GFG3 Theories: Part 2

Delving into the history of the New Zealand branch of Guthrie Family Group 3A last month we learned of its deep roots in Ayrshire, Scotland stretching back to the early 1600s. Turn your attention to the American branches of this group for a New Family Theory that documents the ties between its individual lineages. YDNA has already proven they share paternal ancestry, but this advantage has not previously allowed them the discover that individual’s identity. We now have an answer! Just one little problem. An existing origin story stands in the way leading the group down a different path. This apple cart is in danger of an upset. We’ll explore all of the clues and the documentation that glue them together.

The development of this theory and the majority of associated research is credited to Rachelle Child, whose husband and children are descendants of James Guthrie and Elizabeth Casdorph.

A REVIEW of GUTHRIE FAMILY GROUP 3A BRANCHES:

  • A: James Guthrie c1774VA/MD-1850VA & Elizabeth Casdorph
  • B: Robert Guthrie 1727PA-1789VA & Esther Giles
  • C: William Guthrie d.1844SCT & Ann Hunter / Jacobina McClure
  • D: Alexander Guthrie 1777PA-1850IN & Eleanor Amis
  • E: Robert Guthrie 1778VA-1855OH & Frances Fowler


GUTHRIE-ROBERTSON ORIGIN THEORY

Before we can explore new theories, it is necessary to talk about the ones already in play. Have you ever discovered someone’s detailed family tree that reveals several additional generations you never knew about, and wondered where that information came from? BOOM–there it is! Your long lost missing link. Consider the source of the data and whether or not it can be confirmed before merging new details into your tree.

Origin stories like these are one reason people add new relatives. These generations are still theoretical to a degree unless they are found to have supporting documentation or the genetic evidence to prove it. Look for the root of the story whenever you add those theoretical generations to your tree. Understanding where the idea came from in the first place might help you discover the proof you need, or might debunk the theory completely.

One of our more enticing theories about Guthrie Family Group 3A has been the report of the identity of James Guthrie’s (c1774-1850) parents as being Andrew Guthrie & Mary Robertson of Angus, Scotland. I took the bait, too. After all, it says so right there in black and white (see below). There are just enough similarities between the names and birth/baptismal dates for this couple’s children that it certainly seems like a good fit.

The origin of the Guthrie-Robertson Origin Theory is found in the book ‘Sissonville: A Time to Remember‘ compiled and published in 1988 by the Sissonville Historical Awareness Committee of the Sissonville Village Association.

Here is the GUTHRIE FAMILY story from page 86 of that book.

Note that the family story indicates that James Guthrie was born in Arbirlot, Scotland to parents Andrew Guthrie and Mary Robinson. (Red Flag #1 – Her name was actually Robertson as per the baptism records of their children.) There is no source data listed for this historical blurb, not even the name of a descendant providing the information. On the surface, there is no obvious reason to suspect it as being a false report.

What do we know about Andrew Guthrie & Mary Robertson/Robinson?
Marriage Record: Andrew Guthry & Mary Robertson – 12 Jan 1765 – Arbirlot

Arbirlot is in Angus, Scotland. Remember that the New Zealand branch of this GFG3A family is documented back to the 1600s in Ayrshire, Scotland. That gives us a bit of a disconnect with longterm family origins. This could simply mean that the family came from one region and settled in the other, or it could be Red Flag #2.

There are 4 Guthrie-Robertson children documented with births/baptisms in Arbirlot:

  • Jean – 10 Mar 1765 – Andrew Guthrie/Katharine Robertson)
  • Margaret – 7 Jun 1770 – Andrew Guthrie/Mary Robertson
  • Alexander – 13 April 1772 – Andrew Guthrie/Mary Robertson
  • James – 9 July 1775 – Andrew Guthrie/Mary Robertson

Two other Guthrie-Robertson children are documented with birth/baptism in Carmyllie:

  • Unidentified Female – 30 Apr 1779 – Andrew Guthrie/Mary Robertson
  • Elizabeth Guthrie – 20 Feb 1783 – Andrew Guthrie/Marey Robertson

See Old Parish Registers – Births and Baptisms

This family’s names seem to fit well with the profile of some of the lineages associated with GFG3A, but the birth years are not a perfect match. Let’s call this Red Flag #3.

American Family Lines. . .

  • James Guthrie was born 1766-1784 (1810 Census) / 1771-1780 (1830/1840 Censuses)
  • Robert Guthrie was born 1771-1780 (1840 Census) / 1778 (1850 Census)
  • Alexander Guthrie was born 1766-1784 (1810 Census) / 1771-1780 (1830/1840 Censuses) / 1778 (1850 Census)
  • Mary Guthrie, who married James Kitchen, was born 1771-1780 (1830 Census).
  • Elizabeth Guthrie / Elizabeth Susan Guthrie / Susan Guthrie (name varies on the source) reportedly married Henry Casdorph. The wife in census records associated with him was born 1771-1780 (1830 Census).

Comparing Dates to the Guthrie-Robertson Children. . .

  • James Guthrie’s estimated birth range does indeed include 1775.
  • Andrew & Mary do not have a documented son named Robert.
  • Alexander Guthrie’s more accurate birth year as documented in the 1850 census is 6 years off compared to the son of Andrew Guthrie & Mary Robertson. Tax records suggest that he is younger than James, not older as with the Guthrie-Robertson family.
  • Mary Guthrie is not even listed as a daughter of Andrew & Mary, although they had one daughter born whose name was not identified in the record. Her estimated birth range would include the 1779 date above.
  • Elizabeth Guthrie’s census-based age estimate makes her older than the daughter of Andrew & Mary who was born in 1783.

There is no documented evidence known at this time that Andrew and Mary (Robertson) Guthrie left Scotland for America. Contrarily, none have been identified in Scotland to prove that they or their children remained in Angus. That leaves this family hanging out as potential relatives of GFG3A without any confirmed documentation to prove or disprove the association.


THE FRANCIS GUTHRIE ORIGIN THEORY

One of our key references for Guthrie family history is ‘American Guthrie and Allied Families’ by Rev. Lawrence R. Guthrie, originally printed in 1933, Chambersberg, Pennsylvania. Many of the families documented in the book were compiled from correspondence between the author and descendants from around the country. Much is also backed up by research trips to local sites, and obtained through written requests through the US mail. There are instances where Rev. Guthrie has hypothesized the make up of a family based on his findings. Over time many of these theoretical families have been taken as hard facts, and the ‘supposed’ relatives now documented in trees as true ancestors. Know the origins of your family theory in order to determine if it is more fiction than fact.

In this case, we have Francis Guthrie listed as the ‘supposed’ father of Robert Guthrie (GFG3A-BranchB), and two other men named Paul Guthrie, and James Guthrie. Francis Guthrie lived in Coleraine Two, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, near Middle Octorara Church where the Covenants were renewed in 1743. Francis Guthrie is ‘supposed to have been a Covenanter’.

Robert Guthrie moved across the state line to Maryland and later to Virginia. He married Esther Giles. Their descendants are confirmed GFG3A matches.

Paul Guthrie married Elizabeth Bell and moved to South Carolina with the Bell family. He was a Miller and Wheelwright. There are no representatives of the Guthrie-Bell family in the Guthrie DNA Project, either Autosomal DNA or YDNA participants. The biography of Paul’s grandson, Paul Spencer, son of James K and Martha (Guthrie) Spencer, states that Paul was actually born in Ireland rather than Pennsylvania. Could be a clue or a red flag.

James Guthrie, documented by author LRG on p383, appears to belong to a younger generation than the others. This man lived in Bulls Gap, Greene County, Tennessee. He had 1 known son of his own – James G Guthrie (1809-1853), and 1 adopted son – Andrew S Guthrie (1801-1869). There is no YDNA or Autosomal DNA participant in the project representing James’ line. We do have participants representing Andrew’s descendants and they are found in Guthrie Family Group 10 being genetically unrelated to any other group including GFG3A.

Other than the fact that the author has indicated these men are ‘supposed’ to be sons of Francis Guthrie, there has been no documentation found to prove it. Note, for the sake of our New Family Theory, that there is no man named John Guthrie identified as a son of Francis.



GATHERING THE BRANCHES TOGETHER

Now that we have reviewed the old stories, let’s take a look at the new one.

This New Family Theory will not reveal a new identity for Robert Guthrie’s father. It will instead provide the name of his brother, John Guthrie, who is the probable father of James (A), Alexander (D), and Robert (E).

1756: LANCASTER COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA TAX RECORDS
Listed just beneath the entry for Francis Guthrie is the name Robert Guttery
This is the only record known to list both names. Although there is no proof of a connection, it is presumed that the Robert Guttery named in this record is the same man later found living in Maryland in 1769.

1769: WITNESS to the WILL of ELIZABETH SKILES
Frederick County, Maryland
{Source: Family Search – Digital Copy}
Robert Guthrey & John Guthrey were witnesses to the will of Elizabeth Skiles, written 29 Jun 1769, proved 16 Aug 1769. Liver A #1. pp340-1. Elizabeth was the wife of Ephraim Skiles Sr. They were the in-laws of Robert & Esther’s daughter Mary who married Ephraim Skiles Jr.

Note: This is the earliest instance of a JOHN GUTHREY being mentioned. Robert also had a son named John, who was born about 1756. The son would only be about 13 at the time the will was written, so it is unlikely that he would be a legal party signing as witness.

1776: MARYLAND MILITIA
Elizabeth Hundred, Frederick County, Maryland

The Governor remained in the Province, an honored and respected officer, though with ever diminishing authority until the spring of 1776, when for the sake of the public peace and safety, the Convention courteously asked his withdrawal. Even then the royal government was acknowledged as the permanent and established form, and the Convention as occupying a place of power, only for the time to lead the Colony through a temporary trouble. Not until the Declaration of Independence did Maryland realize that the old regime was dead and a new government for the State must be framed.

The Governor lost first his military power, for the Convention, while willing that he should perform his civil duties, took to itself the control of the Colony’s militia. The Convention which met in July, 1775, pledged itself to repel force with force and to support the American opposition. All freemen were directed to enlist in the militia, forty companies of minute men were organized, and a Council of Safety was elected by the Convention to command them. 

Maryland Committee of Safety – Chapter II: Middle Colonies. 5. Maryland

Council of Safety for the Provence of Maryland, Elizabeth Town (Elizabeth Hundred) District: “No 16, Guthry, Robt. 1 coverlet – 1 pound, 10 shillings. Requisitioned bedclothes, rags, etc.” LRG, p713, ref. 396.

There is no mention of John Guthrie in this record.

1776: PROVINCIAL CENSUS of MARYLAND
Elizabeth Hundred, Frederick County, Maryland

When you review a transcript you generally see all of the Guthries listed in one group, which suggests a single family living in one household. A look at the actual records shows that men and women were listed separately by age categories.

Males 16 to 50 Years (p238):
Robert Guthry – 49
John Guthry – 20
(Listed next to each other)

Females 16 to 50 (p242):
Esther Gutry – 46
Ann Gutry – 21
Pheeb Gutry – 18
(Listed next to each other)

Females 50 and Upwards (p244):
Mary Gutry – 61

Females 16 and Under (p245):
Mary Gutry – 16
Sarah Gutry – 11
Sarah Jane (No surname Listed) – 1
(Listed Next to each other)

Males 16 and Under (p250):
James Guttry – 14
Richard Guttry 9
Robert Gutry – 6
(Listed next to each other)

Almost all of the Guthrie entries are listed next to people of the Skiles name.

Based on the ages this does appear to be one family, later proved by a will.
Robert Guthrie (Father) – born c1727
Esther [Giles] Guthrie (Mother) – born c1730
Ann Guthrie (daughter) – born c1755
John Guthrie (son) – born c1756
Pheeb Guthrie (daughter) – born c1758
Mary Guthrie (daughter) – born c1760
James Guthrie (son) – born c1762
Sarah Guthrie (daughter) – born c1765
Richard Guthrie (son) – born c1767
Robert Guthrie (son) – born c1770
Sarah Jane Guthrie? (possible daughter) – born c1775
Mary Guthrie (probable sister/sister-in-law to Robert Guthrie) – born c1715

Mary Guthrie would only have been about 12 when Robert Guthrie was born, so she is more likely to be an unmarried sister to Robert than his mother. She could also potentially be a sister-in-law.

1777: PROPERTY PURCHASE by ROBERT GUTHRIE
Hugh Bradford of Rockbridge County, VA for the sum of 165 pounds conveys to Robert Guthrie 229 acres in said county. (Rockbridge County VA Deeds Liber A, folio 699)

1777: WASHINGTON COUNTY MARYLAND FORMATION
Washington County was formed from the western part of Frederick County, Maryland, including Elizabeth Hundred. Elizabeth Town was renamed as Hagerstown in 1814.

1778: COURT RECORDS
Washington County, Maryland, USA
Original Writs to November Courts 1778. 1st entry names Robert Guthrie and Ephraim Skyles.

1778: PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES – TITHABLES of 1778
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA
Listed: John Guthrie
{Source: A History of Rockbridge County, Virginia}

In 1778, Robert Guthrie’s son John is about 22 years of age, but he appears to be living in Maryland as of the 1783 tax assessment. Could this John Guthrie be the man who was listed as a witness to the will of Elizabeth Skiles in 1769? Our researcher, Rachelle Child, believes this to be evidence that John Guthrie may have moved to Rockbridge County around the same time Robert Guthrie purchased property there in 1777. He may have stayed to cultivate the land or make improvements upon it. This might also explain why John Guthrie, as an adult male, was not listed along with Robert in the local Maryland Militia in 1776 as was required by Maryland law.

1782: PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA
No Guthrie males listed

1783: PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA
No Guthrie males listed

1783: MARYLAND TAX ASSESSMENT
Elizabeth Hundred, Washington County, Maryland

Taxpayers are listed by surname alphabetically:
Robert Guttery
John Guttery.
Source: Digital Copy at Western Maryland Historical Library and its Digital Transcript.

Robert Guttery:
Land Names: Pt. Salisbury Plain
Acres of Wood: 90
Acres of Arable: 60
Total Acres of Land: 150
Value: 225
Value of Improvements: 30
Horses: 3
Black Cattle ‘meat’ or market cattle: 4
Value: 42.0.0
Value of Other Property: 18.0.0
Total Amp of Property: 315.0.0
[Note: Although Robert Guthrie purchased property in Rockbridge, VA in 1777, his family still appears to be living in Maryland in 1783.]

John Guttery:
(No acreage listed)
Horses: 2
Black Cattle ‘meat’ or market cattle: 1
Value: 23.0.0
Value of Other Property: 5.15.0
Total Amp of Property: 28.15.0
[Note: By 1783, Robert’s son John Guthrie was about 27 years of age. This is most likely Robert’s son.

1784: PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA
Listed: John Guthry

1785: ROBERT GUTHRIE & FAMILY MOVE TO VIRGINIA
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA

Daughter – Ann Guthrie married an Unidentified King. She is presumed to have died prior to the writing of her father’s 1788 will.

Son – John Guthrie married Mary Fuller before 1783. They lived in Rockbridge, VA until at least 1793, and by 1808 had moved to Hamilton County, OH.

Daughter – Phebe Guthrie married John Gadberry about 1791 in Rockbridge, VA.

Daughter – Mary Guthrie married Ephraim Skiles Jr in Washington, MD in 1777. Upon Ephraim’s death in 1796, the court appointed Mary’s brother, Richard Guthrie, as the guardian for her daughters Phebe & Elizabeth Skiles. Mary remarried in 1796 to John Scott in Montgomery, VA.

Son – James Guthrie was not mentioned in his father’s 1788 will, and so is presumed to have died prior to that date in either MD or VA.

Daughter – Sarah Guthrie married Isaac Davis in 1796 in Montgomery, VA. Her second marriage took place in the same county in 1817 to John Van Lear Sr.

Son – Richard Guthrie married Elizabeth Esther McIntosh in Rockbridge, VA in 1790. They continued to live in Rockbridge at least through the 1790s, but are later found in Montgomery and Pulaski Counties.

Son – Robert Guthrie was named in his father’s will. He and his brother Richard sold their inherited property in Rockbridge, VA in 1794. No further data found.

Possible Daughter/Other Relation – Sarah Jane (Guthrie?). There is no mention of Sarah Jane in Robert Guthrie’s will. If she was his daughter it is likely that she died prior to 1788.

1785: PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA
Listed: Robert Gutherie, John Gutherie Junior, John Guthrie

Note: JG ‘junior’ is probably Robert’s son. The designation ‘junior’ likely indicates ‘younger’ rather than a parent/son relationship in this case, which is common in early records as a means of differentiating citizens with the same given name.

The New Family Theory is that Robert Guthrie and John Guthrie were brothers originally found together in Frederick County, Maryland, and later in Rockbridge County, Virginia. The records show the presence of two men named John Guthrie, one of which is presumed to be the brother of Robert and the other his son.

1786: PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA
Listed: John Gutery, Robert Gutery, John Gutry

1787: PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA
Listed: John Guthrie, Robert Guthrie, John Guthrie

1788: WILL of ROBERT GUTHRIE
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA on 28 February 1788

‘To wife Esther 1/3 estate for life; son John 50 acres where he lives next to Cedar Crk; daus Phoebe, Mary & Sarah 1/12 each; gs John King, 5pds; residue lands to sons Richard & Robert. Wife Esther & son Richard excrs. Prob 7 Apr 1789. (Liber 1, Folio 329)

1788: PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA
Listed: John Guthery, Robert Guthery, John Guthery

Note: This is the last time that Robert Guthery appears in the tax records for Rockbridge County, Virginia prior to his death before April 1789.

1788/9: DEATH of ROBERT GUTHRIE
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA

1789: WILL of ROBERT GUTHRIE PROBATED
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA on 7 April 1789

1789: FORMATION of KANAWHA COUNTY, VIRGINIA
The county began taking formation on 14 Nov 1788 under authority of the Virginia General Assembly, and was officially founded on 5 Oct 1789.

1789: PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA
Listed: John Guthrie Senior, Richard Guthrie, John Guthrey

Note: JG Sr is presumed to be Robert’s brother while Richard and John are Robert’s sons.

1790: US FEDERAL CENSUS of VIRGINIA
The US Census of Virginia records were lost/destroyed. The closest available substitute are the 1790 Tax Records. {Online Tax Lists – Rockbridge}

1790: PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA
Listed: John Gutherie, Richard Gutherie, John Gutherie Senior

1791: PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA
Listed: John Guthrey, John Guthrey Junior, Richard Guthrey

Note: This is the last year the elder John Guthrie appears on the records.

1792/3: JOHN GUTHRIE & FAMILY MOVE to GREENBRIER COUNTY, VA
Greenbrier County, Virginia, USA
Who are John Guthrie’s family members? We’ll find evidence of that in the upcoming entries.

1793: COURT ORDERS – JURY MEMBER
Greenbrier County, Virginia, USA on 29 May 1793
John Gutrey is listed as part of an impaneled jury..
{Source: Greenbrier County, West Virginia Court Orders, 1780-1850, p140}

1793: COURT ORDERS – DEFENDANT
Greenbrier County, Virginia, USA on 31 May 1793
Joseph Newton v. John Guthrey
Case dismissed and plaintiff to pay defendant for costs

1793: COURT ORDERS – DEFENDANT
Greenbrier County, Virginia, USA on 31 May 1793
Abeneser Gilkeson v John Guthrey
Case dismissed and plaintiff to pay defendant for costs
{Source: Greenbrier County, West Virginia Court Orders, 1780-1850, p141}

Note: The mention of the Gilkeson surname threw me off for a moment because that name is also associated with a GFG2 marriage. That family lived in Augusta County, VA and is not directly known to be associated in Greenbrier County.

1793: COURT ORDERS – DEFENDANT
Greenbrier County, Virginia, USA on 1 June 1793
Petition of Jacob Skiles vs. John Gothery.
Dismissed and plaintiff to pay defendant his costs.
But ordered John Gothery pay Robert Renick and Joseph McMillen 104 cents for each for 2 days attendance as witnesses at suit of Skiles.

Note: Here we have another Guthrie-Skiles document.

1793: COURT ORDERS – DEFENDANT
Greenbrier County, Virginia, USA on 29 August 1793
Joseph GRAHAM vs John GUTHREY
On petition for 2-8-0 due by account, deft. to pay plus costs.

1796: PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX RECORDS
Greenbrier County, Virginia, USA
Listed: John Gouthrie
{Source}

1797: PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX RECORDS
Greenbrier County, Virginia, USA
Listed: John Guthrie, Alexander Guthrie, James Guthrie
{Source}

Note: This is the first record listing John Guthrie, presumed brother to Robert Guthrie, with two men who are now theorized to be John’s sons.

THE NEW FAMILY THEORY – JOHN GUTHRIE – FATHER OF:
James Guthrie (m. Elizabeth Casdorph) – born about 1774 in Maryland
Alexander Guthrie (m. Eleanor Amis) – born abut 1777 prob in Maryland
Robert Guthrie (m. Frances Fowler) – born about 1778 in Virginia
Elizabeth/Susan Guthrie (m. Henry Casdorph) born 1776-1780 in MD or VA
Mary ‘Polly’ Guthrie (m. James Kitchen) – born about 1780 in Virginia

1798: MARRIAGE of MARY GUTHRIE & JAMES KITCHEN
Greenbrier County, Virginia, USA on 4 Sep 1798
This couple moved from Virginia to Rush County, Indiana by 1830 and produced a large family. Polly died 17 August 1831 and is buried at the John Looney Farm Cemetery in Gings, Rush County, IN. James lived until 30 Nov 1871.

1798: SETTLEMENT in KANAWHA COUNTY, VIRGINIA (now WV)
According to ‘Sissonville: A Time to Remember’, p86 James Guthrie settled in the Union District of Kanawha County in 1798 obtaining a large tract of land that came to be known as the town of Guthrie.

This source is also the same book wherein James Guthrie’s parents are listed as Andrew Guthrie & Mary Robertson. Note there is no sign of an Andrew Guthrie in any of the records above.

1800: WITNESS to WILL of JAMES OCHILTREE
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA on 15 March 1800
John Guthrie, John Greenlee, and John Hamilton witnessed the will of James Ochiltree of Rockbridge County, Virginia. Proven in open court 6 Dec 1803.

Note: This is possibly the son of Robert Guthrie who may have still been living in Rockbridge prior to his 1804-ish residence in Hamilton County, OH.

1800: COURT CASE – PLAINTIFF
Kanawha County, Virginia, USA
John Guthrie issued a lawsuit against Nicholas Chenworth for the destruction of timber and trespassing.
{Image} and {Image}

1800: MARRIAGE of JAMES GUTHRIE & ELIZABETH CASDORPH
Kanawha County, Virginia, USA

James Guthrie is frequently listed in trees as “James Gullory Guthrie”. The source of this misinformation is an original marriage record in which the groom’s name was listed as James Guttory (minus the crossed Ts makes it look like Gullory) and then corrected in parentheses (Guthrie). The bride’s name is also listed as Castor rather than Casdorph.

The couple were married by Elder James Johnston, who was the first pastor of the Old Kanawha Baptist Church. This is the same person who married Alexander Guthrie & his wife Eleanor two years later.

1800-1803: MARRIAGE of ELIZABETH/SUSAN GUTHRIE & HENRY CASDORPH
Henry reportedly married 1st Hannah Smith 24 Nov 1790 in Rockingham, VA. Note that record also uses the Caster spelling variant of the Casdorph surname. The main question is whether or not Henry Casdorph had a second wife who was a Guthrie. No marriage record has been found for the couple. The only secondary source of documentation we have on the Casdorph Family identifies his wife as Susan Guthrie. Online trees identify her as Elizabeth or as Elizabeth Susan. Could the Elizabeth forename have been assigned to her in order to conform with the given names in the family of Andrew Guthrie & Mary Robertson merging Susan and Elizabeth because the birthdates were close? Her DOD varies in trees as 1813 to 1840, no source data. Henry reportedly in 1839. They had a handful of children born in Kanawha.

1801: TAX RECORDS
Kanawha County, Virginia, USA
Categories: White Males over 16/ Slaves over 12 /Slaves over 16/ Horses Guthrie, John 2 0 0 1
Guthrie, Robert 1 0 0 0
Guthrie, James 1 0 0 0
{Source: Genealogy Trails – Kanawha 1801 Tax List}

Note that John Guthrie’s household has a second tithable male in it. This is probably Alexander Guthrie who appears on his own the next year when John Guthrie is found to be exempt.

1802: TAX RECORDS
Kanawha County, Virginia, USA
Listed: Robert Guthery, James Guthery, Alexander Guthery.
“Ordered that John Guthrie be exempted from county & parish levies in this county on account of his age & infirmities.”
{Image}

Note: This year’s entry proves that the John Guthrie found in the Kanawha records was indeed an older man. The other adult males, Robert, James, and Alexander are believed to be his sons, and also the progenitors of the GFG3 branches identified above.

1802: MARRIAGE of ALEXANDER GUTHRIE & ELEANOR AMIS
Kanawha County, Virginia, USA
Groom: Alex Guthrie
Bride: Elinor Runs (Transcript only/Original reportedly reads as Amis)
Married by Jas. Johnston

This couple quickly moved to Mason County, Kentucky after their marriage. Alexander Guthrie was listed on the tax records there in 1802. Sometime between 1810-1820 they moved their family to Brown County, Ohio, where they were listed in the 1820 and 1830 censuses. By 1840, they were living in Marion County, Indiana. The 1850 census is the only one listing Alexander’s birthplace. It states he was born in Pennsylvania, yet the census records of his children in later years report his birthplace as Virginia. Alexander died in Indianapolis on 30 July 1850. His wife Eleanor died 11 April 1868.

1805: COURT CASE – PLAINTIFF
Kanawha County, Virginia, USA
Guthery, John vs. Carroll, Joseph and Morris, William
{Image}

Abt. 1806: MARRIAGE of ROBERT GUTHRIE & FRANCES FOWLER
This couple probably married about 1806 in Virginia. No record found. They were living in Kanawha in 1810 and then Cabell County, Virginia through the 1850 census. Robert’s birth location is listed as Virginia. Sometime during the next 5 years they settled in Lawrence County, Ohio. Robert died there 17 June 1855, and Frances on 2 February 1866.

1810: US CENSUS of VIRGINIA
Kanawha County, Virginia, USA
James Guthrie
1M & 1F 26-44 (1766-1784)
2M & 3F under 10 (1801-1810)

Robert Guthrey
1M & 1F 26-44 (1766-1784
1M & 3F under 10 (1801-1810)

1820: US CENSUS of VIRGINIA
Kanawha County, Virginia, USA
James Gutery
1M & 1F 26-44 (1776-1794)
1M 16-25 (1795-1804)
1M & 1F 10-15 (1805-1810)
2M & 2F under 10 (1811-1820)
3 in Agriculture.
This is the only Guthrie household listed in Kanawha for 1820.

1830: US CENSUS of VIRGINIA
Kanawha County, Virginia, USA
There are 2 households that might fit those of James Guthrie and his son Henson Guthrie, but they are listed as Jane Gurtris and Henry Gurther.

Jane Gurtris (Probably James Guthrie)
1M 50-59
1F 40-49
1M & 2F 20-29
1F 15-19
2M 10-14, 1F 5-9
Slaves: 1F 10-23

1840: US CENSUS of VIRGINIA
Kanawha County, Virginia, USA
Jas Gutherie
1M 60-69 (1771-1780)
1F 50-59 (1781-1790)
3M 30-39 (1801-1810)
1F 20-29 (1811-1820)
Slaves: 1F 10-23, 1F under 10

1850: US CENSUS of VIRGINIA
Kanawha County, Virginia, USA
Guthrie Household:
James Guthrie 76 (born 1774) no occupation, born in MD
James Guthrie 34 (born 1816) stone mason, born in VA
Nancy Guthrie 38 (born 1812) born in VA
Note: James Guthrie died 18 Jun 1850 in Kanawha, but was still listed with the remaining family in the census.



COMMENTS & CONCLUSIONS

Admittedly, there is no document that stands out to name JOHN GUTHRIE as the father of JAMES, ELIZABETH/SUSAN, ALEXANDER, ROBERT, and MARY, but the records do show that they were all in the right place at the right time. No marriage record has been found for John, nor have we found a document listing his spouse. DNA tells us that James, Alexander, and Robert all share GFG3A’s YDNA profile. The records suggest, if not conclusively prove that JOHN GUTHRIE was the head of their household.

The Sissonville book that names ANDREW GUTHRIE & MARY ROBINSON (actually ROBERTSON) as the parents of James Guthrie does so without listing any source information. Why was that particular couple named? Is there any truth to the connection? If so, the dates for the couple’s children are close, but do not exactly match the dates for those in America. There is also no other documentation found so far to suggest that the couple or their children ever left Scotland. Does anyone have an original or even secondary source of information for this family?

GFG3A’s connections in Scotland via its New Zealand branch show roots in Ayrshire going back to the early 1600s. The Guthrie-Robertson family lived in Angus, and Andrew’s line can also be traced back to the mid 1600s there, so there is no evidence of a link between that line and Ayrshire.

As for good old FRANCIS GUTHRIE in Coleraine Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, he could still be a potential father to ROBERT (and now JOHN) GUTHRIE. The name FRANCIS is not common for Guthrie infants prior to 1855 in the Old Parish Records. There are 8 entries. Any father of Robert Guthrie would probably have been born in the last quarter of the 17th century. There are only 2 listings: 1 in Dundee in 1679 to John Guthrie & Elspeth Kinman, and 1 in Edinburgh in 1682 to James Guthrie & Margaret Anderson.

The one clue in FRANCIS GUTHRIE’s story is his link to MIDDLE OCTORANA CHURCH and his status as a Covenanter. The NZ branch once again comes to mind with its rumored ancestral ties to the GUTHRIES of PITFORTHIE and the youngest son of that family, REV. JOHN GUTHRIE, MINISTER of TARBOLTON.



What are your thoughts on this New Family Theory?

Is John Guthrie the probable father of James Guthrie (Branch A), Alexander Guthrie (Branch D), and Robert Guthrie (Branch E)?

Do you have other clues or documents supporting the reported Guthrie-Robertson family connections?

Guthrie DNA Project Request

  • James Guthrie of Bulls Gap, TN (YDNA and Autosomal DNA)
  • Paul Guthrie & Elizabeth Bell of SC (YDNA and Autosomal DNA)
  • Mary Guthrie & James Kitchen (Autosomal DNA)
  • Elizabeth/Susan Guthrie & Henry Casdorph (Autosomal DNA)
  • More YDNA and Autosomal DNA from established GFG3A lines
  • Descendants of Ayrshire families
  • Descendants of the Guthries of Pitforthie

1 Comment »

  1. Excellent research and analysis! I am a descendant of Robert and Ester Giles Guthrie. I have not taken a Y-DNA test but my recently departed 2/2 cousin CRG did. I am satisfied with the evidence presented above that there was a brother to my Robert named John.

    Sister, aunt, or sister-in-law Mary b1715 remains a mystery to me. I must confess I never considered the possibility that she could be a sister-in-law, but she certainly could be. She is most likely not Robert b1727’s mother.

    I had thought that James and Alexander could have been sons of Robert 1727’s son John b1756. The presence of two Robert’s, born in 1778 (Greenbrier>Cabell>Lawrence) and 1783 (Cincinnati) plus the early Greenbrier tax records disproves this. What a great find!

    Liked by 1 person

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