Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Nicholas Rittenhouse

Male 1666 - 1734  (67 years)


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  • Name Nicholas Rittenhouse 
    Born 15 Jun 1666  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Alternate death Abt 1730  [3
    Died Between 24 May 1734 and 4 Jun 1734  Roxborough Township, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Person ID I34929  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of JMF
    Last Modified 11 May 2021 

    Father Willem Rittenhouse,   b. 1644, near Mülheim, Broich, Rhineland, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1708, Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years) 
    Family ID F20532  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Wilhelmina Pietre de Wees,   b. 13 Mar 1673, Lieuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 6 Mar 1737  (Age > 64 years) 
    Married 29 May 1689  New York, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Children 
    +1. Mary Rittenhouse
    Last Modified 11 May 2021 
    Family ID F20531  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • 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."

  • Sources 
    1. [S5696] A Genea-Biographical History of the Rittenhouse Family and All its Branches in America by Daniel K. Cassel. Volume 1. Philadelphia: The Rittenhouse Memorial Association, 1893.

    2. [S5697] The Dewees Family: Genealogical Data, Biographical Facts, and Historical Information by Mrs. Philip E. LaMunyan. Ed. Ellwood Roberts. Norristown, Pennsylvania: William H. Roberts, 1905.

    3. [S5695] Memoirs of the Life of David Rittenhouse, LLD. F.R.S. Late President of the American Philosophical Society, &c. by William Barton. Philadelphia: Edward Parker, 1813.