Roosevelt family

Roosevelt family
Theodore Roosevelt and family, 1903.jpg
Theodore Roosevelt and family in 1903.
Ethnicity Dutch American
Current region New York, United States of America
Earlier spellings Van Rosenvelt and Van Rosevelt
Place of origin The Netherlands
Notable members Theodore Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt
Connected families Delano family
Du Pont family
Astor family
Alsop family
Arnold family
Longworth family
Estate Sagamore Hill and Top Cottage
Name origin and meaning "From the rose field."

The Roosevelt family is a prominent American business and political family of Dutch descent whose members include United States Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and his fifth cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt.



Van Rosevelts of Oud-Vossemeer

It has been suggested that Claes van Rosenvelt was related to the Van Rosevelts of Oud-Vossemeer, who were amt lords in the Tholen region of the Netherlands. While evidence suggests that Claes van Rosenvelt, the ancestor to the American Roosevelt family, indeed came from the Tholen region where the Van Rosevelts were land owners, no records exist that prove any definitive relation of the two families. It may simply be a coincidence, or Claes van Rosenvelt may have chosen the name purposely because of its noble origins or to honour his local amt lord.[1][2]

Claes van Rosenvelt

Claes Maartenszen van Rosenvelt, the immigrant ancestor of the Roosevelt family, arrived in Nieuw Amsterdam (present day New York City) some time between 1638 and 1649. Around the year 1652, he bought a farm from Lambert van Valckenburgh comprising twenty-four morgens (forty-eight acres) in what is now Midtown Manhattan, including the present site of the Empire State Building.[3] The property included roughly what is now the area between Lexington Avenue and Fifth Avenue bounded by 29th St. and 35th St.

Claes' son Nicholas was the first to use the spelling Roosevelt and the first to hold political office, as an alderman. His children Johannes and Jacobus were the progenitors of the Oyster Bay and Hyde Park branches of the family that emerged in the 18th century, respectively. By the late 19th century, the Hyde Park Roosevelts were generally associated with the Democratic Party and the Oyster Bay Roosevelts with the Republican Party. President Theodore Roosevelt, an Oyster Bay Roosevelt, was President Franklin Roosevelt's fifth cousin. Despite political differences that led family members to actively campaign against each other, the two branches generally remained friendly. James Roosevelt, Sr. met his wife at a Roosevelt family gathering in the home of Theodore's mother, and James' son Franklin married Theodore's niece Eleanor.

The Roosevelt Family is generally associated with the state of New York. Harvard University educations have been common among many members of the Roosevelt Family.

Coats of arms

The coat of arms of Franklin D. Roosevelt
Roosevelt coat of arms.png
Date of origin 17th century
Shield Three roses one in pale and two in saltire gules barbed seeded slipped and leaved proper.[4]
Crest and mantle Upon a torse argent and gules, Three ostrich plumes each per pale gules and argent, the mantling gules doubled argent.[4]

In heraldry, canting arms are a visual or pictorial play on a surname, and were and still are a popular practice. It would be common to find roses, then, in arms of many Roosevelt families, even unrelated ones. Also, grassy mounds or fields of green would be a familiar attribute.

The Van Rosevelts of Oud-Vossemeer in Zeeland have a coat of arms that is divided horizontally, the top portion with a white chevron between three white roses, while the bottom half is gold with a red lion rampant. A traditional blazon suggested would be, Per fess vert a chevron between three roses argent and Or a lion rampant gules.[4]

The coat of arms of the Dutch burgher Claes van Rosenvelt, ancestor of the American political family that included Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, were white with a rosebush with three rose flowers growing upon a grassy mound, and whose crest was of three ostrich feathers divided into red and white halves each. In heraldic terms this would be described as, Argent upon a grassy mound a rose bush proper bearing three roses gules barbed and seeded all proper, with a crest upon a torse argent and gules of Three ostrich plumes each per pale gules and argent. Franklin Roosevelt altered his arms to rid of the rosebush and use in its place three crossed roses on their stems, changing the blazon of his shield to Three roses one in pale and two in saltire gules barbed seeded slipped and leaved proper.[4]

Family tree

Claes Maartenszen van Rosenvelt
immigrated to America c. 1649
(died 1659)
Nicholas Roosevelt
Johannes Roosevelt
Oyster Bay branch
Jacobus Roosevelt
Hyde Park branch
Jacobus Roosevelt
Isaac Roosevelt
James Roosevelt
James Roosevelt
Cornelius Roosevelt
Isaac Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt, Sr.
James Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Elliott Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Anna Roosevelt Halsted
James Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. I
(possibly Stillborn)
Elliott Roosevelt II
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. II
John Aspinwall Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt III
(b. 1938)


  • Nicholas Roosevelt (b. 1687), goldsmith
  • Nicholas Roosevelt (b. 1758), member of the New York Assembly from Warren County[5]

Oyster Bay Roosevelts

  • Nicholas Roosevelt (b. 1717), merchant
  • Nicholas Roosevelt (b. 1747)
  • Cornelius Roosevelt (b. 1731), New York City alderman
  • Elbert Roosevelt (1767–1857)
  • Clinton Roosevelt (1804–1898), pro-labor economic reformer of the Democratic Party
  • Jacobus Roosevelt (1724–1777)
  • Samuel Roosevelt (1813–1878)
  • Nicholas Latrobe Roosevelt (1847–1892)
  • Jacobus "James" Roosevelt (1759–1840), founder of the Bank of New York, m. Maria Van Schaak
  • Silas Weir Roosevelt (1823–1870)
  • Cornelius Roosevelt (1847–1902), m. Anais Julia Carmencita Piorkque (1848–1941), m. Anastacia Anderpoll (1879–1962)
  • Andre Roosevelt (1879–1962), film director, m. Adelheid Lange (1879–1962), sculptress
  • Hilda Roosevelt (dates unknown), Parisian opera singer
  • William Emlen Roosevelt (1857–1930), banker and telegraph executive
  • Eleanor Roosevelt, politician, First Lady of the United States, delegate to the United Nations (1884–1962), m. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • Elliott Roosevelt, Jr. (1889–1893)
  • Gracie Hall Roosevelt (1891–1941), m. Margaret Richardson, m. Dorothy Kemp
  • James I. Roosevelt (1795–1875), politician, businessman and jurist
  • William Henry Roosevelt (1806–1869), politician, land speculator (Illinois)

Hyde Park Roosevelts

  • James Jacobus Roosevelt (1692–1776), m. Catharina Hardenbroek, head of the Hyde Park branch
  • Helena Roosevelt (1719–1772), m. Andrew Barclay
  • Christopher Roosevelt (b. 1739)
  • James Christopher Roosevelt (1770)
  • James Roosevelt (1760–1847)
  • Grace Roosevelt, m. Guy Carleton Bayley (himself a grandson of Andrew Barclay and Helena Roosevelt)
  • James "Rosy" Roosevelt, Jr. (1854–1927) m. Helen Schermerhorn Astor
  • Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (1906–1975), m. Curtis Bean Dall, m. Clarence John Boettiger, m. Dr. James Addison Halsted
  • John Aspinwall Roosevelt (1840–1909), m. Ellen Murray Crosby


Further reading

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