Guthrie Genealogy


BRANCH G:   The Guthries of Pitforthie


"According to a tradition of descendants (John Guthrie's) ancestry ran back to the Laird of Pitforthy (Pitforthie), who was a brother to the Laird of the ancient House of Guthrie, and was therefore a descendant of the Guthries of that Ilk. The Laird of Pitforthy married a daughter of the 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."

Read More: 'The Story of Our Probable Common Ancestors

THE DNA PROJECT:   Guthrie Family Group 2A - Branch G - Cluster 2 - The Guthries of Pitforthie


Genetic Matches:  George (GRG),  Rich (RBG), Norman (NLG)Ron (RG), Steven (SMG) & Jim (WJG)

Branch Data Updated: Dec 2013 

Key Genetic Markers:

DYS442 = 11

DYS712 = 20

These two genetic markers are found in all descendants linked to Guthrie Family Group 2's Branch G. Represented by the lineages of presumed brothers James Guthrie (c1720IRL-p1801PA) and John Guthrie (1725IRL-1797PA).  

James Guthrie & Jeanette Wilson's line was previously attached to Branch B as one of the 'presumed' sons of Robert Guthrie & Elizabeth Darlington. Other Branch B participants do not share the genetic markers DYS442=11 and DYS712=20. These markers are matched by the descendants of John Guthrie & Jane Reed who came to America from Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Based upon the DNA findings, the connection to Londonderry, the close birth dates of James & John, and the marriage of their children William & Elizabeth, it is highly likely that James & John were brothers.

The DNA of new participant, Norman Lester Guthrie, representing the lineage of William & Elizabeth Guthrie Brownlee Guthrie confirms that his line belongs to Guthrie Family Group 2's Branch G. As another descendant of James Guthrie & Jeanette Wilson it was expected that Norman's DNA test should be a match for our group and that it would include the Pattern Markers at DYS442=11 and DYS712=20 that would have been inherited from Branch G's Most Recent Common Ancestor. DNA testing at the Y-111 marker level indicates that Norman does indeed have both DYS442=11 and DYS712.


The Y-111 DNA Upgrades are providing us with valuable new clues about the origins of our MD/PA Group and reveal more details about how our individual lineages are related. One major new finding is that the participants who descend from James Guthrie & Jeanette Wilson share two key Pattern Markers with the participants of Branch G, which means that the two lineages share a common ancestor. This gives us new clues about their origins and means that James' line is no longer associated with the 'hypothetical family' in Branch B, but with the potential ties to the Guthries of Pitforthie.

Based upon the DNA findings, it is very likely that James (c1720-p1801) and John (c1725-1797) were brothers. We know nothing about James' origins prior to 1748 except that some of the Branch B Guthries had lived near him along Back Creek. John's origins are linked to the area in or near Londonderry, Northern Ireland, where his children were born and where his son-in-law William Beatty made a visit in 1811 to see John's (unnamed) parents who were still living there at the time. (Major Clue!)

So it appears that James Guthrie came to America without his parents who remained in/near Londonderry sometime prior to 1748. He married Jeanette Wilson Moore about that time, a widow with one son. He had at that time patented 264 acres along Back Creek, which records show that they sold in 1777.



  • James Guthrie Esq was born in Pennsylvania before 1751. He married Jeanette Culbertson with whom he had 2 sons and 1 daughter. Married 2nd Martha____. Died on 14 May 1812 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Ancestor of participants GRG & RBG.
  • William Guthrie was born 9 Jul 1751 in Pennsylvania. He was primarily a soldier. He married his 1st cousin, Mrs Elizabeth Guthrie Brownlee, daughter of John Guthrie & Jane Reed, who survived the Indian massacre that killed her husband and son, and along with her infant daughter was taken prisoner for several months. They were parents to 3 sons and 6 daughters. William died on 10 March 1828 in Redbank, Armstrong, Pennsylvania. Ancestor of participant NHG. 
  • Elizabeth Guthrie was born in 1754 in Pennsylvania. She married Isaac Parr. 

The addition of this branch to the MD/PA Group provides us with a vital clue to our ancestry. John Guthrie and several of his children were born in Londonderry, Ireland. The existing documentation proves their connection to that location giving us a definite area within Ireland to begin research. Additionally, the origin theory for this particular branch includes information that could take the line all the way back to its roots in Scotland.

"John Guthrie was born in or near the city of Londonderry, Ireland, in 172__." His wife's name is the subject of some minor controversy in various family histories. LRG lists her as Mary Jane Reed, but indicates that it is a combination of various documents that lead him to do so. However the latter documents which list his wife as Mary indicate that he had another marriage after his first wife died. So, for the purposes of this site, and until other evidence refutes it, John's first wife and mother of his children will be referred to as Jane Reed. His second wife, believed to be Mary (Simpson) Wallace, will be listed in that manner.

John and Jane, along with several children born in Londonderry, immigrated from Ireland to Pennsylvania in 1771. They settled in what is now Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.



  • John "Jack" Guthrie was born circa 1752 in Londonderry, Ireland. He married Mary Irwin on 6 May 1789. Died 1805 in Kentucky. Ancestor of our Participant, RG.
  • Elizabeth Guthrie was born circa 1755 in Londonderry, Ireland.  Married 1st Joseph Brownlee. 2nd William Guthrie. Died 1842 in Redbank, Armstrong, Pennsylvania. She is also an ancestor of participant NHG via her marriage to cousin William Guthrie (above).
  • Sarah Guthrie was born 12 Aug 1763 in Londonderry, Ireland. Married William Beatty on 8 Jul 1783. Died 11 Aug 1849 in Armstrong, Pennsylvania.
  • Jane Guthrie was born in 1765 in Londonderry, Ireland. Married John Beatty on 31 Dec 1789. Died in 1853 in Butler, Butler, Pennsylvania.
  • James Guthrie was born between 170-1775 in Beaver Run, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. He married Margaret Dixon 15 Jan 1796. Died 16 Dec 1848 in Pennsylvania. NEED DNA.
  • Nancy Guthrie was born in 1771 in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. She married James C. Porterfield in 1796. Died 31 May 1862.
  • William Guthrie was born July 1777 in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. He married 1st Agnes Dixon in 1803. 2nd Mary Hill in 1808. He died in 1865 in Salem, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. Ancestor of our Participant WJG.

According to the data provided by Laurence R Guthrie in 'American Guthrie and Allied Families' p.715 (ref.414), descendants of John Guthrie trace his ancestry back to the Laird of Pitforthy (Pitforthie), who was a brother of the Laird of the ancient House of Guthrie. However, DNA testing tells us that the Guthries of Guthrie have a very different genetic lineage. Either John's ancestral line does not trace back to the Guthries of Pitforthy or there was an adoption, paternal event or other situation that resulted in a different bloodline being introduced to one side of the Guthrie family versus the other. This is a significant finding because if the relationship proves true, then all of the MD/PA Group most likely traces their ancestry back to the Laird of Pitforthy (Pitforthie). See Origin Theories for more details.

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