William McNitt and his wife Elisabeth Thomson took three children with them when they went to Onslow, about seventy miles northeast of the Basin of Minas. Their descendants are very numerous. Most remain in Nova Scotia, but many are now living in and around Boston, and some are far inland. The surname McNutt, we recall, was adopted by William. The change meant nothing in particular at a time when any variant of the name McNaught could be selected and used at will. The children of William and Elisabeth were:
1. Abner, b. at Palmer Aug. 29, 1756, m. Mary Morrison, had six sons
and six daughters.
2. Sarah, b. at Palmer June 20, 1757.
3. Eunice, b. at Palmer October 21, 1759, m. in 1781 John Lynds, d. March 1835.
4. May, b. in Onslow, as were all to follow.
5. Gideon, b. September 22, 1766, m. 1st in 1801 Elizabeth Thompson, m. 2nd in 1806 Jane Lynds, who bore six sons and five daughters. A son by the first marriage was John Murray Upham McNutt, b. July 26, 1802, m. October 28, 1828 Jane C. Hawkins. Their son Joseph Gideon, b. October 1833, m. on January 6, 1859, Laetitia Scott of Richmond, Indiana. Their two sons, Albert and Francis Augustus, will be accounted for in later chapters.
6. Phineas, b. August 11, 1768, m. on November 12, 1789 Jaorma Howard.
7. William, 1769-1841, m. on January 13, 1797 Isabel Dickson. They had three sons and three daughters. The third son was Alexander McNutt, b. July 21, 1813, m. Esther Barnhill. Their son Edward Everett (1860- 1940) m. Annie Faulkner; children included Everett, Frank, Mabel, and Roy Douglass McNutt. The latter was b. December 14, 1894, and m. Janet Farquharson; of him more later.
8. Samuel, b. November 5, 1770, m. 1st, on May 13, 1790 Ann Dickson, who bore a daughter, Isabel, who m. John Blair; m. 2nd, on March 8, 1792 Margaret Savage, who bore fourteen children; the eldest son, William, b. April 25, 1794, lived to be eighty; he m. on April 13, 1820 Mary Johnson who bore twelve children. The ninth was Dr. William Fletcher McNutt of San Francisco, who will be noticed further.
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We have accounted for forty-six grandchildren for William and Elisabeth Thomson McNutt, without knowledge of how many more may have been provided by six of the ten children of whom we know scarcely more than their names. Eunice and Phineas married, and should have brought the total of grandchildren to sixty at least. Sarah, May, Rufus, and Mary, may not have done so well.
Roy Douglass McNutt, William's great-great-grandson, was educated at Dalhousie University at Halifax, where he was editor of the student newspaper. After going on to an LL.B. degree, he continued at Harvard to win a degree seldom encountered: that of Doctor of Juridical Sciences. He entered the practice of law in New York and was for some time associated with Elihu Root's law firm. Then he left to develop a private practice. He has been one of the most loyal members of the Canadian Club in New York, and gives evidence in his speech of the lasting traces of the Scottish tongue in Nova Scotia. Up in Evangeline's country, it is noticeable, they go "oot" and "aboot," which is a pleasant traditional custom. Mrs. Janet McNutt is of the old Farquharson clan of Scotland. Nearly all the sons- and daughters-in-law of William and Elisabeth, it is worth noting, were born with Scottish names.
Mention has been made of Dr. William Fletcher McNutt, grandson of Samuel, and great-grandson of William and Elisabeth. William Fletcher was born March 29, 1839 at Truro, Nova Scotia. He first attended the Presbyterian Seminary of Dalhousie University at Halifax, then the University of Vermont, where he was graduated in 1862. He began medical studies at Harvard, and attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York in 1862-63. He was in the United States Navy as a physician in 1863-64, and then continued his medical studies in London, Paris, and Edinburgh in 1864-65. Edinburgh University gave him his M.D. degree.
Dr. McNutt went to San Francisco to practice on April 18, 1868, and subsequently was Professor of the Principles and Practice of Medicine at the University of California for a considerable period. He was author of a work on his specialty: Diseases of the Kidneys and Bladder. Dr. McNutt maintained a private hospital for many years in order to give his patients close attention. He ranked high in California medical circles.
Dr. McNutt married Marie Louise Coon, only daughter of Henry Irving Coon, at the time mayor of San Francisco. They had two sons and two daughters. All four were very well equipped with the mental qualities that made their father outstanding. Maxwell McNutt, a leading San Francisco attorney, was one of defense counsel for Thomas J.
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Mooney, the labor leader accused of planting a suitcase bomb that caused a number of casualties in the 1916 Preparedness parade. Mooney was convicted -- some said on "framed" evidence -- and spent twenty years in prison. He was considered a martyr by some all the time he was behind bars, but after his release his martyr's halo faded out almost immediately.
Maxwell McNutt was attorney for the complainant in another case highly celebrated in California. After the death of a wealthy man named James Flood, a woman who said she was his daughter brought suit for a large share of his estate. The defense maintained that the lady was in no way related to James Flood, but Maxwell McNutt pressed her claim so successfully that a settlement was made that provided well for her. Mr. McNutt died several years ago. His widow now is a real estate and insurance broker in Redwood City, a few miles down the peninsula from San Francisco. There is a son, Maxwell McNutt, Jr., who has chosen not to follow his father's footsteps.
Another son of Dr. McNutt was William Fletcher, Jr. born May 24, 1876. After graduation from Harvard he studied medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in London, and at Edinburgh University, where he won his M.D. degree. He returned to San Francisco in 1900 to join his father in practice. He married Linda Mullane in 1916, and died ten years later. Mrs. McNutt lives in San Francisco. Her elder daughter, Linda, is the wife of Frank H. Thames, a chemical engineer. The younger daughter, Mary Louise McNutt, remains at home with her mother.
The two daughters of Dr. McNutt, Sr., were Mayne and Ruth. The former, who could speak fluently in eight languages, became the wife of Ashton Potter. Ruth married Darcey Brown of Denver. Neither of the sisters is now living.
In the chapters to follow we shall become acquainted with another descendant of Palmer and Nova Scotia, who was as different from his kin as anyone imaginably could be. Before we consider Francis Augustus MacNutt, and for contrast, we should welcome to our long story one of the most loyal of all those who belong in the New England family.
"Young man," exclaimed a nice old lady stranger with bright eyes, "you're a McNutt! I don't know what your name is, but I know who you are." She thought she could tell a McNutt for his sandy hair, blue eyes, and forehead, brows, and nose of a certain pattern, and she was right. A very tall, personable young man he was, too -- and still is.
The object of her interest was Charles H. Hendrickson, a sergeant with the Metropolitan Police of the Boston area, whose home is in Medford. He was born August 15, 1889 at Cambridge, and was a dental
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technician before he joined the police. He served in the Army Air Force in the first World War, and married on October 26,1924, Ruth Ellen Bjorklund of Abington, Massachusetts. Their children are Charles H., Jr., born February 13, 1927, and Robert Fulton, born January 5, 1933.
Something more than a century ago there lived in Springhill, Nova Scotia, Daniel and Kate Gilroy McNutt. Their relationship to William and Elisabeth, originally of Palmer, remains to be cleared up, and their great-grandson Charles Hendrickson will live to do it. Their daughter Martha Ann, born January 28, 1833, married on October 26, 1858, Samuel Warren Crowe of Upper Economy, Nova Scotia (1833-1900). The Crowes' daughter Ellen (1868-1899) married on September 5, 1888, Charles L. Hendrickson of Cambridge, Massachusetts (1860-1916) ; they were the parents of the handsome sergeant accosted by the nice old lady.
It would make a long story to tell all that Charles H. Hendrickson has done to solve the mystery of Daniel McNutt's relationship in and to a family so numerous. His quest has brought him a great deal of knowledge of the Nova Scotians, which he has made freely available, and very usefully.
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