Guthrie Genealogy




According to author Laurence R Guthrie, p.309 of 'American Guthrie and Allied Families', "Robert Guthrie of Carlisle, Pa. left behind him the family tradition that he was the great-grandson of the Rev. James Guthrie, the martyr, of Stirling, Scotland." I have quite a few doubts about this particular statement considering that there is no evidence that Rev Guthrie's one son who died while at University had a wife or children. Yet, we won't completely rule it out without at least a mention.

The important part of Robert Guthrie's origin story comes from a letter written on 29 June 1893 by former Pittsburgh mayor, George Wilkins Guthrie, to one of his cousins. His description of the family tells us that they came to Pennsylvania from Ireland rather than Scotland. This Irish connection is a common thread for several branches of the MD/PA Group. 

DNA testing has provided a way to connect Robert's Branch E family line with two other Branches: A and H. All three share a key genetic marker so far found only amongst their descendants. The dates of birth and Irish connection all suggest that Robert of E, John of H, and James of A could be brothers. 

John Guthrie of Branch H is the one with the more detailed origin story. His family remained in Londonderry, Northern Ireland for some time after Robert and James had already left for America and most of his children were born there. John's parents are named as John Guthrie and Jane Stuart. His father was a staunch Covenanter who was forced to flee to Ireland.

THE DNA PROJECT:   Guthrie Family Group 2A - Branch E - Cluster 5

Genetic Matches:  Earl Emmet Guthrie, Ellis Joel Guthrie, Participant 214109

9/2012: Ongoing collaborative discussions by a group of Guthrie descendants associated with the Guthrie DNA Project's MD/PA Group and the participation of our DNA volunteers have resulted in conclusive proof of the familial relationship designated in the chart above. American Guthrie and Allied Families author, Lawrence R. Guthrie had speculated that his ancestor was a son of Robert Guthrie & Bridget Dougherty. Our collaborative team managed to piece together paper trails for participants EEG and EJG, which led to the conclusion that their ancestors were also the grandsons of Robert Guthrie & Bridget Dougherty, both sons of Robert Guthrie Jr & Agnes Gordon. The documentation, though somewhat convincing, did not provide indisputable proof. The DNA does.

Participants EEG and EJG's Y-111 DNA results show a 109/111 match, but include a special Pattern Marker at DYS534that appears to be unique to a subgroup of Guthries within the MD/PA Group. They all share a more recent common ancestor than they do with the rest of the group. Participant 214109 is a direct descendant of Rev. Lawrence R Guthrie. Not only do the paper trails of all three participants lead back to Robert Guthrie & Bridget Dougherty, but the special Pattern Marker is also present in the DNA of LRG's descendant. The combination of the paper trails and the DNA should be considered positive proof that these three men belong to the same Branch.

The Branch E men are not the only ones to possess the special Pattern Marker at DYS534. All three of the Branch A men have it, as does our participant from Branch H. Because the progenitors of A & H are not sons of Branch E's Robert Guthrie, this means that the Pattern Marker was handed down from a previous generation. Branch H's progenitor, John Guthrie, b1708 IRE, is of the same generation, and very likely a brother to Branch E's Robert Guthrie. Branch A's progenitor, James Guthrie, born no later than about 1720 is neither a son of Robert (c1700) nor John (c1708). He is more likely a younger brother or nephew.

We still need DNA from the lineages of Robert & Bridget's son James Guthrie, who was the father of Robert D. Guthrie of Carlisle, and of their son John Guthrie, who married Sarah Ann Davis. 

1/2013: The newest Y-DNA 111-Marker Upgrades have proven a close connection between Branches A, E, and H. All participants associated with these branches share the genetic marker DYS534 = 14. This proves their Branch Progenitors share a close common ancestor. Robert of E and John of H are likely brothers. James of A is either their much younger brother or a nephew. Robert's DOB, his origin story, and the likely close cluster of lineages associated with this genetic marker, significantly increase the chances that John was his brother. John's parents are listed by LRG as being John Guthrie b1682 and Jane Stuart. John was a Covenanter who fled Scotland due to religious persecution. Jane was said to be an Irish descendant of the Royal House of Scotland. They lived in Londonderry, Ireland.


Follow the highlighted links below to access detailed information for each generation. 

Traditional genealogy is such a fascinating puzzle. Putting the pieces together is a challenge that can take time and patience. Sometimes you just get lucky and find one clue or the right person with the answers you're looking for. There is also a definite difference between what you think you know and what you can prove. With Branch E, we have stumbled upon a lot of the right clues in order to connect this Guthrie line to the MD/PA Group, and now we have gathered some DNA results to prove it.

A chain of evidence leads from the generations of genetically-proven Branch E ancestors back to Robert Guthrie & Bridget Dougherty who emigrated from Ireland to America in the 1740s. After a brief period in Philadelphia, this couple lived primarily in Carlisle, Cumberland, Pennsylvania. Their sons Robert Jr & James were born in Ireland. Their daughter Jane died before her family came to America. Children John, George, and Margaret were born in Pennsylvania. Robert was a carpenter & cabinetmaker. These trades, along with silversmithing, are often seen among Robert's descendants. 

Robert and his son Robert Jr are frequently noted in the Court Records of Cumberland County including a number of indictments in the 1750s - 1770s for the "assault and battery" of various townspeople. Several of these involve a man named James Stackpole, a "rowdy man" who owned a Tippling House (tavern) in Carlisle, with whom the Guthries seem to have had an ongoing feud. Robert, Robert Jr, and even Bridget were fined on a number of occasions for their conflicts with Stackpole who appears to have been equally guilty of the same against the Guthrie family. At one time he was indicted for entering the Guthrie's lot and pulling down a fence.

"It is said that Robert Guthrie was the organizer of the Carpenters' Guild of Carlisle, famed as the predecessor of the American trade union." {LRG, p311}

There is quite a bit of confusion in online trees about the lineage of son James, and perhaps rightly so. Documentation is minimal and the secondary sources that list dates of birth and death conflict with one another. Even the DNA results confuse the issue by proving that one candidate is indeed a close relation to Robert's line despite the fact that there is absolutely no evidence the man was ever in Pennsylvania. So we're still searching for answers on this one. In the meantime, all of the theories will be addressed one by one.

There does not seem to be any such dispute about the lineage of Robert & Bridget's son John Guthrie, who married Sarah Ann Davis. We simply do not have any DNA Project Participants from among John's descendants to prove the connected through genetic means.

George Guthrie, the youngest of Robert & Bridget's sons, is represented in the DNA Project by a grandson of Rev. Laurence Rawlin Guthrie, the author of American Guthrie and Allied Families. LRG indicated in the book that George was "said to be" a son of R&B but despite the many details known about George's life, there was no accompanying proof of the relationship to his parents. The DNA shows a match for the other participants whose paper trails led back to R&B, importantly including the Pattern Marker at DYS534 designating that they inherited it from a more recent common ancestor than the one they all share with the rest of the MD/PA Group.

More about Robert & Bridget can be read by following the highlighted link below. 

ROBERT GUTHRIE, SR. b. 1700 in Londonderry, Ireland - d.1782 in Carlisle, Cumberland, Pennsylvania, USA

BRIDGET DOUGHERTY b. 1711 in Cardonaugh, Donegal, Ireland - d.1794 in Carlisle, Cumberland, Pennsylvania, USA


ROBERT GUTHRIE JR b. 1737 in Ireland - d. Jan 1808 in Chartiers, Washington, Pennsylvania, USA m. Agnes Gordon. Participants: EEG, EJG.

JAMES GUTHRIE b. 1739 in Ireland - d. 1763 or 1792 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania (See the 'Hot Topic' from the Sept 2012 NewsFlash)

JANE GUTHRIE b. 1741 in Ireland - d. 1744 in Ireland

JOHN GUTHRIE b. 11 Jan 1749 in Lancaster, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA - d. 12 Aug 1832 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA m. Sarah Ann Davis.  

GEORGE GUTHRIE b. c1750 in Pennsylvania, USA - d. Oct 1813 in Hollidaysburg, Blair, Pennsylvania, USA m. Margaret Campbell

MARGARET GUTHRIE b. 6 May 1753 in Carlisle, Cumberland, Pennsylvania, USA - d. 1795 m. George Brown 

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