Guthrie Genealogy


Robert Guthrie & _____Darlington


Robert Guthrie

Son of Unknown Guthrie

Born: c1699, unproven estimate

Location: Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, unproven

Marriage: Miss Darlington (Theoretical Relationship)

Occupation: Carpenter

Died: c1750, unproven estimate

Location: Unknown, presumably in Pennsylvania

Burial: Unknown, presumably in Pennsylvania

(Unknown) Darlington

Daughter of Unknown Darlington

Born: c1700, unproven estimate

Location: Unknown

Sons: Adam, William, John (Theoretical Relationships)

Daughters: None Known

Died: Unknown, presumably in Pennsylvania

Location: Unknown, presumably in Pennsylvania

Burial: Unknown, presumably in Pennsylvania

Disclaimer: Branch B's line was hypothesized by 'American Guthrie and Allied Families' author, Lawrence R Guthrie, to consist of parents Robert Guthrie and an unnamed Miss Darlington, and their four sons: Adam, William, James, and John. The configuration of Branch B lineages within GFG2A may change as new discoveries are made. This has already happened with theoretical son James, whose descendants are a closer match to GFG2A-Branch G instead of Branch B.


Before you claim Robert Guthrie & Miss Darlington as your ancestors be aware that this generation is built on a series of hypotheses, a slim trail of documentation, and the web of DNA that binds it together. When searching for origin stories and skimpy facts in published works and original documents, DNA becomes especially important to help weed out the fact from the fiction, and the hype from the hypotheses.

The Man: Rob't Guttery, a taxable in 1732 Fallowfield Township, is probably the same man as Robert Guttery, a taxable in Nantmeal Township in 1734 & 1735. He is supposed to have been the Robert, who with his brother James, immigrated to America from Scotland, and then moved from Connecticut to Pennsylvania. He is also supposed to have moved out of Chester County about 1735 and may have gone to that part of Lancaster which in 1750 became Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. {LRG,p.169.}

The Marriage: Robert is supposed to have married a Miss Darlington {LRG,p.170}

The Family: 4 men were identified as likely sons of Robert. This connection was based upon their residence in the same area, and relationships with the same local families. Adam Guttery who married Mercy Irwin. William Guthrie who married Elizabeth Barnett. James Guthrie who married Jeanette Wilson. John Guthrie who married Margaret Brown.

The DNA: There are 4 men participating in the Guthrie DNA project who descend from the "sons". Two represent Adam's line, and 1 each for William & James. There is currently no volunteer representing John's lineage. DNA cannot prove a fraternal connection between Adam, William & James, but it does prove that they shared a common ancestor, which suggests the theory about their familial relationship could be correct. The most recent common ancestor of any group of brothers is their father. 

This is an approximate birth year for a man we know very little about. If the family origin theory is correct Robert was born in Edinburgh. There is no information in any of the source books as to the identity of the parents. Brothers: James (who married a Miss Bussell), and John (father of John who married Abigail Coe).

According to Dunn & Dunn in their 1898 publication 'Records of the Guthrie Family of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Virginia', the brothers "James, John, and Robert Guthrie decided to leave Edinburgh and seek security and repose in the New World." The authors claim that the brothers settled first in Boston, but the date is given as 1683, much earlier than estimates for Robert Guthrie which are based upon other, more accurate, estimates for his sons, although no proof exists one way or the other.

This history is repeated in Genealogy: a journal of American ancestry, Volumes 3-5, By William Montgomery Clemens, Lyman Horace Weeks, November 1915. "James, John, and Robert Guthrie, brothers, left Scotland and came to Boston. (John by way of Ireland, the others direct.)" 

Another book published in 1916 by Benjamin Aymar Sands, 'The direct forefathers and all the descendants of Richardson Sands' claims that Robert was one of the early settlers of Block Island. "Robert Guthrie. Robert Guthrie, Gutterege, Guttarage, Gutry, native of Edinburgh, Scotland; was one of the early settlers of Block Island. On account of the religious persecution suffered by the family, Robert and his brothers, James and John, emigrated from Edinburgh, where they had been ironmongers, to Boston. In 1670-1, Robert was tax-rater on Block Island; in 1687, he was overseer of the poor there." See LRG, p.1, for a paragraph about Robert Guthrie of Block Island. That man died in 1692, much too early to be the father of the 4 men identified as Robert Guthrie's sons. The earlier date could indicate an earlier generation, and would make an interesting addition as an Origin Theory. Traditional Research & DNA would be required.

Basically, there is no proof in any of these records that Robert Guthrie of Fallowfield and/or Nantmeal Township was an immigrant from Scotland versus an early Colonial-born American. Various origin stories all appear to have a similar thread to them, but also contain conflicting data. DNA from multiple Guthrie lines might help pinpoint the right direction for further research. 

The Darlington family is a fixture in Chester, Pennsylvania, so if Robert married a Darlington daughter it would've most likely been there. 

Miss Darlington's given name might have been Elizabeth, but I have not found any original documentation to prove it. The 'Robert Pettengil Papers' indicate that her name was Rebecca.

An account of the Darlingtons in Poets and Poetry of Chester County Pennsylvania by George Johnson reveals: "The Darlingtons are among the oldest families of Chester County, and are the descendants of a common ancestor who came from England and settled in East Bradford Township, a few miles southwest of West Chester, early in the history of the county. 

Look to this source for information on the Darlington family's arrival in America: 'Biographical and portrait cyclopedia of Chester County, Pennsylvania: comprising a historical sketch of the county', by Samuel T. Wiley, Gresham Publishing Co., 1893, Microfilm 1000549 item 2; Index 568079 item 10, FHL. 

"The Darlingtons of Chester County are descended from Job and Mary Darlington, of Darnhall, Cheshire, England, two of whose sons, Abraham and John, emigrated to America prior to 1711, and settled near the town of Chester, in what is now Delaware county. John, the younger of these two brothers, finally removed to Maryland, and to his history and that of his descendants, if any, has become obscure and uncertain."

"Abraham Darlington married married Deborah Carter, a daughter of Joseph Carter, and after her death without issue, in 1716, he wedded Elizabeth Hillborn, a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Hillborn, of Bucks County, and became the progenitor of the numerous family of Darlingtons in Chester county and its vicinity.”

10 Children: Mary, Deborah, Elizabeth, Abraham, Thomas, John, Hannah, Rachel, Job, and Rebecca."

If Robert's wife was a Darlington, she would almost certainly seem to have to be one of the women listed here. However, the following source provides details on each child and their marriages:  'Sesqui-centennial gathering of the clan Darlington', by Edward C. Darlington, 1853. 

Contrary to the information in WILEY's historical sketch of Chester County, there was also another Darlington in the records: Joseph Darlington. 

Joseph Darlington was listed in the same town at the same time as Abraham Darlington. The 1715 Aston Tax List lists Abraham Darlington and a Freeman, Joseph Darlington. Abraham was listed for Birmingham in 1726 & 1735, but Joseph had moved to Caln where he was listed in 1727 & East Caln in 1730.

'History of Chester County' by John Smith Futhey lists:

"Joseph Darlington was a single man in Aston in 1715, and in 1718-19 in Goshen, but in 1721 was a married man in Caln township, where he probably resided until his death." 

Joseph Darlington is also listed prominently in the 1728 petition to divide Caln into two boroughs, West and East, and notes the exact location of his property on the northern section of the West Branch of the Brandywine. 

Based on the marriage date given for Abraham & Elizabeth, it seems unlikely in my opinion that Robert Guthrie’s wife could be a daughter of Abraham & Elizabeth. Even if she was the first child born that would still make her only about 10 when the Guthrie children were estimated to be born. Could she then be a descendant of Joseph instead? Unfortunately, he also seems to be a contemporary of our elusive Miss Darlington rather than a candidate for her father.

There are still no clues as to why LRG and/or his genealogist source believed that Robert Guthrie's wife was a Darlington. One possibility is that they were mixing up their Guthrie lineages. To my knowledge, there are 2 Guthrie men with the middle name of Darlington: 1) Otho Darlington Guthrie, a grandson of John & Margaret (Brown) Guthrie, and therefore a potential grandson of Robert Guthrie, and 2) Robert Darlington Guthrie, a son of James & Margaret (Brown) Guthrie, a grandson of Robert Guthrie & Bridget Dougherty. Two considerations: First, both lines have women named Margaret Brown in them. Sheer coincidence, sign of an error, or a Brown family connection with the Darlington name? Second, that John remains the one "unproven son" of Robert, and that we also have no DNA evidence for Robert & Bridget (Dougherty) Guthrie's lineage.

Personally, I have my doubts that Robert Guthrie's wife was a Darlington at all, but I'm looking for evidence one way or the other. 

Source: Family History 101 County Formation Maps.
Chester was an original PA county. 

The name of Nantmel comes from the town in Wales. Many of the settlers in this area of Chester county were of Welsh origin. The name means "Honey Brook".  Nantmeal was later divided into West & East sectors in 1739.

Lancelot & Sarah Fallowfield were among the first to purchase land from William Penn. The borough was divided into West Fallowfield (1739) & East Fallowfield (1743).

Lists Rob't Guttery as a taxable

Lists Robert Guttery as a taxable

Lists Robert Guttery as a taxable 

Unfortunately, that is the extent of the facts we currently possess about Robert Guthrie. Beginning with the next generation there is much more detail available on the 4 presumed sons of Robert Guthrie & Miss Darlington. Based on this meager amount of information it is difficult to see how a conclusion could be made about this group being a family unit. Hopefully, there is more information out there to be found, but it looks like DNA is going to be the strongest evidence.

CHILDREN: 3 Sons and an Unknown # of Daughters

The sons are listed in no particular order. Follow the links for more info.

Adam Guthrie married Mercy Irwin.  He was associated with West Caln Twp, Chester, PA. 4 known sons and 6 daughters.

DNA Project Participants from Adam's line: 1 (Peter MacDonald Prenzel-Guthrie)

LRG, p.170-71. "ADAM GUTTERY," 1754-1765,"' West Caln Township, Chester County, Pa., readily falls under Robert Guttery. Adam was not the son of John Guthrie and Ann _____, of Oxford Township. He was not the son of Samuel Guthrey, of St. Georges hundred, New Castle County, Del., (see p. 157), nor of William Guthrie of Mill Creek hundred, New Castle County, Del. William had a son Adam, but he was born about 1752, was not the same individual.

Warren S. Ely, librarian of Doylestown, Pa., and a reputable genealogist, is of the opinion that Robert Guttery, of Nantmeal Township, 1734-35, was the father of Adam. He points out that they lived in the same locality; that Adam had a son, Robert, named presumably for his father.

Adam Guthrie appears on the tax lists as a single freeman until 1757, thereafter as a farmer. He was taxed in West Nantmeal Township until 1766," after that year his name is found in the East Caln lists. This may have been due to a rearrangement of the township lines. Up to 1771 he was taxed for 100 acres, after that for 150 acres.'

Aug. 30, 175t Adam Guthrie bought from John Fairlamb, Esq., Sheriff, 100 acres of land in West Nantmeal Township for 62 pounds, I shilling."

He married, about 1758, Mercy Irwin, daughter of George Irwin, who married Jane Matlack. (See the Irwins, Allied Families).

Other lands of Adam Guthrie were 100 acres surveyed to him March 14, 1759;" 266 acres in East Caln Township,'" and 901/2 acres in West Caln Township." 

William Guthrie was born c1726 in Fallofield, Chester, PA. He married Elizabeth Barnett. They emigrated to Waxhaws, Lancaster, SC. 4 sons and 4 daughters.

DNA Project Participants from William's line: 1 (Douglas Lee Dalton

LRG, p195. 'WILLIAM GUTHRIE, a presumptive son of Robert Guthrie, of Chester County, Pa., (see p. 170) was more or less closely associated with the Guthries, James and John, who lived along Back Creek in Hamilton Township, Cumberland (now Franklin) County, Pa., during the Indian wars. The first mention of him so far discovered is in a list of taxables of Lurgan Township, Cumberland County, Pa., 1751-52."'

He was the William Guthrie, we are quite sure, who married a daughter of Thomas Barnett," who was a neighbor to James and John Guthrie on Back Creek. Of course there is the possibility that it was young William, the son of James, who married the Barnett girl. The indications are that it was an older man who married her. William, son of James was scarcely twenty years old at the time Thomas Barnett made his will. The latter was then an aged man and the probabilities are that his daughter had been married to Guthrie for a number of years when he made his will. The fact that some of the Barnetts were neighbors to William in the south strengthens the above representation. A tradition handed down by some of the descendants of this William is to the effect that there were three brothers. One remained in the east, one settled in the north and one, (William), went south.

There is no other known record of this William in the Cumberland Valley. His name is not found in the list of volunteers under Joseph Armstrong in 1755 and subsequently. It is certain however that that list was incomplete and very probable that he served in the Indian wars. Like the other settlers of the valley he no doubt removed his family to the east for safety during those harrowing times. Toward the close of this period there was a strong movement of settlers from the Cumberland Valley to the south along the route which has already been indicated. It was said in 1746 809 families of our northern borders went to North Carolina." This migration included a large number from the vicinity of Rocky Spring Meeting House and Falling Spring at Chambersburg. Tradition says that William Guthrie, who settled in the Waxhaw settlement, South Carolina, had lived prior to that in Pennsylvania. With no further proof we proceed on the assumption that William Guthrie of the Waxhaw Settlement was identical with William Guthrie of Back Creek in the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania.

"William Guthrie was a prominent planter and slaveowner of South Carolina, and one of the first settlers in the Waxhaw district. He was a man of learning and his children had the best educational advantages that the times afforded."' 

John Guthrie married Margaret Brown. Owned Back Creek property. They lived in Cumberland, Bedford & Franklin Counties, PA. 2 sons & 1 daughter.

DNA Project Participants from John's line: 0 (DNA NEEDED)

LRG, p188. JOHN GUTHRiE, a presumptive son of Robert Guthrie, (p. 170) like the other Guthrie of the early years in the upper Cumberland Valley, is involved in great obscurity. He was one of the small group of the name who had penetrated farthest west at that period and was exposed to the barbarity of the savages during the years of Indian warfare, records of which are few and meagre.'

The first reference to a John Guthrie, who is probably this man, is found in The Wilderness Trail, which gives a list of eightytwo names of prisoners released by the Indians at Lower Shawneetown. The list was found among the Bouquet papers, is without date, but was probably 1764. One of the names is "John Guthrey." We know of no other John Guthrie in America at the time who could have been the person here named. Moreover if the conclusion followed below is correct and William Brown Guthrie, of Mercersburg, was the son of this John, then the tradition of descendants that the family suffered at the hands of the Indians during the period is supported by the records.

This John Guthrie lived on Back Creek in Hamilton Township, in what is now Franklin County, Pa.,"' later in the eastern part of Bedford, now Fulton and seems finally to have returned to Franklin County.

John Guthrie was a soldier in the Revolutionary War."'

He was an active member of the Covenanter Church. He married Margaret; probably her maiden name was Brown.
Note that the lineage of 'presumed son' James Guthrie has been removed from this hypothetical family. As of 1/2013 Y-DNA 111-Marker Results prove that James Guthrie's lineage is closely linked to that of Branch G. 

William Guthrie was born about 1726 in Fallofield, Chester, PA. He married Elizabeth Barnett. They emigrated to Waxhaws, Lancaster, SC. 4 known sons and 4 daughters.

James Guthrie married Jeanette Wilson Moore, the widow of William Moore. Owned Back Creek property. They lived in Cumberland, PA. 2 known sons and 2 daughters.

John Guthrie married Margaret Brown. Owned Back Creek property. They lived in Cumberland, Bedford & Franklin Counties, PA. 2 known sons and 1 daughter.