question lies partially within his place of birth. "John Sidney McCain, Sr.," his son "John Sidney McCain, Jr." and his grandson "John Sidney McCain, III" have all erred at least once when describing a citizen from Scotland as "Scotch."

Scotch is a distilled spirit—a man from Scotland is not "Scotch." The faux pas was made numerous times and is even documented in writing by the Immigration and Naturalization Service at Ellis Island.

The eldest "McCain" began using that name circa 1924. Prior to that time, he had repeatedly identified himself as "John McCann." He was sometimes from Scotland and on other occasions, from Ireland, England and even the United States. John McCann was peculiarly honest about his age, though. On every arrival at Ellis Island, his age, when compared to the date of his arrival, calculates to him having been born in 1865. Three arrivals were documented in 1907 (age 42), 1912 (age 47), and 1921 (age 56).

The reader may recall the April 26, 1924 arrival while sailing on the Wandsworth Works, where "John McCain" stated his age was "59." He also stated that he was "Scotch from Britain" and had been sailing for "10 years," which is also included in the same document. The only discrepancies in the information he supplied to the INS agent were his name, which was not John McCain, it was John McCann who had been sailing for far longer than 10 years.

According to the LDS genealogical pedigree mentioned above, John McCann was born on October 6, 1865 at Renfrew, Scotland. Renfrew is six miles west of Glasgow, on the western coast of Scotland, where many of the ships he rode were built. Shipbuilding was the primary business in Renfrew until the early 1960s. Renfrew is also "the Cradle of the Royal Stewarts," of royal burgh status since 1397. The heir to the British Crown was historically the Duke of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales, ruler over both Scotland and Northern Ireland. Who would that have been in 1865? Prince Albert Edward, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay and Prince of Wales.

Prince Albert Edward, born in 1841, served in the Royal Navy at age 12 and developed a reputation as a philanderer and a playboy. The son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the young prince had gotten himself into hot water over rumors of an affair with actress Nellie Clifden while participating in army maneuvers in Ireland. Prince Albert was married to Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863.

The list of mistresses grew during his marriage to Alexandra, including Lillie Langtry, Daisy Greville, Sarah Bernhardt, Alice Keppel, Lady Randoph Churchill (Winston’s mother), the Countess of Warwick and humanitarian Agnes Keyser.

It was rumored at the time that his adulterous liaisons produced several bastard children. Though it is impossible to prove it conclusively, we can circumstantially determine that John McCann, born in 1865, was the bastard son of Prince Albert. JS McCain III is on record as claiming familial ties to British royal bloodlines. Since there is no such link demonstrated in the "official" McCain family story, our working theory that JS McCain I is the son of Prince Albert is supported.

Prince Albert eventually went on to inherit the throne, becoming King Edward VII, from 1901 until his death in 1910. John McCann was Albert Edward’s third son. His second, son, George Frederick Ernest Albert, was born on June 3, 1865, some four months prior to the birth of his younger (step) brother. Obviously, Prince George and John McCann had different mothers. Albert Edward’s eldest son, Albert Victor, born in 1864, himself having been born two months prematurely, died from pneumonia in 1892.

It is clear that Prince Albert’s wife Alexandra could not have had a third child, four months after giving birth to her second child. That is why John McCann had no "pedigree"—the Royal family wanted to avoid another adulterous, princely scandal.

John McCann’s mother could have been any of Prince Albert’s mistresses but the timing suggests that it was Lady Randolf Churchill—an American who was beautiful, popular and respected in British high society even though she was notoriously adulterous. Her husband, Lord Randolf, reportedly encouraged his Lady to have affairs with key individuals to advance his social and commercial ambitions.

Pictured is King Edward VII of England and Lady Randolf Churchill. Before King Edward’s coronation, he was Prince Albert. As a prince, he was a notorious philanderer while married to Princes Alexandra of Denmark. Among his consorts was Lady Randolf, originally Jennie Jerome the mother of Winston Churchill

[Note on Lady Randolf. According to "official" biographical accounts, Lady Randoph Churchill (Jeanette "Jennie" Jerome) was born January 9, 1854, in Pompey, New York. Jennie was the second of four daughters born to financier, sportsman and speculator Leonard Jerome and Clarissa Hall, daughter of New York Assemblyman Ambrose Hall.

Had Jennie given birth to John McCann on October 6, 1865, she would have done so two months before her 12th birthday. Though it is possible, it’s highly unlikely (Note: The youngest mother on record was a Peruvian girl who, in 1938, at age five years, seven months and 21 days, gave birth to a healthy, six-pound boy via cesarean delivery).

To further complicate the mystery of Lady Randolf, two records which dispute the birth date’s accuracy and her birthplace were found.

1. On September 12, 1896, a 50-year-old Jennie Jerome, "married" and a "U.S. citizen," arrived on the SS Umbria, which sailed from Liverpool. This disclosure places her birth sometime in 1846. She would have given birth to John McCann at age 19, which is certainly more plausible.

2. A birth record at the LDS genealogy site, places her birth at "Blenheim Palace, Oxford Co., England in 1854." Curiously, Blenheim Palace is where she later gave birth to Winston Churchill in 1874—less than eight months after her marriage to Lord Randolf Spencer Churchill. .

Though she married two more times after Lord Randolf died in 1900, Jennie Jerome, traveling as Jennie Jerome, made frequent trips to Bermuda, declaring Swiss, British, and French roots. Her age, which varied, was usually more flattering than that which was recorded on her arrival in 1896.

Jennie’s father was Leonard Jerome, a wealthy financier and stockbroker who was known as "The King of Wall Street. He had interests in many companies and was especially interested in railways, the arts and thoroughbred horseracing. One of his best friends and business associates was William K. Vanderbilt who was married to Anne Harriman, daughter of railroad tycoon Oliver Harriman.

On a curious note, Lady Randolf reportedly had a snake tattoo on her wrist which she kept covered with bracelets].

The plot is hatched?

After schooling in Great Britain, Edward, himself a less-than-stellar student, visited Canada and the United States in an 1860 tour that featured a three-day stay at the White House with President James Buchanan. The plan to create the "McCain" clan was likely hatched during this visit; Mississippi, a slave state, was chosen as the clan’s "birthplace." The manufactured McCain lineage featured "(Admiral) John Sidney McCain" and "(General) William Alexander McCain."

Other names that appear in genealogical records for the impromptu McCain clan during this time are "Benjamin Franklin McCain, "Alexander Hamilton McCain" and "James McCain"—an interesting collection of patriotic American names with no public records to indicate that they ever actually existed in the flesh. These sources also claim the McCains owned no fewer than 52 slaves on a 2,000-acre plantation in Carroll County, Mississippi.

At least two U.S. presidents, James Buchanan and Theodore Roosevelt, had assisted in the plot to create the McCain clan in America. Buchanan aided in setting up the bogus ancestry and Teddy Roosevelt, through his son Kermit, gave McCann/McCain unrestricted access to U.S. ships, ports, and cities across the continental United States.

In essence, Prince Albert Edward/King Edward VII had sent his illegitimate son, "John McCann," to infiltrate the U.S. Navy, through his own bloodline, so that a descendant could be cultivated, over several generations, to one day become president of the United States.

Based on ship manifests and passenger records, both at Ellis Island and the Port of Seattle, John McCann infiltrated the country as a "royal spy" until his alter ego, "John McCain," took his place, no later than April 26, 1924.

A 1907 passenger record from Ellis Island, shows that John McCann claimed (it appears truthfully) that he was born in 1865. On this record, his declared ethnicity was "U.S.," and his last place of residence was "New York." Unfortunately, the passenger manifest reads: "No Image Available."

This is one year after JS McCain I was supposedly traveling with the U.S. Navy after his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, in 1906.

Something appears missing from the passenger manifest. Whatever it was—a photo, perhaps—was probably very damning.

McCann also indicated marital status as "M" for married.

JS McCain I supposedly married Katherine Davey Vaulx in Colorado Springs August 9, 1909. Yet the Ellis Island document referred to above clearly indicates John McCann (aka "John McCain") was married when he arrived in New York on the S.S.Furnessia in 1907. His wife is alternately referred to as "Mrs. John McCann" and "Mrs. McCann" on several transatlantic voyages, including one in 1893 and another in 1895. Both McCanns, upon each arrival, stated they were "U.S. citizens of Irish descent living in New York City."

On April 24, 1893, "Mrs. John McCann," age 28, declared her "Irish" heritage, though she stated she lived in New York City. On April 29, 1895, "Mrs. McCann," age 30, again declared her origin as "Irish." In either case, she would have been born in 1865.

One wonders what special dispensation "Mrs. McCann" was afforded that permitted her to enter the United States without declaring her first name.

John McCann’s name does not appear in the master index in 1893, though his name does appear on the passenger manifest. 

On a subsequent arrival at Ellis Island some five years later, more incriminating evidence appeared on a document which again substantiated his birthdate as 1865.

Two additional birth records of "John McCann" in Renfrew, Scotland, named his parents as "Peter McCann" and "Bridget." In another birth record for "John McCann," also in 1865, his parents are "Patrick McCann" and "Bridget Graves."

Both records serve to obfuscate the father’s identity, while stretching the limits of plausibility. What are the odds that both "Peter" and "Patrick" McCann of Renfrew are married to "Bridget" and have a son named "John McCann" born in 1865?

Both records are attempts at further obscuring the identity of the real parents, Prince Albert/Edward VII and one of his mistresses, most likely Lady Randolph Churchill.

As of 1924, no additional references to this John McCann or his wife Mrs. John McCann have surfaced in passenger manifests or public records. These birth anomalies, coupled with the crew’s list records and passenger manifests from 1892-1924, show that "John McCann" and JS McCain I were the same person, but could not have attended school in the U.S. or gotten married in Colorado Springs.

We have also established that the true birth dates for JS McCain I and Katherine Davey Vaulx McCain are significantly different than those declared in falsified, duplicitous documents and biographies.

Next month, we will pick up the story with the father of JS McCain III and continue through to the birth of a future senator and his "heroic" military career.