Guthrie Genealogy


William Guthrie & Elizabeth Guthrie


William Guthrie

Son of James Guthrie & Jeanette Wilson

Birth: 9 July 1751

Location: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

Marriage: 7 July 1784

Occupation: Soldier

Death: 10 March 1828

Location: Redbank, Armstrong, Pennsylvania, USA

Burial: Salem Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Derry, Westmoreland, PA

Elizabeth Guthrie

Daughter of John Guthrie & Jane Reed

Birth: 1755 

Location: Londonderry, Derry, Northern Ireland

Married 1st: Joseph Brownlee (1776)

Brownlee Sons: John

Brownlee Daughters: Jane

Guthrie Sons: William, James, Joseph Brownlee

Guthrie Daughters: Elizabeth, Jennie, Mary, Jane, Nancy, Joanna

Death: 11 Feb 1842

Location: Redbank, Armstrong, Pennsylvania, USA

Burial: Pennsylvania, presumably


SOURCE: Irish Immigrants in the Land of Canaan: Letters and Memoirs from Colonial and Revolutionary America, by Kerby A Miller



Read the e-book in its entirety at Google Books or go to Chapter 22: Elizabeth Guthrie Brownlee Guthrie, 1755-1829

The author gives us an introduction to Elizabeth's life in this excerpt:

The life and the following petition of Elizabeth Guthrie Brownlee Guthrie (1755-1842) dramatically illustrates the potentially dire consequences of female subordination, for although Guthrie's father was a relatively prominent figure in the Pennsylvania backcountry, successive "unlucky" marriages brought violence and tragedy to her youth and, for the remainder of her long life, the hardscrabble poverty of a squatter's wife on the Pennsylvania frontier.  

Her parents are described here. Note that the author has chosen to use the name "Mary Jane Reed", which is a compounded name created by noted Guthrie author, Rev. Laurence R. Guthrie, who indicated that descendants often identified her as "Jane Reed" or as "Mary Reed". The use of "Mary" was perhaps actually attributed to the name of John Guthrie's second wife, Mary (Simpson) Guthrie. {See LRG, p.408 and footnote 415 on p.715} Interestingly, Miller links John Guthrie to the "7 Brothers Theory" naming him as the "second youngest" of the brothers. 

"(Elizabeth) Guthrie's parents represented the last great wave of Ulster Presbyterian immigrants who pushed beyond the Cumberland Valley and settled in Pennsylvania's southwestern corner immediately prior to the American Revolution. The petitioner's father, John Guthrie (ca. 1720-1797), was the second youngest of seven brothers, Covenanting Presbyterians from Londonderry city, who emigrated to the American colonies. Accompanied by his wife, Mary Jane Reed, and their six children, John Guthrie arrived in Pennsylvania in 1771 and soon moved to the colony's far western frontier, to what in 1773 became Westmoreland County. There he took up land along Loyalhanna Creek, near the ill-fated village of Hannahstown, the first county seat, where he also served as a justice of the peace."

The participation of Joseph Brownlee and William Guthrie has been covered in multiple sources. Here, the author describes some of the hardships they faces, not only as soldiers in the Continental Army, but as frontiersmen.

"Despite this internal strife (Dunmore's War, which exposed the Westmoreland settlements to Indian attacks), Westmoreland's inhabitants united to support the American Revolution, and in July 1776 Elizabeth Guthrie's first husband, Joseph Brownlee, and her future second husband, William Guthrie, joined their kinsmen and neighbors and enlisted in the Eighth Pennsylvania Regiment of the Colonial Army. However, their enthusiasm soon soured when Congress ordered the Regiment to march east, in the dead of winter, to join Washington's forces in New Jersey, thus leaving their families almost defenseless against British, Tory, and Indian assaults on the western frontiers. In 1778 the Eight Pennsylvania was transferred back to Fort Pitt, but its efforts to secure the Ohio country were largely unsuccessful. In desperation, local men such as Brownlee and Guthrie built small stockades and formed official and irregular ranger companies to patrol the frontiers, but their hatred of Indians was so great that their butchery rivaled that of their foes and antagonized even friendly tribes. Their efforts could not prevent the last major assault by Canadian riflemen and Seneca warriors, who destroyed Hannastown and captured Brownlee and his family on 13 July 1782. The Indians' recognition of Brownlee as one of their most ruthless foes, quickly sealed his and his young son's fate, leaving his grieving wife to endure the hardships that she described, nearly 47 years later, in the following petition to the Pennsylvania legislature, begging for a pension as a Revolutionary soldier's widow."

Scans of the original Revolutionary War Pension Application W3245 can be found at Fold3. A few key pages are posted in the next section below.


SOURCE:  W3245 - Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application File of Elizabeth Guthrie Brownlee Guthrie


Pension file W3245 includes 99 images. Here are a few:










SOURCE: 'A Captive's Tale: The Story of Elizabeth Guthrie Brownlee Guthrie', by Anna L Warren, Westmoreland Co. Historical Society