John Roosevelt (politician)

Johannes Roosevelt (bap. February 27, 1689 – April 4, 1750),[1] known as John Roosevelt, was a New York City businessman and politician and the progenitor of the Oyster Bay Roosevelts, including Theodore and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Johannes Roosevelt
Alderman of New York City
In office
Personal details
BornFebruary 27, 1689
Esopus, Ulster County, New York
DiedApril 4, 1750(1750-04-04) (aged 61)
New York City
SpouseHeyltje Sjoerts (m. 1708–1750; his death)
RelationsSee Roosevelt family
Parent(s)Nicholas Roosevelt
Heyltje Jans Kunst
OccupationBusinessman and politician

Early life and careerEdit

Johannes Roosevelt was baptized on February 27, 1689, in Esopus, Province of New York (near Kingston) while his father Nicholas Roosevelt (1658–1742) and mother, Heyltje Jans Kunst (1664–1730), were living there. Nicholas, born in New Amsterdam, was the son of the Roosevelt immigrant ancestor, Claes Maartenszen van Rosenvelt (c. 1626-1659). He moved his family back to New York City, where he was born, by 1690.

In 1730, Johannes became a freeman. He was assistant alderman from 1717 to 1727 and alderman from 1730 to 1733.

According to one history, "he was successful in farming and business ventures, and took what seemed to his friends a strange and extravagant delight in works of art. He is said to have been one of the first to import paintings, fine furniture, and artistic metal ware from the Netherlands. He did it on so generous a scale that his home was viewed as a wonderland by his less enterprising fellow-citizens."[2]


Johannes Roosevelt's slave, Quack, was one of the accused conspirators in the alleged slave rebellion that terrified New York City in 1741. He was convicted of setting fire to Fort George and executed by being burned at the stake.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Johannes married Heyltje Sjoerts (Shourd) (1688–1752) on September 25, 1708, at the Reformed Dutch Church of New York. She was the daughter of Olvert Sjoerts (1661-1710), who was born in The Netherlands and emigrated to New Netherlands. Johannes and Heyltje had eleven children:[4]

  • Margreta Roosevelt (1709–1776), who married William De Peyster (1701–1751) on May 5, 1730, son of Johannes de Peyster.[4]
  • Nicholas Roosevelt (bap. 1710, died in the West Indies)
  • Johannes Roosevelt (bap. 1712)
  • Heyltje Roosevelt (bap. 1714)
  • Olphert Oliver Roosevelt (1716–1785), who married Elizabeth Lounsbury in 1740.[4]
  • Jacobus Roosevelt (bap. 1718, died in infancy)
  • Maria Roosevelt (1720–1755), who married Abraham Duryea (b. 1720) on February 11, 1743[4]
  • Jannetje Roosevelt (bap. 1723, died 1724)
  • Jacobus James Roosevelt (bap. 1724), who first married Annatje Bogart (b. 1728) on December 2, 1746. On July 14, 1774, he married Helena Gibson, widow of Mr. Thompson.[4]
  • Aeltje Roosevelt (bap. 1726, died 1727)
  • Cornelius Roosevelt (bap. 1731), he married Margaret Haering (1733–1821) on December 9, 1751.[4]


Johannes was an ancestor of the Oyster Bay branch of the Roosevelt family. He was the grandfather of James Jacobus Roosevelt (1759–1840) and the great-grandfather of Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt (1794–1871), 3x great-grandfather of United States President Theodore Roosevelt and the 4x great-grandfather of Eleanor Roosevelt.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Whittelsey, Charles Barney (1902). The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649-1902. Hartford, Connecticut: Press of J.B. Burr & Company. p. 10. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  2. ^ Hamm, M. A. (1901) Famous Families of New York - Historical and Biographical Sketches of Families which in Successive Generations have been Identified with the Development of the Nation, vol. 2. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
  3. ^ Lepore, pp. 59–60, 96–99, & 102–03.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Whittelsey, Charles Barney (1902). The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649-1902. Hartford, Connecticut: Press of J.B. Burr & Company. p. 36. Retrieved 19 September 2016. oliver.
  • Cobb, William T. (1946). The Strenuous Life: The Oyster Bay Roosevelts in Business and Finance. William E. Rudge's Sons.
  • Lepore, Jill (2005). New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan. Vintage Books/Random House.
  • Whittelsey, Charles B. (1902). The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649–1902.