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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Dutch, English

Where did the English Roosevelt family come from? What is the English Roosevelt family crest and coat of arms? When did the Roosevelt family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Roosevelt family history?

The family name Roosevelt is thought to be of Norman origins. Originally, Roosevelt was a name given to a person with red hair which was in turn derived from the Old French nickname le rous, meaning redhead. Another equally valid derivation suggests that the name is a shortened form of the Norman given name Rufus.


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Roosevelt have been found, including Rous, Rouse, Rowse and others.

First found in Devon where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roosevelt research. Another 399 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1st , 1608, 1670, 1656, 1730, 1776, 1731, 1579, 1659, 1618, 1680, 1660, 1645, 1626, 1605, 1677, 1653, 1660, 1st , 1608, 1676, 1654 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Roosevelt History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 159 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roosevelt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Roosevelt were among those contributors:

Roosevelt Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Claes Martensen Roosevelt, who landed in New York in 1638


  • Brigadier-General Elliott Roosevelt (1910-1990), American Commanding General 325th Photographic Wing in 1945
  • Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (1887-1944), American officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944. He was the eldest son of President Theodore Roosevelt
  • President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), the twenty-sixth President of the United States, and a leader of the Republican Party and of the Progressive Movement
  • President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), the thirty-second President of the United States. Elected to four terms in office, he served from 1933 to 1945 and is the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms
  • Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt (1861-1948), second wife of president Theodore Roosevelt
  • Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt (1861-1884), first wife of president Theodore Roosevelt


The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vescitur Christo
Motto Translation: He feeds on Christ.


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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Roosevelt Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Roosevelt Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 March 2014 at 12:04.

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