Guthrie Genealogy




James Guthrie Jr

Son of James Guthrie Sr and Elizabeth____________

Born: c1765

Location: Northern Ireland or Maryland

Married: 25 Feb 1791 Orange County, North Carolina

Died: Before 1862

Location: Sumner County, Tennessee (Probably)

Burial Location: Sumner County, Tennessee (Probably)

Jane Smith

Daughter of Andrew Smith & Elizabeth Kerr

Born: 1775

Location: North Carolina

Children: 6 sons & 5 daughters

Died: Nov 1859

Location: Sumner County, Tennessee

Burial Location: Sumner County, Tennessee (Probably)


According to what we know about James Guthrie, Sr., the family came to America from Ireland before 1770 when James Jr's brother Robert was born near Baltimore, MD. The writings of Rev. Allen Washington Guthrie and Rev. Richard Beard indicate that James Guthrie Jr was the elder of the two brothers. The IGI and Ancestral file lists his DOB as 1765, but without citing any original source information.

The family traveled from the Baltimore area to the South Hico River area of Caswell-Orange, North Carolina. Their trading post was Hillsboro. This map of Colonial roads shows a fairly direct route from one location to the other. Perhaps this is way they travelled.


James Guthrie Jr's childhood years are pretty much a mystery. He was reared under a Presbyterian influence, and it is presumed that he attended a local church since it is written that his brother received a letter from his NC church prior to traveling to TN.

Since his father owned a large property with horses, cattle, sheep, hogs and geese, it is also likely that James Guthrie Jr also worked on the property as a farmer.


On 25 Feb 1791, James Guthrie married Jane Smith. Andrew Smith was listed on their marriage license as a bondsman. Just one month before, James' brother Robert had married Jane's sister, Mary Smith. 

Was the decision to marry spontaneous after seeing their siblings happily matched? Or did they deliberately plan separate weddings? We'll never know. 


TIMELINE: 1791-1799   EMIGRATION from NC to TN

It is unknown exactly when James & Jane Guthrie emigrated from NC to TN. There is more documented about their siblings, Robert & Mary Guthrie, but it is likely that these four traveled to Tennessee together. Or as the family tradition goes, "Two brothers married to two sisters came over the mountains on ponies from Virginia to Tennessee."

Assuming that they did travel together, James & Jane would also have spent about a year in the Holston River area. These settlements were in eastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia, and functioned as a staging ground for overland travel through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky and Tennessee. According to Richard Beard's sketch on Rev. Robert Guthrie, this happened about a year after their 1791 marriage.

Based on that information, the couples would have been at Holston River around 1792-93. I don't know how long it took them to get from the Holston River settlements to Tennessee or the exact route they took.   

The first actual documentation on James Guthrie in Tennessee was the 1799 when he purchased 100 acres of land on the middle fork of the Red River, and showed up on the 1799 Taxable Property List in Capt. Hamilton's Company: Jas Guttrie 100 MFRR 1Free Poll.

This map shows one potential route for the trek down into Middle Tennessee traveling from the settlements at Holston River, through the Cumberland Gap, and along the Wilderness Road. Note that Mansker's Station near the end of the trail, is near the Red River area where James Guthrie's 100 acre property was purchased.


Here is a detailed version of the Cumberland Settlements in 1780-1794, which is the right timeframe for the Guthrie move to Tennessee. 

Anyone who has roots in the Cumberland region should buy or borrow 'Founding of the Cumberland Settlements'. Great stories. Beautiful art. Colorful maps & graphs. The kind of detailed research helpful to every genealogist. I can't recommend it enough. Worth every penny I paid for it. You won't find anything in there with the Guthrie name on it. Their emigration to the region apparently didn't make the cut, but you'll learn a lot about local history. You can see a map depicting the property originally owned granted to Anthony Godfrey and assigned to James Godfrey, which was later purchased by the Latimers and afterward by the Guthries. More on that later.

One map, 'Paths of Exploration and Immigration', lists several routes early settlers took to get to Middle Tennessee.

Other routes early settlers took into Middle Tennessee:

The Emery Road

The Avery Trace 

TIMELINE: 1800 - 1844   Life in Tennessee

James Guthrie lived on or near the Red River, presumably in Sumner County, by 1799. So why is he on a list of witnesses for the Robertson County Court? Notice that John Shannon is also on the list. He was James' brother-in-law, the husband of Ann Guthrie. John & Ann had married in 1784 and reportedly came to TN about 1796, which is just about the same timeframe as James & Jane and Robert & Mary. 

Source: Robertson County, TN Court Minutes, 1796-1807

July 1800: Name of James Guttery appears on a list of witnesses, "Jas Guttery, witness, proves 2 days attendance, 30 miles travel".

Again, in another case: "James Guttery, 7 days, 120 miles, and John Shannon 4 days , 60 miles".

Source: Sumner County Tennessee Deed Abstracts 1806-1817

p221 Deed 27 Nov 1801
JAMES GUTTRY is listed as a witness to a deed, a sale of land on the RED RIVER.

More proof that James is still in the same area. 

Source: Caswell County NC Deed Books 1777-1817, Abstracts by Katharine Kerr Kendall

Deed Book O p.247
JAMES GUTHRIES and ROBERT GUTHRIES of Sumner County, TN to Bailor Burch of Person County, NC, for L100, 200 acres on S. Hico adj. George Eubanks, Crisp, Mitchell. 28 Oct 1805. Wit: Isaac Rainey, Wm Mansfield.
[Note: This is the land received by James & Robert as an inheritance in their father's 1801 Orange County, NC Will. This land was sold 5 years before their mother and brothers-in-law sold the remaining 323-1/2 acres. It is important because is also creates a definite connection between James & Robert of Sumner, TN with the South Hico properties mentioned in the will of James Guthrie of Orange County.]

Source: Shannon Family Research,  Compiled by Roberta Shannon Stimpson
[Reference: Sumner County Deed Book 4, p. 115]
"John Shannon of Sumner County, TN, purchased 320 acres from John Purty of Rockingham County, NC (Indenture 6 Nov 1805, Rec. June 1806) Witnesses: ROBERT GUTRY, JAMES GUTRY, Richard Faucet."

Samuel Marion Shannon, received 160 acres of this land in the estate settlement of his father, John Shannon - Sumner County Deed Book  11, p 493, 6 Aug 1828

March 1809 Sumner County Court Minutes 
"Deed Benjamin Hudson to James Guthrie 560 acres proved by Robert Guthrie and David Guthrie."....Deed Book 4 p. 359
p.130 Deed James Godfrey to Robert Guthrey 222(333?) acres proved by Witheral Latimer & James Guthrie."...Deed Book 4 p.354
[Notes: The James Guthrie listed as a Grantee and Witness in the above documents is James Guthrie Jr.]

1813 -1814
Source: "Sketch of Tennesssee and Missouri Guthries" by Rev. Allen Washington Guthrie, Son of Robert & Mary (Smith) Guthrie
"Uncle James' oldest son's name is not remembered. In the War of 1812 he had just about arrived at military age. My father was drafted to go to the Creek War. This young man generously proposed to take his place, saying, "You have a large family and if you are killed your family will suffer and I have nobody but myself, and it would not matter so much if I should get killed." It was arranged and he was accepted on condition that my father take his place and run the risk of the next draft. He went. He was not killed in battle, but died of a lingering disease in camp in the hospital. My father, according to the arrangement, took his place and was again drafted. He was not well at the time. He reported at the place of rendevous, perhaps twenty miles from home, was there honorably discharged. The cause of his discharge was unfittness for service. This all happened before I was born, but I have often heard my parents talk about it and they evidently had a very tender place in their hearts for that boy."   
[[Note: The war during which James Guthrie III died was not specifically the War of 1812, but the Creek Indian War. Below, is some information on that war.]]

Source: Carruth, Gorton. "The Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates". 10th Ed. New York: Harper Collins Publishers. ©1997.  
WARS - Creek Indian War 
An Indian uprising in the South brought on the Creek Indian War (1813-1814). Creeks who lived mainly in Alabama and Georgia were alarmed by encroachments on their lands and were convinced by Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief, to unite with many other tribes against the settlers. The leader of the Creeks was William Weatherford, also known as Red Eagle. On August 30, 1813, he led an attack on Fort Mims, a temporary stockade near the confluence of the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers. Although Weatherford attempted to restrain his warriors, they massacred some 500 whites. The U.S. retaliated on November 3 when General John Coffee attacked and destroyed the Indian village Talladega, in Alabama, killing more than 500 warriors. In January 1814, however, Tennessee militiamen were defeated in three minor engagements. The war did not end until the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in March 1814. 

The Creek War (1813-1814) ended as General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creeks under Chief Weatherford at the decisive battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama, where nearly 900 of 1000 Indians were killed. The Creeks fought with British troops against the Americans in the War of 1812. 

Source: Sumner County Tennessee Deed Abstracts 1806-1817
p330 Deed 26 Feb 1816, JAMES GURTHRIE to John Allen, $350, 100 acres on  Desha's Creek, a fork of Bledsoe's Creek, beg on the N side sd creek at NW cor James Oldham, & adj Joseph Hodges & Wm Montgomery's lands.
[This could be either James Guthrie, Jr or James Smith Guthrie (son of Robert & Mary).]    

Source: Records of the Taxable Property and Polls in Sumner County
[Listing on the TN US GEN WEB]
Name                          Quantity of Land             Situation
James Guthrey                 560                            Ridge Head Station Camp Creek
Robert Guthrey                 483                            West Middle of Red River

Source: Records of the Taxable Property and Polls in Sumner County
[Listing on the TN US GEN WEB - Sumner County]
Name                       Quantity of Land                      Situation                  
James Guthrie                    -                                           -
James Guthrey                 560                          Ridge Head of Station Camp Creek
Robert Guthrey                 483                          Head West Middle Fork Red River

Source: Records of the Taxable Property and Polls in Sumner County 

Name                       Quantity of Land                      Situation  
Robert Guthrie                   483                        on the Ridge Red River
James Guthrie                   560                                      -

Source: Records of the Taxable Property and Polls in Sumner County 

Name                       Quantity of Land                      Situation  
Robert Guthrie                   483                                       - 
James Guthrie                   560                                       -

Source: 1820 Tennessee Census

a) James Guthrie    01010001000 Wilson County, TN
b) James Guthrie    02120121001 Sumner County, TN
c) Robert Guthrie    10000113101 Sumner County, TN
d) Robert Guthrie    00110100001 Williamson County, TN
e) Westley Guthrie 00010110111 Sumner County, TN
[Notes: Interpretation of the census data on subject "b"
The James Guthrie listed as subject "b" is likely the James Guthrie, Jr. married to Jeane (Smith) Guthrie and family. Their son James Guthrie, III died in 1814. The following were listed in the census for 1820:
2M of 10 and <16................sons Andrew & Wm
1M between 16 & 18...........son Joseph (listed twice d/t next category)
2M of 16 and <26................sons Robert and Joseph
1M of or over 45.................self James (born in/bef 1775)
2F under 10.........................daus Lorena & Martha
1F of 10 and <16.................dau Eunice
1F of or over 45...................wife Jeane (born in/bef 1775)
Subject "a" is probably of another Guthrie line (Henry's???); subject "c" is James Jr.'s brother and subject "e" is James Jr.'s nephew. Subject "d" is also of another line.

[Notes: An updated interpretation of the 1820 US Census Information for James Guthrie of Sumner County, TN. Due to the discovery of son David, it suggests that son Joseph was not listed twice d/t the "between 16 and 18" category. David would have been the second male in the "of 16 and <26" category. However, based upon currently know dates of birth, two sons, William and Robert would have been just outside of the categories they were placed in. See ages listed below.]
2M of 10 and <16................sons Andrew (13) & Wm (17)
1M between 16 & 18...........son Joseph (18)
2M of 16 and <26................sons Robert (27) and David (?)
1M of or over 45.................self James (~55))
2F under 10.........................daus Lorena (5-9) & Annie (8)
1F of 10 and <16.................dau Eunice (11)
1F of or over 45...................wife Jane (45-50)

[Technically, Robert should be in the >26 category. William should be in Joseph's >16<18 slot and Joseph should be in Robert's slot of >16. This could be true if the mysterious "R.H. or Wesley" Guthrie were actually a child in the >10<16 category in 1820 and Robert had moved out. Robert Guthrie did marry in October of 1820 in Wilson County. However, there is no census record for him as a separate individual or as a newly married couple unless he was living with his in laws. Chances are, he was put into the wrong column.]

Source: Records of the Taxable Property and Polls in Sumner County 

Name                       Quantity of Land                      Situation  
Robert Guthrie                   483                              On the Ridge
James Guthrie                   560                                      -
Andrew H. Guthrie                -                                        -

Source: Records of the Taxable Property and Polls in Sumner County 

Name                       Quantity of Land                      Situation  
R.W. Guthrie                       100                                     - 
James Guthrey                   560                                     - 
Robert Guthrey                   483                                     - 
Andrew H. Guthrie                -                                         -

Source: Records of the Taxable Property and Polls in Sumner County 

Name                       Quantity of Land                      Situation  
James Guthrey                   560                                      - 
Robert Guthrey                   483                                      -

Source: Sumner County, Tennessee 1830 Census

 Listing in the US GEN WEB page for Sumner County
a) 689    Gurthery, Robert W. 100001       010001
b) 1822  Gusthrie, Andrew H. 021001       10001
c) 2107  GUTHRIE, JAMES    000010001  00020001
d) 2006  Guthrie, Joseph       00001          10001
e) 1996  Guthrie, Robert        230001        00001
[Notes: The interpretation of the above census information now proves that James Guthrie, Jr. and his wife Jeane were still living in Sumner County, TN in 1830. James is listed as having:
1M of 20 and under 30.........son Andrew H. Guthrie (age23)
1M of 60 and under 70.........James (age~65)
2F of 15 and under 20..........daus. Martha & Lorena (dau. Eunice married in 1829)
1F of 50 and under 60..........wife Jeane
Their son James had died in 1814. Son William had moved to Missouri, presumably with his uncle Robert's family sometime in the previous year. The Andrew H. Gusthrie and Robert W. Guthrie listed are James' nephews. The Joseph and Robert Guthrie listed are his sons. Son Andrew H. Guthrie did not marry until 1839 and was thus probably the son listed for the household as age 20-30.]

The 1830 census is the last definite documentation about James Guthrie.

Source: 1840 Sumner County, TN US Census (Microfilm)
A.H. Guthry Household: 1M30-40 (1800-10), 1F20-30 (1810-20), 1M<5 (1835-40), 1F60-70 (1770-80). 
[Note: The 1840 Census suggests that James' wife Jane Smith Guthrie was alive & living in the household of her son A. H. Guthrie. Both were alive at the time of the 1830 Census. Depositions later given by relatives indicate that both died before 1862. There is no indication of a man of James Guthrie's years living in any Guthrie household in1840, suggesting that he may have died 1830-1840.]

Source: Sumner County Deed Book 19, page 120 
Guthery, James (Grantor) to Robert H. Parks. 1844. Deed. 100 acres. Recorded Book 19, Page 120.
[Note: This is one possible entry, but it could easily be one of the other James Guthries in Sumner in 1844. A look at the actual deed will be required to determine the details of the sale and location of the property.]

Source: Census Records

There is no sign of either James or Jane in 1850, suggesting that both of them died prior to 1850. However, an unknown Samuel Guthrie born about the same year as James is living with son Andrew. Who is Samuel Guthrie? A long lost cousin? James using a middle name? Whether or not it is actually James, where is Jane?

Source: 1860 Mortality Schedule
Guthrie, Jennet, 85, NC, Widow, Nov, fever & old age, ill x 6yrs

[Note: In 1859 there are 2 separate Guthrie families. Ironically, they might both belong to the MD/PA Group if the theory about James Guthrie & ____ Bussell being related to Branch B is correct. There is no indication that this 2nd Guthrie line with its origins in KY and PA had a female with a name variant of Jane/Jeane/Jennet born in NC during the same timeframe as Jane Smith. This is most likely our Jane.] 

Source: The Case of Andie (Andrew) Smith et als vs The Heirs of Robt Smith

(Copies of Original Documents provided by AOL Contact - M. K. Hare)

The following was taken from documents in the case 'Andrew Smith & et als vs the heirs of Robt Smith'. This is a very fortunate find because it names the Guthrie and Smith children and grandchildren in an effort to identify everyone due to a matter of inheritance. There are many documents and details. Listed below are those key to James & Jane:

* Deposition of Richard Pond, James L. Shaw & Wm Jackson of Sumner County Tennessee taken in an order of reference in the cause of Andrew Smith & et als vs the heirs of Robt Smith et als in the Chancery Court at Pulaski.

Richard Pond being sworn deposes as follows

Question 1 What is your age place of residence & c and how long have you resided

Ans - I am 65 years of age. I have lived in the 18th District of Sumner County TN 45 years or more.

Question 2 Were you acquainted with Jms Guthrie and his wife Jane (whose maiden name was Jane Smith) who resided in Sumner County many years ago, if you were acquainted with them state whether they are living or dead if dead when did they die and whether Jane Guthrie died before the Summer of 1862 or afterwards.

Ans - I was aquainted with them both, they both died before 1862.

Question 3 State the names of the children of Jane Guthrie, the names of those living in the Summer of 1862 and those that died before, if any of them died leaving children, state their names and residence, if any of the daughters are married the names of their husbands, and where they reside.

Ans - Elizabeth Martin is still living. Sarah Carr is still living the last I heard of her. They are both children of James and Jane Guthrie. Wm H. Guthrie is a son of James and Jane Guthrie died in December 1872. he resided in Mo. nad at the time of his death and left a wife and several children. RH Guthrie another son of James and Jane is still living and resided in Sumner County TN. Mrs Richard Pond, a daughter of the said James and Jane Guthrie died the 20th day of December 1862, leaving 8 children at the time of her death. Robert Guthrie another son of the said James and Jane Guthrie died before 1862. Mrs. Lattimore, another daughter of the said Guthries has been dead about 20 years, Mrs. L. Harden another daughter has been dead about 15 years, Joseph Guthrie another son has been dead about 20 years. David and James, two other sons died about 40 years ago. The rest of the children that I was not acquainted with but know they died before 1862.

Question 4 If any of the children of the said James Guthrie living in the Summer of 1862, have since died, state their names when they died, if they left children, the names and residences of same, if any were married the names of the husbands.

Ans - They have. Annie Pond died 1862 Dec 12th. Wm Guthrie died is my understanding in 1872. Wm H. Guthrie left 5 children, do not know the names of any of them but one (Ewing) they reside in the State of MO. Mrs. Annie Pond left eight children at her death namely, WG, John S, SF, AJ, James R, Sarah A, EA, and TE Pond all of whom are living and reside in Sumner County, TN

Question 5 Were you acquainted with Mary Guthrie, who was a sister of Jane Guthrie and was married to the Rev Robt Guthrie if you were acquainted with them state when Mary and Robt Guthrie died if they left children state the names of their children and where they reside.

Ans - I was, think they have been dead twenty or twenty five years, left some children, don't know how many.

Question 6 State the names of the children of the said Mary & Robert Guthrie living in the summer of 1862, if any of them have since died, leaving children state when they died, the names of the children and where they reside, if any are married women state the names of their husbands and where they reside, state the names of all the children of the said Mary living at her death, the names of those who have died since her death, when they died and the names of their children and where they reside.

Ans - I cannot state how many of the children were living in 1862 of the said Robert and Mary Guthrie. I was acquainted with one of the children namely R W Guthrie who lived and died in this county, he died since 1865. I know he had two children, both are still living. Mary married Ewin Guthrie who resides in this county. She and her husband are both still living. I do not know who the other one married. And furhter this deponent saith not.

/s/ Richard Pond

We have heard the above deposition of Richard Pond read and adopt the same as our own.
/s/ Wm Jackson
/s/ JL Shaw
State of Tennessee
Sumner County

The foregoing depositions were taken before me as stated in the caption and reduced to writing by me. And I certify that I am not interested in the cause, nor of kin or counsel of either party and that I sealed them up and put them in the Post Office without them being out of my possession or altered after they were taken.
Given under my hand this the 25th day of September 1873.
/s/ L.W. Barry Clerk 

Follow the highlighted links to continue along the proven branches of our DNA Project participants.
  • James Guthrie III. (1792-1813/14). Died as a result of illness during the Creek Indian War 1813-1814. No heirs.
  • Robert Guthrie (1793-1855). Married Aseneth C. Motheral. War 1812. Died in Sumner, TN 1855. 6 sons and 2 daughters. This lineage is represented in the DNA Project by: Robert Wesley Guthrie.
  • David Guthrie (1794-c1820). Never married. War 1812. Possibly died during the war. No heirs.
  • Elizabeth M. Guthrie (1799-after 1800). Married James Martin. Lived in Wilson, TN & probably died there. 9 known children.
  • Sarah 'Sally' Guthrie (1800-after 1870). Married David Spear Kerr. Lived in Sumner & Maury, TN. 10 known children.
  • Joseph Guthrie (1802-1850). Married Mary McNeely. Lived in Sumner & Wilson, TN. 3 sons and 6 daughters.
  • Rev. William H. Guthrie (1805-1872) Married twice. 1 son with ____  Wildridge. 3 sons, 4 daughters, 1 infant unknown gender with Emily B. Cole. Sumner & Humphreys, TN and later Dunklin, MO. Project participant: William Guthrie.
  • Andrew H. Guthrie (1807-1881). Married & Divorced Charity____. Married Emily Wright. Died in Sumner, TN. 5 sons and 3 daughters.
  • Eunice Jane Guthrie (1809-1840). Married Alexander Latimer. Lived in Sumner, TN and died in Abingdon, Knox, IL. 6 known children. Alexander remarried twice after Eunice's death and had 10 more children.
  • Anna Martha Guthrie (1812-1862). Married Richard Pond. Lived & Died in Sumner, TN. 10 known children.
  • Lorena Lucinda Guthrie (1815-1850/60). Married Alvis Snodgrass Harder. Lived in Sumner, TN. Lorena died either in Sumner, TN or in KY. 9 children.