Nelson Rockefeller

official photo of Nelson Rockefeller, c. 1975

Birth Name: Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller

Date of Birth: July 8, 1908

Place of Birth: Bar Harbor, Maine, U.S.

Date of Death: January 26, 1979

Place of Death: New York City, New York, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, with small amounts of Dutch, German, and Welsh

Nelson Rockefeller was an American politician, businessperson, philanthropist, and public servant. A member of the Republican Party, he served as the 41st Vice President of the United States, from December 19, 1974 to January 20, 1977. He was appointed to the position by President Gerald Ford, after Ford himself ascended from the Vice Presidency to the Presidency.

Vice President Rockefeller was previously the 1st Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs, from December 20, 1944 to August 17, 1945, the 1st Under Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, from June 11, 1953 to December 22, 1954, and the 49th Governor of New York, from January 1, 1959 to December 18, 1973.

He was a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1960, 1964, and 1968.

Vice President Rockefeller was the son of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (born Abigail Greene Aldrich), a socialite and philanthropist, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (John Davison Rockefeller, Jr.), a philanthropist and businessperson. His parents were both from wealthy, prominent families. He was a sibling of prominent businesspeople and philanthropists Abby Rockefeller Mauzé, John D. Rockefeller III, Laurance Rockefeller, Winthrop Rockefeller, and David Rockefeller. Winthrop Rockefeller was also a prominent politician, whose name was placed in nomination for the 1968 Republican nomination for President of the United States. Vice President Rockefeller had five children with his first wife, Mary Todhunter (Clark), and two children with his second wife, Margaretta Large (Fitler) “Happy” Rockefeller.

His ancestry was English, with small amounts of Dutch, German, and Welsh.

Vice President Rockefeller’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced to Johann Peter Rockefeller, who was born, c. 1681, in Segendorf, Rhineland, Germany.

Vice President Rockefeller’s paternal grandfather was John D. Rockefeller (John Davison Rockefeller, the son of William Avery Rockefeller and Elizabeth “Eliza” Davison). John was born in New York, and co-founded the Standard Oil Company. William was the son of Godfrey Lewis Rockefeller and Lucy Avery. Elizabeth was the daughter of John Davison and Sytje/Sycha “Cynthia” Selover.

Vice President Rockefeller’s paternal grandmother was Laura Spelman Rockefeller (born Laura Celestia Spelman, the daughter of Harvey Buel Spelman and Lucy Henry). Laura was born in Ohio, and was an abolitionist, philanthropist, and schoolteacher. Harvey was the son of Samuel Buel Spelman and Laura Seymour. Lucy was the daughter of William Henry and Rachel Frary.

Vice President Rockefeller’s maternal grandfather was Nelson W. Aldrich (Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich, the son of Anan Evans Aldrich and Abby Ann Burgess). Vice President Rockefeller’s grandfather Nelson Aldrich was born in Rhode Island, and was a prominent politician, who was a Member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, from 1875 to 1876, a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Rhode Island, from 1879 to 1881, and a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, from 1881 to 1911. Vice President Rockefeller’s great-grandfather Anan was the son of Job Aldrich and Jane Libby Jones. Vice President Rockefeller’s great-grandmother Abby was the daughter of Gideon Burgess and Phoebe/Phebe Williams.

Vice President Rockefeller’s maternal grandmother was Abigail “Abby” Pearce/Pierce Truman Chapman (the daughter of Francis Morgan Chapman and Lucy Anne Truman). Abigail was born in Connecticut. Francis was the son of Amos Chapman and Amy Morgan. Lucy was the daughter of Jonathan Truman and Mary Willet/Willett.

Among Vice President Rockefeller’s many prominent ancestors also is William Brewster (c. 1566-1644), a Mayflower passenger and noted Pilgrim. Among many of William’s other descendants are actors Jordana Brewster, Paget Brewster, Chevy Chase, Taylor Lautner, Seth MacFarlane, and Elisabeth Shue, actors and models Noah Mills and Brandon Routh, soccer player Clint Dempsey, Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, fellow U.S. Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, and Governor of Arkansas Winthrop Rockefeller.

Sources: Genealogies of Vice President Rockefeller –

1 Response

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.