Guthrie Genealogy


STEP 1: Identifying Your Guthrie Family Group

The long string of numbers on your Y-DNA report will probably seem quite meaningless at first. On their own they don't really reveal much of anything until you start comparing your data to someone else's results. Fortunately, FTDNA and the folks at the Guthrie DNA Project take care of the initial step of matching you up with one of the established Guthrie Family Groups.

It was at one time assumed that all people of the Guthrie surname were descendants of a single Guthrie lineage stretching back hundreds of years. DNA tells us otherwise. History does too if we pay close attention to the nitty gritty details of instances where the husbands of female Guthries assumed the Guthrie name, or account for the possibility of adoptions or the occasional paternity incident over the long course of our surname's history. Guthrie was also a place name, and as a result there may be descendants of folks who took Guthrie as a surname strictly based on their locality rather than their DNA. So the fact that we have a number of genetically unique family groups shouldn't come as a surprise.


Group 1A - Middlesec Group (VA) - Includes the historical Guthries of Guthrie

Group 1B - Virginia/Kentucky Group (VA/KY) - Shares history with 1A, but genetically unrelated 

Group 2A - MD/PA Group (MD/PA/CT/OH/WV)

Group 2B -  Thomas/Mildred Group - Shares history with 2A, but 2 descendants are genetically unrelated. Need more T/M descendants.

Group 3A - Donald's Group (PA/VA)

Group 3B - Donald's Group - Shares history with 3A, but genetically unrelated 

Group 4 - Harvey/Kenneth Group (Haplogroup I instead of R)

Group 5 - Morris/William Group - (GA/AL/OH/IL/CA)

Group 6 - Delaware - Mill Creek Hundred

Group 7 - Van Alan (SCT/PA)

Group 8 - Virginia-Halifax Group (VA) - Majority of matches with the Roddy/Ruddy surname

Group 9 - Green/Padgett Group - Majority of matches with the Green and Padgett surnames.

Group 10 - East Tennessee

Group 11 - Ballew/Ballou - This group matches the Ballew surname rather than Guthrie, but descends from mid-18th century Guthrie lines. 

Group 12 - Benbow - This group descends from an 18th century Guthrie line SCT-TN, but matches the Benbow surname. 

Group 13 - Antrim Northern Ireland 

About 95% of Guthrie DNA Project participants have been placed into one of the established family groups above.

The remainder have been listed in the Ungrouped Individuals section. For one reason or another their DNA is not a close match to any of these groups. It may be that there are plenty of other Guthrie Family Groups yet to be discovered through genetic testing. These participants might be waiting to discover just one more person with matching DNA whose information will help expand their family research.

Once you have been placed into a family group, you should contact the individuals listed as your closest matches to determine whether or not you can identify your most recent common ancestor. Here at Guthrie Genealogy, the family lines of all current MD/PA Group participants are available for comparison.

Placement into one groups means that you are not genetically related to any of the other groups. 

Step 2:  Identifying Your Family Branch of Guthrie Family Group 2A


If you have been placed into Guthrie Family Group 2A by the Guthrie DNA Project

staff, it means that your DNA is an exact or very close match to the rest of the participants in our group.

Descendants of the same branch will share a more recent common ancestor, but all Group 2A branches descend from the same man. The big mystery comes in identifying him, a task that becomes easier by collaborating with each other. 

Individual DNA results can be examined in detail a little later. Your first step is to figure out whether or not your family has already been identified as being part of one of our Family Group's established Branches.

Branch A - Descendants of James Guthrie & Elizabeth of MD/NC

Branch B - Descendants of Robert Guthrie & Miss Darlington of PA

Branch C - Descendants of James Guthrie & Elizabeth Eilor of PA/VA/WV

Branch D - Descendants of John Guthery & Lydia Baldwin of PA/OH

Branch E - Descendants of Robert Guthrie & Bridget Dougherty of IRE/PA

Branch F - Descendants of John Guthrie & Abigail Coe of CT

Branch G - Descendants of John Guthrie & Jane Reed of IRE/PA 

Branch H - Descendants of John Guthrie & Ann_____ of IRE/PA

Branch I - Descendants of James Guthrie & Miss Bissell of CT/PA 

Branch J - Descendants of Joseph Guthrie & Julia McCarthy of IRE/OH/TN 


Guthrie Family Group 2A's Family Tree
 10 Branch Progenitors. 1 Ancestor Shared by All.
Step 3: Compare & Contrast Traditional Genealogy Research

Once you know which branch of the MD/PA Group shares your closest ancestry within our larger family tree, you can compare & contrast the information you have with our Guthrie Genealogy database. The lineages of our current participants have been verified through traditional research and matching DNA. Please consider contributing documentation on your family line. If you are currently unable to link up to one of the established branches, contact Ann Guthrie, site coordinator, for assistance. She might be able to find your missing link ancestors, or will place your ancestral line in a new branch.

Step 4: Contact Your Long Lost Cousins

Using the email links provided on your FTDNA Results Page, you should make contact with those individuals who have been identified as being your closest genetic matches. These may be the DNA donors or cousins who are ineligible to take the DNA tests themselves. (Females have no Y-DNA, and the DNA must be from a direct male Guthrie descendant). This is your opportunity to share & compare family stories, photos, and traditional research. Hopefully, you'll find a new clue or two to lead you toward discovering the next generation on your family tree.

Step 5: Examine the Details of Your DNA Results

FTDNA & other internet sources have detailed information on how DNA testing is performed, and how to read the results. I'll provide you with a few helpful links:

Genetic Genealogy Glossary


Recommended Reading (FTDNA)

DNA 101: Y-Chromosome Testing

DNA 102: Interpreting DNA Results 

FTDNA reports your "Genetic Distance" in comparison to all of your other matches. This is a calculation that shows the number of differences between your DNA and someone else's, and is helpful in predicting the number of generations that separate the two of you from your most recent common ancestor.

For example:

Branch A has 3 participants. They already know the identity of their Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA). It's James Guthrie, Sr (c1720-1800/1). What they don't know is the number of missing generations separating James from the rest of the MD/PA Group. At what point in James' ancestry does his family line merge with theirs? By using the Family Tree DNA Time Predictor (FTDNATiP Report) tool, you can closely estimate the number of missing generations you're dealing with.

These results can help you to target your traditional genealogy research in a particular direction. 

If you need some assistance with interpreting your DNA results, please contact one of the administrators of the Guthrie DNA Project.