Guthrie Genealogy



Our Working Theory . . . 

The earliest of our combined origin stories indicates that our Guthrie family descends from the Guthries of Pitforthie (Pitforthy). See Family Legends: Branch G for all of the details. Unfortunately we have a few stumbling blocks and one major hurdle to overcome before this theory can be proved or disproved. The first is the lack of a cohesive paper trail connecting our Guthrie Family Group and its numerous branches back to their pre-American origins in Northern Ireland and Scotland. Next is a gap in the records on the Guthries of Pitforthie and all of their descendant lineages. There is a spot within the Pitforthie lineage (descendants of David, younger brother of Rev William Guthrie) where our group could potentially fit, but we must be able to prove without doubt that is where we belong. The hurdle comes in the form of existing documentation and DNA evidence that might irrefutably put an end to this theory.

Our group does not have the same DNA as Guthrie Family Group 1A (aka The Middlesex Group) who match Lord Charles Ronald Llewellyn Guthrie, a descendant of the Guthries of Craigie. Although the Guthries of Guthrie were the main line of the family, many offshoots existed, some of them mentioned in an old rhyme: "Guthrie o' Guthrie and Guthrie o' Gagie Guthrie o' Taybank an' Guthrie o' Craigie." There were also the Guthries of Carbuddo, of Colliston, of Kinblethsont, of Menmuir, and of Pitforthy. "So from any one of these branches our ancestors may have stemmed," wrote Mary Grey May in her book on the Guthrie Family of Greene County, PA (Branch D).

Prior to the use of DNA testing for genealogical study many people of the Guthrie surname believed that we all shared a single bloodline stretching back over 700s years and that the 'castle-builders' and all of the famous or infamous Guthries named throughout history were our kin. Not so. Logic alone will tell you that there is a lot of potential for things to happen over such a long period of time that might cause more than one bloodline to be associated with a single surname: regional and feudal connections, heraldic laws, adoptions, and paternal events. 

At least 3 of our Guthrie Family Group's branches include origin stories that link them to the Guthries of Pitforthie or Guthries of Guthrie. Either there is a genetic connection there with a broken link to the Craigie lineage or a historical connection to that family. The challenge is finding a way to prove it one way or the other. 

Hints in the DNA itself . . .

STATUS as of 10/2013:
Guthrie Family Group 2A (GFG2A) has the largest participation of any of the Guthrie Family Groups. Whether it means we represent a larger percentage of the Guthries living in America today, that our ancestors had more male progeny, or that our group is simply more curious about our Guthrie DNA is anyone's guess. The more participation the better. Every DNA result provides us with new information and clues about our origins. With 30 participants in GFG2A, we are now able to see patterns of genetic variances (Pattern Markers) within the group that reveal which lineages are more closely related. This data combined with traditional research and a look at our family legends is beginning to reveal more about our ancestors than ever before.
We currently have 10 distinct Branches (labeled alphabetically A-J). Some have iron-clad documentation all the way back to their Branch Progenitor. Others, while 100% proven as being GFG2A descendants via DNA testing, have a "presumed" relationship with their Branch Progenitor: B, C, D, & I, either because we need more DNA testing, or because the documentation to prove that relationship does not exist. DNA can help to determine if these participants are appropriately placed within their Branches or if they might be more closely related to other lineages within the group.
Based upon analysis of the genetic patterns found within our Guthrie Family Group DNA, regional connections, or similarities in Origin Stories, the 10 Branches have been narrowed down into 5 Clusters. These clusters are believed to share a more recent common ancestor than the overall group progenitor. Remember that all 30 participants within group share a single common ancestor, so the branches and clusters will eventually converge together upon a single Guthrie progenitor.

Cluster 1: - Branches B, F, and I - The Three Brothers Theory / Brandywine Twp & Connecticut Connections / Mode DNA
Cluster 2: Branch G - The Guthries of Pitforthie / Two Pattern Markers
Cluster 3: Branch C - Colonial Delaware Origins / One Pattern Marker
Cluster 4: Branch D - The Archibald Connection / Regional Connections / Surname Variance Similarities / Use of the name Archibald in both main lineages
Cluster 5: Branches A, E, and H - Guthrie-Stuart Connections / One Pattern Marker DYS534=14 
Use the quick link to read more about our Genetic Clusters. Below is one example of how genetic changes can highlight closer family relationships within a large surname group.
Once upon a time, our Common Ancestor's genetic marker at DYS534 = 15. This tiny portion of DNA was passed on to his sons whose descendants continued to pass on the value of 15. But, at the time of conception, one son's DNA changed, so that the genetic marker at DYS534 = 14 instead of 15. And that son passed on DYS534=14 to his sons and their sons and their sons down through the generations to the present day. 
Clusters 1, 2, 3, 4:  Branches B, C, D, F, G, and I all share DYS534 = 15
Cluster 5:  Branches A, E, and H all share DYS534 = 14
Clusters 1, 2, 3 & 4 contain all of the lineages with "presumed" relationships, so it is possible that some of these branches will separate and/or merge before we are finished figuring out who is more closely related to whom. Branches B, F, and I are linked to the "Three Brothers Theory". Branch C's origin theory must still be proven by DNA testing. Branch D seems to be at a brick wall when it comes to finding new documentation. It is Branch G that provides us with an Origin Theory to guide our research. See Family Legends of Branch G: The Guthries of Pitforthy. 
The Cluster 5 Branches all share DYS534=14, so are all very closely related in comparison to their relationship with the rest of the group. Based upon what we know about when and where they were born, these three men are probably brothers: Robert of Branch E and John of Branch H were estimated to be born about 3-8 years apart. James of Branch A is estimated to be 8-12 years younger. See Family Legends of Branch H: The Covenanter for details on the possible origins of this GFG2A cluster. 

The Ice Age: What DNA Tells Us About Our Distant Human Origins

Genealogy Goes Way Back.                                                                                                                        

                      Way, Way Back.

                                 To the Prehistoric Ice Age.          

(Haplogroup Rb1 and Deep Clade Results provided by FTDNA)