Political family
Current regionNew York and New England
Earlier spellingsRosevelt, van Rosenvelt, van Rosevelt
EtymologyDutch for "Rose field"
Place of originDutch American Community, English American CommunityNetherlands, United Kingdom (England), United States (New York)
Connected familiesDelano family
Du Pont family
Astor family
Latrobe family
Livingston family
Longworth family
Hoffman family
Schuyler family
Goodyear family
Lowell family
de Peyster family
Whitney family
Brooke 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 nationally prominent in New York State and 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 global 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. The Roosevelt family is one of four families to have produced two presidents of the United States by the same surname; the others were the Adams, Bush, and Harrison families.


The only known photo of Theodore Roosevelt (left) with Franklin D. Roosevelt (right), taken in 1915.

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 (i.e., 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 van Rosenvelt's son Nicholas was the first to use the spelling Roosevelt and the first to hold political office, as an alderman. His sons 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 Republicans. 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.

Coats of arms

Arms of the Roosevelt family
Adopted17th century
CrestUpon a torse argent and gules, Three ostrich plumes each per pale gules and argent.[3]
ShieldArgent 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 "rose 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]


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

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Roosevelt family members

Oyster Bay Roosevelts

Oyster Bay Roosevelts
President Theodore Roosevelt and Edith Roosevelt seated on lawn, surrounded by their family in 1903. From left to right: Quentin, Theodore Jr., Theodore III, Archie, Alice, Kermit, Edith, and Ethel.

Hyde Park Roosevelts

Hyde Park Roosevelts


The following is a list of companies in which the Roosevelt family have held a controlling or otherwise significant interest.

Charities, museums & nonprofit organizations

See also


  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". Archived from the original on October 7, 2007. 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.
  15. ^ a b "Appleton LeSure Clark 1865-1930 - Ancestry®".
  16. ^ Wallack, Todd (December 20, 2011). "Which bank is the oldest? Accounts vary - The Boston Globe". Boston Globe.
  17. ^ Chemical Bank and Trust Company (1913). History of the Chemical Bank, 1823-1913. Garden City, New York: The Country Life Press. p. 109.
  18. ^ Mcquiston, John T. (August 18, 1988). "Franklin Roosevelt Jr., 74, Ex-Congressman, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2023.
  19. ^ "Tweed Roosevelt". WHHA (en-US). Retrieved June 19, 2023.

Further reading