William Guthrie of Henry KY

The Family Focus is on . . .

William Guthrie & Esther McClelland / Franky Haley Young
~ AND ~
William Guthrie & Catherine (MNU)

William Guthrie (1736 – 1823) of Henry County, Kentucky has been the victim of unintentional identity theft for nearly a century. Those of you who recognize those dates and the location may have a bit of a bumpy ride ahead because your ancestor’s story is not quite what has been presented to us before.

Let’s begin in Oxford Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. The year is 1733 and John Guthrie has had 200 acres of land surveyed. He came from Northern Ireland, the son of John Guthrie Sr, a Scottish Covenanter, and Jane Stuart. His wife was named Ann (possibly Hill). They settled near Andrews Bridge on Octoraro Creek and also purchased properties just across the county line in Lancaster, PA. We read in ‘American Guthrie and Allied Families’ p.160 that William Guthrie was their eldest son.

William Guthrie’s lineage remains intact, but his dates of birth & death, as well as his death location in Henry County, KY have been mistakenly appropriated from another man’s Rev. War Pension Records. The correct DOD has been posted here at Guthrie Genealogy for a while, but I keep seeing the wrong date in Family Trees across the internet.

Here are some family facts about William Guthrie, and then we’ll take a step-by-step look at the situation before getting to the details about the ‘real’ William Guthrie of Henry County, KY.

WILLIAM GUTHRIE
Parents: John Guthrie 1708IRE – 1790PA and Ann (possibly Hill)
Birth: c1740-c1743 (est. range, not 1736 sourced from the Rev. War Pension Records), Chester County, PA
Occupation: Planter / Farmer
Marriages: (1st) – 1761 – Esther McClelland , (2nd) – 1795 – Mrs Franky Young
Military Service: Unknown (details below)
Death: Bet.1803-1804 (not 1823 sourced from the Rev War Pension Records)
Death Location: Shenandoah County, Virginia, USA

ESTHER MCCLELLAND
Parents: William McClelland (?)
Birth: c1740 Chester County, PA
Marriage – William Guthrie 15 June 1761 in Chester County, PA
Guthrie Children: John (1760), Nancy (1763), Ann (1764), Daniel (1766), William (1769), Esther (1771), Polly (1773)
Death: 1794 presumably at their residence near Waynesboro, Augusta County, Virginia, USA

FRANCES “FRANKY” HALEY
Parents: Benjamin Haley c1726 – 1800VA and Elizabeth Agnes Hawkins
Birth: c1756 probably Orange County, VA
Marriage (1st) – Alexander Wright bet. 1771 – 1773 probably in Orange County, VA
Wright Children: Benjamin, John, Alexander, Elizabeth (unknown birth order or specific dates)
Marriage (2nd) – Edwin Young – 19 Dec 1785 in Orange County, VA
Young Children: None. Stepchildren: John, Edwin Jr, William, Daniel, Cynthia, Elizabeth, Frances, Nancy.
Marriage (3rd) – William Guthrie – 19 Jan 1796 in Shenandoah County, VA
Guthrie Children: 1 Son – Haley
Death: 1794 in Page County, VA

THE FAMILY TIMELINE & NOTES:

1736: This is the year sourced from the Rev. War Pension records. That William Guthrie was 87 at his death in Henry County, KY on 10 March 1823. If this had been this William Guthrie he would be 9 years older than his next closest sibling born in 1745, with the remainder of his other siblings born like clockwork after that.

1740 – 1743: This is now the preferred “rough estimate” of William Guthrie’s birth year. If he was no younger than 18 – 21 years old at the time of his 1761 marriage to Esther McClelland, this would be an appropriate range. Plus, he would be about 2 – 5 years older than the next sibling in line.

1761: On 15 June 1761, Rev. John Cuthbertson, a Covenanter minister from Ireland noted in his diary: Rode 8 miles to Humphrey Fulerton’s after marrying Wm Cutery and Ester Mc(Millan?)” Documented in the section on Middle Octoraro Society. Note that Fullerton lived in the Pequea Valley in Lancaster County. (The Diary of Rev. John Cuthbertson, p.189)

1762: Birth of son John Guthrie in Pennsylvania. He is often listed with a DOB of 1760, but the records for the Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church Cemetery (Fishersville, Augusta, VA) list John Guthrie died 27 Jan 1845, age 83. John married Margaret Gilkeson 15 May 1794 in Augusta, VA. They had 10 children. Margaret died in 1815 and John remarried to cousin Ann Guthrie, daughter of James & Sarah (Love) Guthrie.

1763: Birth of daughter Nancy Guthrie on 30 Dec 1763 in Pennsylvania. She married 14 January 1794 to Isaiah Roberts. They had 7 children. When her father William Guthrie left PA after the death of her mother, Esther, he entered a Power of Attorney for Isaiah Roberts to see to his interests in Virginia. They remained in Augusta County VA until the late 1790s. The POA was officially revoked in 1800. The Roberts family was living in Ohio by 1802. Nancy died in Highland, OH 13 Jun 1807. Isaiah remarried before 1830 to Elizabeth Lewis. He died in White Oak, Highland, OH on 17 Apr 1850.

1764: Birth of daughter Ann Guthrie about 1764 in Pennsylvania. She married Isaac Blain in Augusta, VA on 9 Apr 1794. They had at least 4 children. They moved to Lincoln County, KY sometime prior to Isaac’s death in 1807. Ann lived until sometime after the 1830 census of Lincoln, KY.

1765: Rev. John Cuthbertso rode a circuit in several PA counties. The exact location of this entry is unclear because the book transcribing the actual diary takes it out of context and places it in other visits. Dated 20 May 1765 – “Rode 22 miles to Sis’s (his own sister)–coversed Esther Guth., R. Reddick.”

1766: Birth of son Daniel M Guthrie about 1766 in Pennsylvania. Middle name likely to be McClelland. Daniel was still a single man at the time of his mother’s death in 1794, and presumably living at home. When his father William decided to leave VA for York, PA, he sold Daniel the 170 acre home property in Beverly Manor, Augusta, VA on 2 May 1795. Daniel later sold it, and moved to Lincoln County, KY where on 26 Dec 1800 he married Nancy Shackleford. They had several children. Nancy died in Hopkins, KY on 2 July 1857.

1767: American Guthrie and Allied Families author, Laurence R Guthrie, wrote that William Guttery was a taxable in Hamilton’s Bann (now Hamiltonban) Township, York County, PA on 1 Dec 1767 for the tax year of 1768. (Sourced from Scotch Irish in America Vol. 8, p.370).

York County, PA
Hamilton Ban Township in SW section

This entry may or may not belong to the Guthrie-McClelland family, but it is clear that LRG believed they were living there at this time. It may certainly be true, for in 1795, after the death of his wife Esther, William Guthrie left Augusta VA to come to York PA for a short time prior to his second marriage. That York. PA connection is no doubt what convinced Laurence R Guthrie and the Guthrie-McClelland descendants that the Rev. War Pension Records of William Guthrie of Henry County KY belonged to this man. That Rev. War Patriot enlisted in York, PA.

1769: Birth of son William Guthrie Jr on 11 Nov 1769 in Pennsylvania. Joining in the move of several siblings to Kentucky, another reason for the confusion, no doubt, William Guthrie paused in Franklin, KY long enough to meet and marry Katherine Lehre. They were married at the home of Henry Payne on 8 June 1797. By 1806 they were settled in Ross County, Ohio and adding to their growing family. They had 11 children. Katherine died in 1843, and William Jr on 9 Oct 1855 in Paris, Edgar, IL.

1771: Birth of daughter Esther Guthrie about 1771 in Pennsylvania. All that is known about Esther is that she married a man of the Monroe surname.

1773: Birth of daughter Polly Guthrie about 1773 in Pennsylvania. All that is known about Polly is that she married a man of the Bigham surname.

1775: It was the prelude to war as tensions mounted between colonials and the British government. On 18 April 1775 General Gage sent a force of about 700 soldiers into the countryside to seize and destroy arms and supplies to disrupt the colonist’s warlike preparations resulting in the first armed conflict of the American Revolution and sparking the “shot heard round the world.” (Minute Man National Historic Park Massachusetts)

1776: The formal Declaration of Independence unanimously announced the thirteen colonies to be free and independent from all allegiance to the British Crown severing all political ties while listing colonial grievances and asserting natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution. 4 July 1776.

1777: This is a banner year on several levels. We are told that William & Esther Guthrie moved their family from Pennsylvania to Augusta County, Virginia settling about 3 miles distance from Waynesboro. Property Purchase not found, but this was presumably the 170 acres in Beverly Manor that William sold to his son Daniel in 1795.

American Guthrie and Allied Families‘ reads, “Leaving his family in their new home (William) immediately returned to Pennsylvania, and enlisted in the Seventeenth Regiment of Pennsylvania Continental Line, May 27, 1777.” (LRG: p.160) The regiment was actually the Seventh as there was no Seventeenth Regiment. The book’s appendix includes notations #127 and #128 listing the details from the Revolutionary War Pension Records.

#127:
(PA Archives Series 2, Volume 10, p.610 – Continental Line Seventh Pennsylvania Jan 1 1777- Jan 17 1781.) The source page continues the list of officers and enlisted soldiers in the Roll of Captain William Alexander’s Company. It includes Private William Guthrie, 27 May 1777.
(U.S. Pension Record) “William Guthery, private, PA S.T. 35996, Cert.No.15956, Kentucky, Agency, Act of March 18, 1818. Age 85 in 1821; died March 10, 1823. Applied for pension from Henry County, KY in 1818. Enlisted from York County, Pa., in 1777, in Captain William Alexander’s Company, General Wayne’s Brigade. Served until January, 1781, when he was honorably discharged. Was in the battles of Brandywine, Paoli, Germantown, and Monmouth. He states in 1820 that his wife is dead, he has not seen his son for several years and lives with his daughter who has nine children. His property consists of one cow, a calf, and a horse. John Blackburn, who was a lieutenant in Captain James Moore’s Company, testified to knowing William Guthrie during the revolution.”

#128
(Year Book of the Kentucky Society S.A.R. 1896, p.165)
Roll of Pensioners (includes):
Guthery, William, private……. Pennsylvania line
Sept. 29, 1819; August 12, 1818; $96. Age 87. Died March 10, 1823.

The referenced Rev. War Pension Records and Roll of Pensioners entry refers to a man to be introduced further below, William Guthrie of Henry County, KY.

As for William Guthrie of Augusta County, VA, we now have a dilemma. He is not the man in the above records, but does that mean he did not return to York, PA to enlist and serve as a Patriot Soldier in the Revolutionary War?

The Journal of the American Revolution may provide some insight as to what was going on in York, PA in 1777 in this article by Dennis Ness on ‘York County Pennsylvania Militia 1777‘, which begins with a surprising fact: “Prior to the end of 1776, there was no militia or minuteman company established in Colonial Pennsylvania.”

Say, what? Yet it makes sense that the Quaker-founders of Pennsylvania would not promote formal companies of arms-bearing fighting men considering their pacifist beliefs. Concerned locals eventually assumed control and wrote a new constitution for Pennsylvania. The new administration, the Supreme Executive Council, was established on 5 March 1777.

Twelve days later, on 17 March 1777, the General Assembly passed a state militia law. Each county had to set up its own local militia. The county lieutenants were required to compile a list of every white male of eligible age in the county capable of bearing arms. By April, they were already being ordered to send 500 county men to camp due to the anticipation of an invasion of Philadelphia. The York County Militia had not yet been organized, and required the clarification that its formation was a matter of Martial Law rather than simply a volunteer force.

“It appears that McCallister informed the freemen of his county over the next several days that they were no longer volunteers in service to their new county, but draftees for the state militia.” By June, there was still a difficulty organizing the militia. “The freemen would not meet to choose officers nor serve, and had threatened the lives of the officers that had accepted commissions.” Fines were collected from non-associators, which allowed those who could afford it to stay out of the conflict, and therefore out of the militia.

See Also: Explaining Pennsylvania’s Militia, by Thomas Verenna.

Need info from this source: FHL Film 008507237 – Non-associator’s fines, 1777, Township Assessments and Appeal Warrants, 1777, and 1781.

Did William Guthrie move his family to Augusta County, Virginia for their safety to avoid the perceived danger heading toward Pennsylvania? Did he actually go back to York County, PA as the story tells us? In order to be the man from the Pension Records, he would have had to enlist in 1777. Since he was not that man, if he did return to York, PA, is there any other evidence we can scrounge up to prove it?

The major problem is that there not be another Pension File that has simply been overlooked. The Revolutionary War Pension Act of 1818 was created years after this William Guthrie died in 1803-04 Shenandoah County, VA. There were multiple men of the name William Guthrie documented in PA and VA during the war years, so a careful assessment of those records should be made to look for clues.

The official D.A.R. and S.A.R. files should be corrected with an annotation. My understanding is that the D.A.R. does not retroactively rescind designations as they were approved based on the available data at the time.

1780s: “After the war (William Guthrie) devoted his time to his plantation in Virginia. He was early identified with the Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church and continued a faithful member of it during his residence in Virginia.”

1794: Two of the Guthrie children married in 1794. Nancy Guthrie married Isaiah Roberts on 14 Jan 1794, and her eldest sibling, John Guthrie married Margaret Gilkeson on 15 March. William Guthrie’s wife, Esther, died that year 1794, presumably at their home near Waynesboro, Augusta County, VA. The records of Tinkling Spring Old Cemetery do not include her, but it is noted that many of the early stones no longer exist. After his wife’s death, for reasons that are not documented in the family story, William left Augusta VA for York PA.

1795: On 12 March 1795, William Guthrie of York PA assigned Power of Attorney to his son-in-law, Isaiah Roberts while he was in Virginia. A couple of months later, William sold home and property, 170 acres situated in Beverly Manor, Augusta County, VA to his son, Daniel Guthrie.

1796: Whatever William Guthrie is doing with his life it does not involve sitting still. On 19 January 1796 in Shenandoah County, VA, he married Franky Young. His wife was a widow twice over. She was born Frances Haley, the daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth Agnes (Hawkins) Haley, a Baptist family from Orange County, Virginia. Her first marriage to Alexander Wright produced 4 children: Benjamin, John, Alexander, and Elizabeth, who would have all reached adulthood by the time she married William. Her second marriage was to a widower, Edwin Young, on 19 Dec 1785 in Orange, VA. Although they had no children of their own, he had several by his previous marriage.

LRG tells us: William and Franky “lived until about 1800 in Pennsylvania, then returned to Augusta County, VA., a little later they settled in Henry County, KY.” This statement is in error and functions only as a way to get this couple to Henry County, KY where the Pension Records state that William Guthrie died. Wrong William. This man and his wife Franky remained in Shenandoah County, Virginia until William’s death.

1798: On 13 March 1798, Wm Guthrie witnessed a transaction between John Moore Jr & Rebecca, his wife, of Shenandoah, and Thomas Jones, shoemaker of same, Land near/at foot of Carrols Mountain on some branches of Smiths Creek.

1796-1800: Sometime during the next few years, Franky and William had their only mutual child, son Haley Guthrie. Frankey’s father, Benjamin Haley, wrote his will naming his daughter “Franky Guttery” (Orange VA DB3 p529-30). There are so many variations of Haley Guthrie’s identity too as “Haley” was documented as “Alie” or “Elie”, which became “Alex” and “Eli” and then “Alexander Eli” and then Page (the place he lived) was thrown in, too making him “Paige Alexander Eli Guthrie”, but’s he’s just “Haley” named after his maternal grandfather.

1800: William Guthrie finally got around to terminating the Power of Attorney he set up with his son-in-law, Isaiah Roberts. On 23 Jan 1800, he submitted this revocation with the Shenandoah County Court. This document not only mentions that he had been in York, PA, but it serves as a bridge of proof between William Guthrie of Augusta County VA, the man who went to York PA, and the William Guthrie living in Shenandoah County VA. (Chalkey’s Abstracts of Augusta Co VA Vol III p217) (LRG p694)

1803 – 1804: William Guthrie died 1803-1804. He did not leave a will.

1804: An estate sale was held 9 Nov 1804 in Shenandoah County, VA and and account of the sale was recorded. Buyers include Widow Guthery, Alexander Wright, Alexander, Benjamin & John Wright, Martin Groves, Daniel & Isaac Strickler, John Payton, John Roads, Joseph Woods & others. (WB-F)

1805: At a court held for the County of Shenandoah on Monday 9th day of December 1805 this inventory and appraisement of the Estate of William Guthrie decd was returned and ordered to be recorded. (Will Book F)

1806: The estate of William Guthrie decd in account with Danl Strickler admir was recorded in Oct 1806, Shenandoah, VA.

1807: In September of 1807, the Shenandoah Court (Bk Q p488) directed John Roads, William Marye, and Christian Forres to have laid off and assigned to Frankey Guthrie late Frankey Young widow and relict of Edwin Young decd her dower of a certain tract of land…142 Acres.

1810: The US Federal Census of Shenandoah County, VA, Household of Francis Guttesy on 6 Aug 1810: 1F 45 and over, 1M and 1F 26-44, 1M 10-15, Enslaved Persons: 5, Total Household Members: 9. The boy of 10-15 is probably Haley Guthrie.

1820: There are no “Guthrie” households in Shenandoah County, VA in 1820, but Franky may be living with her Wright or Young relations.

1830: The US Federal Census of Western District, Shenandoah, VA lists Frances Guthrie as the only member of her household, aged 70-79. The entry directly below her on this alphabetically grouped census is her son, Haley Guthrie’s household.

1834 – 1835: Franky Guthrie died in early 1835 in neighboring Page County, VA. Haley and his family had also moved there. “A list of property sold at the sale of Frances Guthery deceased on the 7th day of April 1835.”

1837: On 15 Sep 1837 back in Shenandoah County, VA, Franky’s stepchildren entered a lawsuit against her estate. Statements include: “Frankie Guthrie died in Jun of last”; “Frances Young, widow of Edwin, took her dower in slaves, then she married William Guthrie.” The children of Edwin Young mentioned in the suit are Children of Edwin Young listed: John (deceased), Edwin Jr., William, Daniel, Cynthia Burner “Sintha”, Elizabeth Johnson, Frances Garing, and Nancy Allen.

To Summarize:
This William Guthrie was born in Chester County, PA, Married Esther McClelland and had 7 children. They may or may not have lived in York, PA prior to coming to Augusta, VA. If he did serve during the American Revolution we still need to find proof. He did live in York, PA after the death of his first wife. He married Mrs Franky Haley-Wright-Young in Shenandoah, VA and then remained there until his death, which occurred in 1803-1804. Franky continued to live in Shenandoah County until 1830, but at the time of her death, about 1835, she had moved to Page County, VA. The Y-DNA profile of William’s son John’s descendants also matches that of William’s son Haley’s desecendants.

THE REAL WILLIAM GUTHRIE of HENRY COUNTY, KY:

WILLIAM GUTHRIE
Parents: Unidentified
Birth: 1736 (calculation based on his age at death)
Occupation: Unknown
Military: American Revolution, Private, 7th Regiment Pennsylvania Continental Line
Marriage: Catherine (MNU) at unknown date and location
Death: 10 March 1823 in Henry County, Kentucky
Death Location: Henry County, Kentucky

CATHERINE (MNU)
Parents: Unidentified
Birth: Bef. 1765 (Age 45 and Over in 1810)
Guthrie Children: 2 – (FNU Son) Guthrie, (FNU Dau.) Guthrie
Death: Bet. 1816 and 1820
Death Location: Either in Henry County, KY or Clark County, IN

TIMELINE:

1736: Forget everything you thought you knew about William Guthrie of Henry County, Kentucky and just look at the raw facts. An examination of the Rev. War Pension Records S35997 shows that on 12 Aug 1818, the date the pension was executed, he was 82 years old. Booth Turner and Moses Hankins also provided attestations about the date of William Guthrie’s death in Henry KY on 10 March 1823 at which time he was 87. Both calculations result in the year 1736 as his birth year.

1767: Since the ‘other’ William Guthrie was credited with living in Hamiltonban Township, York, PA based on the fact that was the location William Guthrie enlisted, it is fair to consider it as a possible residence for this man, too. This William Guthrie is probably a little older than the other. He would be about 31 in 1767, compared to an est. 24-27. There is also no determination as to the year this William Guthrie married, whether before or after the war. A married man living on his own property would definitely be taxed. A single man without property would probably be taxed. A single man living in his parents home would probably not be taxed.

1777: York County, PA seemed to be in a tizzy. They had never had an organized militia of their own. Even those in charge appeared to be either legitimately confused about their orders to initiate Martial Law to put together a local militia, or deliberately delaying the action. The order was sent in March with a fast response anticipated because the new government feared the British were planning an assault on Philadelphia, and needed armed militia to report to camp. That did not happen. The locals railed against forced participation, but eventually a militia was formed. The county lieutenant was required to list all white men of appropriate age able to bear arms. Those who did not comply by joining the militia were issued a fine, but that fine could be paid, or a substitute found.

William Guthrie enlisted on 27 May 1777 at York, PA, as a Private in the 7th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Continental Line, Captain William Alexander’s Company, Commanded by Col. William Erwin, General Anthony Wayne’s Brigade. These facts are presented in the Pension Records

Military Engagements: Battle of Brandywine (British Victory)
11 Sep 1777 • Pennsylvania, USA
(British Victory) More troops fought at Brandywine than any other battle of the American Revolution.[5] It was also the second longest single-day battle of the war, after the Battle of Monmouth, with continuous fighting for 11 hours.

Military Engagements: Battle of Paoli (British Victory)
21 Sep 1777 • Pennsylvania, USA
British forces under Major General Charles Grey led a surprise attack on Wayne’s encampment near the Paoli Tavern. “The 7th Pennsylvania bore the brunt of the British assault at Paoli where half the men present were either killed or wounded.”

Military Engagements: Germantown (British Victory)
4 Oct 1777 • Pennsylvania, USA
After defeating the Continental Army at the Battle of Brandywine , and the Battle of Paoli, Howe outmaneuvered Washington, seizing Philadelphia,Howe left a garrison of some 3,000 troops in Philadelphia, while moving the bulk of his force to Germantown.

Winter of 1777-1778: Valley Forge
William Guthrie did not mention spending the winter at Valley Forge, but a Revolutionary War site reports “Having suffered so many casualties, by November 1, the 7th Pennsylvania only had 17 officers and 105 men fit for duty. The 7th Pennsylvania was present at Whitemarsh, but did not fight. They spent the winter at Valley Forge.”

Military Engagements: Battle of Monmouth (Draw)
28 Jun 1778 • New Jersey, USA
British break off engagement and continue retreat to New York

Military Discharge
24 Jan 1781 • Trenton, Mercer, New Jersey, USA
“At Morristown, during the winter of 1780-81, the 7th Pennsylvania was involved in a mutiny with other Pennsylvania Regiments after which the unit was disbanded.” William Guthrie’s pension application doesn’t mention that tidbit. He received an honorable discharge.

1782 – 1809: Location Unknown
That’s 27 years of his life that most likely take place in the United States. We can’t know for certain that he returned to Pennsylvania. By the time we find William Guthrie again he is settled in Henry County, Kentucky, and it appears that his children are already grown and living their own lives. There are a few clues ahead.

1798: Henry County, Kentucky was founded in 1798 from portions of Shelby County, KY and named for the famed statesman and governor of Virginia, Patrick Henry. The 1790 and 1800 US Census records for KY no longer exist.

1810: The US Federal Census of Henry County, Kentucky includes 1 Guthrie Household: William Guthrie – 1M and 1F 45 and over. Based on his known DOB of 1736, William would be about 74. His wife’s DOB is unknown, but this tells us she was born prior to 1766.

1815: William died not show up on the local tax records until we also find him purchasing land. On 15 Nov 1815, Baronet Chastain and wife Sally of Washington, Indiana Territory, sold to William Guthrie of Henry County, KY for $500 consideration 136 acres on Floyd’s Fork.

That year, Will Guthrie appears on the Henry County KY Tax Lists: 136A Floyd’s Fork Water Course. Whites: 1, Blacks above 16: 1, Total: 3, Horses: 5.

1816: This is the second and last year that William Guthrie appears on the tax records. On 18 Nov 1816, a year after purchasing the property, William Guthrie of Henry County, KY and Catharine his wife of Clark County, IN, sold to Stephen Drane of Shelby, KY for $112 consideration, 136 acres on Floyd’s Fork. (He took a big loss to sell the property.)

1818: As early as 1776, the Continental Congress passed its first pension legislation providing half pay for Continental Army officers and enlisted men who became disabled due to their war service who were unable to earn a living. Toward the end of the war the focus was on legislation for widows and orphans. In 1806 and 1817, further expansion of the laws to provide federal pensions to veterans of state troops and militia services. In May of 1818, the Revolutionary War Pension Act extended pensions to all Continental Army veterans. This provided a pension to anyone who had served the requisite time, not just those who had been debilitated. “One senator estimated that only 1,614 Revolutionary War survivors remained alive in 1818. Nearly 20,000 impoverished veterans applied for benefits. Later that year the Secretary of War submitted the list of eligible pensioners to the Senate. The 1818 Pension Roll (covering 24 states) is available online, as are the actual pension files (held at the National Archives – See Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files).” {Article: Becker, 2019}

William Guthrie of Henry County, KY submitted his application, attestations and witnesses. He was placed on the Pension Roll on 12 August 1818.

The summary of his service is found in American Guthrie and Allied Families appendixes, but is sourced from the Pennsylvania Archives Series.

#127:
(PA Archives Series 2, Volume 10, p.610 – Continental Line Seventh Pennsylvania Jan 1 1777- Jan 17 1781.) The source page continues the list of officers and enlisted soldiers in the Roll of Captain William Alexander’s Company. It includes Private William Guthrie, 27 May 1777.
(U.S. Pension Record) “William Guthery, private, PA S.T. 35996, Cert.No.15956, Kentucky, Agency, Act of March 18, 1818. Age 85 in 1821; died March 10, 1823. Applied for pension from Henry County, KY in 1818. Enlisted from York County, Pa., in 1777, in Captain William Alexander’s Company, General Wayne’s Brigade. Served until January, 1781, when he was honorably discharged. Was in the battles of Brandywine, Paoli, Germantown, and Monmouth. He states in 1820 that his wife is dead, he has not seen his son for several years and lives with his daughter who has nine children. His property consists of one cow, a calf, and a horse. John Blackburn, who was a lieutenant in Captain James Moore’s Company, testified to knowing William Guthrie during the revolution.” #128
(Year Book of the Kentucky Society S.A.R. 1896, p.165)
Roll of Pensioners (includes):
Guthery, William, private……. Pennsylvania line
Sept. 29, 1819; August 12, 1818; $96. Age 87. Died March 10, 1823.

1820: Sometime between 1816 and 1820, William Guthrie’s wife Catherine died. This might have been in Henry, KY, but it could have been in Clark, IN, where she was located at the time he sold their property. The Indiana connection is potentially a big clue to William’s identity. When they both the land in 1815 it was from a couple who were living in the Indiana Territory. Could William and Catherine have come to Kentucky from the Indiana Territory? Clark County wasn’t even formed until 1801 with territory annexed from Knox County. But our first sighting was in 1810, so it’s possible.

William Guthrie is not listed on the 1820 census for Henry KY, but he owned no property and was by that time about 84 years old. He was probably living with his daughter.

1823: John Montgomery, who had contributed to his Pension Application by swearing to having seen William Guthrie’s discharge papers on several occasions, described his situation as destitute. Booth Turner and Moses Hankins were the two men who attested to the date of his death on 10 March 1823 for the records.

William Guthrie left no will. His wife was already dead. He hadn’t spoken to his son in years, and his identity remains unknown. The daughter seems to have been local; he was living with her. There were 9 grandchildren. So there might be someone out there who can claim some knowledge.

1 Comment »

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 )

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