Ethnicity: His father was of Scottish, and his mother was of Welsh ancestry.
Monroe was born on April 28, 1758 in Monroe Hall. His father, Spence Monroe, and his mother, Eliza Jones Monroe, of Scottish and Welsh ancestry respectively, were of the moderately wealthy Virginia planter class. Monroe's parents got married in 1752. They had five children but only four survived to adulthood. James's great-grandfather on the paternal line immigrated to America from Scotland in the middle of the 17th century.