GFG7: New Matches

Looks like Guthrie Family Group 7 wins the week’s genealogy lottery with not just one, but two Y-DNA matches. The first is an American descendant of Adam Guthrie (b.1740sIRE – d.1827KY) and Mary Anderson. The other is an Australian man whose Guthrie-Burrows family has been searching for proof of their rumored Guthrie origins. So many new clues to explore for these families and the group as a whole.

Each Guthrie Family Group is unique. They are not biologically related on their direct paternal lines. All branches within the same group share a direct paternal ancestor at some point in their collective family tree.

Lineages currently represented by Y-DNA testing for GFG7 are:
1) John Guthrie (b. c1736SCT) > John Guthrie (1766SCT) & Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Logan’. [This line SCT to AUS during the 1800s.]
2) FNU Guthrie (b. c1840s-60s) & Kate Symond > Robert John Guthrie-Burrows [This line SCT/ENG to AUS during the 1900s.]
3) Adam Guthrie (c1740sIRE-1827KY) & Mary Anderson [This line IRE to VA to KY during the late 1700s/early 1800s.]
4) Daniel Guthrie (1737PA-1826IN) & Jane Flinn [This line PA to IN during the late 1700s/early 1800s.]
5) William Guthery (c1809VA-1866AR) & Elizabeth Copeland [This line VA to AR during the 1800s.]

The new data continues to divide the group into two major blocks: an American component and an Australian component, but the shared Guthrie ancestry between most of these lineages appears distant. Since there is a documented ancestor in Scotland for the Guthrie-Logan branch, it is probable that the most recent common ancestor for the overall group lived in Scotland. In this particular line, John Guthrie was born in Monkton and Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland on 14 Nov 1776, the lawful son of John Guthrie, a wright in Newton. The father was probably born in the 1730s-40s placing him about the same generation as the branch progenitors Adam Guthrie and Daniel Guthrie, above. Since Adam was reportedly born in Ireland and Daniel in Pennsylvania, it is likely that the common ancestor is further back on the tree and not a common father.

Ayrshire, Scotland

We can consider the Guthrie-Logan line as a potential place for the Guthrie-Burrows descendants. This family’s earliest primary residence was in Ayrshire, Scotland. John & Betty (Logan) Guthrie had only 1 son, Charles Guthrie (1789SCT-1840SCT, a brewer, who married 1st Mary Miller, by whom he had several sons, and a daughter, and 2nd Agnes Smith, by whom he had another son. There are several potential avenues that might lead to the Guthrie-Burrows line. However, the connection could be from a collateral lineage with a more distant common ancestor.

The Guthrie-Burrows family of Australia has been searching for answers about their Guthrie heritage. The name has been associated with their Burrows surname for generations. Their origin story leads back to our participant’s great-grandmother, Kate Symond, who had been the wife of William Charles Henry Montague Burrows, a Tea Grocer and Comedian, in London, England. She had two children by William, Martha Gertrude (1890) and Henry Montague (1892). Her husband apparently died sometime after 1892. The family tells that Kate may have been working as a servant in the Guthrie household in Scotland, but the story is fairly fuzzy. They don’t seem to know exactly where or when. A marriage is presumed rather than found documented. Kate had two children named Robert John (1896) and William James (1897). By 1898, Kate was living in London again, and married to Robert John Burrows, a tailor. Both boys, Robert John and William James, were baptized at St Marylebone, Westminster, England on 19 Jan 1898 under the surname Burrows. The son Robert John seems to have been given the name of his step-father. Did the boys have other names prior to this baptism? The Y-DNA confirms that son Robert John was indeed biologically a Guthrie. Reading ‘General of God’s Army: the Authorized Biography of Eva Burrows‘ we learn that Robert’s stepfather was “killed by hoodlums on the streets of London leaving him fatherless at the age of seven.” Also, about 1912-1913, “Robert arrived in Murwillumbah, New South Wales, with a friend who had migrated with him. He came to Australia from London at the age of 19 as an irreligious rebel.” The Guthrie name continued to be attached to family members in the ensuing generations.

New South Wales, Australia

Finding a Y-DNA participant for the Adam Guthrie / Mary Anderson family is very exciting for me personally because I have quite a few autosomal DNA matches to descendants of this line. I have been anxiously waiting to discover if this Guthrie line from Ireland is a match for my Guthrie line from Ireland, or if it is the Anderson side of the family that connects to mine. Looks like Adam Guthrie does not belong to my group, GFG2A at all, but to a group without any other known connections in Ireland. That’s the awesome thing about Y-DNA tests. Sometimes, important puzzle pieces can be found where you least expect them.

We know nothing specific about Adam Guthrie’s life in Ireland. He immigrated to Virginia about 1765 marrying Mary Anderson in Augusta County probably before 1775. They lived in Fincastle County, Virginia, which was created in 1772 from Botetourt County. At the time, the boundaries extended all the way to the Mississippi River giving us a rather wide berth for potential areas of residence. Fincastle was abolished in 1776 and divided into 3 new counties: Montgomery, Washington, and Kentucky. In 1783, Greene County, North Carolina was formed from a part of Washington County. The settlers came from North Carolina, Virginia, and the Atlantic Seaboard. Greene County, Washington County, Sullivan County, and the Western territories of North Carolina all participated in the creation of the State of Franklin in 1784, with Greeneville being the capital. Adam Guthrie appears on a 1787 list of residents in the State of Franklin petitioning for release of obligations, taxation, and duties to the North Carolina government. (Vol 22, pp. 705-714, North Carolina Records). The State of Franklin was abolished in 1788.

State of Franklin (1784-1788)

This area was part of the Territory South of the River Ohio, more commonly called the Southwest Territory, existing from 26 May 1790 to 1 June 1796 when it was admitted to the USA as the State of Tennessee. Adam Guthrie received a land grant for 123 acres along the north bank of the French Broad River in old Greene County, North Carolina, now Sevier County, Tennessee. About 1809, Adam and his family followed two of his sons, James and George, who had already moved to Cumberland County, Kentucky, settling over the Cumberland Mountains along Illwill Creek.

Adam Guthrie’s family comes associated with an interesting and unique origin story. I have yet to find any original documentation to substantiate the direct connection between Adam Guthrie and this illustrious line, but maybe one of you can track it down. According to Penelope Johnson Allen, a Tennessee researcher who published ‘Leaves from the Family Tree’, Adam Guthrie was a direct lineal descendant of Niall MacGuthrie, who had been traced from King Fergus of Connaught through Miles the son of Cobthatch to Gothfrith, the Lord of Brefney. Niall MacGuthrie’s ancestry is documented in Irish Pedigrees; or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation – Volume 1, by John O’Hart, 1892. If there is any truth to this particular connection, it would mean that GFG7 originated in Ireland and one or more branches migrated to Scotland rather than the other way around.

Kingdom of Breifne
Medieval Ireland
c900 AD

1 Comment »

  1. Wow. Thank you Anne for all your hard work trying to help our family find the true Guthrie line for our Grandfather Robert John Guthrie Burrows. Much appreciated. We hope for further clarity as days progress with more DNA matches, Claire (daughter of Margaret Emma Guthrie-Burrows)

    Liked by 1 person

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