Guthrie Genealogy


Robert Guthrie & Aseneth C. Motheral


Robert Guthrie

Son of James Guthrie & Jane Smith

Born: 17 March 1793

Location: North Carolina or Tennessee

Married: Aseneth C. Motheral in Wilson County, TN on 19 Oct 1820

Occupation: Farmer

Died: 29 May 1855 

Location: Sumner County, Tennessee 

Burial: Sumner County, Tennessee

Aseneth C. Motheral

Daughter of Samuel Motheral & Sarah McMenamy

Born: 14 Jan 1801

Location: North Carolina

Sons: Allen B, William Porter, Samuel W, James Irvin, Robert Henry, John W

Daughters: Sarah Jane, Mary Ann

Died: 5 Nov 1888

Location: Sumner County, Tennessee

Burial: Sumner County, Tennessee  

TIMELINE:   The Early Years  1793 - 1812

Robert Guthrie was born in 1793, the second son of James & Jane Guthrie. He might have been born in North Carolina or in Tennessee depending on the exact date his parents arrived in the Robertson/Sumner County area. The records of the Dry Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Sumner TN include a notation that Robert was baptised in infancy. The Dry Fork church was not established at that time, so the baptism occurred somewhere else.

In 1801, when Robert was only 8 years old, his grandfather, James Guthrie, Sr., died back in Orange, NC. James Sr's will included a bequest to the eldest sons of his eldest son: "I also give will and bequeath to my grandson James Guthrie son of James, and Robert Guthrie son of James each the sum of 10 pounds at my wife's death to be taken care of for them by their parents with Interest." 

The early years of Robert's childhood would likely have been spent on the Red River property purchased by his father in 1799.

Military Service: The War of 1812  (1812-1814)

Robert Guthrie served in Capt. William McCall's company of Tennessee Militia during the War of 1812. He was about 19 years of age at the time.

Source: War of 1812 Pension Files Volume II: G - M, transcribed by Virgil D. White.
Guthrie, Robert, Acenith (Motherel) WC-18913, m 19 May 1829 Wilson Cty TN, sd 29 May 1855 Sumner Cty TN, srv Capt William McCall's Co TN Mil, lived in Sumner Cty TN, wid there 1878 

The details of this pension file might provide more details about Robert's service in the militia during the war. His brother, David Guthrie, was a member of the same militia and it is believed that he died during the War of 1812.

Potentially related to his service, Robert received a Tennessee Land Grant. Unfortunately, I do not have the date. If anyone does, please send the info.

Unknown Date. 200 acres, North Carolina (TN) District, Bk4, p406, Grant # 557 (Wilson County, TN)

Church Affiliation:  1817

Source: Dry Fork Church Individual and Family Records 

Robert Guthrie was admitted to communion at Dry Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1817. The current church was not built until the 1830.

More on Dry Fork  Cumberland Presbyterian Church History

Historic Dry Fork Church finds its roots in the great revival that swept the frontier about the years of 1799 – 1801.  A large revival was planned near Gallatin TN in 1800, but because of dry weather and a water shortage, it was moved to Blythe’s Big Spring about three miles from the present site of Dry Fork Church.

The response was overwhelming with people traveling for as long as three days on wagon and horseback to camp out for the three day revival.  Thousands attended and hundreds were converted at this joint effort of the Methodists, Baptist and the Presbyterians which included dozens preachers.

During the revivals, a camp meeting ground was established on the present site, upon which a log structure was built by 1821, in which the Reverend Richard Beard preached.  Reverend Beard later served as Moderator of the General Assembly, head of the Theology Department at Cumberland University, and was a leader in the revision of the Confession of Faith of 1884. 

In 1831 there were 175 members and it became a Cumberland Presbyterian Church and was one of the largest churches in Sumner County Tennessee at the time.  Bethpage was a thriving town that equaled other Sumner County towns. 

The first pastor was Reverend Francis Johnston.  The log structure burned down about the time of the War Between the States and was replaced by another untill the present building was constructed in 1896. 

The Dry Fork cemetery contains the graves of many of the early settlers in this area, early church members, as well as two Revolutionary War soldiers. 

Marriage: 1820

In 1820, Robert was enumerated in his parents' Sumner County, TN household: 1M 45&up, 1F 26-45, 2M16-26, 1M 16-18, 2M & 1F 10-16, 2F 0-10. 4 in agriculture. At that time James Guthrie owned 560 acres on the Head of Station Camp Creek & the Red River. His work in 'agriculture' indicates he was a farmer.

Robert Guthrie married Aseneth C. Motheral on 19 Oct 1820 in Wilson County, TN.

Aseneth was the daughter of Samuel Motheral & Sarah McMenamy. Her parents had come to Tennessee from Caswell County, North Carolina, and possibly knew the Guthrie family at the time. The names of Samuel Motheral and James Guthrie cross paths in minor Caswell Records. However, there was another James Guthrie, brother of William and Garrott, living in Caswell at the time, so it could be coincidental. Samuel was a Revolutionary War veteran about 10 years older than James.

Children of Robert & Aseneth

Allen B. Guthrie born 6 Dec 1821 in Wilson or Sumner, TN. Mexican War 1847. Moved to Johnson, Missouri by 1850. Married Rebecca Morrow. Died 6 July 1863. 1 son, 2 daughters.

William Porter Guthrie born 15 Sep 1823 in Sumner, TN. Died 12 Jun 1895. Never married. No children.

Samuel W. Guthrie born 12 Sep 1825 in Sumner, TN. Died 12 Sep 1842 in Sumner, TN at 17 years of age.

James Irvin Guthrie born 26 Nov 1827 in Sumner, TN. Mexican War 1847. Married Nancy Elizabeth Guthrie on 11 Nov 1852. Died 5 March 1904 in Sumner, TN. 3 sons and 4 daughters. James & Nancy's descendants are represented by Robert Wesley Guthrie in the DNA Project.

Robert Henry Guthrie born 11 Feb 1830 in Sumner, TN. He married Rebecca Jane Dobbins 7 June 1852. Died 1855-60. 1 sons and 1 daughter.

Mary Ann Guthrie born 26 Sep 1835 in Sumner, TN. Married Francis Monroe Griffin c1860 who died in 1864. 2 children. She remarried to Theopholis Robey in 1850. Died 20 March 1926, probably in Madison, TN.

Sarah Jane Guthrie born 22 March 1832 in Sumner, TN. Married Ira J. Bogan 26 Oct 1862. Lived in Simpson, KY. Death after 1900. 3 sons and 1 daughter.

John W. Guthrie was born between 1836 and 1840. He died in 1840.

Census, Property & Cemetery Records 1830 - 1880

1830: The Guthrie Household, Sumner County, TN

1M 30-40, 1F 20-30, 3M 5-10, 1M <5

This is Robert & Aseneth's first census as a married couple. Their first 4 sons are enumerated with them: Allen B. (b.1821), William Porter (b.1823), Samuel W. (b.1825) and James Irvin (b.1827). Their son Robert Henry was born on 11 Feb 1830, so the census must've been taken before that.They lived close to Dry Fork Church. I am not sure exactly when they purchased the property, it was likely during the 1820s. 

Dry Fork Creek, Sumner County, Tennessee  

Source: Walter T. Durham's book Old Sumner: "Robert Guthrie settled on a farm adjacent to his cousin Robert Wesley Guthrie near the Dry Fork Creek Presbyterian Church." 

Source: Article by Thelma Pond Womack, an Interview with Sumner Countian Johnny Adcock and his wife Mary Neel Adcock. 

"All around Dry Fork Creek was land owned by the wealthy Guthrie family, Robert and Wesley being the pioneer settlers. I am told they bought much of their land for 25cents per acre."  

1840: The Guthrie Household, Sumner County, TN

1M40-50, 1F30-40, 2M 15-20, 1M 10-15, 2M & 1 F 5-10, 1F <5

The youngest son, John W. was born 18136-1840, but died in 1840, presumably before this census of the family was taken. The enumeration shows Robert & his wife Aseneth with their 5 surviving sons and 2 daughters.

John Guthrie (1836/40-1840) was buried in the rock-walled Guthrie plot in Dry Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church cemetery.

1850: The Guthrie Household, Sumner County, TN

Robt 55, Asenith 49, Robt 30, James 24, Sarah 18, Mary 15 

The only son still living in the house is James Irvin, who did not marry until 1852. Allen B. Guthrie was already living in Missouri in 1850. I'm not sure where son William was living in 1850, but he spent the rest of his life in Sumner, TN. Samuel W. Guthrie died at the age of 17 on 12 Sep 1842 and is buried in the family plot at the Dry Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church cemetery.

Samuel W. Guthrie 

William Porter Guthrie

1853:  Property Records of Sumner, TN. Sale or Gift   Guthrie, Robert (Grantor) to James I. Guthrie. 1853. Deed. 47 acres. Recorded Book 25GR, Page 278

Within the first year of his son James Irvin Guthrie's marriage to Nancy Elizabeth Guthrie, Robert sold or gifted him 47 acres of land. 


Robert Guthrie died on 29 May 1855. He is also buried in the family plot at Dry Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Aseneth, who died in 1888 is also buried there.


Cemetery Photos of Dry Fork Church were taken by Ashley Ligon and posted on my site with permission.  

1856: Property Records of Sumner, TN (Estate Records) 

[Estate] Guthrie, Robert estate (Grantor) to Aseneth Guthrie. 1856. Deed. 67-1/4. Recorded Book 23, Page 476

1858: Property Records of Sumner, TN (Estate Records / Court Decree)

[Estate] Guthrie, Robert heirs (Grantor) to William P. Guthrie. 1858. Court Decree. 113 acres. Recorded Deed Book 24. Page 266. 

1860 Census: The Guthrie Household, Sumner County, TN 

A. Guthrie 54, Wm P. Guthrie 35, Sarah J. Guthrie 21

Now a widow, Aseneth Guthrie is listed as the Head of Household. Her unmarried son, William Porter Guthrie, and eldest unmarried daughter, Sarah Jane Guthrie, remain living at the family homestead. 

1870 Census: The Guthrie Household, Sumner County, TN

Asenith Guthrie 68 Farming NC, William Guthrie 38 works on farm TN, Mary Griffin 30 TN, Zollicoffer Griffin 8, Frank Griffin 5, Charity McMurry 54, Mary McMurry 22, Elnora McMurry 3.

Son William, still a batchelor, works on the family farm. Aseneth is still listed as the Head of Household. Her daughter Mary, now a widow, is back at the family farm with her two young children, Zollicoffer and Frank. 

Charity, Mary and Elnora McMurry, likely 3 generations of McMurray women, were a black family working for the Guthrie household. The 1870 census records show a white woman named Mary McMurray, 73, as the only member of a neighboring household/farm. Were Charity & Mary former slaves from the McMurray farm now working for the Guthries?

1880 Census: The Guthrie Household, Sumner County, TN

W.P. Guthrie 50 farming, A.C. Guthrie 77 mother, Z.K. Griffin 19 nephew, Frank Griffin 16 nephew, Vic McMurry 11 servant/cooking

Son William is now listed as the head of the family in this census. Note that for the first time Aseneth is listed with a middle initial: C. Her grandsons Z.K. and Frank are still living with her. Their mother Mary Guthrie Griffin had remarried sometime in 1880, presumably before this census was taken. Charity, Mary and Elnora McMurry appear to have moved on, but another McMurry is living with the family as a servant/cook. 

Aseneth C. Motheral Guthrie died 5 Nov 1888 and was buried in the Dry Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery.