Roosevelt Surname Genealogy

is an American surname originally derived from a Dutch place name
spelled variously as van Rosevelt or van Rosenvelt, meaning “from the
rose field.”
The most famous bearers of this name come from the
Roosevelt family, a merchant and political family descended from the
17th century immigrant to New York Claes Maartenszen van Rosenvelt.

Resources on

Roosevelt Ancestry

The van Rosevelts were prominent
in the Tholen coastal region of SW Holland where they were vassal
lords. However, no records exist to connect the 17th century
emigrant Claes Maartenszen van Rosenvelt with these van Rosevelts.

In 1613 the first Dutch settlers arrived and
founded a number of
villages and a town called New Amsterdam in what was to become the
state and city of New York. Some of the Dutch families who came to New York
in the 1600’s, such as the Vanderbilts, Roosevelts, van Burens,
Schuylers and van Dykes were later through their descendants to have
important parts to play in American history.

Claes Maartenszen van Rosenvelt arrived in New Amsterdam (now New York)
sometime in the late 1640’s. He took up land to farm in an area
today of midtown Manhattan which includes the Empire State Building.
Claes’ son Nicholas, a fur trader and shopkeeper, was the first to use
the spelling Roosevelt. His children Johannes and Jacobus were
the progenitors of the Oyster Bay and Hyde Park branches
of the Roosevelt family that emerged in the 18th century.

, the son of Jacobus, became one of the first
large-scale sugar refiners in colonial New York. His heirs
invested their inheritance wisely, prirnarily in coal and railroads,
and augmented their position through judicious marriages. They
were generally content to live at their estate at Hyde Park on the
Hudson river as country gentlemen. The family
itself became progressively less Dutch over time. Isaac’s mother
German, he himself
married a Swede, and his son and grandson both married English women.

Oyster Bay Roosevelts
These Roosevelts, the descendants of Johannes, made their
money later. It was Cornelius van Schaak Roosevelt, known as CVS,
who was the founder of the family fortunes. He made a killing in
Manhattan real estate, plunging into the market during the Panic of
1837 when property values had crashed. At his death in 1871 he
was said to be one of the five richest men in New York.

Roosevelts were involved in banking and trust fund management.
The firm of Roosevelt & Son, begun by CVS’s father as a glass
importer, celebrated its
150th year anniversary on Wall Street in 1947. It was only Teddy Roosevelt,
seizing his opportunity during the Spanish-American War of 1898, that
deviated the family into politics.

Hyde Park Roosevelts
Teddy Roosevelt was a hero to his distant cousin, Hyde Park’s Franklin
Delano Roosevelt. FDR in fact married Eleanor Roosevelt from Teddy’s
side of the family in 1905 and his political career closely followed
that of Teddy’s, even to the extent of attaining the Presidency.

FDR and the Hyde Park Roosevelts are generally associated with the
Democratic party, Teddy and the Oyster Bay Roosevelts with
the Republican party. There was a bond between the two sides, although
they did fall out after FDR captured the White House. Teddy’s
widow came out of retirement then to announce that “the New Deal was
incompatible with our American democracy and liberty.”

Many books have covered the Roosevelt family, the earliest probably
being C.B. Whittelsey’s 1902 book The
Roosevelt Genealogy

Roosevelt Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Select Roosevelt Names

(Teddy) Roosevelt
was the 26th President of the United States,
from 1901 to 1909.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) was the 32nd President of the
United States, from 1932 to
Eleanor Roosevelt, the First
was wife to Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Kim Roosevelt was the CIA
operative who directed the 1953 coup which overthrew President
Mossadegh of Iran.

Select Roosevelts

  • 4,000 in America (most numerous
    in New York)



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