Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Elbert Roosevelt, An Early Settler of the Manor of Pelham, and Other Members of His Family

I have written before of Elbert Roosevelt, one of the early settlers in the Town of Pelham.  Roosevelt settled in Pelham on November 14, 1801 according to an obituary of one of his sons.  See Wed., Sep. 20, 2006:  Brief Biographical Data About Elbert Roosevelt of the Manor of Pelham.  

Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting collects miscellaneous research I have pulled together about Elbert Cornelius Roosevelt and various members of the Roosevelt family who lived in Pelham for more than a century.  This branch of the Roosevelt family, as one would expect, included distant relatives of President Theodore Roosevelt and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Elbert Cornelius Roosevelt was born October 9, 1767 in New York City.  He was a son of Cornelius and Margaret [Haering] Roosevelt.  On December 29, 1794 he married Jane Curtenius, a daughter of Peter Theobaldus Curtenius and Catharine [Goelet] Curtenius.  Peter Theobaldus Curtenius served as Commissary General and rose to the rank of Colonel in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.  According to one source, the couple had at least eight children:

"The children of Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt were:

400 PETER CURTENIUS, b. Sept. 30, 1795; d. unmarried, Dec. 29, 1891.
401 ELBERT JONES, b. Sept. 12, 1797; d. unmarried, June 7, 1885.
402 HENRY, b. Aug. 18, 1800; m. July 29, 1828, Eliza Louisa Champlin. No. 622. No issue; daughter of W. O. and Elizabeth S. (De Peyster) Champlin. No. 311; d. Nov. 6, 1848.
403+WASHINGTON, b. Nov. 14, 1802; m. 1st, Mary A. Swift; 2d, Jane M. Young.
404 CLINTON, b. Nov. 3, 1804; d. unmarried, Aug. 1, 1898.
405 JANE ELIZA, b. Oct. 13, 1807; d. unmarried, Dec. 4, 1892.
406 MARY, b. July 10, 1810; d. June 13, 1822.
407 ISAAC, b. Nov. 27, 1812; d. Sept. 30, 1856."

Source: Whittelsey, Charles Barney, The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649-1902, pp. 41-42 (Hartford, CT: C. B. Whittelsey 1902) (126 pp. with "Addenda, six leavs inserted at end).

Roosevelt was a New York City Merchant.  Some papers relating to his life exist in the collections of the New-York Historical Society.  See, e.g., Map of lands the property of Elbert Roosevelt / surveyed and laid out into lots by Casimir Th. Goerck ; a true copy from the original Edwin Smith.Smith, Edwin, surveyor. (Nov. 23, 1832) (Map: ms., color; 40 x 59 cm; "Cadastral map.  Covers the area later bounded by Christopher Street, Bleecker Street, Morton Street and Hudson Street, Manhattan, New York (N.Y.); Bleecker Street was formerly Herring Street.  Map shows property and lot lines, lot numbers and owners' names.  Gives some dimensions . . . On verso:  'No. 177 New York Elbert Roosevelt between Commerce & Christopher, Herring & Bedford Sts. W.C. Wetmore.'").

According to Bolton's History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the County of Westchester County:  

"In the Roosevelt family vault [of Christ Church in the Town of Pelham] are the following:  Elizabeth Curtenius, daughter of Peter T. Curtenius, (Commissary during the Revolution) who died May, 1837, aged 80 years.  Jane Roosevelt, wife of Elbert Roosevelt, and sister of the above, who died in Pelham, January 31st, 1846, aged 75.  Elizabeth Roosevelt, daughter of Cornelius Roosevelt, who died April 25th, 1850, aged 84.  Mary Eliza Roosevelt, daughter of the Rev. Washington Roosevelt, and grandaughter [sic] of Elbert Roosevelt, who died August 13th, 1851, aged 7 years."

Source:   Bolton, Robert, History of the Protestant Episcopal Church, In The County of Westchester, From Its Foundation,  A. D. 1693, to A. D. 1853, p. 700 (NY, NY:  Stanford & Swords, Publishers, 1855).

According to the second edition of Bolton's History of Westchester County published in 1881:

"The residence of the late Elbert Roosevelt, Esq., now occupied by his sons, is pleasantly located directly on the banks of the Sound, and has fine views of Long Island and the surrounding shore.  The Roosevelt family, which have settled here since 1802, is of Dutch extraction; and claim descent from Claus Martens ze van Roosevelt, i.e., Nicholas the son of Martin of the Rose-field, a native of Holland, and first of the name who came to America.  His son was Nicholas, whose son Johannas was the grandfather of Cornelius, father of the late Elbert Roosevelt, Esq., of Pelham."  

Source:  Bolton, Robert, The History of the Several Towns, Manors, and Patents of the County of Westchester, From Its First Settlement to the Present Time, Carefully Revised by its Author, Vol. II, p. 89 (NY, NY:  Chas. F. Roper, 1881).

Some of the papers of Elbert Roosevelt are held in the collections of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.  Access information is as follows:  Roosevelt Family Papers Donated by the Children of Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt C. 1686 - 1959, Accession Numbers:  MS. 55-4; MS. 55-15 described as "Container 1-6" and "Series Old Family Papers (Roosevelt, Ludlow, and Hall). c. 1686-1912 and Undated.  6 containers." and described so as to include the following:  "Chiefly, these are the papers of Elbert Roosevelt, 1767-1817, a New York City merchant and ancestor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt."  An index of the material is available here:  http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/archives/collections/franklin/index.php?p=collections/findingaid&id=170

For other Blog postings I have published on the Roosevelt family of Pelham, see:

Mon., Apr. 05, 2010:  Obituary of Noted Pelham Manor Resident C. H. Roosevelt Published in 1901.   

Thu., Jan. 01, 2009:  A Brief History of Pelham Bridge.  

Wed., Jan. 29, 2008:  Brief Obituary of Rev. Washington Roosevelt of Pelham Published February 13, 1884.

Mon., Nov. 19, 2007:  1901 Obituary of Charles Henry Roosevelt, Grandson of Elbert Roosevelt, One of the Early Settlers of Pelham Manor.

Mon., Dec. 18, 2006:  What May Be The Earliest Patent Awarded to a Resident of Pelham: Patent Issued to Elbert J. Roosevelt on May 29, 1866.  

Wed., Dec. 13, 2006:  More About Isaac Roosevelt of Pelham Who Carved His Name on a Glacial Boulder in 1833.

Mon., Nov. 13, 2006:  The Isaac Roosevelt Stone Carved in 1833.  

Fri., Jan. 06, 2006:  Pelham Loses its Right To Use the Town Dock in the Early 1900s.

*          *          *          *          *

Below I have transcribed numerous obituaries and other items about various other members of the Roosevelt family who lived in or near Pelham.  Each is followed by a citation to its source.

"The Rev. Washington Roosevelt.

The Rev. Washington Roosevelt died at Pelham on Monday.  He was the son of Elbert Roosevelt, an old New York merchant of revolutionary times, who retired from business in 1798 and settled at Pelham on Nov. 14, 1801.  Young Roosevelt entered Middlebury College, Vermont, in 1826, and was graduated with honors in the class of '31.  He then entered the ministry of the Dutch Reformed Church, his first pastorate being at Sandy Hill, Washington County, where he remained three years, going thence to Valatis, near Kinderbrook, where he was settled for many years.  After a successful mission there, he came to New York and undertook the founding of the North Presbyterian Church, now at Thirty-first street and Ninth avenue.  The first meetings of the church were held in the Institute for the Blind, then far out in the country.  As the membership increased, Mr. Roosevelt became actively engaged in securing means for the erection of a building, and this was finally accomplished, the edifice when dedicated being free from debt.  He was settled there for 10 years, and was then called to the Church at Bronxville, where he remained for 16 years, retiring from the pulpit about five years ago, but continuing his pastoral duties until a few years later, when sickness overcame him.  Altogether, his work in the ministry extended over a period of 51 years.  Mr. Roosevelt married in 1832 Miss Jane M. Young, who survives him, and leaves one son, Mr. Charles H. Roosevelt of this village.  His funeral took place on Thursday last at 2 P.M., at the Presbyterian Church at Pelham Manor, and was largely attended.  The Rev. D. M. Freeland took charge of the services, assisted by Rev. Charles Higbee, of Christ Church, Pelham; Rev. S. B. Rossilter, of the North Presbyterian Church of New York; Rev. Mr. C. K. Clearwater represented the Classes of Westchester.  Rev. E. J. Runk, of Bronxville; Rev. C. E. Lindsley, and Rev. W. B. Waller, of New Rochelle.

The following gentlemen acted as pallbearers:  Mr. Graham, of the North Presbyterian Church, Messrs. Alex. Masterton, Theodotus Buriwell, Robert Masterton and John M. Masterton, of Bronxville Church, and Mr. J. K. Johnson, of the Pelham Manor Church.  At the grave the Episcopal services were read by the Rev. Charles Higbee, after which the earthly remains were placed in the family vault at Beechwood Cemetery by the side of his parents, and surrounded by his children."

Source:  The Rev. Washington Roosevelt, New Rochelle Pioneer, Feb. 16, 1884, Vol. XXIV, No. 47, p. 3, col. 3. 


Clinton Roosevelt, a well-known resident of Pelham, a well-known resident of Pelham, and years ago a prominent member of the New York bar, died on Monday at Fisher's Island, where he was spending the summer.  Mr. Roosevelt was born in Pelham ninety-four years ago, and was the son of Elbert Roosevelt, one of the first settlers of the town.  His father died at ninety years of age, and Mr. Roosevelt's three brothers and one sister each lived to be more than eighty years old.  Mr. Roosevelt was the last member of his father's family, and inherited the old country home in Pelham Road and a fortune estimated at nearly $1,000,000.  He never married, and his estate will probably go to his nearer relatives, Charles H. Roosevelt and Elbert C. Roosevelt, of Pelham Manor.  The funeral services were held in Christ Church, Pelham Manor, on Thursday, and the burial was in Beechwood cemetery."

Source:  OBITUARY -- CLINTON ROOSEVELT, New Rochelle Pioneer, Aug. 13, 1898, Vol. XXXX, No. 21, p. 4, col. 3.


*     *     *

ROOSEVELT. -- At Fisher's Island, N. Y., Aug. 8, Clinton Roosevelt, in the 94th year of his age.  Funeral services at Christ Church, Pelham Manor, on Aug. 11, at 3:30 P. M."

Source:  DIED . . . ROOSEVELT, N.Y. Times, Aug. 11, 1898. 

"Clinton Roosevelt

Clinton Roosevelt (November 3, 1804 - August 8, 1898) was an American politician, pro-labor economic reformer, and inventor from New York City. A member of the Roosevelt family, he was the son of Elbert Roosevelt, who was a grandson of Johannes Roosevelt, making him a distant cousin of U.S. Presidents Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt.[1] He was an early and prominent member of the Locofocos, or Equal Rights Party, a radical faction of the Democratic Party.[2] He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1836 and served one year.[3] Roosevelt was an opponent of the monopoly banking system and cited bank paper currency as the cause of economic problems. After the Panic of 1837, when New York's economy worsened and the working population suffered, he changed his views, calling for an entirely new economic system with greater government involvement.[3] He was also an inventor and an advocate of patent reform. In the 1850s, he invented a warship design, but neither the United States nor Russia were interested; he later proposed trade unions to increase the profits of inventors.[4] He died on Fisher's Island, New York.[5]

*     *     *

[1]  Whittelsey, Charles B. (1902). The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649–1902. 

[2]  Byrdsall, Fitzwilliam (1842). The History of the Loco-foco, Or Equal Rights Party. Clement & Packard. 

[3]  Greenberg, Joshua R. (2007-10-12). The Panic of 1837 as an Opportunity for Radical Economic Ideas. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 

[4]  To Secure Inventors' Rights.; Mr. Clinton Roosevelt Calls for a Conference". New York Times. March 31, 1893. 

[5]  "Obituary". New York Times. 1898-08-11."

Source:  Clinton Roosevelt, Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_Roosevelt (visited May 2, 2014).  

Charles Henry Roosevelt.

Charles Henry Roosevelt, a lawyer, who practiced in this city and in Westchester county, died early on Sunday morning at his home, in Pelham Road, Pelham Manor.  He was born in 1832.  His father was the Rev. Washington Roosevelt, minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, and a grandson of Elbert Roosevelt, who was one of the early settlers of the manor of Pelham-on-the-Sound.  The family is related to Vice President Theodore Roosevelt.

Mr. Roosevelt was the manager of many large estates, and owned valuable real estate himself in Pelham Manor and in New Rochelle.  His New York offices were at 203 Broadway.  He was a member of the State and County Bar Association, the Westchester Bar Association, the St. Nicholas and Holland Societies, and Huguenot Lodge, F. and A. M., of New Rochelle.  A widow and one son, Elbert C. Roosevelt, a member of the New York Athletic Club, survive him.  The funeral will be held on Wednesday morning in Christ Episcopal Church, in Pelham Manor."

Source:  DEATH LIST OF A DAY -- Charles Henry Roosevelt, N.Y. Times, Mar. 26, 1901.  

"CHARLES HENRY ROOSEVELT died early on Sunday morning March 24, 1901, at his home, on Pelham Road, Pelham Manor.  He was born in 1832.  His father was the Rev. Washington Roosevelt, minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, and a grandson of Elbert Roosevelt, who was one of the early settlers of the manor of Pelham-on-the-Sound.

Mr. Roosevelt was the manager of many large estates, and owned valuable real estate himself in Pelham Manor and in New Rochelle.  He studied law in Poughkeepsie and after admission to the bar practised [sic] in New York City and Westchester County.  He was a member of the State and County Bar Association, the Westchester Bar Association, the St. Nicholas Society and Huguenot Lodge, F. & A. M., of New Rochelle.  He was one of the oldest members of the Holland Society having been elected in 1885.  He served as Vice-President for Westchester County in 1892."

Source:  Banta, Theodore M., Year Book of The Holland Society of New York, 1901, Prepared by the Secretary Theodore M. Banta, p. 103 (NY, NY:  The Holland Society of New York, 1901).

Elbert C. Roosevelt.

Elbert Curtinius Roosevelt died on Christmas Eve at his country home on the Shore Road, Pelham Manor, aged forty-five years.

Mr. Roosevelt was a son of the late Charles H. Roosevelt, and a third cousin of ex-President Theodore Roosevelt.  He was a nephew of Peter Roosevelt, who at one time owned a large farm on the Shore Road, which is now a part of Pelham Bay Park.  His grandfather, Washington Roosevelt, was a Dutch Reformed minister, having a pastorate in this city.  The Roosevelt family comes from old Knickerbocker stock and is prominent in the history of Westchester County.

Deceased was the victim of heart trouble.  He is survived by his mother, who was Annie J. Jackson, and one daughter.  Mr. Roosevelt was a well known club man and for years had been a member of the New York Athletic Club and the Larchmont Yacht Club.  His profession was that of attorney-at-law, and he once occupied an office in the Lambden Building, corner of Main and Bank streets.

Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon and were of a private nature.  Rev. Charles F. Canedy conducted the services.  Huguenot Lodge, No. 46, F. & A. M., of which the deceased was a member, also held the Masonic services.  His remains were placed in a receiving vault in Beechwoods Cemetery."

Source:  OBITUARY - Elbert C. Roosevelt, New Rochelle Pioneer, Jan. 1, 1910, p. 8, col. 1.  

Elbert Roosevelt.

Elbert Roosevelt, a second cousin of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, died last Friday in his country home, in the shore road at Pelham Manor, aged 45 years.  Mr. Roosevelt was a member of many clubsand well known as a golfer.  For many years he had been one of the leading members of the New York Athletic Club and the Huckleberry Indians, a branch of that club.  He was also a member of the Larchmont Yacht Club and other organizations, including the Masons.  He left one daughter."

Source:  OBITUARY -- Elbert Roosevelt, Dobbs Ferry [NY] Register, Dec. 31, 1909, Vol. XXVIII, No. 53, p. 4, col. 1.  

"Elbert C. Roosevelt's Competency.

WHITE PLAINS, N. Y., Aug. 15. -- Supreme Court Justice Dykman has appointed M. J. Tierney of New Rochelle a Commissioner to inquire into the competency to manage his own affairs of Elbert C. Roosevelt, a wealthy resident of New Rochelle, who is alleged to be an incompetent person.

Mr. Roosevelt will contest the inquiry.  The petition was made by Annie J. Roosevelt of Pelham Manor, the mother of the young man.  She says that for over two years he has been incompetent to manage his affairs by reason of habitual drunkenness and neglect of business."

Source:  Elbert C. Roosevelt's Competency, N.Y. Times, Aug. 16, 1901. 

For more about Elbert Cornelius Roosevelt (who was born in 1767), his wife and their children, see, e.g.:  

Elbert Roosevelt, Find-A-Grave Memorial, available at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=88427977 (visited May 2, 2014).  

Jane Curtenius Roosevelt, Find-A-Grave Memorial, available at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=88428162 (visited May 2, 2014).  

Peter Curtenius Roosevelt, Find-A-Grave Memorial, available at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=88429677 (visited May 2, 2014).  

Rev. Washington Roosevelt, Find-A-Grave Memorial, available at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8813971 (visited May 2, 2014).
Archive of the Historic Pelham Web Site.

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