Roosevelt was born in New York City to James Jacobus Roosevelt and Maria Van Schaack, and the last full-blooded Dutch Roosevelt of his line. He attended Columbia College but academic life did not suit him, and he did not graduate. However, he was adept at business; an importer of hardware and plate glass, he became his father's partner, inherited a large fortune, and was one of the five richest men in New York City. He was one of the founders of the Chemical Bank of New York City, which later became Chase. He died in Oyster Bay, New York.
He married Margaret Barnhill (December 13, 1799 — January 23, 1861), a daughter of Robert Craig Barnhill and Elizabeth Potts. Elizabeth was a descendant of Thomas Pott of Wales. C.V.S. and Margaret had six sons:
Silas Weir Roosevelt (October 18, 1823 — March 24, 1870)