1A-F: Samuel Guthrie

Samuel Guthrie 1752 VA – aft. 1800 NC and Jane Kinningham
of Christ Church Parish, Middlesex County, Virginia and Chatham County, North Carolina, USA

Parents (Unverified): William Guthrie (b. 1682-98VA – d. 1781-82VA) and Frances Welbourn
Birth Date: 8 July 1752 (if son of above)
Birth Location: Christ Church, Middlesex County, Virginia (if son of above)
Baptism: Unknown
Occupation: Unknown
Marriage: Before 1780
Death Date: Unknown, after 1800
Death Location: Unknown, probably Chatham County, North Carolina, USA
Burial: Unknown, probably Chatham County, North Carolina, USA

Parents: John Kinningham and Mary Reins
Birth Date: Unknown
Birth Location: Unknown
Baptism: Unknown
Guthrie Children: John Wilburne (1780), Elizabeth Reins (1794), William
Death Date: Unknown
Death Location: Unknown, probably Chatham County, North Carolina, USA
Burial: Unknown, probably Chatham County, North Carolina, USA

This family requires Y-DNA confirmation of its lineage as the narrative of its early generations do not mesh with the facts for GFG1A-Branch F. This sounds like a case of descendants not having accurate details when they informed LRG on their immigration story.

American Guthrie and Allied Families, by Laurence R. Guthrie, p.424 includes an entry entitled: John Guthrie of North Carolina.
“It is said by a descendant that John Guthrie and his brother came to this country from Scotland. John settled in North Carolina, his brother in Kentucky. John served in the Colonial Army during the Revolutionary war. He married Frances Wilburn and had a son Samuel. No other children are mentioned.”

If accurate, it means that descendants should be looking somewhere other than Middlesex County, Virginia for their ancestors. The only connecting thread is the name of Samuel‘s mother, Frances Wilbourn.

There is a partially illegible record for a son ___*uel Guthery, presumably Samuel born to William Guthrie and wife Frances documented in the Christ Church Parish Register for 8 July 1752.

Middlesex County, VA Land Records 1767-1785 (Hutchinson), p.70: Samuel Guthrie is listed as the witness to a deed dated April 1775 bet. William Lewis and Sally his wife, of Goochland, VA, selling to Robert Stamper of Middlesex, land in Middlesex County.

“Samuel Guthrie, the great-grandfather of our subject (John Julius Guthrie), served with two brothers in the Revolutionary War.” Representative Citizens (Stewart, 1902)

Samuel’s eldest brother Benjamin Guthrie died in 1780. He wrote his will on 22 Feb 1780 and it was proved on the 28th. The will names several siblings, nieces and nephews. He identifies Samuel as one of his brothers, and names him, along with Robert Stamper, as his executors. (Will Book F p.179) The will does not indicate whether Samuel has any children. If so, Benjamin did not bequeath them any of his estate as he seems to have done with many others to ensure their schooling.

Samuel was also named by his father as the executor of his estate on 2 April 1781. William Guthrie’s will was proved on 22 July 1782 naming his wife Frances. He selected his son Samuel Guthrie and friend John George as his executors. Mentions ‘surviving children’ but does not name them in the will.

This appears to be the end of Samuel Guthrie’s presence in the Middlesex County VA records. It is also important to note that the Kinningham name (and several variant spellings0 is found in the Records of Middlesex County Virginia (Collison 2010)

The big question remains… Is the Samuel Guthrie born in Middlesex VA to William Guthrie and Frances Wilbourn the same Samuel Guthrie later found residing in Chatham County, North Carolina?

The clues seem to point in that direction. The data in AGAF, pp.424-427 is primarily about a grandson, John Julius Guthrie making it seem likely that the submitter did not have all of the facts about the previous generations to give to author LRG.

In 1788, Chatham County, NC records show that Samuel Guthrie purchased property from William Finley.

The 1790 United States Federal Census of Chatham, North Carolina lists the Saml. Guthrie Household:
Free White Persons: 2 Males 16 and over
Free White Persons: 3 Males under 16
Free White Persons: 4 Females
Number of all Other Free Persons: 1
Number of Slaves: 5
Total Household Members: 15

Note that the other Guthrie family living in Chatham County, NC during the 1790 census is that of William Guthrie and Mary Magdalene Roarke. William is believed to be another son of William Guthrie and Frances Wilbourn. William’s household consisted of 4 FWM 16 and over, 4 FWM under 16, 1 FWF, and 4 slaves.

Land Grant No. 1066 was issued on 28 Nov 1792 to Samuel Guthrie of Chatham, NC containing 640 acres of land on the waters of Dry and Varna’s Creeks. Book No. 79, Page No. 361. (North Carolina Land Grant Files, 1693-1960)

The 1800 United States Federal Census of Hillsborough, Chatham, North Carolina lists the Samuel Guthrie Household:
Free White Persons: Males 45 and over 1
Total Household Members: 1
It’s as if the remainder of his household was left off. The 1800 census includes 4 Guthrie Households in Hillsborough: Samuel, William, William (Jr), and Beverly.

The 1810 census of Chatham County, NC does not include Samuel Guthrie as a head of household.

Guthrie Children: 3
Y-DNA Project Participants: None
Autosomal DNA Participants: None

Born Abt. 1790 NC – Died 1821

“Dr John Wilburn Guthrie was a surgeon in the 2nd Regiment of North Carolina during the war of 1812. He owned an elegant home at Washington, NC, and was a well-known physician of his day with a large practice, a cultured and influential gentleman.” Representative Citizens (Stewart (1902). He married Mary Elizabeth MacDaniel, a daughter of William and Mary (Hare) MacDaniel. Only one child is mentioned: John Julius Guthrie, born in Washington, NC in 1815. He was a West Point graduate and joined the US Navy. He captured the last slave ship for the union. (Article). but later faced the tough decision of fighting for the North or South when the war broke out. He was commissioned into the Confederate Navy. After the war he was the first officer of the regular service to the pardoned by the president and his disabilities removed by unanimous vote of congress. Guthrie was appointed by President Ulysses S Grant as a general superintendent of the life-saving stations on the coast of North Carolina and Virginia in 1875. After two years of service he drowned while trying to save those aboard the steamship USS Huron during a storm near Kitty Hawk on 25 Nov 1877.
Guthrie Children: 1
1.) John Julius Guthrie (1815NC-1877NC) m. Louisa Sarah Spratley +children

Y-DNA Project Participants: None
Autosomal DNA Participants: None

Born about 1794 VA or NC – March 1865

Elizabeth Reins Guthrie is listed as the daughter of Samuel Guthrie and Jane Kinningham. According to census records, she was born about 1794 in Virginia. (Note there is a Property Purchase in Chatham County 29 Mar 1791 by an Elizabeth Reins Guthrie from Ambrose Petty. The record can’t be this Elizabeth unless her age is off by about 20 years, but there may be a connection due to the name and location in Chatham, NC.)

Elizabeth married John O’Rorke on 12 Oct 1822 in Wake County, North Carolina. He was an Irish immigrant and a coach maker. They settled in Raleigh, Wake, North Carolina and remained there. The 1840 census lists both of them in the 40-49 category (born 1791-1800). No children in the household. There were 13 slaves, some of which were listed as being involved in manufacture and trade. Slaves: 4M and 1F 36-54, 1M 24-35, 1M and 2F 20-23, 3M and 1F under 10.

The 1850 census lists John O Rorke as 54, coach maker, real estate valued 10,000, born in Ireland; Elisabeth Rorke as 56, born in Virginia. The couple does not appear to have any children. The 1850 Slave Schedule lists John O Rorke with 14 slaves: 1F 70 B; 1M 60 B; 1M 54 M; 1M 40 B; 1M 37 B; 1F 37 M; 1M 37 B; 1M 22 B; 1M 20 M; 1F 18 B; 1F 17 B; 1M 11 M; 1F 8 B; 1M 35 B.

Elizabeth died before her husband in March of 1865.

The Daily Conservative
18 Mar 1865, Saturday, p.2

John O’Rorke died intestate on 12 March 1867 and without any lineal descendants. His estate went to O’Rorke nieces and nephews. (See NC Wills and Probate Records, Wills and Estate Papers: Folder 1, Folder 2, and Folder 3)

O’Rorke Children: None
Y-DNA Project Participants: N/A – Female Guthrie and No Descendants
Autosomal DNA Participants: N/A – No Descendants

Born 17?? – Died ????

We know very little about William Guthrie being told only that he “died many years ago, leaving two infant daughters, who shortly afterwards died unmarried and without issue.”

Guthrie Children: 2
Y-DNA Project Participants: N/A – No sons
Autosomal DNA Project Participants: N/A – No surviving descendants


BOOK: Collison, Helen Hatton (2010). Records of Middlesex County. Heritage Books, Westminster, Maryland.

BOOK: Guthrie, Laurence R. (1933). American Guthrie and Allied Families. Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
See pp.424-427 John Guthrie of North Carolina

BOOK: Stewart, William Henry (1902). History of Norfolk County Virginia and Representative Citizens. Biographical Publishing Company, Chesapeake, VA. Digital Repository: Google Books.
See entries on Capt. John Julius Guthrie and family.

BIO: John Julius Guthrie – FamousAmericans.net

ARTICLE: Rebel Captured Last Slave Ship for the Union. The Virginian-Pilot. 1996.

THESIS: Bruce, Annette C.G., “John Julius Guthrie and the cruise of the Levant to China, 1855-1858” (1977). Honors Theses. 411.

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