Nicholas Roosevelt (1658–1742)

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Nicholas Roosevelt
Alderman of New York City
In office
In office
1698 – 1701
Personal details
Born Nicholas van Rosenvelt
October 2, 1658
New Amsterdam
Died July 30, 1742(1742-07-30) (aged 83)
New York City
Spouse(s) Heyltje Jans Kunst
(m. 1682; d. 1730)
Relations See Roosevelt family
Children 10, including Johannes Roosevelt
Parents Claes Maartenszen van Rosenvelt
and Jannetje Samuels Thomas
Occupation Politician

Nicholas Roosevelt (born Nicholas van Rosenvelt) (bap. October 2, 1658 – died July 30, 1742) was a Dutch-American politician. He was an early member of the Roosevelt family and a prominent Dutch-American citizen of New Amsterdam (later New York City), and was the 4th great-grand father to Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945).[1] He was the first Roosevelt to hold an elected office in North America, as an alderman.

Early life[edit]

Roosevelt was born in New Amsterdam and baptized on October 2, 1658. He was the son of Claes Maartenszen van Rosenvelt, the immigrant ancestor of the Roosevelt family in America, and Jannetje Samuels Thomas (1625–1660).[2] He was baptized in the Reformed Dutch Church of New Amsterdam.[3][4]

Life and career[edit]

By 1680, he had moved to Esopus, near Kingston, New York, another early Dutch settlement in the New Netherlands. There, on April 5, 1680, he signed a petition asking for a minister for Kingston. During his time in Esopus, he was a fur trader on friendly terms with Native Americans.

In 1690, he returned with his family to New York, where he was listed as having the occupation of a "bolter." He was made a freeman on August 23, 1698. Politically active, he was a supporter of the party of Jacob Leisler, who had led an insurrection in 1689 in support of the succession of Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau to the English throne in the Revolution of 1688. Nicholas Roosevelt was an alderman from 1698 to 1701 and again for the West Ward in 1715.[5]

Personal life[edit]

He married Heyltje Jans Kunst (1664–1730) in the Reformed Dutch Church of New York on December 9, 1682.[6] With his wife, he had ten children, the first four baptized at Esopus and the rest in New York:[7]

  • Jannetie Roosevelt (b. 1683)
  • Margaretta Roosevelt (b. 1685)
  • Nicholaes Roosevelt (b. 1687)
  • Johannes Roosevelt (1689–1750), who married Heyltje Sjoerts (Shourd) (1688–1752) on September 25, 1708.[7]
  • Elsie Roosevelt (b. 1691)
  • Jacobus Roosevelt (b. 1692)
  • Rachel Roosevelt (b. 1693), who died young
  • Sarah Roosevelt (b. 1696)
  • Rachel Roosevelt (b. 1699)
  • Isaac Roosevelt (b. 1701), who died young

He died in New York City on August 30, 1742.


Nicholas was the last common ancestor of the Oyster Bay Roosevelts (including Theodore and Eleanor Roosevelt), founded by his son Johannes, and the Hyde Park Roosevelts (including Franklin Delano Roosevelt), founded by his son Jacobus.[8][9][10]


  1. ^ Baker, K. (1998). "Roosevelt Family Genealogy" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  2. ^ Bardhan-Quallen, Sudipta (2007). Franklin Delano Roosevelt: A National Hero. New York: Sterling Publishing Company. p. 6. ISBN 9781402747472. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  3. ^ Felch, William Farrand; Atwell, George C.; Arms, H. Phelps; Miller, Francis Trevelyan (1908). The Connecticut Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly. Connecticut Magazine Company. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  4. ^ York, Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New. Genealogical Record. The Society. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  5. ^ Caliendo, Ralph J. (May 1, 2010). New York City Mayors. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 9781450088145. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Burke, Arthur Meredyth (1908). The Prominent Families of the United States of America. Genealogical Publishing Com. ISBN 9780806313085. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Whittelsey, Charles Barney (1902). The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649-1902. Hartford, Connecticut: Press of J.B. Burr & Company. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  8. ^ Patterson, Michael Robert. "Henry Latrobe Roosevelt, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps". Arlington Cemetery. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  9. ^ Kienholz, M. (October 13, 2008). Opium Traders and Their Worlds-Volume One: A Revisionist Exposé of the World's Greatest Opium Traders. iUniverse. ISBN 9780595910786. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  10. ^ Cusack, Jeri Diehl. "The FDRs: A Most Extraordinary First Couple" (PDF). Retrieved 5 December 2016. 

See also[edit]