Ultrasmooth hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) can dramatically enhance the carrier/phonon transport in interfaced transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), and amplify the effect of quantum capacitance in field-effect gating. All of the current processes to realize h-BN-based heterostructures involve transfer or exfoliation. Rational chemistries and process techniques are still required to produce large-area, transfer-free, directly grown TMDs/BN heterostructures. Here, we demonstrate a novel boron-oxygen chemistry route for oxide-assisted nucleation and growth of large-area, uniform, and ultrathin h-BN directly on oxidized substrates (B/N atomic ratio = 1:1.16 ± 0.03 and optical band gap = 5.51 eV). These intimately interfaced, van der Waals heterostructures of MoS2/h-BN and WS2/h-BN benefit from 6.27-fold reduced roughness of h-BN in comparison to SiO2. This leads to reduction in scattering from roughness and charged impurities, and enhanced carrier mobility verified by an increase in electrical conductivity (5 times for MoS2/h-BN and 2 times for WS2/h-BN). Further, the heterostructures are devoid of wrinkles and adsorbates, which is critical for 2D nanoelectronics. The versatile process can potentially be extrapolated to realize a variety of heterostructures with complex sandwiched 2D electronic circuitry.