Beach Town in a Forest

Beach Town in a Forest
Beach Town in a Forest, Pine Knoll Shores located in Carteret County on North Carolina's Crysal Coast. Photo compliments of Bill Flexman and Dave Prutzman

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Roosevelt Family Tree

The names of various members of the Roosevelt family come up from time to time when discussing the history of Pine Knoll Shores. Presented here is a brief genealogy along with my understanding of the family’s naming conventions. 

The Roosevelts used some unique naming conventions and confusing suffixes. They had legal given names and names they were generally known by. For family members and their contemporaries, the names they used were probably unambiguous, but for historians and the rest of us doing historical research, the names are confusing.

I have concluded that the simplest way to address the issue is to put birth-death dates after each name. In this way, I can identify the person regardless which name is used.

Roosevelts were among the earliest settlers in the Dutch colonial settlement of New Amsterdam, in what would later become New York City. [i]

Maartenszen van Rosenvelt immigrated to America from the Netherlands in 1649. The family established two main branches referred to by location: the Oyster Bay branch and the Hyde Park branch. The Hyde Park branch gave the nation the 32nd President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The history of Pine Knoll Shores is deeply intertwined with the Oyster Bay branch, which gave the nation its 26th President, Teddy Roosevelt. 

As in most families, a small group of given names in Theodore Roosevelt’s family are repeated from generation to generation, and these names receive further suffix or post-nominal designations such as Sr., Jr., III, IV, V, etc. Add the names they were called, or nicknames, and keeping track of which Roosevelt one is referring to becomes quite a challenge.

Lets begin with Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. (1831-1878)[ii]. He had a son whom he named Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (1858-1919), referred to as “T.R” or “Teddy,” the 26th President (1901-1909).

President Theodore Roosevelt had a son named Theodore Roosevelt III (1887-1944), who was referred to and called “Ted or sometime Jr.  Ted died on the battlefield in France during World War II.

Ted (1887-1944)
Ted had a son (President Teddy Roosevelt’s grandson) whose given name was Theodore Roosevelt IV (1914-2001), who after his father died assumed the suffix III and from that time on was referred to Theodore Roosevelt III or “TR III.”
Died in Bryn Mawr, PA
Buried near Somesville, Maine
It is this Roosevelt who is key to the development of Pine Knoll Shores.  TR III had three siblings, and the four of them constituted what is known in the history of Pine Knoll Shores as The Roosevelt Family Trust.  The four members were:
Grace Green Roosevelt (1911-1993)
Theodore Roosevelt IV (1914-2001) referred to as TRIII
Cornelius Van Schaak Roosevelt (1915-1991)
Quentin Roosevelt II (1919-1948)

In keeping with the family tradition, TR III named his first son Theodore Roosevelt V (b. 1942), who has a son named Theodore Roosevelt VI (b. 1976), and so it goes.

The women of the family were not completely immune from this affinity for the name Theodore. TRIII had a cousin, daughter of his fathers’ brother Archibald, who was named Theodora Roosevelt (1919-2008). But, she had no known role in developing PKS.

Theodore Roosevelt III (1914-2001) assumed a leadership role for the family trust in their dealings with the Bogue Banks properties.  AC Hall talks about several visits by TRIII during the planning and development of the land.  In high leather boots he would track through the maritime forest, seeing where roads and canals could be built and generally getting the lay of the land.
Theodore Roosevelt IV assumed the suffix III after his father died

The maternal grandmother of the four siblings who made up the Roosevelt Trust was Grace Green (1864-1934), Alice Green Hoffman's sister.  It is through Grace that Alice became linked to the Roosevelts. [iii] To be more specific, Alice’s sister Grace married Henry Alexander, and they had a daughter, Eleanor Butler Alexander, who married Theodore Roosevelt III (1887-1944). Alice’s niece, Eleanor, and her husband Theodore had four children, who made up the Roosevelt Trust.
This is the link for Alice Green to the Roosevelts.[iii]  Said another way Alices sister Grace married Henry Alexander, they had a daughter Eleanor Butler Alexander who married Theodore Roosevelt III (1887-1944). They had four children that comprise the Roosevelt Trust; Grace Green (1911-1993), Theodore (1914-2001), Cornelius (1915-1991), and Quentin (1919-1948).

P.S. One final note about Roosevelt family names -  President Teddy Roosevelt’s brother Elliott Bulloch Roosevelt (1860-1894) had a daughter named Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) who in 1905 married Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945).  They were cousins six times removed, meaning they had a common ancestor six generations back.  When Eleanor married FDR she became Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Roosevelt.

post author: Walt Zaenker, revised 11/26/2014
To contact the author or the History Committee

[ii], Roosevelt Family November 12, 2013
The Theodore Roosevelt Association announces with regret the death of Theodore Roosevelt, III, grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, who died on May 2, 2001 at the age of 86. He is survived by a son, Theodore Roosevelt, IV, daughter-in-law, Constance Lane Rogers Roosevelt, and grandson, Theodore Roosevelt, V.
President Theodore Roosevelt's father was also named Theodore Roosevelt, and the president dropped the denominator of "junior" after his father's death. In 1914 when the president's grandson was born, there were three Theodore Roosevelts living. The president's son did not personally use "junior" after his father's death in 1919 - his stationary said, "Theodore Roosevelt," and his books listed "Theodore Roosevelt" as the author. But the public and press persisted in calling the president's son Theodore Roosevelt, Junior, and thus his descendants became known respectively as Theodore Roosevelt, III, IV, and V. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. died a Brigadier General in France not long after D-Day during World War II, and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. His former home, "Old Orchard," is now the museum at the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay.
[iii] chart compiled by post author