Roosevelt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Roosevelt family

The surname Roosevelt was first found in Devon. The first on record was Radulphus le Rufus, a knight in the train of William the Conqueror who became one of the Justices Itinerant of the counties of Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall temp. Henry II. It is from this eminent person that the family of Edmerston and Halton, co. Devon descend. [1]

"Rouse or Rowse is the name of an ancient Cornish family of Halton. Antony Rouse or Rowse, of Halton, was High Sheriff in the reign of Elizabeth. " [2]

"The manor of Helston, which was always considered as belonging to the dutchy, was alienated during the usurpation of Cromwell, when it was sold to Anthony Rowse; but on the restoration of the Stuarts, it returned again into its original channel. This manor was sold in the year 1798, under the Land-tax redemption act, to John Rogers, Esq. of Penrose, who is the present proprietor." [3]

Some of the family were also found at early time further north at Mearly in Lancashire. "The chief part of the township was granted by Jordan le Rous to Stephen, afterwards called de Merley, whose daughter married Adam de Nowell, and carried the Hall and manor into that family, 38th of Edward III." [4]

And still farther north, Rousay and Eagleshay is a parish, in the North Isles of the county of Orkney, Scotland. [5]

By the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the popularity of the name was evident. That rolls included: Alexander le Rous, Cambridgeshire; Juliana la Rouse, Oxfordshire; Alicia Rouze, Cambridgeshire; John le Rus, Lincolnshire; Gilbert Russ, Lincolnshire; and Lucia la Russe, Oxfordshire. [6]

Early History of the Roosevelt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Roosevelt research. Another 290 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1579, 1659, 1608, 1670, 1656, 1730, 1776, 1731, 1411, 1491, 1411, 1574, 1652, 1600, 1579, 1659, 1618, 1680, 1660, 1645, 1626, 1605, 1677, 1653, 1660, 1608, 1676, 1654, 1660 and 1650 are included under the topic Early Roosevelt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Roosevelt Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Roosevelt family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Rous or Ross (c. 1411-1491), the English antiquary of Warwick, born at Warwick about 1411, was son of Geoffrey Rous, a descendant of the Rowses or Rouses of Brinkelow, Warwickshire; John Russe or Rouse (1574-1652), Bodley's librarian, born in Northamptonshire, Fellow of Oriel College in 1600; Francis Rous (1579-1659), English hymnist, fourth son of Sir Anthony Rous of Halton St. Dominick, Cornwall; John Rous (c 1618-1680), an English politician, Member of...
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Roosevelt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Roosevelt migration to the United States +

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 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Roosevelt (post 1700) +

  • President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), American politician, the 32nd 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
  • Theodore IV Roosevelt, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 2008
  • Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (1887-1944), American Republican politician, Colonel in the U.S. Army during World War I; Member of New York State Assembly from Nassau County 2nd District, 1920-21; Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1924, 1928, 1940; Candidate for Governor of New York, 1924; Governor of Puerto Rico, 1929-32;
  • Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County 21st District, 1882-84; Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1884, 1900; Candidate for Mayor of New York City, New York, 1886; Colonel in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War; Governor of New York, 1899-1901; Vice
  • Nicholas Roosevelt (1893-1982), American politician, U.S. Minister to Hungary, 1930-33
  • Robert Barnwell Roosevelt (1829-1906), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from New York 4th District, 1871-73; U.S. Minister to Netherlands, 1888-89; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1892
  • Nicholas Roosevelt Jr. (1758-1838), American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Warren County, 1833
  • Joseph C. Roosevelt (1900-1987), American Democrat politician, Real estate and insurance business; Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Wayne County 1st District, 1933-36; Member of Michigan State Senate 21st District, 1937-38; Defeated in primary, 1938, 1940, 1942;
  • James I. Roosevelt (1795-1875), American Democrat politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County, 1835, 1840; U.S. Representative from New York 3rd District, 1841-43; U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, 1859-61
  • James Roosevelt (1907-1991), American Democrat politician, Insurance business; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1936
  • ... (Another 21 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Roosevelt Motto +

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.


  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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