The Forgotten Sons

Many of you claim Francis Guthrie as an ancestor. A resident of Colerain Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania during the 1750s, he appears to be the progenitor of the American lineages associated with Guthrie Family Group 3A. He has been something of a mystery man. Very little data exists to reveal whether he was a Scottish or Scot-Irish immigrant. The identity of his wife and children, the course of his life, and his final resting place remain largely unknown. Published family histories have tried to track Francis’ line from Pennsylvania, to Maryland and Virginia, and into Tennessee. Most also include Francis Guthrie on the journey. By the end such a trailblazer would have had to be nearly a century old.

We Guthries have a lot of fortitude and pioneering spirit. Why couldn’t Francis Guthrie survive an arduous trek into the undeveloped wilderness on horseback and help knock out a new homestead? Calculating the odds, it seems a little more likely that we’re missing a key element in the family story. A closer look at the early documentation and family timelines reveals not just one, but two men who are probable sons to Francis Guthrie including one who bears his name. A second man named Francis Guthrie lived in Colerain Township. As previously discussed in GFG3 Theories, John Guthrie was also discovered in the records. Bringing these forgotten sons back into the family fold reveals a more realistic emigration story.

How and why did these men get overlooked? Colonial record keeping was not guaranteed, nor the survival of those records. Our interpretation of those records is also important. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between two men with the same name when they’re living in close proximity. Read through the evidence below and present your own to the group if you have additional information or family stories.

The discovery of Francis Jr and John also gives us the most likely fathers for several Guthrie families who have been searching for their ancestral connections. The best way to conclusively prove these proposed family ties is through Y-DNA testing of male Guthries in the direct paternal line. All other descendants are encouraged to participate through Autosomal DNA testing at AncestryDNA or FTDNA.

Let’s take a look at Francis Guthrie and his family beginning with their Pennsylvania homestead.

Check out this YouTube Video for Lancaster Online to hear about when and how the County was formed. Colerain Township was established in Lancaster County in 1738 being settled initially by the Irish and then the Presbyterian Scots and Scot-Irish. Two Guthrie men entered land warrants within a couple months of each other in 1753. One was Francis Guthrie, tied to lineages from GFG3A, who settled in the north-central sector. The other was John Guthrie, married to Ann Hill (or Emmons), from GFG2A-Branch H whose property was located near Andrew’s Bridge on the eastern edge of the township straddling the Lancaster-Chester county line, and whose home was primarily in Chester County. Because of their close proximity, some online trees and publications make the assumption that the two men were brothers or close cousins. DNA tells us otherwise as their descendants are genetically unrelated.

Laurence R Guthrie’s ‘American Guthrie and Allied Families’ provides the briefest glimpse of Francis Guthrie of Coleraine Twp indicating only that he settled near Middle Octorara Church where the Covenants were renewed in 1743, stating that he was also a Covenanter. There does not appear to be any evidence of Francis attending this church in the Diary of Rev John Cuthbertson, Covenanter Minister of Middle Octorara Church 1751-1791, which included a register of marriages and baptisms, and visitation of parishioners. The only Guthries mentioned therein are from the GFG2A-Branch H family.

LRG concluded that Francis Guthrie was the father of:

  • Robert Guthrie 1727PA-1789VA who m. Esther Giles who lived in Frederick County, MD and Rockbridge County, VA
  • Paul Guthrie who moved to Lancaster County, SC and married Elizabeth Bell
  • James Guthrie who reportedly married an Isabella King and removed to Greene County, TN.

Findings examined in this brief will reveal that Francis Guthrie does indeed appear to have had at least 3 sons. Robert Guthrie is likely in the correct place in the family tree as a son of Francis Guthrie Sr. There is a little doubt as to whether Paul Guthrie is even related. James Guthrie is not listed in the right generation, as he is probably a son of Francis Guthrie Jr. Some of the original correspondence by the author with descendants of James and Paul has been digitized at Family Search. None of those sources provide any documented evidence of a direct connection to Francis Guthrie. If you have any associated family stories or evidence to support or contradict the theory jump right in. The new findings about Francis Guthrie Jr have been brought about through the research of Diana Guthrie and discussions that followed. Review the blog posts GFG3 Theories detailing evidence for Francis Guthrie’s other forgotten son, John.

The corrected list of Francis Guthrie’s three sons is:

  • Robert Guthrie 1727PA-1789VA, married to Esther Giles, who lived in Lancaster PA, Frederick & Washington Counties, MD and Rockbridge County, VA
  • Francis Guthrie Jr who lived in Lancaster, PA, Botetourt, VA, and later settled in Greene/Hawkins Counties, TN
  • John Guthrie who presumably lived in Lancaster, PA, and later lived in Frederick & Washington Counties, MD, and in Rockbridge, Botetourt, Greenbrier and Kanawha Counties, VA

THE PROPOSED FAMILY STRUCTURE

Generation 1

Francis Guthrie Sr
Birth: 1697-1709
Death: Abt. 1755 in Colerain, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Wife: Unverified
Children: Francis Guthrie Jr, Robert Guthrie, John Guthrie
Residences: Lancaster, PA

Generation 2
Francis Guthrie Jr
Birth: 1720-1730
Death: 1799-1800 East Tennessee
Wife: Susannah (MNU)
Children: Alexander (m. Jean McFerran), Francis, Nancy (m. Thomas Cribbins), James (m. Isabella Carmichael), William (m. Hannah Smiley)
Residences: Lancaster, PA, Botetourt, VA, and Hawkins/Greene, NC/TN

Robert Guthrie
Born: 1727 PA
Death: 1789 Rockbridge, Virginia
Wife: Esther Giles
Children: Ann (m. FNU King), John (m. Mary Fuller), Phebe (m. John Gadberry), Mary (m1. Ephraim Skiles, m2 John Scott), James, Sarah (m1 Isaac Davis, m2 John Van Lear), Richard (m. Elizabeth Esther McIntosh)
Residences: Lancaster, PA, Botetourt, VA, Frederick, MD, Rockingham, VA

John Guthrie
Born: 1730-1750 (Probably 1730s)
Death: 1819 Kanawha County, Virginia (now WV)
Wife: Unidentified
Children: James (m. Elizabeth Casdorph), Elizabeth/Susan (m. Henry Casdorph), Alexander (m. Eleanor Amis), Robert (m. Frances Fowler), Anne (m. Elijah Fowler), Mary ‘Polly’ (m. James Kitchen)
Residences: Lancaster, PA, Botetourt, VA, Frederick, MD, Greenbrier, VA, Kanawha, VA

Let’s take a look at the details . . . 

Francis Guthrie lived at a time when Pennsylvania was still a developing colony in British America. Settlers were surveying land, applying for warrants, building churches, and already paying taxes. Even without an official census, there are still clues to be found. Tax records are frequently overlooked or not examined closely enough. Successive tax records can potentially reveal whether a man owned property or not, was single or not, when he came of age, and when he died leaving heirs. Some are limited to a list of the men taxed, while others include details about real estate, household members (free white males over 16 or over 21, slaves, and servants), farm animals, and farm products.

Types of Tax Records:
1) Return of Taxables: a list of names with taxable property, no value assigned
2) Assessment: a list of names with taxable property values
3) Rates: a list of names with the amount of tax

Categories of Taxables:
1) Landholder – held land by lease or deed (PA taxed the primary occupant)
2) Inmate – married or widowed, landless (contract labor)
3) Freeman – single, free men at least 21 years of age (as of 1718) out of servitude or apprenticeship at least 6 months. Before 1755 single men living with their parents were not taxed. 
4) Nonresident landowner – owner of unseated (unoccupied) land
Source: 18th Century Tax (General Information)

Tax Records are available for Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on FHL Film #008353956 for the following years:
1751, 1756-1759, 1763, 1769-1773, 1775, 1777-1783, 1785-1788, 1790-1793, 1797-1798, 1800-1803, 1805-1814, 1817-1822, 1824-1827, 1829-1833, 1835, 1837, 1839-1846, plus additional undated and/or partial tax records.

TIMELINE for GENERATION 1: FRANCIS GUTHRIE, SR

1751: PA, Lancaster County, Colerain Township. Tax Collector: Charles McCallister.
This is the first tax year available. There are 2 men named Francis Guthrie on this list. One on the main list of landholders/inmates, and one designated as a freeman. Note that the other freemen are not duplicated on the list indicating that the same Francis Guthrie is not simply listed twice. The very first record provides proof of two men of that name. One Francis Guthrie is presumably a landholder or inmate. The other is single, over 21, and not living with his parent. The two other sons we are watching for, Robert (about 24) and John (probably younger), are most likely still living in their father’s household and are therefore not taxed even though at least one of them is over 21. Next tax year available is 1756. See: FHL 008353956 – Coleraine Twp – Image 14 of 738.

1753: PA, Lancaster County, Colerain Township. Land Warrant.
Francis Guthry is listed for an original warrant of 20 acres. The 1754 survey shows that he purchased the land, but the records don’t list him as the patentee.

1754: PA, Lancaster County, Colerain Township. Property Survey.
A tract of land containing 184 acres and allowance was surveyed 9 Apr 1754 for Francis Guthry (or Gutrah) including 100a of a survey formerly made by Samuel Lightfoot for one Samuel Stuart by warrant of the 8th Aug 1735 which was purchased by said Guthry who also obtained a warrant for addition dated the 5th April 1753… Situate on the Branches of Octoraro in Colerain Township, Lancaster County. This document shows that he was already a land owner by the previously taxed year of 1751, which is why he was listed there.
See Records of the Land Office, Warrantee township Maps, Lancaster County, Colerain Township. You can see the location of Francis Guthrie’s land on the map.

1755: PA, Lancaster County, Colerain Township. Francis Guthrie, Sr’s Presumed Death.
No probate information has been found to prove that Francis Guthrie died in Lancaster County, PA in 1755 or in any year thereafter. The only clue we have at the moment is his disappearance from the Tax Records and the simultaneous appearance of his son Robert as a taxable landholder. There is no corresponding Lancaster, PA deed to indicate Robert Guthrie purchased the property from another source, so it seems probable that he inherited it from his father.

1756: PA, Lancaster County, Colerain Township. Tax Collector: Gabriel Morrison.
The Return of Taxables lists landholders/inmates: Robert Guttery 5 – 0 and includes a list of freemen: Francis Guttery 50 – 0
The detailed assessment lists Robert Guthrie – Land 40, Grain 3, Horses 2, Cows 2, Sheep 6, Sows 0, Negros 0; and the list of Freemen: Francis Guthrie
Despite there being no Lancaster, PA deeds listing Robert Guthrie as a purchaser of land, by 1756 he is now in possession of property in Coleraine Township. There is also no sign of his father, Francis Guthrie, Sr. The other Francis Guthrie is still there and listed as a freeman indicating that he is still single, over 21, and landless.

Other Notes:
Estimating Francis Guthrie Sr’s DOB…

Since there are 2 men of the same name listed in 1751, both of which would be 21 years of age or older, it is probable that Francis Guthrie Sr was at least 39 years of age (born no later than 1712) in 1751 with his presumed son Francis Guthrie Jr being at least 21 years of age (born no later than 1730). Since presumed son Robert Guthrie’s known age in 1776 is 49, that indicates his approximate birth year was 1727, that would push Francis Sr’s DOB back to no later than 1709 if he was at least 18 years of age at the time of Robert’s birth. We have no other indication of Francis Sr’s estimate birth year, but he was most likely somewhere between 18 and 30 in 1727 creating an estimated birth range of 1697-1709.

There is no record directly associated with Francis Guthrie Sr that identifies his wife. The only potential clue is found in the 1776 Census of Elizabeth Hundred, Frederick County, Maryland. This census is grouped by gender and age rather than by family, so there is no way to determine if Mary Gutry, aged 61 (born 1715) is associated with the family of Robert & Esther (Giles) Guthrie who was living there at the time. She is too young to be Robert’s mother, who was then 49. Mary would have been 12 at the time of his birth. She could potentially be a second wife for Francis Guthrie, and therefore his widow, a spinster sister living with her nephew Robert, or one of Francis’ other children.

There is one other Guthrie listed in the early land warrants for Lancaster County. John Guthry entered a warrant just 2 months after Francis Guthery’s 1753 entry, putting them both in Coleraine Township at the same time. There are a few other entries under the name John Guthry creating a property on Octorara Creek and crosses the Chester-Lancaster County line. These entries have been attributed to GFG2A-Branch H’s John Guthrie who m. Ann Hill (or Emmons). This family arrived from Ireland about 1730 on the same ship as the Gilkesons. His primary residence became Chester County, PA. The records of Middle Octorara Church’s Rev. John Cuthbertson show that John Guthrie’s family were associated with his church.

TIMELINE for GENERATION 2: FRANCIS GUTHRIE JR

1720-1730: Estimated DOB no later than 1730
Since Francis Guthrie is taxed as a Freeman in 1751, he must therefore by definition be a single man of at least 21 years of age making his DOB no later than 1730. It is also probable that Francis Jr is younger than his brother Robert, born in 1727, because it is Robert who ends up (presumably) inheriting the land from their father.

1751: PA, Lancaster County, Colerain Township. Tax Records.
Two men named Francis Guthrie are listed in the tax records, one a landholder/inmate, and the other a freeman. Theorized to be father and son, this man was over 21 years of age, single, landless, and not living in his father’s household.

1756: PA, Lancaster County, Colerain Township. Tax Records.
This is the next available year for tax records. Listed as a freeman. He is the only Francis Guthrie listed in the records and still not a landholder. His father is presumed dead.

1757: PA, Lancaster County, Colerain Township. Tax Records.
Listed as a Freeman. Again, not yet a landowner. This is Francis Guthrie’s last appearance on the Lancaster, PA tax lists even though there are records available for 1758 and 1759.
It is possible that Francis Guthrie is the “poor man” listed next to brother Robert Guthrie on the 1758 list with his first name written as Robert and then crossed out, but not corrected.

1758-1769: Location Unknown.
Francis Guthrie’s brothers, Robert and John, were in Frederick, MD in the 1760s. Francis Guthrie may have moved to Botetourt County, VA. This county also appears to be the home of the Fowlers, a family known to have GFG3A connections. Tithable Lists (Taxes) are available 1770-1789. The county was formed from Augusta, VA in 1770. Virginia is home to numerous Guthrie families whose origins may or may not be identified. Also in the area: The GFG2A-Branch H family of William Guthrie & Esther McClellan who were there about 1777, went back to PA briefly about 1795 and settled in Shenandoah, VA in 1796. Associated with the Gilkeson family of Augusta, VA. Also arriving in the area about 1775 was William Guthrie, a Methodist minister & weaver. He married Eleanor Elder in Frederick, MD, and was in VA by the 1780s. After his wife’s death he married again having 8 daughters by the two wives. He received a 1790 land grant in Botetourt, VA along Sinking Creek later sold by his heirs to John Moody. Neither of these families is associated with any sons by the name of Francis or Alexander, which is important for findings believed to be associated with Francis Guthrie Jr’s family.

1770: VA, Botetourt County. Tax Records
Francis Guttery is listed as delinquent in paying his taxes. Fowlers also listed.

1771: VA, Botetourt County. Tax & Court Records
Frances Guthrey is listed with 1 tithable. No land tax. Fowlers also listed.
Francis Guthrie is listed as a juror for Botetourt in the case of William Simpson v. William Herbert

1772: VA, Botetourt County. Tax Records
Francis Guthrie is listed with 1 tithable. Fowlers also listed.

1773: VA, Botetourt County. Tax Records
No Guthries or Fowlers listed this year. No Fowlers until 1784.

1774: VA, Botetourt County. Tax & Court Records
Francis Guthrie is not listed on the tax list. A James Guffy is present on the same page as several Gilkesons.
Francis Guthrie is listed as a juror in the case of Israel Christian, assignee of Thomas Arnett, plaintiff v. Benjamin Hawkins, defendant

1775: VA, Botetourt County. Tax Records
Francis Guthrey makes an appearance again on the tax records.

1778: VA, Botetourt County. Court Records
Francis Guthery was appointed by the court to take and keep the courthouse clean til next court

1782: VA, Botetourt County. Tax Records
Francis & Alex. Gutrie are listed.

1783: VA, Botetourt County. Tax Records
Francis Guthrey: 1 tithable, 2 horses, 6 cattle

1784: VA, Botetourt County. Tax Records
Francis Guthry: 2 tithable, 4 horses, 11 cattle, also listed: Fowlers

1785: VA, Botetourt County. County Census.
Francis Guthrey: 10 white persons in household, 1 dwelling house, 0 other buildings
This year a William Guthrey 7 , 1, 0 is also listed and likely represents the household of Rev. William Guthrie & Eleanor Elder.

1787: VA, Botetourt County. Tax & Marriage Records.
Francis Guttery 24 Apr 1797: 1 white tithable over 21, 1 white under 21, 4 horses, 10 cattle, name Cribbins also listed
Alexander Guttery 3 May 1787: 1 white tithable over 21, 3 horses, 2 cattle
James Guttry: 1 tithable over 16 and under 21, 1 horse

Marriage of Nancy Guthrie to Thomas Cribbins 9 Oct 1787, Witness: John Wood.

Notes: Two years earlier a census showed Francis’ household to consist of 10 people. Francis, a presumed wife, Alexander, James, Nancy, the 1 other son identified here as 16-21 give us 6 of the 10.

1788: VA, Botetourt County. Tax Records.
Francis Guthry: 1 tithable over 16, 5 horses
Allex Gullifore (possible spelling variation of Guthrie): 6 horses
William Guthry above 21, 2 horses
Thomas Cribbins is also listed.

1789: VA, Botetourt County. Tax Records.
Francis Guttery and Alexander Guttery were both assessed on the same day 17 May with their names adjacent suggesting they lived closely.
Francis Guttery: 1 male tithable over 16, 5 horses
Alexander Guttery: 1 male tithable over 16, 3 horses

1790: VA, Botetourt County. Tax Records.
Francis Guttery and Alexander Guttery both assessed 30 Apr and listed adjacent.
Guttery, Frances: No white male tithables, 4 horses
Guttery, Alexander: 1 white male tithable over 16, 4 horses
Guttery, James: 1 white male tithable over 16, 3 horses on 11 May
This is the last entry for Francis Guthrie in Botetourt, VA after which a Francis Guthry shows up in NC/TN.

1791: VA, Botetourt County. Marriage Records.
Alexander Guthrie to Jane McFerran 22 Nov 1791, Witness: Samuel McFerran. This couple moved to Jefferson, TN by 1793.

1793: NC (TN), Hawkins County. Early NC and TN Land Records
10 Dec 1793 – Registered 27 Dec 1793 – Francis Maybury of Virginia to Francis Guthrey of Hawkins, Territory S. Of OH for 50 pounds parcel of land containing 640 acres

1794: Early NC and TN Land Records – Francis Guthry – 450 acres in Hawkins County on the n. side of Clinch River.
If this is the same Francis Guthrie as believed to be Francis Guthrie Jr, born no later than 1730, he would be at least 64 years of age at this time.
12 Jun 1794 – Francis Guthrey of Hawkins to John Morrison of same – 40 pounds – land 640 acres in Hawkins
11 Mar 1794 – Registered 7 Jun 1794 – James Blair of Hawkins, Territory S of the Ohio to Francis Guthrie of Same for 20 pounds, parcel of land containing 300 acres on the north side of the Cumberland Mountains.
9 Sep 1794 (Registered 18 Feb 1795) – Francis Guthery of Hawkins to David Ross of Virginia for 40 pounds land containing 450 acres in Hawkins.

1795: NC (TN), Hawkins County. Early NC and TN Land Records
James Guthrie and Archibald Simpson – 200 acres in Hawkins
Note: This is James Guthrie who m. Isabella (Carmichael) Trotter and lived in Hawkins & Greene County, TN. His mother’s name is documented as Susannah, which appears to make it very likely that Francis Guthrie Jr married a woman by that name.

1796: TN, Hawkins County. Real Estate Conveyances.
Sep 1796 – Registered 2 Dec 1796 – Francis Guthrey of Hawkins TN to David Kincaid of same. For $150 parcel of land on the north side of the Cumberland Mountains (acreage?)

1797: TN, Hawkins County, Real Estate Conveyances.
8 Mar 1797 – Registered 15 May 1797 – John Marriett of Greene County TN to Francis Guthrie of Hawkins TN for 200 pounds parcel of land containing 640 acres in Eastern District. This is the last entry found for Francis Guthrie, who presumably died in East Tennessee bet. 1797-1800.

Other Notes:
The wife of Francis Guthrie, Jr is presumed to be Susannah, who is named by James Guthrie of East TN as his mother. It is possible that her maiden name was King, but there needs to be some research on this point. Author LRG erroneously identified James Guthrie’s wife as Isabella King, listing her as the daughter of a James King from Frederick County, VA. Isabella was actually a Carmichael. The following deed appears to be the source of LRG’s conclusion. The presumption is that the inheritance came by way of Isabella’s relatives rather than James’. The document in no way defines that connection as hers. What if James Guthrie was instead the grandson of James King?

Oct 30 1802:—James Gutherie of Greene County, Tenn., and Isabella, his wife, and George Wright, and Mary his wife, heirs of James King, deceased, late of Frederick County, Va in consideration of the sum $2,000.00 sell to Anthony Rittenour two tracts of land in Frederick County, VA, one containing 202 acres, which was granted by Lord Fairfax by deed dated Jan 5, 1768, to James King, deceased; the second tract being adjacent to the first and containing 88 acres, was granted by Lord Fairfax by deed dated Dec. 21, 1774, to the said James King. In the presence of Samuel Kercheval, David Carlisle, John Cadwalader. (Signed) James Gurtherie, Isabella Gurthrie, George Wright, Mary Wright. (Frederick County Virginia Deeds, vol 27, p/669)

TIMELINE for GENERATION 2: ROBERT GUTHRIE

1727: Estimated DOB for Robert Guthrie is calculated from the 1776 census of Frederick County, MD when he was listed as 49. Considering that Robert Guthrie is later documented in the tax records for Colerain as a landowner, yet his presumed brothers are not, suggests that Robert may have been the eldest.

1751: PA, Lancaster County, Coleraine Township. Tax Records.
Robert Guthrie is not listed even though is is over 21 years of age. Adult children living in the family household were not taxed prior to 1755.

1754: PA, Lancaster County, Coleraine Township. Estimated DOM.
This is the approximate year of Robert’s marriage to Esther Giles based on the DOB of their eldest child the following year. It is not until after that date that Robert appears on the lists as a taxable. There is no known marriage record for the couple, but it is most likely to have occurred in Pennsylvania. I have also seen a notation (somewhere I cannot recall) that researchers wondered whether Esther might not actually be a Skiles rather than a Giles because of other close connections with the Skiles family. Since there are also Giles folk in the area it is impossible to say without finding an original document that lists Esther’s maiden name.

1756: PA, Lancaster County, Coleraine Township. Tax Records.
Robert Guthrie – Land: 40, Grain: 3, Horses: 2, Cows: 2, Sheep: 6, Sows: 0, Negros: 0. He is taxed at different rates for county and provincial taxes.

This is the first year that Robert Guthrie appears on the tax records. He is a land owner despite finding no corresponding deed of conveyance. Did his father Francis Guthrie die in 1755 leaving him the property? If so, there is also no corresponding probate record. Francis Guthrie, landowner, disappears from the Coleraine Township tax records just as Robert Guthrie shows up.

1758: PA, Lancaster County, Coleraine Township. Tax Records
Robert Guthrie – Lands: 80 acres, Rents: 0, Cleared: 20 acres, Sowed: 5 acres, Servants: 0, Negros: 0, Horses: 2, Sheep: 2, Cattle: 2
Listed next to Robert is another Guthrie with the five name originally written as Robert and then crossed out with a notation of “poor man” written in. The identity of the man is uncertain.

1759: PA, Lancaster County, Coleraine Township. Tax Records.
Guthery, Robt. – Occupation: Farmer, Land Owners: 00, Quantity: 50 acres, Rent: 00, Cleared: 25 acres, Corn: 5, Servants: 00, Negros: 00, Horses: 2, Sheep: 2, Horned: 2, Cattle: 2, Quit Rents: 00.
This is the last year Robert Guthrie is found in the Coleraine tax records, however the next available year is 4 years later in 1763.

1760-1769: Location Unknown

1769: MD, Frederick County. Witnesses to the will of Elizabeth Skiles.
See General Index of Wills – FHL Film*005451959 0 image 220 of 276.
09842 Shiles, Elizabeth: A-1-340 – 16 Aug 1769 – Executor: John Liberstone

Will – FHL Film#005647647682 – images 356-357 or 610
Will of Elizabeth Skiles
Signed and Witnessed on 29 Jun 1769
Probate: “ON the 16th day of August 1769 came Robert and John Guthrey two of the subscribing witnesses to said will…”

Inventory of Elizabeth Skiles – FHL Film #0058081388 0 images 677-678 of 722.

Note: Robert’s eldest son, John Guthrie, was born in 1756 making him only 13 in 1769. The John Guthrie who witnessed Elizabeth Skiles’ will is believed to be Robert’s brother, and therefore another son of Francis Guthrie.

1776: MD, Frederick County, Elizabeth Hundred. The Maryland Colonial Census of 1776.
Unlike future census records naming the head of household and enumerating the remaining members, this census names all individuals, but separates them by gender and age group. This give us the advantage of learning their names, but does not reveal if they are living in a single household. The relationship of Mary Guthry, 61 and Sarah Jane Guthry, 1 to this family is unclear.
Males 16 through 50:
Robert Guthry, 49
John Guthry, 20

Males 16 and Under:
James Guthry, 14
Richard Guthry, 9
Robert Guthry, 6

Females 50 and Upwards
Mary Guthry, 61

Females 16 through 50:
Esther Guthry, 46
Ann Guthry, 21
Pheeb Guthry 18

Females 16 and Under:
Mary Guthry, 16
Sarah Guthry, 11
Sarah Jane Guthry, 1

1776: MD, Frederick County, Elizabeth Hundred. Maryland Militia – Council of Safety for the Provence of Maryland.
Elizabeth Town District: “No. 16, Guthry, Robt. 1 coverlet – 1 pound, 10 shillings. Requisitioned bedclothes, rags, etc.”

1777: MD, Washington County. Formation of Washington County from the western part of Frederick County, MD.
This included the district of Elizabeth Hundred and Elizabeth Town was later renamed Hagertown in 1814.

1777: VA, Rockbridge County. Property Purchase.
Robert Guthrie purchased 229 acres from Hugh Bradford of Rockbridge County, Virginia for the sum of 165 pounds. (Rockbridge County VA Deeds Liber A, folio 699)

1778: MD, Washington County. Court Records.
Even though Robert Guthrie had purchased property in Rockbridge County, VA, he still had dealings in Maryland through 1783 including Court Appearances and paying Taxes.
The Original Writs to November Courts for 1778 – The first entry names Robert Guthrie and Ephraim Skyles.

1778: MD, Washington County. Oaths of Allegiance.
Nine thousand men in Maryland signed Oaths of Allegiance to the state of Maryland and denying allegiance and obedience to Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War.
All voters were required to take the oath no later than 1 March 1778. It was signed by residents of every county, including Washington County where the names of Robert Guthrie and John Guthrie are found on the list. A digitized transcript of the lists is available. I have not yet found digitized copies of the originals.

For those of you who qualify:
Being a direct female descendant of a signer of the oath is sufficient condition to join the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Being a direct male descendant of a signer of the oath is sufficient condition to join the Sons of the American Revolution.

1782: VA, Rockbridge County – Personal Property Tax
James Guffy: 1 tyth, 7 horses, 3 cattle
Alex Guffy: 1 tythe, 3 horses, 5 cattle
Note: Robert Guthrie does not yet show up in Rockbridge County on the personal property list. James and Alexander Guthrie are both attributed to be sons of John Guthrie.

1783: VA, Rockbridge County – Personal Property Tax
Again, Robert Guthrie has not yet shown up in Rockbridge County despite having purchased land there. His brother’s sons seem to have moved into the area.
Alexander Guffy: 1 tithe, 3 horses, 6 cattle

1783: MD, Washington County, Elizabeth Hundred. Maryland Tax Assessment. Digital Images and Transcript

1784: VA, Rockbridge County – Personal Property Tax
Robert has still not officially made the move to Rockbridge, but his brother John appears on the tax list for 1784.
John Guthry: 1 tithe, 2 horses, 2 cattle
William Gotted: 1 tithe, 2 horses, 2 cattle
Alexander Guffy: 1 tithe, 3 horses, 7 cattle

1785: VA, Rockbridge County – Personal Property Tax
Robert Gutherie: 1 tithe, 2 horses, 2 cattle
Getridge? Gutherie Junr: 1 tithe, 2 horses, 8 cattle
John Guthrie: 1 tithe, 2 horses, 2 cattle
Alexander Guffy: 1 tithe, 3 horses, 6 cattle
Note: The ‘junior’ here is likely Robert’s eldest son John. This designation is being used to indicate he is younger than the other John Guthrie rather than a father-son relationship.

1786: VA, Rockbridge County – Personal Property Tax
Robert Gutery: 1 tithe, 2 horses, 5 cattle
John Gutterry: 1 tithe, 1 horse, 1 cattle
John Gutry: 1 tithe, 2 horses, 3 cattle
Alexr. Guffy: 1 tithe, 3 horses, 6 cattle

1787: VA, Rockbridge County – Personal Property Tax
Robert Guthrie: 2 tithes, 4 horses, 7 cattle
John Guthrie: 0 tithe, 2 horses, 1 cattle
John Guthrie: 0 tithe, 3 horses, 4 cattle
Alexr. Guffy: 1 tithe, 3 horses, 6 cattle

1788: VA, Rockbridge County – Personal Property Tax
Robert Guthery: tithes 2 over 16, 3 horses
John Guthery: tithes 1 over 16, 3 horses
John Guthery: 2 horses
Alexander Guffy: tithes 2 over 21, 3 horses

1789: VA, Rockbridge County – Last Will & Testament / Death of Robert Guthrie
Robert Guthrie wrote his will on 28 Feb 1788. It was probated in Rockbridge County, Virginia.
Ester Guthrie, wife: 1/3 part of estate both real and personal during her life and then distributed to heirs
John Guthrey, son: 50 acres of land on NE corner where he lives.
Phebe Guthrie, daughter: 1/12 part of estate both real and personal
Mary Guthrie, daughter: 1/15 part of estate both real and personal
Sarah Guthrie, daughter: 1/12 part of estate both real and personal
John King, grandson: five pounds
Richard and Robert Guthrie, sons: remainder of land and personal estate to be equally divided equally
Executors: Ester Guthrie, wife, and Richard Guthrie, son.
Signed on 28 Feb 1789
Witnesses: Caleb Sisson, William Miller, James Ochiltree
Probated on 7 April 1789
Note: John King was the son of Robert & Esther’s daughter, Ann whose death presumably predated the writing of this will.

TIMELINE for GENERATION 2: JOHN GUTHRIE

1730-1750: Broad Estimate DOB for John Guthrie
John Guthrie was presumably an adult in 1769 when he witnessed the will of Elizabeth Skiles in Frederick County, Maryland making his DOB no later than 1748 if he was at least 21. Since inferred brother, Robert Guthrie’s DOB was in or about 1727, it is also likely that John was born closer to the early end of the estimated range.

1751-1763: PA, Lancaster County, Coleraine Township.
John Guthrie is not listed on any of the Tax Lists of Coleraine Township when he was presumably living there in his father, Francis Guthrie’s household. Obviously, depending upon his age during those years, he would not have been taxed as a child. Prior to 1755 adult children living in their parent’s home were not taxed individually.

1769: MD, Frederick County. Witness to the Will of Elizabeth Skiles.
John Guthrey and Robert Guthrey witnessed the will of Elizabeth Skiles.

Note: Frederick, MD Land and Tax Records are not digitally available online at Family Search. Does anyone have access to these records?

1776: MD, Frederick County, Elizabeth Hundred. The Maryland Colonial Census of 1776.
Although Robert Guthrie and family are listed in the 1776 census, John Guthrie is not. Nor is he listed in the local militia for that year.
There are 2 men with the Smiley surname, Alexander and Andrew.

1778: MD, Washington County. Oaths of Allegiance.
Nine thousand men in Maryland signed Oaths of Allegiance to the state of Maryland and denying allegiance and obedience to Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War.
All voters were required to take the oath no later than 1 March 1778. It was signed by residences of every county, including Washington County where the names of Robert Guthrie and John Guthrie are found on the list. A digitized transcript of the lists is available. I have not yet found digitized copies of the originals.

1782: VA, Rockbridge County. Personal Property Tax.
John Guthrie is not listed as being taxed in 1782.

1783: VA, Rockbridge County. Personal Property Tax.
Entry is either John Guthury or Gatberry: 1 tithe, 3 horses, 5 cattle

1784: VA, Rockbridge County. Personal Property Tax.
John Guthry: 1 tithe, 2 horses, 2 cattle

1785: VA, Rockbridge County. Personal Property Tax.
John Guthrie: 1 tithe, 2 horses, 2 cattle
Robert Gutherie: 1 tithe, 2 horses, 2 cattle

1786: VA, Rockbridge County. Personal Property Tax.
John Gutry: 1 tithe, 2 horses, 3 cattle or John Gutterry: 1 tithe, 1horse, 1 cattle (the latter might be Gatberry)
Robert Gutery 1 tithe, 2 horses, 5 cattle
The next page lists another John Gutry 1tithe, 2 horses, 3 cattle

1787: VA, Rockbridge County. Court Order.
Apr 4, 1787 Rockbridge, John Guthrie is exempt from paying taxes “until he recovers his health”, which he paid on 17 May.

1787: VA, Rockbridge County. Personal Property Tax.
John Guthrie: 2 horses, 1 cattle
Robert Guthrie # of white males 16-21: 2, 4 horses, 7 cattle
John Guthrie 3horses, 4 cattle

1788: VA, Rockbridge County. Personal Property Tax.
John Guthery 1 over 16, 3 horses
John Guthery 2 horses
Robert Guthery 2 males over 16, 3 horses

1789: VA, Rockbridge County. Personal Property Tax.
John Guthrie Senr 1 male over 16, 3 horses
Richard Guthrie 2 males over 16, 5 horses
John Guthrey 3 horses. 

1790: VA, Rockbridge County, Personal Property Tax.
John Gutherie Senr 2 white male over 16, 4 horses
Richard Gutherie 2 white male over 16, 5 horses
John Guthrey 3 horses

1791: VA, Rockbridge County. Personal Property Tax.
This is the last year the elder John is listed. Did he split his time between Greenbrier County, VA and Botetourt, VA, or do the Botetourt entries belong to another John?

John Guthrey 2 white males above 16, 3 horses
John Guthrey Jnr 3 horses
Richard Guthrey 2 white males above 16, 3 horses.

1792: VA, Botetourt County – Tax Records
John Guttery 1 white male tithable over 16, 4 horses

1793: VA, Botetourt County – Tax Records
John Gutery 25 Apr 2 white male tithables over 16, 5 horses
The next entry is for James Gutery 25 Apr 1 white male tithable over 16
Fowler also listed

1793: VA, Greenbrier County. Court Orders.
John Gutrey is a jury member on 29 May, but on 31 May he is the defendant in a case brought by Joseph Newton, which was dismissed. The same day he is also a defendant in a case brought by Abeneser Gilkeson, which was also dismissed. In June of that he was a defendant in a case brought by Jacob Skiles, yet again dismissed.

1794: VA, Botetourt County. Tax Records.
John Guthrie 2 white male tithables over 16, 4 horses; James 1 white male tithable over 16, 1 horse, both assessed on 19 Apr

1795: VA, Botetourt County. Tax and Marriage Records.
John Guttery 1 white male tithable over 16, 3 horses, listed next to John Gilkeson

Marriage of Ann Guthrie & Elijah Fowler 4 Nov 1795, John Guthrie, Father, Witnesses: Robert Guthrie, James Guthrie.
Note: This Ann Guthrie is too old to be the daughter of John Guthrie & Margaret Gilkeson who lived in Augusta, VA.

1796: VA, Greenbrier County. Personal Property Taxes.
John Gouthrie 3 white males over 16, 3 horses

1797: VA, Greenbrier County. Personal Property Taxes.
John Guthrie 2 white males over 16, 3 horses
Alexander Guthrie 1 white male over 16
James Guthrie 1 white male over 16
Note: John and Alexander are not found on the Greenbrier Tax list for 1798, but James is listed thre with 1 tithe over 16. 

1800: VA, Rockbridge County. Witness to the will of James Ochiltree.
John Guthire, John Greelee and John Hamilton witnessed the will of James Ochiltree of Rockbridge, VA

1801: VA, Kanawha County. Court Records.
John Guthrie issued a lawsuit against Nicholas Chenworth

1801: VA, Kanawha County. Tax Records.
John Guthrie: 2 white males over 16 and 1 horse
Robert Guthrie 1 white male over 16
James Guthrie 1 white male over 16

1802: VA, Kanawha County. Tax Records
Robert Guthery, James Guthery, Alexander Guthery paid taxes.
The Court “Ordered that John Guthrie be exempted from county & parish levies in this county on account of his age & infirmities.”

1803: VA, Kanawha County. Jury Duty.
John, James, and Robert all had jury duty on 14 Sep

1817: VA, Kanawha County. Court Records – Lawsuit
John Guthrie v. George Williams

1819: VA, Kanawha County. Death of John Guthrie.
James Guthrie obtained letters of administration of the estate of John Guthrie, decd.

KEY LOCATIONS:

PENNSYLVANIA
See the County Formation Maps of Pennsylvania

LANCASTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
Colerain Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
“Colerain Township was organized as a township in 1738. It was settled mainly by the Irish and was named after Coleraine, a seaport town in County Londonderry, now in Northern Ireland. Records show that Presbyterian Scots and Scotch-Irish also moved into Colerain Township very early into its settlement.”

Land Warrant_Francis Guthry 1754

MARYLAND
See the County Formation Maps of Maryland

FREDERICK COUNTY, MARYLAND
Frederick County was formed in 1748 by the Province of Maryland from parts of Prince George’s and Baltimore County encompassing the western lands.
Both Robert Guthrie and John Guthrie were living in Frederick County, MD in 1769 when they witnessed the will of Elizabeth Skiles.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, MARYLAND
Following American independence in 1776, Frederick County was divided into three parts to include Frederick, Montgomery, and Washington Counties.
Both Robert Guthrie and John Guthrie were living in Washington County, MD in 1778 when they took the Oath of Allegiance. Robert’s name is on the list for the local Militia, but John may have moved on to Virginia.

VIRGINIA
See the County Formation Maps of Virginia

BOTETOURT COUNTY, VIRGINIA
Botetourt County was formed in 1769 from Augusta County, Virginia in 1769, and part of Rockbridge County was added in 1785.
It is possible that during the years the brothers’ residence was unknown that they were living in Augusta County since they later had ties to Botetourt.
Francis Guthrie Jr and brother John Guthrie were both found in the records of Botetourt.

GREENBRIER COUNTY, VIRGINIA
Now located in the state of West Virginia, Greenbrier County was originally formed in 1777 and officially created in 1778 from Botetourt and Montgomery Counties, Virginia.
Francis Guthrie Jr appears to have moved directly from Botetourt, Virginia to eastern Tennessee, but his brother John Guthrie appears to be living in Greenbrier, Virginia.

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, VIRGINIA
Rockbridge County was established in October 1777 from parts of Augusta and Botetourt Counties, and official by 1778.
Both John Guthrie and Robert Guthrie lived in Rockbridge County. Robert Guthrie died there in 1789. His brother John and family moved further west to Kanawha.

KANAWHA COUNTY, VIRGINIA
Under authorization of the Virginia General Assembly, Kanawha County first began taking formation on 14 Nov 1788, and was officially founded 5 Oct 1789. Named for the Kanawha River, the county later became part of the state of West Virginia. John Guthrie and family members lived there.

TENNESSEE
See the County Formation Maps of Tennessee

GREENE COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Greene County is located on the eastern border of TN, but was originally part of North Carolina being created from Washington County, NC in 1783.
This area was also part of the short-lived State of Franklin in 1785.

HAWKINS COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Hawkins County was formed as a North Carolina county on 6 Jan 1787 when the legislature of North Carolina divided Sullivan County.

WHAT ABOUT PAUL GUTHRIE?

The biography of Paul Guthrie’s grandson, Paul Spencer, the son of James K and Martha (Guthrie) Spencer, indicates that Paul Guthrie was actually born in Ireland rather than Pennsylvania. He reportedly came to America as a young man, and was married in South Carolina to Miss Elizabeth Bell, who was also of Irish birth.

Rev. Laurence R Guthrie’s compiled correspondence on Paul Guthrie tells us that he is a presumptive son of Francis Guthrie because Elizabeth Bell’s father was a covenanter who came to South Carolina from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Therefore, the idea is that Paul followed them from Lancaster PA to South Carolina. One letter included in the correspondence dated 28 Feb 1930 indicates some doubt that LRG would include their family in his book as “we have not connected with other branches”. The source of the letter was Mary Guthrie Sledge, born 30 Oct 1880 in Mecklenburg, NC, the great-great granddaughter of Paul & Elizabeth (Bell) Guthrie. She makes no mention specifically of Francis Guthrie. However, she does mention a manuscript “in the possession of Dr GB White, Chester, SC, entitled, “Sketch of the Covenanters on Rocky Creek, South Carolina,” written by Mathew Elder and Mary J Elder dated Jan. 28th, 1886, with the following referencing Paul Guthrie:

“Among the first Covenanters who settled on Beaver Dam Creek was Paul Guthrie of Lancaster County, Penna. He raised a very respectable family of sons and daughters. Mrs Mary Sledge of Chester, Mrs Dr JW Hicklin of Baskomville, Mrs Ellen Campbell of Mecklenburg, NC, Miss S Jane and Mr RE Guthrie of Guthriesville, SC are his grandchildren.”

Paul Guthrie died in Lancaster County, South Carolina in December 1798. Based on the census-based birth ranges of his children, Paul & Elizabeth probably married about 1780. His widow Elizabeth is listed in the 1810, 1820, and 1830 censuses of Chester County, South Carolina. In 1810, she is categorized as 45 and over, or born prior to 1764. In 1820, she is also listed as 45 and over, or born prior to 1774. The 1830 census gives us more refined age ranges listing Elizabeth as aged 60 – 69 or born between 1761 – 1770. This gives us a corrected DOB range of 1761 – 1764.

If Paul Guthrie was of a similar age to his wife, born around 1760, he would be 33 years younger than Francis’ son Robert Guthrie. Not impossible, but definitely a stretch if Francis was married only once. A little more probable with a second marriage. However, 1760 is also about 5 years after Francis Guthrie’s likely death. Based on the estimated DOB, Paul would be more likely to be a grandson to Francis Guthrie than a son.

There are no current descendants of Paul Guthrie in the Guthrie DNA Project to determine whether or not Paul’s likely ancestral origins are with GFG3A.













7 Comments »

  1. Ann I read this information and it seems like my Alexander Guthrie’s GFG3D father is proposed to be John Guthrie d. 1819 and his father to be Frances Guthrie, Sr. Would I be safe at this point to list these names on my Guthrie Family Tree or should I wait for a while? Thank you for all your support Larry Guthrie

    On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 11:24 AM Guthrie Genealogy wrote:

    > AnnGU3 posted: ” Many of you claim Francis Guthrie as an ancestor. A > resident of Colerain Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania during the > 1750s, he appears to be the progenitor of the American lineages associated > with Guthrie Family Group 3A. He has been something of” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Personally, I would say yes. Alexander follows the path we now know to be associated with John Guthrie. As with any generational connections not documented in stone, blood, or court records, it never hurts to add some notes to your tree detailing what makes John Guthrie the most likely candidate to be Alexander’s father.

      Like

  2. Ann,
    While it takes only time, patience, and decent eyes to decipher the writing of 18th and 19th century documents, it takes a special gift to not only make sense out of the research but then to put all the pieces together that breathes life into our long-lost and forgotten ancestors. Many more kudos to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m excited to see where we fall in the tree! Still so grateful that I came across your work, Ann. Hoping my DNA will help solve the mystery of Paul’s father’s identity!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cristina,
      So glad to have your participation while this research is still fresh. I have already completed the data collection from your kits and can already see this is going to be interesting. Will finish up after the holiday.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s