The MacNauchtan Saga:

Chapters Concerning the McNitt family of Palmer, Massachusetts

In 1951, after many years of research, journalist and family historian V.V. McNitt published The MacNauchtan Saga, a two-volume history of the Clan MacNaughton.  Mr. McNitt bore the cost of printing the 300 sets of the book, which he placed in libraries or sold to family members.  Within a few years all of the sets were distributed. 

Volume one focused on the early history of the clan in Scotland, the MacNaughts of Galloway, and the move of some clan members to northern Ireland in the 17th century.  Volume two focused on history of various branches of the MacNaughts after they settled in America.  These branches used various forms of the surname, including McKnitt, McNitt, McNett, McNutt, and McKnight.

Although genealogists have discovered much new information on the family since 1951 (some of which disproves assumptions made by Mr. McNitt), the Saga remains a good starting point for clan historians.  This web project reproduces those chapters and appendices  relating to the family of Barnard McNitt (1700-1773) of Palmer, Massachusetts.

The Internet Archive has digital copies of both volumes at and

Genealogists interested in more details about this family can visit my genealogy web site or contact me (William H. McNitt) directly by e-mail.  I maintain a database containing thousands of descendants of Barnard McNitt and many unrelated McNitts and McNetts.


Chapter 36. Newcomers in the Bay Colony
Chapter 37. Beginning Americans
Chapter 38. Closing Years at Palmer
Chapter 39. Family of Fighters
Chapter 40. Captain Alexander and Deacon Dan'l
Chapter 41. Alexander, Jr. is Excommunicated
Chapter 42. John McNitt of Norwich
Chapter 43. Battlers and Babies
Chapter 44. Eli, Perthena, and the Tavern
Chapter 45. Benjamin's Generation
Chapter 46. Group of Stubborn Idealists
Chapter 47. Frank McNitt's Lisbon Family
Chapter 48. Evangeline's Acadia
Chapter 49. Our One Aristocrat
Chapter 50. Ventures in Diplomacy
Chapter 51. Francis Revises Family History 
Chapter 52. Chamberlain at the Vatican
Chapter 53. Painter in Vandeventer Place


Appendix B. History of the Bamard McNitt Farm
Appendix C. Rediscovery and Restoration

Title page of The MacNauchtan Saga
Barnard McNitt house in Palmer, Massachusetts
Barnard McNitt's House at Palmer, Massachusetts,
built ca. 1760