Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Benjamin Johnson

Male Abt 1724 - Bef 1785  (~ 61 years)

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Generation: 1

  1. 1.  Benjamin Johnson was born about 1724 in near Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (son of John Johnson and Mary Rittenhouse); died before 12 Sep 1785 in Loudoun County, Virginia.

    Benjamin married Jannetje Swart between 1762 and 1769. Jannetje (daughter of Jacobus Swart and Jannetje Lane) was born about 1736 in Middletown, Monmouth, New Jersey; died before 14 Mar 1816 in Loudoun County, Virginia. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

    1. Phebe Johnson was born in 1774 in Loudoun County, Virginia; died on 28 Mar 1854 in Fultonham, Muskingum, Ohio; was buried in Uniontown Cemetery, Fultonham, Muskingum, Ohio.

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  John Johnson (son of Klas Jansen and Catherine Cunrad).


    Also called Jan Jansen.

    John married Mary Rittenhouse. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 3.  Mary Rittenhouse (daughter of Nicholas Rittenhouse and Wilhelmina Pietre de Wees).
    1. 1. Benjamin Johnson was born about 1724 in near Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; died before 12 Sep 1785 in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Generation: 3

  1. 4.  Klas Jansen


    He came to America in 1685, a Mennonite preacher; settled first in Germantown, naturalized in 1691, and removed to Skippack in 1702.

    Klas married Catherine Cunrad. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 5.  Catherine Cunrad (daughter of Peter Cunrad).
    1. 2. John Johnson

  3. 6.  Nicholas Rittenhouse was born on 15 Jun 1666 (son of Willem Rittenhouse); died between 24 May 1734 and 4 Jun 1734 in Roxborough Township, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate death: Abt 1730


    Also called Klaus, Claus; also called Rittenhausen, Ruttinghuysen, Rittinghausen. That Nicholas Rittenhouse and Claus Rittenhouse were the same individual is established by a deed of his father that refers to "his son, Nicholas, by the name of Claus Rittenhouse". "Claus" was a common shortening of "Nicholas."

    Nicholas Rittenhouse (1666-1734) = Wilhelmina Dewees (d. 1737)
    Matthias Rittenhouse (1702-1779) = Elizabeth Williams (1705-1792)
    David Rittenhouse (1732-1796) -- American astronomer, mathematician, surveyor, inventor, and first director of the United States Mint. Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia is named for him. Benjamin Franklin bequeathed him a telescope in his will. 1st cousin 6 times removed to JMF.

    From A Genea-Biographical History of the Rittenhouse Family (citation details below):

    It is presumed that he was married in New York before he came to Germantown. He succeeded his father, Willem, in the business of paper making, and was the sole owner of the mill after his father. He was the grandfather of our philosopher, David. He was also a member of the Mennonite Church at Germantown, and after the death of his father, Willem, he was elected a minister in his father's place in said church, ordained presumably by Jacob Godshall, who came over in 1702, in which capacity he served faith fully till his death in 1734. In 1727 he signed the proceedings of the first Mennonite Conference in America.

    An old historian has the following:--

    "The Rittenhouses settled on the eastern bank of the Wissahickon, adjoining the southwest side of Germantown, where they erected on a small stream which empties into the Wissahickon, about a mile above the Schuylkill, the first paper mill in British America. The name of the chief proprietor of this mill was Wilhelm Rittenhouse, then spelled Ruttinghuysen or Rittinghausen. He had two sons, Claus (or more properly, according to the German, Klaus), or Nicholas, who succeeded him at this paper mill, and Garret, or Gerhard, who lived in Germantown on Cresheim Creek, and there had a grist or flour mill. The Rittenhouses from that day to the present have continuously occupied mill seats on the Wissahickon Creek. The American astronomer, David Rittenhouse, LL.D., was born in Roxborough, near the site of the first paper mill."

    Nicholas married Wilhelmina Pietre de Wees on 29 May 1689 in New York, New York. Wilhelmina (daughter of Garrett Hendricks de Wees and Zytian) was born on 13 Mar 1673 in Lieuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands; died after 6 Mar 1737. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  4. 7.  Wilhelmina Pietre de Wees was born on 13 Mar 1673 in Lieuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands (daughter of Garrett Hendricks de Wees and Zytian); died after 6 Mar 1737.


    She was a sister of William Dewees.

    1. 3. Mary Rittenhouse

Generation: 4

  1. 10.  Peter Cunrad was born in in of Bebbins Township, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    1. 5. Catherine Cunrad

  2. 12.  Willem Rittenhouse was born in 1644 in near Mülheim, Broich, Rhineland, Germany (son of George Rittenhausen and Maria Hagerhoffs); died in 1708 in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; was buried in Mennonite Churchyard, Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


    From A Genea-Biographical History of the Rittenhouse Family (citation details below):

    In the year 1688, Wilhelm Rittinghausen came to Germantown with his two sons Nicholas and Gerhard (or as abbreviated Claus and Garret), and a daughter Elizabeth, who afterwards married Heivert (Howard) Papen. His forefathers had long carried on the business of manufacturing paper at Arnheim, and in 1690 he entered into an agreement with Samuel Carpenter for 20 acres of land in Roxborough Township, County of Philadelphia, for the purpose of erecting a paper mill thereon. The paper mill was built at once on a branch of the Wissahickon Creek, and was the first paper mill in America. There was made the paper used by William Bradford, the earliest printer in the Middle Colonies. [...]

    It appears from a letter in the Mennonite Archives at Amsterdam that Willem Rittenhouse endeavored to have the Confession of Faith of the Mennonites translated into English and printed by Bradford. Said Confession of Faith was printed in English in Amsterdam in 1712; and a reprint by Andrew Bradford in 1727, with an appendix, is the first book printed in Pennsylvania for the Germans, a copy of which is yet in the Rittenhouse family in Germantown and held in high esteem.

    The erection of the paper mill is likely to keep his memory green for many generations to come, and its value was fully appreciated by his contemporaries. In a "Description of Pennsylvania," in verse, by Richard Frame, in 1692, we are told, "A paper mill near Germantown does stand;" and says the quaint Gabriel Thomas, six years later, all sorts of very good paper are made in the German town." [...]

    When the original settlers of Germantown cast lots in the cave of Francis Daniel Pastorius, in Philadelphia, for the town lots which were numbered, Willem Rittinghausen drew lot No. 19, on the east side of Germantown Avenue, on which is now the Mennonite Meeting-house and graveyard, in Germantown, where he was chosen their first minister. But he was not yet ordained as Bishop, and as the congregation at Germantown had no Bishop, and, according to the discipline of the Church, no one to ordain him, consequently a letter was sent from Germantown to the congregation at Altona, Hamburg, for advice, requesting one of the Bishops to come over to install a Bishop at Germantown. The Bishops and ministers of the Altona congregation took the matter under earnest consideration, and as no one seemed willing at that time to undertake so tedious and dangerous a voyage across the sea to install a Bishop at Germantown, they wrote a letter to the Germantown congregation authorizing one of the brethren to perform that duty. This letter was signed by four ministers of the Hamburg, Altona congregation, viz.: Bishop Gerritt Roosen, at the age of ninety years; Pieter van Helle, Jacob van Kampen, and Jean de Lanoi. In consequence of the above instructions, Willem Rittenhouse was installed as Bishop of the first Mennonite church in America, at Germantown, about 1701. Willem Rittenhouse, as stated above, was the first preacher in the Germantown Mennonite congregation, afterwards elected and ordained as Bishop, the first in America in said Church.

    1. Elizabeth Rittenhouse died after 19 Feb 1708.
    2. 6. Nicholas Rittenhouse was born on 15 Jun 1666; died between 24 May 1734 and 4 Jun 1734 in Roxborough Township, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  3. 14.  Garrett Hendricks de Wees died before 23 Dec 1701.


    He and his family emigrated from the Netherlands in 1689; first at New York, then either in the same year or 1690 to Pennsylvania.

    Garrett married Zytian. Zytian died after 23 Dec 1701. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  4. 15.  Zytian died after 23 Dec 1701.
    1. 7. Wilhelmina Pietre de Wees was born on 13 Mar 1673 in Lieuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands; died after 6 Mar 1737.