Roosevelt family

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This article is about the U.S. business and political family of Dutch origin. For the name Roosevelt, see Roosevelt (surname). For people named Roosevelt, see List of people with surname Roosevelt.
"Roosevelts" redirects here. For the 2014 documentary, see The Roosevelts (film).
Theodore Roosevelt and family, 1903.jpg
Theodore Roosevelt and family in 1903.
Current region New York and New England
Earlier spellings Rosevelt, van Rosenvelt, van Rosevelt
Place of origin Netherlands
Members Theodore Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt
Connected families Delano family
Du Pont family
Astor family
Livingston family
Longworth family
Hoffman family
Estate Sagamore Hill and Top Cottage
Name origin and meaning "From rose field" (Dutch)

The Roosevelt family is a prominent American business and political family whose members include United States Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.[1] The Roosevelts were among the earliest to settle in the Dutch colonial settlement of New Amsterdam, in what would later become New York.


Van Rosevelts of Oud-Vossemeer[edit]

It has been suggested[by whom?] that Claes van Rosenvelt could have been 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 that he is related to the noble family. It may simply be a coincidence, or Claes van Rosenvelt may have chosen the name purposely because of its noble origins or to honor his local amt lord, as was common practice for peasants of the time.[2][3]

Claes van Rosenvelt[edit]

Claes Maartenszen van Rosenvelt, the immigrant ancestor of the Roosevelt family, arrived in New 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 24 morgens (that is, 48 acres or 19 hectares) in what is now Midtown Manhattan, including the present site of the Empire State Building.[4] The property included roughly 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. His children Johannes and Jacobus were, respectively, the progenitors of the Oyster Bay and Hyde Park branches of the family that emerged in the 18th century. 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 met his wife at a Roosevelt family gathering in the home of Theodore's mother, and James' son Franklin married Theodore's niece Eleanor.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Coats of arms[edit]

The coat of arms of the Roosevelt Family
Coat of Arms of Theodore Roosevelt.svg
Date of origin 17th century
Shield Three roses one in pale and two in saltire gules barbed seeded slipped and leaved proper.[5]
Crest and mantle Upon a torse argent and gules, Three ostrich plumes each per pale gules and argent, the mantling gules doubled argent.[5]

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.[5]

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 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.[5]

Family tree[edit]

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

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

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr.
John Aspinwall Roosevelt II
Franklin Delano Roosevelt III
(b. 1938)


For an alphabetical list of people with the surname Roosevelt, see Roosevelt (surname).

Oyster Bay Roosevelts[edit]

Hyde Park Roosevelts[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Moore, Frazier (September 10, 2014). "PBS' 'The Roosevelts' portrays an epic threesome". AP News. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Amt lords". Ambachtsheerlijkheid. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  3. ^ "Oud Vossemeer". Retrieved 28 February 2008. 
  4. ^ "Lambert Jochemse van Valckenburch of New Amsterdam". Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 26th and 32nd Presidents of the United States". American Heraldry Society. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  6. ^ Hough, Franklin B. (1858). The New York civil list. Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons & Co. p. 300. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 
  7. ^ 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

External links[edit]