Roosevelt family

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Theodore Roosevelt and family, 1903.jpg
The Roosevelt family in 1903
Current regionNew York and New England
Earlier spellingsRosevelt, van Rosenvelt, van Rosevelt
EtymologyDutch for "Rose field"
Place of originNetherlands
Connected familiesDelano family
Du Pont family
Astor family
Livingston family
Longworth family
Hoffman family
Schuyler family
Goodyear family
Lowell family
de Peyster family
Whitney family
Estate(s)Sagamore Hill (Oyster Bay, New York)
Springwood (Hyde Park, New York)

The Roosevelt family is an American political family from New York whose members have included two United States presidents, a First Lady,[1] and various merchants, bankers, politicians, inventors, clergymen, artists, and socialites. The progeny of a mid-17th-century Dutch immigrant to New Amsterdam, many members of the family became locally prominent in New York City politics and business and intermarried with prominent colonial families. Two distantly related branches of the family from Oyster Bay and Hyde Park, New York, rose to national political prominence with the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt (1901–1909) and his fifth cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933–1945), whose wife, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, was Theodore's niece.


Claes Maartenszen van Rosenvelt (c. 1626 – 1659), the immigrant ancestor of the Roosevelt family, arrived in New Amsterdam (present-day New York City) sometime between 1638 and 1649. About the year 1652, he bought a farm from Lambert van Valckenburgh, comprising 24 morgens (e.g., 20.44 ha or 50.51 acres) in what is now Midtown Manhattan, including the present site of the Empire State Building.[2] The property included approximately what is now the area between Lexington Avenue and Fifth Avenue bounded by 29th St. and 35th St.[citation needed]

Claes' son Nicholas was the first to use the spelling Roosevelt and the first to hold political office, as an alderman. Nicholas' children Johannes and Jacobus were, respectively, the progenitors of the Oyster Bay and Hyde Park branches of the family. 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 the uncle of Eleanor Roosevelt, later wife of Franklin Roosevelt. Despite political differences that caused family members to actively campaign against each other, the two branches generally remained friendly.

Family tree[edit]

Roosevelt family tree
Claes Maartenszen van Rosenvelt
emigrated to America c. 1649
(died 1659)
Nicholas Roosevelt
Johannes Roosevelt
Jacobus Roosevelt
Jacobus Roosevelt
Isaac Roosevelt
Hyde Park branch
James Jacobus Roosevelt
Jacobus Roosevelt III
Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt
Oyster Bay branch
Isaac Daniel Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt, Sr.
Roosevelt I

Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt, Jr.
Elliott Bulloch Roosevelt
Kermit Roosevelt
Theodore "Ted" Roosevelt III
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sr.
Kermit Roosevelt Jr.
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt
Roosevelt II

Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr.
John Aspinwall Roosevelt II

Coats of arms[edit]

Arms of the Roosevelt family
Coat of Arms of Theodore Roosevelt.svg
Adopted17th century
CrestUpon a torse argent and gules, Three ostrich plumes each per pale gules and argent.[3]
BlazonArgent upon a grassy mound a rose bush proper bearing three roses Gules barbed and seeded proper..[3]
MottoQui plantavit curabit ("He who planted [us] will care [for us]")
Other elementsThe mantling, gules doubled argent.[3]
The Roosevelt arms feature a rose bush in reference to the name: "Roosevelt", which is Dutch for "rose field",[4] making these an example of canting arms.

In heraldry, canting arms are a visual or pictorial depiction of a surname, and were and still are a popular practice. It would be common to find roses, then, in the arms of many Roosevelt families, even unrelated ones (the name Rosenvelt means roses-field). Also, grassy mounds or fields of green would be a familiar attribute.

The Van Roosevelts 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.[3]

The coat of arms of the namesakes of the Dutch immigrant 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 omit 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 left proper.[3]


Roosevelt family members

Oyster Bay Roosevelts[edit]

Oyster Bay Roosevelts

Hyde Park Roosevelts[edit]

Hyde Park Roosevelts

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Moore, Frazier (September 10, 2014). "PBS' 'The Roosevelts' portrays an epic threesome". AP News. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  2. ^ "Lambert Jochemse van Valckenburch of New Amsterdam". Retrieved February 28, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 26th and 32nd Presidents of the United States". American Heraldry Society. Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  4. ^ McMillan, Joseph (October 1, 2010), Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 26th and 32nd Presidents of the United States, American Heraldry Society, archived from the original on December 30, 2008
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Whittelsey, Charles (1902). The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649–1902. Hartford, Conn., Press of J. B. Burr & co.
  6. ^ Hough, Franklin B. (1858). The New York civil list. Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons & Co. p. 300. Retrieved November 27, 2009. editions:LCCN93004831.
  7. ^ "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Roosevelt".
  8. ^ Genealogical and Biographical Notes: Haring-Herring, Clark, Denton, White, Griggs, Judd, and Related Families. Peter Haring Judd. 2005. ISBN 978-0-88082-190-2.
  9. ^ "Historic Pelham: Elbert Roosevelt, An Early Settler of the Manor of Pelham, and Other Members of His Family". Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  10. ^ Theodore Roosevelt Association (1990). Theodore Roosevelt Association Journal. The Association.
  11. ^ Frances M. Smith (1909). Colonial Families of America. F. Allaben genealogical Company. p. 258.
  12. ^ "Emily Allen, Samuel Hornblower". The New York Times. June 13, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  13. ^ Berger, Joseph (March 16, 2005). "Roosevelts and the Quirks of Destiny". The New York Times.
  14. ^ John Lippert; Jim Efstathiou Jr.; Mike Lee (April 1, 2013). "Republican Born Roosevelt Digs Deep for Texas Oil Found With CO2". Bloomberg Markets Magazine. Retrieved April 2, 2013.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]