Beto O’Rourke

official U.S. congress photo of Beto O’Rourke, c. 2013

Birth Name: Robert Francis O’Rourke

Place of Birth: El Paso, Texas, U.S.

Date of Birth: September 26, 1972

Ethnicity: Irish, Welsh, English, Scottish, German, distant Swiss-German

Beto O’Rourke is an American politician, businessperson, and musician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas, from January 3, 2013 to January 3, 2019, as well as Mayor pro tempore of El Paso, from June 14, 2005 to June 20, 2006.

He was a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 2020.

Beto is the son of Melissa Martha (Williams) and Pat Francis O’Rourke, who was County Judge of El Paso County, from 1982 to 1986. He uses the nickname “Beto,” from the Spanish nickname from names ending in “berto.” Beto grew up in a heavily Hispanic community, and is fluent in Spanish.

A picture of young Beto with his parents can be seen here.

His father was state chairman of Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns. Beto is married to educator Amy Hoover Sanders, with whom he has three children. Amy’s father is real estate businessperson and developer William Sanders. Beto’s maternal step-grandfather was Fred Korth, who was U.S. Secretary of the Navy from 1962 to 1963.

Beto was a member of rock band Foss, with Cedric Bixler-Zavala.

Beto’s paternal grandfather was John Francis O’Rourke (the son of James Francis O’Rourke and Anna/Anne Elizabeth/S. Lloyd). John was born in Texas. Beto’s great-grandfather James was the son of Bernard “Barney” O’Rourke, who was Irish, from Glencar, Co. Leitrim, and of Mary Anne McDermott, whose own parents, Hugh McDermott and Mary Cramer/Creamer, were born, raised, and married in Drumkeeran, Co. Leitrim, Ireland. Beto’s great-grandmother Anna was born in Wales, the daughter of John Lloyd and Mary Ann Price, from Llansantffraed, Powys.

Beto’s paternal grandmother was Mildred Rowena/Rowene Jasper (the daughter of Newton Marion Jasper and Onora/O’Nora/Nora Belle Dressler). Mildred was born in Kansas. Newton was the son of Silas Marion Jasper and Polly/Mary Jane Elder. Onora was the daughter of Gottfried Jacob “Fritz” Dressler and Lucinda Susan Harlan.

Beto’s maternal grandfather was Robert Lee Williams, Jr. (the son of Robert Lee Williams and Eunice “Ennie” Bird). Robert was born in Georgia. Beto’s great-grandfather Robert was the son of Columbus Marion Williams and Alice Percy Cashion/Cashan. Eunice was the daughter of Josiah Bird and Laura Frances Mercer.

Beto’s maternal grandmother was Charlotte Marguerite Brooks (the daughter of Lewis Centennial Brooks and Marguerite M. Peil). Charlotte was born in Wisconsin. Lewis was the son of George Lewis Brooks and Charlotte Wilson, who was Canadian. Marguerite was the daughter of Leo Albert Peil, a manufacturer of school furniture, and of Elizabeth Catherine Fyans, whose parents were Irish, her father from Meath and her mother from Milford. She had roots in Garryhunden.

Sources: Information about Beto’s family history –

Information about Beto’s Irish ancestry –

Beto writes about some of his ancestry –

Genealogies of Beto O’Rourke –

Genealogies of Beto O’Rourke (focusing on his father’s side) –

Beto’s paternal grandfather, John Francis O’Rourke, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Beto’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Mary Anne (McDermott) O’Rourke –

Information about Beto’s McDermott relative –

Beto’s paternal grandmother, Mildred Rowena/Rowene Jasper, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Beto’s maternal grandfather, Robert Lee Williams, Jr., on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Beto’s maternal grandfather, Robert Lee Williams, Jr. –

Beto’s maternal grandmother, Charlotte Marguerite Brooks, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

7 Responses

  1. jonasbttencourt says:

    How stupid it is for an american white guy of brittish, irish, german and swiss ancestry to chose “Beto” as his nickname in an obvious atempt to grabe some hispanic votes LOL…

    • jackson9 says:

      He had that nickname since his childhood?

      • jonasbttencourt says:

        Even if he had, it’s clear he kept as his professional name for political reasons, obvius that he saw an opportunity to gain popularity with the mexican-americans, i think it’s kinda naive to presume a politician would not make this kind of move.

    • Oaken05 says:

      So, he was supposed to change the name he’s been called since he was a toddler when he got into politics so that people like you would feel he’s more genuine? Sounds like you’ve been watching too much of our ridiculous Fox News.

      You continue to be a:

    • follers says:

      Regardless of specifics, the contrast between Texas politicians Rafael “Ted” Cruz and Robert “Beto” O’Rourke is quite interesting. It reminds me of John le Carré (who changed his name from David Cornwell) and Jim Carrey (whose father’s family changed their name from Carré).

      • jonasbttencourt says:

        Whatever, i just think it’s quite silly for an adult man to present himself in his professional life with a nickname as childish-like as “beto”, when in reality he is a white guy named Robert(whats wrong with this name btw?), Quite a careless move for a politician, since he would most likely be the suject of mokery and criticism, but he can take advantage of this as well, i can see many mexican-americans do really like him. (Im replying follers btw)

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