Barnard McNitt's Family

Barnard McNITT, born about 1700 in Ulster; died on 16 January 1773 at Palmer, Hampden County, Massachusetts. Barnard was the son of Alexander McNitt and Sarah _____. Barnard married first Margaret _____ who probably died about 1727 at Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts. Barnard married second Jean CLARK on 19 February 1727/8 at Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

Barnard and Margaret had the following child:

Barnard and Jean had the following children: I use the birthdates for Barnard's children as given in the published vital records of Palmer, while The MacNauchtan Saga uses those from Temple's history. The Saga lists two others as sons of Barnard by his first marriage - Joseph and Arthur, but also says that they may have been nephews adopted into the family. It also speculates that they were born before 1729, but since Joseph and Arthur married in 1761 and 1765 respectively, it is more likely that they were born in the late 1730's or early 1740's. Barnard's will mentions neither among his heirs.

Only two sources other than the Saga list either Joseph and Arthur as McNitts, but they also appear one or more times with the name McNall. The book History of the Town of Palmer, Massachusetts lists Joseph as a McNitt and even says that he was born in 1727, but cites no evidence for either assertion and does not include Arthur among Barnard's children. Elsewhere in the book, an Arthur McNall appears in a list of assigned seats in the meeting house in 1764. Joseph McNall appears in the same list and is mentioned several times later as as a Revolutionary War soldier. The published vital records of Palmer show Arthur as a McNitt in the marriage records, but give Joseph's name as McNall.

 I believe that neither Joseph nor Arthur were McNitts. The names McNitt and McNall might appear similar in handwritten records. If Joseph and Arthur really were born in the late 1730's or early 1740's, they would be about the right age to be sons of the Arthur McNall who died in Palmer in 1744 in his 29th year. Published vital records of Brimfield, Massachusetts record marriages of Elizabeth McNall in 1761 and Mary McNall in 1754. Perhaps they were part of the same family. The vital records of Brimfield, Massachusetts record the birth of Joseph McNall's daughter Polly in 1778. This is probably the same Joseph McNall who eventually settled in Chittenden County, Vermont and appears in the 1790 census there.

On the other hand, some genealogists think that Joseph and Arthur might have been nephews of Barnard, that their name was McNutt, and that they moved to Nova Scotia.


Please send corrections or additions to wmcnitt@hotmail.com


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