Born: January 1, 1667, Schäßburg, Transylvania (now Sighișoara, Romania).
Died: January 1, 1708, Germantown, Pennsylvania.
Buried: In an unmarked grave in the garden of his communal grounds in the Wissahickon Valley, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Kelpius graduated from the University of Altdorf (near Nuremburg) in 1689.
Of a mystical bent, he was attracted to sects such as the Pietists, under Philip Jacob Spener, and the Philadelphists, under Jane Leads. Seeking greater freedom for his unorthodox views, he emigrated to America in 1694, settling with 40 followers near Germantown.
Known as the Hermits of Wissahickon, they maintained a largely self sustaining community. Kelpius was one of the first in America to use an organ in religious services.