At the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon Friday, President Joe Biden recalled receiving his family history from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2016.

At the luncheon, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson introduced Biden, saying he was “known everywhere as America’s most famous Irishman.”

Before rising to give his remarks, Biden said he was telling Johnson about receiving his family history from former U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, who was serving at the time as an Area Authority Seventy for the church. Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Elder Ronald A. Rasband, both of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, were also on hand for the meeting with then-Vice President Biden, during a 2016 visit to Salt Lake City.

Biden said, “I was telling the speaker at dinner when a good friend of mine and many of you, a former senator from Oregon, Sen. Smith, came to me when I was vice president and said, ‘You know, I’ve checked it out. You’re able to accept this gift.’ I said, ‘What’s the gift?’ He said, ‘Well, the single most significant compilation of historical records and family records are held by the Mormon church.’

“And he said, ‘We want to do a background for you. We want to check your genealogy for you.’ And they ended up showing up five months later with six volumes. And one of them pointed out that, on one side of the family, the ones that came from County Louth (in Ireland), they started off in New Orleans,” Biden continued.

Many of Biden’s ancestors came from Ireland, and when he visited the country in 2023, he was greeted by crowds of well-wishers. At the time Biden said Ireland “feels like home,” according to The Associated Press.

At the luncheon Friday, Biden was joined by Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. The United States recognized the Republic of Ireland 100 years ago, in 1924, after the country declared its independence from the United Kingdom in 1921.

At the luncheon, Biden spoke of his pride in his Irish ancestry and the U.S.’s friendship with Ireland.

He also cracked a few jokes.

“I want you to know that diplomat Shane Leslie once wrote, ‘Every St. Patrick’s Day ... every Irishman goes out to find another Irishman to make a speech to,’” he quipped. “So, thank you for allowing me to find you. ... Look, you know, I’m glad I found all of you, because no matter how much we debate, no matter how much we disagree, we always have been able to come together as friends of Ireland.”