Roosa, Heyman

Birth Name Roosa, Heyman 1
Gender male


Jewish origins of Roosa surname
Posted 23 Sep 2017 by Robert F Degnen

The ROOSA name first appeared in the Netherlands in the 1400's, so this lends support that the ROOSAs were "rabbinical" (and therefore openly practicing) Jews of the earlier migration, rather than "conversos" ("converted" Jews).
The "Judaic" (Talmudic) religion is passed on through the mother, rather than the father, so when Albert HEYMANS (Heyman's son), the first American ROOSA, married Wyntje DE JONGH, the family probably ceased to be "practicing" Jews. Wyntje was the daughter of a Dutch burgomaster, and therefore was most likely a Gentile. Because of Albert's parentage, though,
we can claim to be descended from one of the first Jews (possibly the first Jew) in New York.
Albert was one of the first leaders of the Wiltwyck settlement, and along with his son Arien ( = Arie, "the Lion" or "the Jew") was among those petitioning Governor Andros to provide the community with a Dutch-speaking minister. Remember that the Dutch Reformed Church in New York served as an extended family "community center" for everyone in the Dutch community, so this action of the ROOSAs may have been more motivated by community concern than by religious convictions. His daughter Wynte, though, married into the DePuy family, descended from devout Huguenots.
There is a story told to about the Black Jew's in the Netherlands. It seems that during the Spanish Inquisition the Jews were given the chance to become Christians or leave. Some of the Jewish people did turn Christian but the majority of them left and traveled northward through Germany and France. Some ended up in the Netherlands. Over the years many adopted the Christian faith.
They were called Black Jew because of their dark Spanish complexion and their marriage into Spanish families.
The following is an article written about the question of whether or not the Rossa family is of Spanish / Portugues Jewish ancestry. It is an interesting read.
Bert Feldman asserted that the Roosas were "from a rabbinical family", yet nobody has been able to identify his sources for this. His being Jewish himself does not qualify him for special knowledge that would enable him to ascertain this. Strictly speaking, Mr. Feldman was, at best, an amateur historian making an educated guess. And, without his source material, we can only wonder at what information he used as a basis for his statement.

That being said, there is enough historical background material available to convince me that the assertions made by Abraham Guijsbert Roosa of the family being of Spanish origins may be true. (The Nederlandse Familienamen Databank of the Marteens Institute states that Roosa only claimed Catalon descent, nothing of Jewish origins). First and foremost, anyone bothering to look at old Dutch records will find that the name was spelled "Rosa" with one 'o'. In many instances, it is "de Rosa". Kingston Dutch Reformed Church records from the 1600's list it as "Rosa" with one O. Secondly, after culling through many available online records from the state archives of the Netherlands, I cannot find one reference to this name prior to the end of the 1400's. I did, however, find Jewish names; Coen and Haym. Jews were in Gelderland from the middle of the 14th century, particularly in Nijmegen. The main migration of Sephardin came at the end of the 16th century following Dutch independence from Spain, but there had been Jewish communities in Holland for over two centuries already.
Many Jewish families from the Catalon region of Spain did migrate to Holland. And, the city of Rosas is in this part of Spain, a region heavily populated by Jews during the middle ages. Rosa/Rosas was a Jewish family in that region.
This is where the "theory" of Roosa Spanish roots do look more than merely plausible. The coat of arms for the Roosa family (Dutch) is three stemmed roses (two over one)on a field of gold. The coat of arms for the city of Rosas Spain is three roses (two over one).
In Spanish heraldry roses were rendered more realistically than the familiar English rose, and they were shown with stems. Additionally, Spanish heraldry followed the custom of the French in presenting trinaries (groups of objects in threes). Many Sephardic Jew coats of arms followed this same rule of trinaries, particularly in using a set of 3. One can find many examples with 3 Stars of David, 3 hats, 3 trees, and so on. And, these families continued their coats of arms even after emigrating to Holland. At least one known Sephardic coat of arms for a family by the name of Rosa is a realistically rendered stemmed rose on a field of gold.
The name Heyman has two historic origins. It is a variation of "Herman", like Herman Munster (I have actually run across this name in historical sources). However, the interesting take on this name is that it is also an anglicized corruption of "Heym" or "Haym", itself an Anglicization of "Chaim". Chaim is the Hebrew word for "life", and is a Hebrew name. I have encountered the name "Heym" in early 15th century tax lists alongside names like "Coen", another Hebrew name. So, it is likely that there were Dutch Jews named "Haym" who eventually became known as "Heyman".
Taking into consideration all of this information when examining Abraham's claim, one can see that the story of the Roosa family's Spanish origins is not inconsistent with facts. It is even consistent with the possibility of their roots being Jewish in origin, as well as Spanish. This does nothing to prove the claim, but it does place it within a context that forces us to give the idea more serious thought.


Family of Roosa, Heyman

Name Birth Date Death Date
Roosa, Aldert Heymanse16211678-02-27


    1. Roosa, Heyman
        1. Roosa, Aldert Heymanse