Let’s play Six Degrees of Separation from colonial period Philadelphia native rock star, David Rittenhouse.
The Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center owns a stunning late 18th century surveyor’s compass inscribed JOHN HEILIG FECIT, PENNSYLVANIA. John Heilig was the son or grandson – we have not yet precisely determined – of Johann Heinrich Heilig, a German immigrant ca. 1720 who settled in Upper Hanover Township, and is said to have built the house known as the oldest extant house in Pennsburg. Heinrich (also known as Henry) was married to Susanna Rittenhouse. Susanna Rittenhouse was a sister of Matthias Rittenhouse. Matthias Rittenhouse was the father of the esteemed scientist and astronomer David Rittenhouse, who charted the transit of Venus in 1769.
-Candace Perry, Curator of Collections