Background on the Family Up to 1913

Added by William H. McNitt, 2014

Although always known as James or Jim, Dad's full name was William James McNitt - William after his father and James after his paternal uncle James Plowman, husband of Grace McNitt.

His parents were William Theodore ("Bill") McNitt (born May 9, 1883, in Wright Township, Ottawa County, Michigan) and Emma Sarah Merrill (born October 12, 1882, in Caldwell Township, Missaukee County, Michigan). Bill and Emma married on December 20, 1902, in Grand Rapids and then lived in the northwestern part of Michigan's lower peninsula at Thompsonville, Benzie County, where he worked as a clerk for the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. Their first two sons, Walter and Glenn were born at Thompsonville in 1903 and 1906 respectively.  By 1910 the family was living near Pellston, Michigan, in McKinley Township of Emmet County and Emma's family was at Weldon, Benzie County.  By 1912, both families had moved downstate to Grand Rapids.

Dad's paternal grandfather Walter McNitt and maternal grandmother Mary Angeline Woodin Merrill both died well before he was born, so neither he nor his brothers had any memories of them. His other two grandparents - Ella Coon McNitt and Roando Merrill - are mentioned occasionally in the autobiography.  

Emma Sarah Merrill McNitt with sons Walter and Glenn William Theodore McNitt Ella Jane Coon McNitt

Roando Merrill Mary Angeline Woodin Merrill