Genealogy (from Greek: γενεαλογίαgenealogia from γενεάgenea, "generation" and λόγοςlogos, "knowledge"), also known as family history, is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral interviews, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members. The results are often displayed in charts or written as narratives.
The pursuit of family history and origins tends to be shaped by several motives, including the desire to carve out a place for one's family in the larger historical picture, a sense of responsibility to preserve the past for future generations, and a sense of self-satisfaction in accurate storytelling.
The Roosevelt family is a prominent American political family of Dutch origin that produced two United States Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and a First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. The first member of the Roosevelt family in America was Claes van Rosevelt (or Rosenvelt), who arrived in New York (then known as Nieuw Amsterdam) around 1649, possibly as early as 1638. It has been suggested that Claes may have been related to the van Rosevelt family that lived in Oud-Vossemeer in Zeeland province of the Netherlands at that time, but no definite link has been established. Around 1652, Claes Martensen van Rosenvelt bought a farm comprising twenty-four morgens in what is now Midtown Manhattan, including the present site of the Empire State Building.
In the eighteenth century the Roosevelt family divided into two branches, the Hyde Park Roosevelts, who by the late 19th century were Democrats, and the Oyster Bay Roosevelts, who generally became Republicans. President Theodore Roosevelt, an Oyster Bay Republican, was President Franklin Roosevelt's fifth cousin. Despite their political differences, which led family members to actively campaign against each other, the two branches generally remained friendly: James Roosevelt met his wife at a Roosevelt family gathering in the home of Theodore's mother, and James' son Franklin married Theodore's niece Eleanor.