Samuel McNitt,
Keeper of Norn Island Lighthouse
Sackets Harbor, Jefferson Co., New York

       Barnard McNitt and Jane Clark of Palmer, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts, were parents of Andrew and John McNittAndrew McNitt and Chloe Chapin, born 12 Jul 1751 in Rowe, Franklin Co., Massachusetts, daughter of Jonathon Chapin and Anna Hitchkcock, were married in Palmer.  Family tradition indicates that Andrew died in 1778 during military service.  No record of his death has been found, but he must have died about that time, for his son Samuel was taken in and raised by John McNitt, who was then living in Rowe, Franklin Co., Massachusetts.
        John McNitt and his wife Patty Wilson moved about 1798 to Washington Co., New York, taking Samuel and their children with them.  They finally removed to Jefferson County, New York, settling in the town of Champion, before 1806.  John and Patty had the following children, all born in Rowe except the last two (births and deaths for the children born in Rowe have been verified by the Town Clerk of Rowe, Mass.):

    1. Mary,  born 16 March 1777, died 12 September 1778
    2. Sally, born 8 July 1779
    3. James G., born 29 November 1781. Father of:
      1. John W., born 21 January 1806, New York.
    4. Bebe, born 16 June 1784, died 16 January 1787
    5. John, born 30 March 1787
    6. Polly, born 25 July 1789
    7. Patty, born 13 February
    8. Noah, born 6 June 1794
    9. Oren, born 28 October 1797

       Samuel McNitt, born about 1772, married Hannah Foster on 2 September 1792 in Rowe, Franklin Co., Massachusetts.  After she died, he married second Sally Hutchins.  According to a DAR application, Samuel McNitt, had siblings Eli McNitt who married Lydia Bassett and Perthena Newell, and also a brother, Andrew McNitt.

       Samuel McNitt was a Captain commanding a Company in the14th Regiment of Detached Militia of the State of New York, commanded by Col. William Stone, in the 5th Brigade, in the War of 1812.

       In an affidavit sworn 15 December 1831, Samuel McNitt said that he was keeper of the Norn Island Lighthouse near Sacket's Harbor.  He must have held that occupation until an advanced age, for maps made as late as 1855 label the island "Lighthouse -- McNitt."  Samuel died on 8 September 1861 at age 89 in Jefferson Co., New York.

Affidavit of 1831

          Samuel McNitt keeper of the United States Light House on Norn Island near Sacket's Harbor, Jefferson County and State of New York being duly sworn says that he is about 65 years old, that when -----------(unreadable) was sent to live with his Uncle John McNitt and Aunt Patty, his wife, who resided in the town of Rowe, Franklin County, Massachusets--that he resided with them at that place till he was 21 years of age and that he has been familiar with the family ever since; that more than 30 years ago this deponent and his Uncle John moved from the State of Massachusets to the County of Jefferson and State of New York whence they have both remained until his death and this deponent further says that he knows when they married and think as it was about three years before he went to reside with them.  Says he did not know his aunt Patty or his Uncle John until they were married but soon after he knew her to be the daughter of old Mr. Michael Wilson and Mary his wife; they lived in the same neighborhood and this deponent was familiar with both families until he came to reside in this state.  And this deponent further says that he knows that his said uncle John was a considerable part of the the time during the Revolutionary war a soldier in the militia service and was at West Point a soldier in the U.S. Service at the time of Arnold's treachery. 

Samuel McNitt

          Sworn and subscribed this 15th day of December 1831 before me Geno Allen a judge of Jefferson County Court.

          I certify that the above deponent is a high honourable person.  Geno Allen a Judge of Jefferson county.

Contributed by Dorothy Creely

For further information . . . .

Information on this page is derived from correspondence with Dorothy Creely during February 2000, and William McNitt and Glenna Lawson Grim during August 2000.

© Design by Mark A. Wentling, 2000