The Full Wiki

William Avery Rockefeller: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Avery Rockefeller, Sr. (November 13, 1810 – May 11, 1906) was the father of American oil tycoon and billionaire, John Davison Rockefeller (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) and William Rockefeller (1841–1922), who both founded the Standard Oil company.



Rockefeller was born in Granger, New York to Godfrey Rockefeller (September 24, 1784, Albany, New York–September 28, 1857, Richford, New York) and Lucy Avery (February 11, 1786, Great Barrington, Massachusetts–April 6, 1867), married in 1806. He was one of 10 children:

  • Melinda Rockefeller (September 12, 1807 – May 2, 1880), married to William Harris
  • Olymphia Rockefeller (April 20, 1809–)
  • William Avery Rockefeller
  • Norman Rockefeller
  • Sally Ann Rockefeller
  • Jacob S. Rockefeller
  • Mary Rockefeller (other)|Mary Rockefeller
  • Miles Avery Rockefeller
  • Mary Miranda Rockefeller
  • Egbert Rockefeller


The Rockefellers trace their family to Goddard Rockenfeller (1590) of Fahr, today part of Neuwied, Germany. Goddard Rockenfeller was may have descended from Augier de Roquefeuil, younger brother of Guillaume IV de Roquefeuil, the ancestor of later sires; and John (Jean) de Roquefeuil, the ancestor of the Roquefeuil-Versols and Saint Etienne, Family of France; the sons of Adhemar I de Roquefeuil, Sire of Versols (died 1477).[1] The first Rockefeller to settle in America was Johann Peter Rockefeller (1710, Segendorf, Neuwied; 1787, Amwell Township, New Jersey).

Lucy Avery was the daughter of Miles Avery and wife Malinda Pixley, and descended by her father from Edmund of Langley's first marriage (through 5th Baron Audley's second marriage).[2] and from Mary Boleyn's first marriage (through the 2nd Barons de la Warr)[3]

Marriage and children

Rockefeller and his first wife, Eliza Davison Rockefeller (September 12, 1813 – March 28, 1889), married in 1837, were the parents of six children:

Although he abandoned the family while John was a teenager, he remained married to Eliza until her death. In 1856, having assumed the name William Levingston, he married Margaret Allen (ca 1835–) in Norwich, Ontario, Canada, without issue. While still married to his first wife, he had two daughters by still another woman named Nancy Brown: (Clorinda Rockefeller and Cornelia Rockefeller).


After hearing rumours that the richest man in the world — then at the height of his notoriety as a monopolist — had a shameful family secret, the press went into a frenzy. Joseph Pulitzer offered a reward of eight thousand dollars for information about "Doc Rockefeller" who was known to be alive and living under a false name, but whose whereabouts were a family secret. Despite slender clues picked up from interviews with family members and an eighteen month search, the journalists failed to track him down before he died, and the full story wasn't exposed until two years later.


William Rockefeller had spent some time in Park River, North Dakota under the Levingston alias. He died on May 11, 1906, in Freeport, Illinois and was buried there in Oakland Cemetery. John Rockefeller never publicly acknowledged the truth about his father's life as a bigamist, and William's grave marker was paid for out of his second wife's estate.



  • Chernow, Ron (May 5, 1998). Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.. Random House. ISBN 978-0679438083. 

External links

fr:w:catégorie:Maison de Roquefeuil Saint Etienne



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address