Thursday, October 16, 2008

Genealogue Challenge #138

The topic burning up the political blogs today is whether "Joe the Plumber" mentioned so often in last night's debate is related to Robert M. Wurzelbacher, Jr.—son-in-law of S&L crook Charles H. Keating, Jr.

Well, is he?

[Thanks to Suzie Henderson for suggesting this Challenge!]


This is what I've got so far:

Maybe someone can improve on that. It basically hinges on finding who Joe's father is, and I am not skilled enough at public records searching to do that, if it can even be done.

Andy E. Wold

I'm still working on this one, but is showing that Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher lived at "Keating Ave #150, MESA, AZ" and "Keating Ave #592, MESA, AZ".

Does that count? ;)

I haven't found a source tying Joe the Plumber to Mr. Keating, yet.


Michael has some good clues on his blog. Without direct help from his family, Joe's line could prove harder to trace.

Here's what I have on Robert:

Robert Milton Wurzelbacher, Jr. (husband of Beth Keating) was the son of Robert Milton Wurzelbacher (and step-son of Dorothy (Homer) (Wilson) Wurzelbacher). Robert, Sr., was the son of George Milton and Marion (Dolle) Wurzelbacher. Using census data and Ohio death records, I've concluded that he was grandson of George and Rose Wurzelbacher, great-grandson of Georg Johan [John] and Veronica (Fehrenbach) Wurzelbacher, great-great-grandson of Georg Peter and Barbara (Dickert) Wurzelbacher, the immigrant ancestors.

I suspect that Joe the Plumber is also descended from this couple, but a little more research is needed. An April 2008 obituary for Phyllis Kay Wurzelbacher's sister confirms that her maiden name was Bloomfield, and that she lives with "husband Frank" in Toledo, Ohio. She is evidently the step-mother of Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher.


I am the stepdaughter of Robert M Wurzelbacher. My mother was Dorothy Wurzelbacher. My stepfather's son, Bob Jr., was and is as far as I know married to Charlie Keating's daughter Beth. They are no relation to Joe the Plumber Wurzelbacher. As another poster said, although the name is unusual, there are several in Ohio State. My stepfather, a staunch Republican, would have gotten a kick out of all this.

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