John Davison Rockefeller Sr.

Brief Life History of John Davison

When John Davison Rockefeller Sr. was born on 8 July 1839, in Richford, Tioga, New York, United States, his father, William Avery Rockefeller Sr., was 28 and his mother, Eliza Davison, was 25. He married Laura Celestia “‘Cettie” Spelman on 8 September 1864. They were the parents of at least 1 son and 4 daughters. He lived in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States in 1937 and New Jersey, United States in 1937. In 1870, his occupation is listed as co-founder and chairman of standard oil company in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States. He died on 23 May 1937, in Ormond Beach, Volusia, Florida, United States, at the age of 97, and was buried in Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States.

Photos and Memories (20)

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Family Time Line

John Davison Rockefeller Sr.
Laura Celestia “‘Cettie” Spelman
Marriage: 8 September 1864
Elizabeth A. “Bessie” Rockefeller
Alice Rockefeller
Alta Rockefeller
Edith Rockefeller
John Davison Rockefeller Jr

Sources (142)

  • John D Rockefeller, "United States Census, 1930"
  • Legacy NFS Source: John D Rockefeller - Published information: birth-name: John Davison Rockefeller
  • John D. Rockefeller, "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013"

World Events (8)

1841 · Indiana Nears Bankruptcy

The State of Indiana was near bankruptcy in 1841 due to the inability to repay interest incurred for the Massive Internal Improvement Act. The state liquidated much of its public works. Many of the projects were handed over to the state’s creditors as a way to reduce debt. Only two of the eight proposed infrastructure projects were completed by the creditors.


The 1844 revision of the New Jersey State Constitution made some significant changes. Suffrage rights were revoked from women and non-whites, meaning that only white men could vote. A separation of powers was established between executive, legislative, and judicial branches. A new bill of rights was provided, and the state now had the right to elect the governor.


Abraham Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

Name Meaning

Americanized form of German Rockenfeller: habitational name for someone from the village of Rockenfeld near Neuwied, Rhineland, named in Middle High German with rocke ‘rye’ (Old High German rocko) + feld ‘open country’. Compare Rockafellow .

History: The Rockefellers trace their origin to Johann Peter Rockenfeller, who emigrated to North America in 1723. His descendant, the millionaire industrialist John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937), founder of Standard Oil, was born in Richford, NY; his father was a commodities dealer and farm owner.

Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.

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