Guthrie Genealogy


Branch G:   James Guthrie & Mary Miller

James Guthrie

Birth: 1794 

Birth Location: Washington, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

Parents: John 'Jack' Guthrie & Mary Erwin

Marriage: Before 1820 in Pennsylvania

Death: c1840

Death Location: Pennsylvania

Burial: Unknown, probably in Pennsylvania

Mary Miller

Birth: 1792

Birth Location: Pennsylvania

Parents: Possibly Matthew Miller & Margaret Carnahan

Guthrie Children: Unknown, possibly 8 children

Death: 7 Feb 1844

Death Location: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania

Burial: Unknown, probably in Pennsylvania        

The DNA Project: 

Guthrie Family Group:  MD/PA Group

Genetic Matches: 1

Participants from this Line: Ron Guthrie

The Highlights:


Having done no personal research on Mary Miller with any original source material I can offer very little in the way of solid proof about her family. What I do have is some circumstantial evidence that seems to make sense, but needs verification. Online trees list a DOB of 1792 (two years earlier than her husband's listed DOB) and a death date of 7 Feb 1844 in Pittsburgh, Allengheny, PA. These trees have nothing else to say about Mary.

While digging for information on James Guthrie & family I believe I have identified him in some early census records. Not only is he listed as living near other relatives associated with this family line, but there are also several Miller households in the same community: Washington, Westmoreland, PA. There is only 1 household of the appropriate census year which had a daughter in Mary's age range: Matthew Miller.

Matthew & Mary (Carnahan) Miller had a large family. Online records also indicate that one of their daughters was named Mary Miller. Matthew's father was named John Robert Miller, and his mother was Sarah Smith. If this lineage turns out to be accurate, then it would seem to make sense that James Guthrie & his wife Mary named their son Samuel Smith Guthrie. 


With information being so vague at this point it is uncertain whether 1794 was an estimation or an exact year of birth. His father John 'Jack' Guthrie was living in Washington, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania as early as 1790 when he was enumerated in the census, so it is likely that James was born there. 


John Guthrie Household: 1M & 1F 26-44, 3F 16-25, 2F 10-15, 2M & 2F<10. 
James would have been one of the 2 males under 10. His father is actually listed in the wrong age range. If his DOB of 1752 is correct, he would've been 48. 


James Guthrie's father died when he was just a boy. About 11 years old if the estimates are right. It is unknown if his mother Mary (Erwin) Guthrie was still alive. Trees list her last known child, Samuel, as being born in 1803.


Five years after his father's death, James would've been about 16, give or take a couple of years. The family appears to be untraceable during the 1810 era and it is likely that they were absorbed into another household for enumeration purposes.


This is an estimate year based upon the 1820 census data. Before we begin discussing the children of James & Mary (Miller) Guthrie, a disclaimer of sorts must be made. Those of you who have access to Laurence R. Guthrie's 'American Guthrie and Allied Families' whether by hard copy or online version (here or here), please turn to p.185. You will find an attempt by the author to place 12 children by linking them to a father named John Guthrie, and to grandparents Samuel and Jane (Wilson) Guthrie. The author even makes a statement to indicate that the connection is not clearly established. Among these children is "Samuel Smith Guthrie, who went to Iowa, later to Huxley, Custer County, Nebr." 

Samuel Smith Guthrie happens to be the ancestor of our DNA candidate for *this* line. There is solid evidence leading from Ron back to Samuel Smith Guthrie. The lack of hard documentation on James Guthrie & Mary Miller or on the other John Guthrie makes it difficult to confirm, but I believe what little we do have manages to make a case for Ron's given lineage being correct. In this particular case, the DNA doesn't reveal a mismatch because Samuel Guthrie & Jane Wilson happen to be MD/PA Group Branch B descendants. 

Of the 12 children listed by LRG on p185, 3 of them appear to be linked via census records to the locations where Samuel Smith Guthrie lived or to his direct family members. Three others have information listed, but I have been unable to confirm a familial link.

UPDATE 11/2011: Having located an Orphan's Court Record listing the children of Samuel & Jane (Wilson) Guthrie, I have been able to confirm that they did not have a son named John as listed by LRG. So it no longer appears that there is any conflict with the family line as Ron's family has previously listed. 


Mary Guthrie, known as Polly, was born on 29 Sep 1815 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. 

She remained single up until 1850 when her sister Betsey (Elizabeth Guthrie Owens) died. Polly then became Joshua Owens' second wife, the story going that he traveled back from Iowa to Pennsylvania to marry her. Joshua & Betsey had at least 7 children, most of whom were less than 10 years old at the time Polly became part of the Owens family. They had 4 more children, only 1 of whom survived.

LRG, p185 states that Polly was the first wife and Betsey the second, but census records disprove that information. The 1850 census shows Joshua as a widower with 7 children living in the household. Mary was living with three of her younger brothers in Mifflin, Allegheny, PA in 1850. By the 1856 census, the Iowa State Census lists Mary as Joseph's wife. James Guthrie, age 23, PA, carpenter, is living with the family at the time.

Mary 'Polly' Guthrie died 29 Sep 1865 in Lisbon, Linn, Iowa. Joshua died four years later.


James Guthrie's Household: 1M & 1F 26-44, 1M & 3F <10. 1 in agriculture.  

Chances are that the man of this household is on the younger end of the scale. all 4 children are under 10. This is the same location as James' brother John Guthrie. Daughter Mary 'Polly' Guthrie would have been one of the 3 girls, leaving 1 boy and 2 girls unidentified so far.


The year of Elizabeth's birth was calculated from the information on her tombstone, which is locates in the Owens Family Cemetery outside of Vandergrift. Her death date was 27 Feb 1850. "Consort of Joshua Owens, died in the 28th year of her age." Consider plus or minus 1 year. The 1830 census of Allegheny, Armstrong, PA, which lists the most likely household for her father, James Guthrie, includes 2 females in the 5-9 age category.

Betsey, along with her sister Polly were listed by LRG on p.185 of 'American Guthrie and Allied Families' as two of twelve possible children of a John Guthrie, son of Samuel & Jane (Wilson) Guthrie. However, evidence shows that these women were most likely siblings of Samuel Smith Guthrie whose parents were likely James and Mary (Miller) Guthrie.

Betsey married Joshua Owens in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in the mid to late 1830s. They were parents to at least 7 children. Betsey died on 27 Feb 1850 before the census was taken. It shows Joshua living as a widower with his children.


Jane is another daughter from LRG's list of 'possible children' of John, but migration patterns suggest that she is another sister of Samuel Smith Guthrie. Jane was born about 1823. The 1860 & 1870 census records are fairly consistent about her approximate age. The 1850 census places Jane in the household of her husband Solomon Thompson in Mifflin, Allegheny, PA. This is the same location that several siblings were living at the time. Jane and Solomon were parents to several children. They moved from Allegheny County, PA to Pioneer, Cedar, Iowa, and then to Fairfax, Atchison, Missouri. Jane died thre on 17 Sep 1876. Solomon lived until 1891.


There is definitely a William Guthrie associated with Samuel Smith Guthrie. The 1850 census of Mifflin, Allegheny, PA lists siblings William Guthry 21, Smith Guthry 14, Harrison Guthry 14, and Mary Guthry 29.

If William, brother of Samuel is the same man listed by LRG as another possible 'son' of John on p.185 of 'American Guthrie and Allied Families' then the following info applies:

William Guthrie "was born at or near Apollo, PA. At the age of nine he began work,--towing along the old canal. He was born Jan. 3, 1826. He went to Pittsburgh bet. 1840 and 1850. He married there Nov. 20, 1850, Anne Phillips, who was born about 1830; died July 26, 1894. William enlisted in Company H, (Capptain Thos. Espey), 62nd Regiment (Co. S.W. Black) at Pittsburgh, PA. He was wounded and discharged from the service Dec. 11, 1862. For many years he worked as a mine foreman at different places along the Monongahela River. He died May 1, 1910. There were 11 children, but only 1 lived beyond infancy--Oliver P. Guthrie, born Nov 15, 1855." William and Anne (Phillips) Guthrie and family were living in the same location as the Guthries in 1850: Mifflin, Allegheny, PA, increasing the odds that this William is indeed the one who was a brother to Samuel Smith Guthrie.


This is the most likely match. By process of elimination this is the only James Guthrie household in Pennsylvania with a man of the right age who has not already been accounted for in other census records.

James Guthrie's Household: 1M & 1F 30-39, 1F 15-19, 1M & 1F 10-14, 2F 5-9, 1M & 1F <5. 


James Guthrie's middle name might be Harrison. There is a brother born in the same year as Samuel Smith Guthrie listed with him on the 1850 census of Mifflin, Allegheny, PA. One might assume that they were twins, but what info we do have suggests that James was born at the beginning of the year and Samuel was born toward the end of it. There may be some actual variation +/- 1 year in the data that is not reflected in the census.

LRG describes a James S. Guthrie rather than a James H. Guthrie, and simply states that the man married and moved to Mechanicsville, Iowa where he died. That location is associated with Samuel Smith Guthrie's family. The census records for James Guthrie of that location do not list a middle name. James married Emilie Bowles. Their first child, Elizabeth, was born in 1855. James apparently went to Iowa to get settled before bringing his wife and daughter. In 1856 James is listed in the household of Joshua and Mary 'Polly' (Guthrie) Owens in Pioneer, Cedar, Iowa, working as a carpenter. Two of James & Emilie's sons have middle intitals of H, including one with the name William HH Guthrie, likely named after President William Henry Harrison. James Guthrie's family continued to live in the area the rest of his life. In 1880, the Leech family, listed just 2 households away from James Guthrie's family includes 'adopted daughter' Frances 'Fanny Guthrie, 17. Fanny was one of the children from Samuel Smith Guthrie's first marriage.


Samuel Smith Guthrie, who apparently sometimes went by his middle name, was born on 21 August 1832 in or near the city of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania. His parents died when he was a boy and he seems to have lived with some of his siblings after that. In 1852 he moved to Iowa where he married Nancy Jane Lillie on 8 Mar 1859. They had 3 daughters and 1 son. For some currently inexplicable reason the 1860 census lists him as "Smith Anthony". Nancy died on 14 Jan 1868. On 30 Sep 1868, Samuel remarried to another woman named Nancy Jane who was also born in New York. Her maiden name was Grieve. They were parents to 6 daughters and 3 sons, one of whom was the direct ancestor of DNA Project participant Ron Guthrie. This family moved from Iowa to Tarkio, Atchison, Missouri in 1870, and in 1884 to Custer County, Nebraska. Samuel died in Mason City, Custer, Nebraska on 2 Jan 1916. Nancy lived until 1929. 

OTHER POSSIBLE CHILDREN: John, Margaret, Nancy, & Matthew

These names were submitted by LRG as possible other children of 'John' Guthrie.


There is certainly a possibility that James & Mary (Miller) Guthrie had a son named John. James' father and grandfather were named John, as was a brother. Since this family has additional residency/census ties to Pittsburth and to Allegheny, PA in general, the John Guthrie living in Peebles, Allegheny County, PA in 1840 has the greatest chance of being a son of James & Mary. Obviously, more research would be required to establish that.


Only Margaret has additional documentation. She married James McLaughlin of Saltsburg, PA. The 1860 census shows them living near Clarksburgh in Conemaugh, Indiana, Pennsylvania. A search for the Guthrie surname in the same location for 1860 there are a number of Guthrie families living in Saltsburg, Conemaugh, Burrell, Blairesville, or Jacksonville in Indiana County, PA. The Saltsburg and Conemaugh connections to this Guthrie line definitely show a likelihood that Margaret Guthrie McLaughlin could be a child of this line. See location breakdown below.

Saltsburg: The family of John Guthrie 58 (c1802) & Margaret McQuaide. John was the son of William Guthrie & Agnes Dixon, and grandson of John Guthrie & Jane Reed.

Conemaugh: The family of William R Guthrie 29 (b.1831) & Mary A. The mother living in their home is Mary Laird Guthrie 55. Mary was the widow of William Reed Guthrie (1830-1920) who was a son of John Guthrie & Margaret McQuaide (above).

Burrell: A 10-year old boy, James W. Guthrie (b. 1850) is living with Isaac M. & Jane Gray. 

Blairsville: A 26-year old man, J.M. Guthrie (b.1834) is living with James & Ellen Speer. The 1850 census lists this Speer couple in Jacksonville with a boy named Milton Guthrie, 16. Eleanor, aka Ellen, was possibly previously married to a Guthrie.

Jacksonville: A couple, J. Milton and Jane C. Guthrey, 26 (b.1834) and 21 (b.1839). Possible that Milton was listed twice. Once in Blairsville, and next with a wife in Jacksonville. 


LRG listed "Jane or Nancy" as the wife of Solomon Thompson. Since Solomon's spouse has been determined to be Jane Guthrie, that leaves Nancy as a possible other daughter of James & Mary (Miller) Guthrie. However, no additional information is known at this time. 


Matthew was the name of Mary Miller's probable father, so this is another naming pattern that makes sense for this Guthrie family. A very rare name combination for the Guthrie surname. I can find no census records related to a Matthew Guthrie within Pennsylvania. Could Matthew be his middle name?


James Guthrie reportedly died about 1840. Location unknown. 


Mary Miller Guthrie reportedly died about 1844. Location unknown.