James Roosevelt, Sr.

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James Roosevelt, Sr.

Birthplace: Hyde Park, Dutchess, New York, United States
Death: December 08, 1900 (72)
Hyde Park, Dutchess, New York, United States (Heart Attack)
Place of Burial: Hyde Park, Dutchess, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Dr. Isaac Daniel Roosevelt; Dr Isaac Daniel Roosevelt, II; Mary Rebecca Roosevelt and Mary Rebecca Roosevelt
Husband of Rebecca Brien Roosevelt; Private User and Sara Ann Roosevelt
Father of James "Rosy" Roosevelt; Private and Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the USA
Brother of John Aspinwall Roosevelt, I and John Aspinwall Roosevelt

Occupation: Lawyer, Ice business, farmer, Businessperson
Managed by: John Patrick McCaffrey
Last Updated:

About James Roosevelt, Sr.

Descendant of Mayflower passengers John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley

James Roosevelt, Sr. (July 16, 1828 – December 8, 1900) was a businessman and father of the President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was born in Hyde Park, New York to Isaac Roosevelt (1790–1863) and his wife Mary Rebecca Aspinwall (1809–1886).

Roosevelt's father Isaac Roosevelt was a fourth-generation descendant of Nicholas Roosevelt (1658-1742), who was also a sixth-generation ancestor of Theodore Roosevelt. His wife Mary Aspinwall was a sixth-generation descendant of Rebecca Stoughton, sister of William Stoughton, judge and prosecutor during the Salem Witch Trials.


Roosevelt's business interests were primarily in coal and transportation. He was vice president of the Delaware and Hudson Railway, and president of the Southern Railway Security Company. James was a tall, slender and wealthy man with considerable society connections, an eligible bachelor by any standard. He graduated from Union College (NY) in 1847. In 1853, he married his first cousin once removed Rebecca Howland (1831–1876). They had a son, James "Rosy" Roosevelt, Jr (1854–1927). James became a widower in 1876.


Four years later, at a party celebrating graduation of his cousin Theodore Roosevelt from Harvard University, he met a very distant relative Sara Delano; they were married on October 7, 1880 and became parents of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. James was reportedly a good father to Franklin; however, his recurring heart problems eventually turned him into an invalid. Franklin reacted by becoming fiercely protective of his father. James died twenty years after he married Sara. His estate was given to his sons.

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James Roosevelt, Sr.'s Timeline

July 16, 1828
Hyde Park, Dutchess, New York, United States
April 27, 1854
Hyde Park, Dutchess County, NY, United States
January 30, 1882
Hyde Park, Dutchess County, New York, United States
December 8, 1900
Age 72
Hyde Park, Dutchess, New York, United States
December 11, 1900
Age 72
Saint James Episcopal Churchyard, Hyde Park, Dutchess, New York, United States