Created 1773 from Bedford County.
The County Seat is at Greensburg.
SOURCE: Index to Westmoreland County Pennsylvania Wills 1773-1896, US/CAN 974.881P22c
Guthrie, James Vol. 1 – p.283 – 1812
Guthrie, Robert Vol. 2 – p.144 – 1826
Guthrie, William Vol. 2 – p.213 – 1829
Guthrie, William Vol.4 – p.571 – 1865
Note: The first entry would probably be GFG2A – Branch G – James, son of James & Jeanette Wilson Guthrie, who married Jennet Culbertson. The 1829 Will for William Guthrie is likely the son of James & Jennet.
SOURCE: Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Deeds, 1773-1784, TLC Genealogy, US/CAN974.881 R2t, FHL
p.44 Westmoreland, Deed Book Volume A Part 1
Mount Pleasant Twp mortgage by Barbara & John Armil under which is recorded: “…Personally appeared before James Guthrie, Westmoreland Recorder.” 11 Jul 1776.
p.61 Westmoreland, Deed Book Volume A Part 1 “Page 178. Know that Francis McGinnis and Rebecca his wife, of Mount Pleasant Twp in W, for 1200 L, have sold to Robert Taylor of the Twp afd and W, a certain tract of land containing 200 acres in Derry Twp and W, on Spruce Run, ajoining lands of Alex:r Caldwell and James Thompson, for which 200 acres the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania granted JAMES GUTHERY a warrant dated Feb 17, 1773, and sd Guthrie conveyed the land to Daniel Cashedy and Daniel Cashedy conveyed it to the above named Francis McGinnins. Signed Dec 25, 1779 – Francis McGinnis, Rebecca (o her mark) McGinnis. Wit – John Moore, John Taylor, James Thompson. Recorded Mar 20, 1780.
p.46 Westmoreland Co., Deed Book Volume A Part 1 “Page 124. I, James Watterson of the Twp of Hempfield in W, for 20 L, have sold to Christopher Truby, a certain improvement and tract of land thereunto belonging, situated on the waters of Sewigly, bounded by the lands of Michael Rough, Esq. and other lands of sd Watterson and other lands of sd Truby, containing, by computation, about 30 acres, it being the lands conveyed to sd Waterson by William Altman’s bill of sale dated Oct 10, 1770, and also by indenture of WILLIAM GUTHRY dated Jan 21, 1775. Signed Apr 9, 1776 – Yimmes Wterson. With – James Kinkaid, Wendel Owry. This deed was ack. By James Waters [sic]. Recorded Jul 13, 1776.
p.75 Westmoreland Co., Deed Book Volume A Part 1 “Page 213. I, Joseph Wilson of Pennsylvania, am going to Kentucky.” Joseph gives power of atty to Samuel Wilson. Signed 31 Mar 1780. Witnessed by WM. GUTHERY, William Wilson. Recorded 25 Jan 1781.
(Lucky Wilson descendants. If only all of our ancestors left a note saying where they were moving.)
p.80 Westmoreland Co. Deed Book Volume A Part 1 “Page 224” JAMES GUTHRY signed as a witness to a Westmoreland deed by Samuel Bradley to Samuel Moorhead, George Henry, and James Hamilton.
SOURCE: Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Deeds, 1784-1786, TLC Genealogy, US/CAN 974.881 R2t v.2, FHL
p.6 Westmoreland Co. Deed Book Volume A Part 2 “Page 368. November 30, 1774 from Joseph Kerr of the Township of Hempfield in the County of Westmoreland, to Robert Fleming of the Township of Letterkenny in the County of Cumberland…” Witnesses: JAMES GUTHREY, James Kinkead. Ack 30 Nov 1774. Recorded 14 May 1784.
p.57 Westmoreland Co. Deed Book Volume A Part 2. A deed for land in Mount Pleasant Twp dated 22 Feb 1785 was witnessed by JOHN GUTHREY.
p.78 Westmoreland Co. Deed Book Volume A Part 2. James Guthrie, recorder in and for Westmoreland, documented that Abraham Taylor, executor of Ezekiel Dye, appeared before him on 10 Nov 1804 to acknowledge satisfaction for a mortgage by a mortgagor.
SOURCE: Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Deeds. Liber D, folio 210
An example of a deed used in the place of a will:
“I John Guthrie, of Westmoreland County, for natural affection and other good causes and considerations, have granted unto my wife, Mary Guthrie, one feather bed, furniture, one cherry tree chest, etc., with all benefits arising from the estate of Richard Wallace, to which I am entitled, to be disposed of at her pleasure after my decease.” Signed the 12th day of January, 1790. John Guthrie.
SOURCE: Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Deeds, Vol. 2, Part 2, p.562
John Guthrie, of Westmoreland County, for 20 bushels of wheat, 100 bushels of rye, 6 bushels of corn, 6 bushels of buckwheat, 10 bushels of oats, 200 pounds of pork, 200 pounds of beef, 2 cows foddered, 6 sheep kept, 2 horses kept and when not at my command to work in moderation, etc. from James and William Guthrie, in consideration whereof the said John Guthrie sells to them a certain tract of land containing 242 acres, my dwelling house excepted and they are not to sell the land until after my death and if it please God to call me off before my wife, she is to enjoy two thirds of the income, except the horses of which she is to have one half if unmarried. But if she marries she is to go with her husband and enjoy no more of said income. Said land adjoins Michael Ringle, Joseph Thorn, Dewall Maclin, Phillip Walter. Dated Oct 9, 1795.
M.G. (her mark)
In the presence of William Hill. Recorded March 10, 1797.
SOURCE: Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Deeds, Vol. 3, p168
James Guthrie and William Guthrie of Salem Township, Westmoreland County, Pa in consideration of having received a release from Mary Guthrie, Relict of John Guthrie Esq, deceased, late of Salem Township, giving up all claim to the real estate of the said John Guthrie, do bind ourselves to permit her to enjoy all the personal estate of John Guthrie, aforesaid, after the funeral expenses are discharged, and to permit her to have whole use and possession of the house in which she now lives, one third of the “Shugar Camp” while she remains unmarried and to furnishing to said Mary Guthrie while she remains unmarried–20 bushels of wheat, 7 bushels of rye, 4 bushels of Indian corn, 4 bushels of buckwheat, 7 bushels of oats, 133 pounds of beef, 133 pounds of pork, 1/2 acre of turnip, potatoes, etc. 10th day of April, 1797.
Signed in the presence of Samuel Porter. Recorded Nov 1797.
SOURCE: Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Deeds, Vol.9, p262
As to the estate:
John Guthrie of Washington Township, William Guthrie of Salem Township (this was William Guthrie, the husband of Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee), William Beatty, and James Beatty, both of Washington Township, and James Porterfield, of Salem Township, in consideration of the sum of five shillings to each of us in hand paid by James Guthrie and William Guthrie, both of Salem Township, do hereby give up and quit-claim our interest in the estate of John Guthrie Esq, deceased, late of Salem Township, to the said James Guthrie and William Guthrie. 10th April 1797.
In the presence of Samuel Porter, James Hill. Recorded 15th day of April, 1811.
SOURCE: Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Recorder of Deeds, Grantor Index, Surnames D-G, US/CAN Microfilm 929097, FHL
SOURCE: Extracts of Wills 1819-1839 Copied from Will Book 2, Court House, Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA, by Della Reagan Fischer, US/CAN 974.881 P2f v.2
217. GUTHRIE, Robert pgs144-45 Westmd. Co. (#867) 1826
Wf Margaret – sons John & William – daus Elizabeth, Martha w/o Samuel Biddle, Jane w/o Henry Prebinis, Nancy & Margaret – gr-son Samuel Donly.
Executor: Ephraim A. Robison Esq.
Witnesses: Isaac Paar, Jr. & James Irwin
218. GUTHRIE, William p213 Washington Twp, (#980) 1929Brother James’ children & my sister’s children.
Executor: Matthew Jack Jr
Witnesses: Matthew Jack & John Rudolph
SOURCE: Index to Landowners and Joiners in the Early Land Survey Books, 1769-1905 Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania (Survey Books I & II), compiled by Shirley G. McQuillis, William L. Iscrupe, Southwest Pennsylvania Genealogical Services, 1983. US/CAN974.881R22m, FHL
Last Will & Testament of James Guthrie of Hempfield, Westmoreland, PA, Book 1, Page 283/4, No.443. 1812.
SOURCE: Westmoreland County Pennsylvania, Will of Robert Guthrie
SOURCE: Westmoreland County Pennsylvania, Will No780, William Guthrie
SOURCE: Westmoreland County Orphans Court Index.
SOURCE: Biography of Walter J Guthrie published in the Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania, by Samuel T Wiley, 1891.
SOURCE: Westmoreland County Pennsylvania Will Book 3, pp571-573, Last Will & Testament of William Guthrie of Salem Township
WILLIAM GUTHRIE ESTATE RECORDS – 1865
Revolutionary War Pension Application W3245: Joseph Brownlee Elizabeth Guthrie former widow
These are scans of the documents themselves, which include the actual pension application, supporting documentation in the form of depositions, military information, and typed letters from the pension office summarizing the details of the file including key genealogical data.
One such letter dated February 24, 1937, from A.D. Hiller, Executive Assistant to the Administrator:
“Joseph Brownlee, W.3245
Reference is made to your request for information relative to ELIZABETH GUTHRIE who first married CAPTAIN BROWNLEE and then married CAPTAIN GUTHRIE who served in the Revolutionary War.
The data which follow were obtained from papers on file in the pension claim, W. 3245, based upon the Revolutionary War service of JOSEPH BROWNLEE.
While living in HANNASTOWN, WESTMORELAND COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, JOSEPH BROWNLEE married in 1775, 1776, or 1777 ELIZABETH, whose maiden name was not given.
He enlisted in the spring of 1776 as a lieutenant in CAPTAIN JOSEPH IRWIN’s company of Riflemen in COLONEL MILES’ Pennsylvania regiment. He was taken prisoner at the Battle of Long Island, was exchanged and attached to COLONEL STEWART’S and BRODHEAD’S Pennsylvania regiments and was stationed at FORTS PITT and LAURENS. Because of an injury in the foot he left the service in 1779 and resided at HANNASTOWN until July, 1782, when the town was destroyed by Indians and he and his little son, whom he was carrying in his arms, were killed by the Indians at or near MILLER’S FORT. His wife, ELIZABETH, and child, JANE, were captured and taken to BUFFALO and NIAGARA, where the wife was sold to a British officer for twenty dollars and the child for ten dollars and two gallons of rum. ELIZABETH was then sent as a captive to MONTREAL, was exchanged and returned with the child to HANNASTOWN in July, 1783.
ELIZABETH BROWNLEE married in July, 1784, WILLIAM GUTHRIE of HANNASTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA. He enlisted in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in May, 1776, in CAPTAIN JAMES McCONNEL’S Pennsylvania Company of the FLYING CAMP, was in the battles of Trenton and Princeton and was discharged in January, 1777. He enlisted in 1780 and served as a lieutenant in CAPTAIN MATHEW Jack’s company of Pennsylvania rangers, and he served another year as captain of a company of rangers.
After the close of the Revolutionary War WILLIAM and ELIZABETH GUTHRIE moved to that part of WESTMORELAND COUNTY which was later called ARMSTRONG COUNTY and he was killed by a fall from a wagon March 10, 1828, at which time he was seventy-three years of age.
She was survived by the following children: JAMES GUTHRIE, JOANNA or JOHANNA GUTHRIE who lived in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, and JOSEPH BROWNLEE GUTHRIE and WILLIAM GUTHRIE who lived in CLARION COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA. In 1849 it was stated that JANE (the daughter of JOSEPH and ELIZABETH BROWNLEE) had married JESSE HUKEL and had moved to MUSKINGUM COUNTY, OHIO, and that the family did not know whether she was then living or dead, as they had not heard from her for eight years. Said JANE was four years of age in 1786.
On June 25, 1847, the above-noted JOSEPH BROWNLEE GUTHRIE applied for pension that was due the surviving children of ELIZABETH GUTHRIE, on account of the Revolutionary War service of JOSEPH BROWNLEE and the claim was allowed.
In 1847 SARAH BEATTY, aged eighty-four years and a resident of NORTH BUFFALO TOWNSHIP, ARMSTRONG COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, stated that she was the sister of ELIZABETH GUTHRIE and that her father (name not given) moved to the vicinity of HANNASTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA, before the Revolutionary War. She did not give the date and place of birth of her father nor his place of residence before moving to Hannastown. Said SARAH married WILLIAM BEATTY July 8, 1783. In 1847, JANE BEATTY of ARMSTRONG COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, who married JOHN BEATTY December 31, 1789, stated that she was the sister of ELIZABETH GUTHRIE and she stated that when the Indians killed JOSEPH BROWNLEE they killed her brother (name not given) at the same place.
The date and place of birth and names of parents of the Revolutionary War soldiers, JOSEPH BROWNLEE and WILLIAM GUTHRIE, were not given and there are no further family data.”
Another document within the record:
“At an ORPHAN’S COURT held at GREENSBURGH for the COUNTY of WESTMORELAND the seventh day of November 1786 before John Moon Esquire president, Christopher Truby Esquire and Michael Huffnagle Esquire Justices of the same Court.
Joseph Brownlee dec’d
Upon application of WILLIAM GUTHRY who is intermarried with ELIZABETH BROWNLEE widow and relict of JOSEPH BROWNLEE decd. Setting forth that he has had in his care a female child of four years of age, of the said deceased from the seventh day of July 1784 until this time and praying that the court would allow him such compensation for boarding and clothing the said child as they may think meet. The court order That the administrators of the estate of the said JOSEPH BROWNLEE deceased pay the said WILLIAM GUTHRY the sum of eight pounds by the year for the time that he has boarded and clothed the said child.”
SOURCE: JOSEPH BROWNLEE AND THE DESTRUCTION OF HANNASTOWN, by Betty Rudolph
Joseph Brownlee served in Capt. Joseph Erwin’s Company during the Revolutionary War. This company was raised in Westmoreland County, PA, and joined the regiment at Marcus Hook. It was subsequently included in the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Regiment, then in the Second, and finally discharged at Valley Forge, Jan. 1, 1778, by reason of expiration of term of enlistment. Engagements were Long Island, White Plains, Trenton, Princeton, Quibbletown, Brandywine, and Germantown.
Joseph was commissioned Third Lieutenant on April 15, 1776, Second Lieutenant on Oct 24, 1776, and First Lieutenant on April 18, 1777. He was captured at the Battle of Long Island on July 27, 1776, and exchanged December 9, 1776. He resigned June 22, 1777. Joseph married Elizabeth Guthrie in 1775. They had two children, John and Jane. The death of Joseph Brownlee can be found in several different printed sources. Some of these sources, notably the History of Westmoreland
County Pennsylavania by John N. Boucher, identify the Brownlee killed by the Indians as John. However, in Boucher’s Old and New Westmoreland, he is identified as Joseph. The confusion may result from the fact that a John Brownlee served with Joseph in Irwin’s Company in the Revolution. Or, because the young son who was killed with Joseph was named John. But
extensive research shows that it was Joseph who died at Hannastown.
Joseph was a well known Indian fighter on the Frontier. As one source states, “He did not discriminate between a good and a bad Indian, thinking perhaps that there were none of the former class.” In a letter from Col. Brodhead dated Nov. 2, 1780, he named Lieutenant Brownlee as one of several men who attempted to “destroy” a group of Delaware Indians under Brodhead’s
On July 13, 1782 Joseph Brownlee and his family were attending a wedding at Miller’s Blockhouse at Hannastown in Westmoreland Co. PA when the Indians attacked. Several of the guests, including the Brownlees, were captured. One
of the captured women happened to address Joseph by name. The Indians, upon finding out who he was, killed him with a hatchet blow to the head, and then killed his three-year-old son John who he was carrying on his back. The
Indians also killed another woman, identified in one account as Mrs. White, assuming she was Joseph’s wife.
Elizabeth and Jane, who was only four months old at the time, were taken to Buffalo and Niagra where Elizabeth was sold to British officers for $20 and Jane for $10 and 2 gallons of rum. They were then taken to Montreal and exchanged and returned to Hannastown in July 1783. The bodies of the slain captives were buried where they were found on what was later the Meckling farm.
After her return from captivity, Elizabeth married William Guthrie in Jul 1784 at Hannastown. He was killed by a fall from a wagon 10 Mar 1828. She d. 11 Feb 1842. Jane married James HUGLE and moved to Muskingum Co., Ohio.
Joseph Brownlee owned a 150 acre tract of land in Hempfield Township in Westmoreland Co. which was sold in 1786 to pay his debts and support his surviving child. Hugh Brownlee, possibly Joseph’s brother, was appointed as one of the Administrators of his estate, but had died by Feb. 1785.
Sources for this information include:
- Pension File for Elizabeth Brownlee Guthrie, #3245 PA.
- American Guthries and Allied Families
- American Biographical Library, The Biographical Cyclopædia of American Women, Volume II. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution
- Old and New Westmoreland, by John N. Boucher, The American Historical Society, Inc., NY, 1918
- Old Westmoreland Newsletter, Vol. 2 #1, #3, #4, Vol. 3 #1, Vol. 9 #4, Vol. 12 #1, Vol 13, #3
- Pennsylvania Archives, 6th Series, Vol 14, pg 297
- Pennsylvania Archives, 3rd Series, Vol 22, pg 512
- History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, by John N. Boucher, Lewis Publishing Co. 1906
- Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania,
SOURCE: Irish Immigrants in the Land of Caanan by Kerby A. Miller, Arnold Schrier, Bruce D Boling, David N. Doyle
Perhaps one of the most potentially important findings is the story of Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee Guthrie. Her harrowing story of capture by indians is well documented, as is her petition for continuation of her husband’s pension. Through these documents we learn of family connections between 2 Guthrie lines, and by examining Elizabeth’s origins, perhaps discover the Irish hometown of ‘Guthrie Branch B’.
Elizabeth Guthrie was the daughter of “John Guthrie (c1720-1797) who was the youngest of 7 brothers, Covenanting Presbyterians from Londonderry City who emigrated to the American colonies. Accompanied by his wife, Mary Jane Reed, and their 6 children, John arrived in Pennsylvania colony in 1771 and moved to the colony’s far western frontier, to what in 1773 became Westmoreland County. There he took up land along the Loyalhanna Creek, near the ill-fated village of Hannastown, the first county seat, where he also served as Justice of the Peace.”
This source also reveals that John Guthrie is a brother to Robert Guthrie:
“The Guthrie family history also reveals how the last pre-revolutionary settlers from Ulster overlapped and intermingled with earlier Scotch-Irish emigrants and their American-born children on the trans-Appalachian frontier. Robert Guthrie (b.1711), John Guthrie’s oldest brother and a carpenter, had come to Philadelphia in the early 1740s, and subsequently he and his descendants moved west in stages. After his arrival, Robert Guthrie lived successively in Philadelphia, Chester County, Lancaster County, and Carlisle. By the eve of the Revolution, Robert’s son, James, owned a 264-acre farm on Back Creek, in Cumberland County.”
“Not until 1780 did James Guthrie join his Uncle John in Westmoreland County, where he grew wealthy through land speculations. Prior to the Revolution, however, at least two of James’ children preceded him across the Alleghenies and settled in Westmoreland. There in 1784, one of James Guthrie’s sons, William, would become the second husband of John Guthrie’s daughter, Elizabeth the petitioner. The marriage of second cousins thus reuniting the two branches of the Guthrie family, sundered by emigration, on the banks of the Loyalhanna.”
But which Robert Guthrie was John’s brother? The emigration story matches that of Robert & Bridget (Dougherty) Guthrie right up to Carlisle, including the fact that Robert was a carpenter. Then the story seems to crisscross with that of Robert & Elizabeth (Darlington) Guthrie’s descendants. A closer look at the original source material is required. None of the genealogical information presented here was in the Revolutionary War Pension Application documents noted further above.
SOURCE: American Guthrie and Allied Families, by Lawrence R. Guthrie
The Guthrie book lists John Guthrie, of Westmoreland, PA, as emigrating to America in the ‘Seventh and Eighth Decade’. Also listed in this section is my direct ancestor, James Guthrie of Maryland and North Carolina (p.431)
JOHN GUTHRIE was born in or near the city of Londonderry, Ireland in 172_. He married there MARY JANE REED. They migrated with their children to America in 1771. Within a year of their arrival they had located “beyond the frontiers” in what is now northwestern Westmoreland County, Pa.
He does not appear to have served in the Revolutionary War, but he was an early Justice of the Peace and a patriotic citizen. He was a devout Covenanter and reared his family in that faith. He died about 1797.
Mary Jane (Reed) Guthrie did not long survive her husband, as she died before the year 1800.
Children all born in Londonderry, Ireland, save Nancy and William, who were born in Westmoreland County, Pa.
- John (called “Jack” to distinguish him from his father) Guthrie, b. about 1752.
- Elizabeth Guthrie, b. in 1755 (p.410)
- Sarah Guthrie, b. Aug. 12, 1763; m. July 8, 1783, William Beatty (See the Beattys, Allied Families).
- Jane Guthrie, m. John Beatty. (See the Beattys, Allied Families).
- James Guthrie, b. about 1770.
- Nancy Guthrie
- William Guthrie, b. July, 1777
Elizabeth Guthrie gives an account of the burning of Hannastown, July 13, 1782, and her experiences as a captive in her petition to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. She married (1) in 1775, Lt. Joseph Brownlee; married (2) Capt. William Guthrie, who was born July 9, 1751, son of James Guthrie and Jennet Culbertson.
Children of Joseph Brownlee and Elizabeth Guthrie:
- John Brownlee, b. in 1779; d. July 13, 1782; killed by indians striking head against tree after capture.
- Jane (“Jennie”) Brownlee, b. in 1782; aged four months at time of capture; survived the terrible captivity, grew to womanhood; m. James Hugle, Hughes, or Jesse Hukel as name is variously given. They moved to Muskingum County, Ohio; had four sons and three daughters.
Children of Capt. William Guthrie and Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee:
- William Guthrie, b. April 21, 1785 in Westmoreland County, Pa; d. at Smithland, Armstrong County, Pa.
- James Guthrie, b. Jan. (or June) 6, 1786, in Westmoreland County, Pa.
- Elizabeth (“Betsy”) Guthrie, b. in 1788
- Mary Guthrie, b. in 1789; d. 1809; unm.
- Jane Guthrie, twin to Mary; d. in infancy.
- Jennie Guthrie, b. in 1791; m. a Mr. Matthews; “moved east”
- _____ Guthrie, b. in 1793
- Nancy Guthrie, b. in 1794
- Joanna Guthrie, b. Feb. 14, 1796; m. Alexander Brown
- Joseph Brownlee Guthrie, b. Dec. 29, 1798.
‘AMERICAN GUTHRIE’ FOOTNOTES:
“According to a tradition of descendants (JOHN GUTHRIE’s) ancestry ran back to the LAIRD OF PITFROTHY, who was a brother of the LAIRD of the ancient HOUSE OF GUTHRIE, and was therefore a descendant of the GUTHRIES OF THAT ILK. The LAIRD OF PITFROTHY married a daughter of teh House of Easter Ogle and five sons were born to them, all of whom became ministers of the gospel, noted for their piety and their attachment to the cause of Presbytery.
William, the eldest, was the heir according to law and custom of the paternal estate, but that he might be free from the encumberance of worldly affairs he made over his inheritance to the one brother of the five who did not obtain the charge of any particular parish. William studied at St. Andrews, completing his course in philosophy under his cousin, JAMES GUTHRIE, who later obtained the MARTYR’s crown on account of his writings and his unyielding adherence to the Convenants. William lodged in the same room with his cousin and doubtless imbibed from him much of that noble and devoted spirit which made James a marked man. William Guthrie’s theology was studied under the direction of Mr. Samuel Rutherford, at that time one of the outstanding leaders of the Convenanting party. “Then and there,” says Mr. Traill, “it pleased God to gall him by His grace, but the ministry of that excellent person.”
Soon after the completion of his course in St. Andrews, William Guthrie received a call to the parish of Fenwick, near Kilmarnock, in Ayrshire. He was greatly exercised in regard to accepting it, but became convinced by its clear insistence that it was of Divine origin. He accepted it, was ordained and installed under most impressive circumstances unique in the annals of the churches of Scotland. Such was his learning, piety and zeal that many families, some of them coming at great sacrifice, moved into his parish that they might sit under his blessed ministry. In 1664, the despotic Prelatic party sent a groveling henchman accompanied by armed men and deposed him from his church. He yielded after solemnly warning the prelate and the soldiers of the seriousness of their offense in interfering with the ministry to which God had called him. He remained in Fenwick for a few months thereafter, and then, the brother having died to whom he made over the paternal estate, he returned to Angus (Forfarshire), where he died of gravel in 1665. He lies buried beneath the pews assigned to Pitfrothy in the church of Breechin. He was in his forty-fifth year.
William Guthrie married Agnes Campbell, a daughter of David Campbell. To them were born six children, but as only two daughter survived him, it seems extremely unlikely that he had any male descendants to perpetuate his name. Of the three remaining brothers, all suffered severe persecution. One is said to have fled to England. Of the remaining two nothing definite is known. They may one or both have fled or been banished to Ireland. It is no doubt true that the subject of this sketch was a descendant of one of these brothers who went to Londonderry about 1665. He was a Covenanter of the strictest kind and brought with him to America, along with his Bible, a copy of Rev. William Guthrie’s famous treatise, “The Christian’s Great Interest,” and several of his other writings and other religious books.
Some descendants give (Mary Jane Reed’s) name as Jane; records, as Mary; both should be satisfied with Mary Jane.
Justice of the Peace of Westmoreland County, June 11, 1777. (Pa Arch Ser 2, p.775). In various records he is referred to as “John Guthrie, Esq.” He seems to have held the office for many years, e.g.__”Muster Roll of Captain William Hill’s Company on duty in the 4th Regiment of Wesmoreland County, ordered out by Col. George Hutcheson on the frontier of Westmoreland County, 1794.” “December ye 11th, 1794, sworn before me, John Guthrie.” (Pa Arch Ser 6, Vol 5, p. 787).
Like all the earliest settlers in Westmoreland, John GUthrie “squatted” on the lands he held and it was several years before he obtained title to them from the Proprietaries. Third day of April 1788: John Guthrie, of Salem Township, Westmoreland County, Pa., for the sum of 150 pounds gold or silver sells to Michael Ringer of Salem Township, a tract of land in said Township, “adjoining lands of John Guthrie, senior, containing one hundred and forty-one perches.” granted by the late Propretors, 8th Nov. 1784. (signed) John Guthrie. In the presence of Mathew Jack, Jane Wilson. (Westmoreland Co., Pa. Deeds, Liber C., folio 303).
Again–14th day of December 1791. John Guthrie, senior, and Mary, his wife, both of Salem Township, Westmoreland County, Pa. Whereas the commonwealth granted March 1, 1787 a tract of land called “Guthrie’s Fancy” unto the said John Guthrie, see patent Book No 10, p.72, now the said John Guthrie in consideration of the sum of 105 pounds sells to Michael Ringer a tract of land in the said township, county and state containing 142 acres, 112 perches and allowances, being a part of the above. (signed) John Guthrie. Mary Guthrie. In the presence of Chris Truby, James Guthrie. Recorded Dec. 15, 1791. (Westmoreland Co., Pa., Deeds, Vol 1, p. 48).
Here is an example of a deed in the place of a will. Such are found now and then in the older records.
“I, John Guthrie, of Westmoreland County, for natural affection and other good causes and considerations, have granted unto my wife, Mary Guthrie, one feather bed, furniture, one cherry tree chest, etc., with all benefits arising from the estate of Richard Wallace, dec’d, to which I am entitled, to be disposed of at her pleasure after my decease. Signed 12th day of January, 1790. John Guthrie. (Westmoreland County Pa, Deeds, Liber D, folio210).
Another–John Guthrie, of Westmoreland County, for 20 bushels of wheat, 100 bushels of rye, 6 bushels of corn, 6 bushels of buckwheat, 10 bushels of oats, 200 pounds of pork, 200 pounds of beef, 2 cows foddered, 6 sheep kept, 2 horses kept and when not at my command to work in moderation, etc. From James and William Guthrie, in consideration the said John Guthrie sells to them a certain tract of land containing 242 acres, my dwelling house excepted and they are not to sell the land until after my death and if it please God to call me off before my wife, she is to enjoy two thirds of the income, except the horses of which she is to have one half if unmarried. But if she marries she is to go with her husband and enjoy no more of said income. Said land adjoins Michael Ringle, Joseph Thorn, Dewal Maclin, Phillip Walter. Dated October 9, 1795. (Signed) John Guthrie, M.G. (her mark). James Guthrie. William Guthrie. In the presence of Wm. Hill. Recorded march 10, 1797. (Westmoreland Co., Pa, Deeds Vol. 2, part 2, p. 562. (Note:–probably recorded soon after the death of John Guthrie. The following is confirmatory. L.R.G.)
James Guthrie and William Guthrie, of Salem Township, Westmoreland County, Pa., in consideration of having received a release from Mary Guthrie, Relict of John Guthrie, Esq., deceased, late of Salem Township, giving up all claim to the real estate of the said John Guthrie, do bind ourselves to permit her to enjoy all the personal estate of John Guthrie, aforesaid, after the funeral expenses are discharged and permit her to have whole use and possession of the house in which she now lives, one third the “Shugar Camp” while she remains unmarried and to furnishing to said Mary Guthrie while she remains unmarried–20 bushels of whieat, 7 bushels of rye, 4 bushels of indian corn, 4 bushels of buckwheat, 7 bushels of oats, 133 pounds of beef, 133 pounds of pork, 1/2 acre of turnip, potatoes, etc. 10th day of April, 1797. (signed) Jas. Guthrie, William Guthrie. Signed in the presence of Samuel Porter. Recorded November 1797. (Westmoreland County, Pa., Deeds, Vol. 3, p.168).
As to the estate–John Guthrie of Washington Township, William Guthrie, of Salem Township, (Note:–this was William Guthrie, who married Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee, see below, L. R. G.) William Beatty and james Beatty, both of Washington Township, and James Porterfield of Salem Township, in consideration of the sum of five shillings to each of us in hand paid by James Guthrie and William Guthrie, both of Salem Township, do hereby give up and quit-claim our interest in the estate of John Guthrie, Esq., deceased, late of Salem Township, to the said James Guthrie and William Guthrie. 10th April 1797. (signed) John Guthrie. William Guthrie. William Beatty. John Beatty. James Porterfield. In the presence of Samuel Porter, James Hill. Recorded 15th day of April, 1811. (Westmoreland Co., Pa., Deeds, Vol. 9, p.262).
Concerning Co. Lochry’s disasterous march, Hassler in “Old Westmoreland,” p. 144, has this to say–“The following, so far as the records show, were the only members of this expedition who returned to Westmoreland . . . John Guthrie. . .” (and nineteen others). In the book “The Girtys” under Simon Girty, the notorious renegade, reference is made to John Guthrie being with Col. Lochry.
The following contains two errors; it confuses John Guthrie, son of Robert of Carlisle, with John Guthrie, son of John of Westmoreland. Second, neither of these men was killed at the time mentioned.
“Guthrie, John (Pa.) Ensign, Eighth Penna. 21 Dec. 1778; 2nd Lieutenant.–February 1780. Retired 17 January, 1781. Captain Gibson’s Regiment of levies, 1791. Killed 4 November, 1791, at Fort Recovery, Ohio. (St. Clair’s defeat).” (Historical Register of teh Officers of the Continental Army, by Heitman).
[NOTES: Footnote 420 demonstrates how simple it is to mistake one Guthrie family for another. Similar names and places of residence make it easy to get generations and lineages mixed up. Take a peek at the details in ‘Robert & Bridget (Dougherty) Guthrie’]