Amherst/Augusta County, Virginia lineage belongs to Guthrie Family Group 1A instead of its originally documented home in GFG2A – Branch H.
This is a great example of why it is important to communicate the details of your lineage with the admins of your DNA Projects. Part of our role is to try to verify the existing / accepted lineage so that we’re not comparing apples to oranges when your DNA results come in. Every now and then a discovery changes everything we know about your origins.
Some of you need to tweak your family trees. Affected project members are Kits 259168, 382946, and B7010.
One of our favorite resources for Guthrie origins is ‘American Guthrie and Allied Families‘ by Laurence R. Guthrie. It is chock full of family history for so many lineages containing both oral traditions and documented evidence. There are also some understandable errors where the families contributing to the work or the author have made assumptions of relatedness based on a person of the Guthrie surname living in the same local area. That seems to be the case for the ancestors of Participant 259168.
The paper trail led to a fork in the road. One path took us to a region full of GFG2A descendants. The other named a different set of parents living in the same area.
Our YDNA participant’s ancestor George Wyatt Guthrie 1826VA-1896VA of Augusta County, Virginia is documented in ‘American Guthrie’ as a son of Haley Guthrie & Fanny Allen, a line genetically matched to GFG2A. The region in Augusta County is a common locale for that group, yet George’s death certificate lists his parents as John William Guthrie and Elizabeth White. That couple’s marriage also took place in Augusta County, Virginia in 1824, so it seems understandable that even if there was an identity mix up that the Family Group would probably be the same. Right?
Y-DNA results revealed a definitive match to Guthrie Family Group 1A, being identical to members belonging to GFG1A – Branch B: Descendants of John Guthrie & Elizabeth Baskett of Middlesex County, VA.
That required a closer look at the records for John William Guthrie. The census of Augusta County 1820 includes 3 men named John Guthrie, two in Waynesboro, and one in Staunton. The Waynesboro men are labelled Senior and Junior, and their family profiles fit men from GFG2A – Branch H. It is the third man whom I believe is John William Guthrie. Ancestry’s transcription includes an error. It appears that the census taker made an attempt at labeling all three men. In this case, he added a profession: teacher, so that the original entry is listed as John Guthrie (Teacher). Ancestry has transcribed it as John Guthier Thatcher.
John Guthrie (Teacher) was a single male of 16-25 years old in 1820, and so was born 1795-1804. Based on the ages of the other people named John Guthrie living in the area at the time, he is also the best candidate to be the spouse of Elizabeth White.
The generation of John William Guthrie’s parents still requires additional YDNA matching for confirmation, but descendants of this line show a repetition of family names. The standout is the name Wingfield, which shows up in several generations.
This leads me to believe that John William Guthrie’s parents were William Guthrie and Elizabeth Wingfield of Amherst County, Virginia. They were the parents of 14 children. The eldest 4 remain unidentified. William Guthrie was a farmer, a slave owner, and owned a line of boats on the James River that carried freight from Lynchburg to Richmond. He married Elizabeth Wingfield on 26 Jan 1797 in Amherst County, Virginia.
In addition to our YDNA Participant, there are two members with Family Finder / Autosomal DNA Kits who descend from John William Guthrie & Elizabeth White via their daughter Emily. They also have an autosomal match with Participant 259168, which reinforces the ancestral line.
William Guthrie & Elizabeth Wingfield are now included in Guthrie Family Group 1A as Branch G. If you are a descendant of this line consider adding your YDNA (if you are a male Guthrie) or Autosomal DNA to the project.
The next task for those of you in GFG1A is to determine where William Guthrie fits in the group picture. Read, review, and contribute to the collected data on this family. Go to GFG1A – Branch G.