GFG3 Theories: Part 1

Exciting new theories have come to light about the origins and branch connections of Guthrie Family Group 3A. This genetic group is separated by a continental divide. Most participants represent a handful of American lineages, but there is one major standout among its Y-DNA matches that may provide a new direction for research. This Guthrie family is from New Zealand, and their ties to the remainder of GFG3A are undoubtedly to be found back in Scotland.

Sharyn Guthrie, the representative for Kit 319359, has recently shared her research on this New Zealand family and its generational ties in Scotland. We’ll explore her findings and expand on them in this post.

Another new theory presented by one of the American branches of GFG3A is the identification of the likely Most Recent Common Ancestor for several of the group’s individual lineages. This revelation has already been presented in the individual GFG3A branch pages of the Guthrie Genealogy website, but will be consolidated in GFG3 Theories: Part 2 next month.

A: James Guthrie c1774VA/MD-1850VA(WV) & Elizabeth Casdorph
B: Robert Guthrie 1727PA-1789VA & Esther Giles
C: William Guthrie d.1844SCT & Ann Hunter / Jacobina McClure
D: Alexander Guthrie 1777PA-1850IN & Eleanor Amis
E: Robert Guthrie 1778VA-1855OH & Frances Fowler


William Guthrie (d.1844) & Ann Hunter
William Guthrie (1791-1856) & Susan Good
James Guthrie (1814 – 1889) & Isabella McIntyre
Robert Guthrie* (1857 – 1920) & Catherine Rebecca Rolleston McCassey

*The family’s immigrant ancestor to New Zealand was Robert Guthrie (1857-1920). He is the Most Recent Common Ancestor of three project participants: 1 Y-DNA / 3 Family Finder Tests. Earlier generations are associated with residences in Ayrshire, Scotland.

George Guthrie (d.1712 aged 76) & Isabel Hewie
John Guthrie (d1743 aged 54) & Janet Howie
George Guthrie (d.1802) & Margaret Bowie
William Guthrie (d.1844) & Ann Hunter
William Guthrie (1791-1856) & Susan Good
James Guthrie (1814-1889) & Isabella McIntyre
Robert Guthrie (1857-1920) & Catherine Rebecca Rolleston McCassey


Parents: George Guthrie 1728-1802 & Margaret Bowie (THEORY)
Born: Abt. 1763 (This is different than the Abt. 1771 DOB previously stated.)
Marriage #1 – Ann Hunter. No record found. Children of lawful status.
Marriage #2 – Jacobina McClure. 17 January 1803 in Dundonald, Ayr, SCT
Died: 29 May 1844 in Dundonald, Ayr, Scotland

Parents: Unidentified
Born: Unknown Year, presumably in Scotland
Children: George 1788, John 1790, William 1791, Ann 1794, Margaret 1795, James 1797
Died: 7 November 1801 in Dundonald, Ayr, Scotland
Buried: Dundonald Churchyard

Parents: Robert McClure & Agnes Thompson
Born: Abt. 7 Oct 1770 in Irvine, Ayr, Scotland
Children: George 1803, Agnes Thomson 1806, Robert 1808, Jacobina 1810, David 1813
Died: 21 October 1835 in Dundonald, Ayr, Scotland


CHILD #1:   GEORGE GUTHRIE 1788 – 1800
No birth/baptismal record found.
Old Parish Death Register: 20 Oct 1800, Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Buried Dundonald Churchyard with mother Ann, died aged 12 years.

CHILD #2:   JOHN GUTHRIE 1790 – 1834
Old Parish Register: 1790 in Mauchline, Ayrshire, Scotland
Guthrie, William in Ruddenhead and Anne Hunter spouses had a lawful son born 10th & baptized 15th Feby named John.

Transcription of Monumental Inscription from Kirkoswald Churchyard and Crossraguel Abbey No: 77 – Sacred to the memory of Captain John GUTHRIE of Turnbery Lodge 24 Jan 1834 aged 45 years and of Margaret, his daughter d. 17 Jun 1834 aged 12y.

CHILD #3:   WILLIAM GUTHRIE 1791 – 1856
Old Parish Register: Dudonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
William, Son to William Guthrie and Ann Hunter spouses in Harperland was baptized there the 31st day of Octobert 1791.

Statutory Death Register: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
William Guthrie, farmer, single, died 26 Mar 1856 3PM Drummieholm?, 64, Parents: William Guthrie, farmer, and Ann Hunter, both decd, COD: Spinal disease causing paraplegia, Informant: James Guthrie, brother.

CHILD #4:   ANN GUTHRIE 1794 – 1835
Old Parish Register – Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Ann, daughter to William Guthrie and Ann Hunter spouses in Harperland was baptized there the 24th day of February 1794.

In the Airshire News, Vol5, 1831 – 1840, there is a notice saying “Death at Redburn Cottage, Irvine, on 28th ult. (Jan as written in Feb 1835), Anne Guthrie, wife of George Johnston, Esq, Factor to the Earl of Eglinton (married 17 Jan 1820)”

CHILD #5:   MARGARET GUTHRIE 1795 – 1875
Old Parish Register – Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Margaret, daughter to William Guthrie and Ann Hunter spouses in Harperland was baptized there the 4th day of September 1795.

Statutory Death Register: Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland
Margret Pettigrew, married to Robert Pettigrew, landed proprietor, died 23 Jan 1875 5AM at St Maddens House, Troon, 79, Parents: William Guthrie, farmer, and Annie Hunter, COD: Hemiplegia, Informant: Rob Pettigrew, widower.

CHILD #6:   JAMES GUTHRIE 1797 – 1863
Old Parish Register – Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
James son to William Guthrie farmer in Harperland and Ann Hunter spouses was baptized there the 19th day of Oct 1797.

Statutory Death Register: Loans, Ayrshire, Scotland
James Guthrie, annuitant, single, died 22 April 1863 at 5AM at Loans, 65, Parents: William Guthrie, farmer, and Ann Hunter, both decd, COD: Gastritis, Informant: Rob. Guthrie, brother

CHILD #7:   GEORGE GUTHRIE 1803 – 1868
Old Parish Register – Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
George, son to William Guthrie, tenant at Harperland, and Jacobina McClure, spouses, was baptized there the 16th day of September 1803.

Statutory Death Register: Stewington, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
George Guthrie, factor, married to Margaret Cumming McDowall, died 18 Jan 1868 at 330 AM at Cecil Lodge 5 Blackford Road Edinburgh, 64, Parents: William Guthrie, farmer, & Jacobina McClure, COD: Lung disease, Informant: Jacobina Guthrie, daughter.
Note: Factor to the Earl of Stair

Old Parish Register – Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Agnes Thomson, daughter to William Guthrie, tenant in Harperland, and Jacobina McClure, spouses, was baptized there the 19th day of February 1806.

Statutory Death Register – Old Luce, Wigtownshire, Scotland
Agnes Fergusson, annuitant, widow of the Rev James Fergusson Minister of Inch, died 16 Feb 1885 at 730AM in Glenluce, Parish of Old Luce, aged 78, Parents: William Guthrie farmer & Jacobina McClure, both decd., COD: Apoplexy & paralysis; Informant: Agnes F. Guthrie niece.

CHILD #9:   ROBERT GUTHRIE 1808 – 1887
Old Parish Register – Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Robert, son to William Guthrie tenant in Harperland & Jacobina McClure was born the 23rd and baptized the 28th day of June 1808.

Statutory Death Register – Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Robert Guthrie, farmer, widower of Catharine Annandale Hunter, died 24 Mar 1887 at 630AM in Crossburn, Dundonald, 77, Parents: William Guthrie, farmer, & Jacobina McClure, both decd, COD: Bronchitis, Cystitis, Informant: Wm Guthrie, son.

Legal Records – 5 Oct 1887 – Ayrshire, Scotland
Guthrie, Robert, farmer, Crossburn, near Troon, d.24/03/1887 at Crossburn, testate. WILL. Ayr Sheriff Court Wills. SC6/46/19.

CHILD #10:   JACOBINA GUTHRIE 1810 – 1890
Old Parish Register – Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Jacobina, daughter to William Guthrie farmer in Harperland, and Jacobina McClure spouses was born the 9th and baptized the 18th June 1810.

Troon Memorial Inscriptions has that she died in NZ and on her son’s gravestone in Addington Cemetery, Christchurch it reads: ‘Jacobina Guthrie, widow of William Rankin, late of Kilmarnock, Scotland, d. at Akaroa 3 May 1890 a. 80.’

CHILD #11:   DAVID GUTHRIE 1813 – 1887
Old Parish Register – Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
David, son to William Guthrie and Jacobina McClure spouses in Harperland was born the 20th May and baptized the 2nd June 1813.

Statutory Death Register – Stanraer, Wigtownshire, Scotland
David Guthrie, bank agent & factor, married to Elizabeth Kerr Laurie, formerly to Mary McDowell, died 28 Jul 1887 at 330PM in Union Bank, Church Street, Stranraer, 74yrs, Parents: William Guthrie, farmer, & Jacobina McClure, both decd, COD: Syncope

Record Source: Scotland’s People


Let’s start with the paper trail and see where it leads.
What do we know so far?

This family lived multiple generations in Ayrshire, Scotland.
William Guthrie was twice married.
The birth/baptismal records of the children note that William Guthrie was living at Harperland during his marriages to Ann and Jacobina.
Wife#1 – Ann Hunter d1801
Wife#2 – Jacobina McClure d1835
Residence – Ruddenhead, Mauchline, Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Residence – Harperland, Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Occupation – Farmer / Tenant Farmer


Although William Guthrie’s death record establishes the date and location of his death, it does not reveal his age. There is no other document known at this time that conclusively identifies his birth year.

Since William Guthrie died in 1844, he should be listed in the 1841 Scotland Census. Having lived in Dundonald, Ayr, Scotland almost all of his married life, it is likely that he would be found in the 1841 Census of Dundonald.

142 men and boys named William Guthrie are in the 1841 Scotland Census.
28 are listed in Ayrshire.

Calculating a Birth Year Estimate:
Since we do not have a documented DOB to estimate his age, let’s estimate a birth year range based on the DOB of his eldest son in 1788. If William was 16-30 at that time his estimated birth range would be 1758-1772 with an age in 1841 of 69-83.

Narrowing the search parameters to men of that age range, there is only 1 candidate: William Guthrie age 70 *est DOB 1771 farmer in Dundonald. Both the occupation and location are correct.

Loans, Parish of Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland
Wm Guthrie male 70 farmer Y
James Guthrie male 35 Y
Helen Bell female 35 f.s. Y
Jennet Stewart female 35 f.s. Y
Margaret Wilson female 20 Y
John Dods male 25 m.s. Y
David Brown male 15 m.s. Y
George Gardine male 16 m.s Y

F.S. and M.S. could indicate female servant and male servant
All are documented as ‘Y’ for being born in Ayrshire.

The James Guthrie listed with William Guthrie is presumably his son who remained a single man and died at Troon in 1863. He is listed here as age 35, but his known DOB in 1797 would actually make him 44 in 1841. The 1851 census more accurately estimates James Guthrie’s age as 53.

This suggests that William Guthrie’s stated age in 1841 could also be off by as many as 9 years.  Instead of an approximate DOB of 1771, it could be closer to 1762.

The 1841 census is the earliest available, and so it is the only such record listing William Guthrie. His death record for 1844 does not list his age at the time of his death, so there is no data to cross-reference.  

The search for William Guthrie’s parents should take into consideration the potential DOB discrepancy. Let’s continue to use the estimated birth range 1758-1772 when searching records.


Using our broad Birth Year Range of 1758-1772 and selecting only Ayrshire, Scotland, there are 11 births/baptisms recorded in the Old Parish Registers for infants named William Guthrie.

David Guttrie/Unidentified MNU 19 Oct 1760 in Monkton and Prestwick
John Gottray/Janet Brown 7 Mar 1762 in Irvine
George Guthrie/Unidentified MNU 27 Feb 1763 in Craigie
John Gottray/Martha Smith 19 Oct 1763 in Irvine
John Guthrie/Unidentified MNU 27 Nov 1763 in Dailly
John Guthrie/Unidentified MNU 8 Nov 1764 in Monkton and Prestwick
John Gottray/Martha Smith 16 Jul 1765 in Irvine
David Guthrie/Unidentified MNU 21 Jun 1767 in Ochiltree
George Guthrie/Unidentified MNU 11 Jul 1768 in Ochiltree
John Guthrie/Unidentified MNU 22 Oct 1769 in Monkton and Prestwick
John Guthrie/Unidentified MNU 9 Aug 1771 in Monkton and Prestwick


None of the parent candidates above specifically list residences already documented for William Guthrie in his later years, namely Mauchline or Dundonald.

We need more information in order to narrow down these potential candidates.


The PARENTAL Scottish Onomastic Child-naming Pattern
The 1st son was named for his father’s father. [George] – maybe
The 2nd son was named for his mother’s father. [John] – unknown
The 3rd son was named for his father. [William] – yes
The 4th son was named for his father’s eldest brother
The 5th son was named for his father’s next brother

The 1st daughter was named for her mother’s mother [Ann] – unknown
The 2nd daughter was named for her father’s mother [Margaret] – maybe
The 3rd daughter was named for her mother [Agnes Thompson] – no, but Ann was already used
The 4th daughter was named for her mother’s eldest sister
The 5th daughter was named for her mother’s next eldest sister

The eldest son of William Guthrie and Ann Hunter was named George Guthrie. This son died at a young age. When William and his 2nd wife had their first child they also named him George Guthrie. Although this does not prove the family used naming patterns to select George and George’s given name, it increases the odds that William’s father was also named George.

There are 2 candidates listed in the birth/baptismal records:
George Guthrie/Unidentified MNU 27 Feb 1763 in Craigie
George Guthrie/Unidentified MNU 11 Jul 1768 in Ochiltree

Thile we’re looking for names and patterns, let’s see if we can identify William Guthrie’s wife, Ann Hunter in the birth/baptismal records and discover her parents.

The same birth range applies to Ann that did to William because she was probably between 16-30 at the time of their first son George’s birth in 1788. The family also likely lived in Ayr. There were 7 infants named Ann/Anne Hunter born/baptized in Ayr between 1758-1772. None in Dundonald. Two in Kilmarnock:
1) Anne Hunter of John Hunter (Skinner) and Janet Hunter (their 9th child) 29 Nov 1797
2) Anne Hunter daughter of David Hunter (Merchant in Hulmland) and Elizabeth Gothrie (their 10th child) 28 Aug 1768.
[Elizabeth was the daughter of Hugh Guthrie, merchant. This man could either be the son of John Guthrie of Craigie (Ayr) born1693 or son of James Guthrie of Loudon born 1718.]

The daughter, Agnes Thomson Guthrie, is probably named for a relative, but whose relative?


These days we are often spoiled by the ease of research. It can seem simple to gather facts and figures and chronicle our ancestors’ lives. Sometimes we need to dig a little deeper and look for clues in places that might not be so readily available.

In this case, Sharyn Guthrie, our sleuth, found an article on ‘The Guthrie Family’ from the Kilmarnock Standard, an extract from the “Centenary History of Troon and Neighborhood” – 1805-1895 by Thomas Dykes, “Rockwood” of the Glasgow Herald.

The extract begins with a general description of William Guthrie and his relations in Ayrshire and by extension presumably to other Guthrie families in Forfarshire. Some of the dates and relations are either in obvious error or a little short on details. These can either be corrected or their sources found.

The names, dates, and locations identified within this article should be scrutinized for accuracy.

About this time a Prominent farmer in Ayrshire was Mr. William Guthrie who then held land to the extend of close upon 2000 acres, chiefly in the Kyle District. He belonged to a very old Scottish family of Guthries one of whom was of more than ordinary mark in Kilmarnock – John Guthrie born at Holmes, March 1761; married July 30, 1782, died January 23rd 1827; and buried in the High Churchyard of Kilmarnock. His brother, Alexander Guthrie, father of William, was born at Sidehead, Craigie, in 1783 and is buried in Craigie old Kirkyard. The Ayrshire Guthries, it may be here said, came from an old Forfarshire family, one of whom, William Guthrie (1620), was a son of the laird of Pitfrothie, being on his mother’s side related to the house of Easter Ogle. His brother John, the second laird was minister of Tarbolton, in Ayrshire, till 1662, having his share in the troubles of that period. John was a cousin of the celebrated James Guthrie, who was a son of the Laird of Guthrie in Forfarshire, and which latter place was responsible for the family name. John Guthrie of Holmes was colliery manager to the Duke and Leased The Mount from 1791, residing there till in later years he gave it over to his son Alexander, when we went to live at Grange. Alexander, grandfather of the present Lord Oranmore, having acquired property in the neighbourhood, “excambed” with the Duke in 1826 and became full laird of the Mount. The Guthrie family became very influential in Kilmarnock and Ayrshire affairs. Four sisters of Alexander Guthrie were Mesdames Dr Crooks, Captain McAllister, Dykes (faes, the daughter of whom is the wife of Dr Guthrie Rankin of London, her only brother was the late John Guthrie of the Glasgow Stock Exchange

The important takeaway is that despite its confusing start, the remainder of the article clearly discusses William Guthrie, prominent farmer in Ayrshire, who lived at Harperland, Auchans, and Troon. These locations, especially Harperland, are known to be associated with GFG3A – Branch C’s William Guthrie (d.1844).

Far-seeing, the Duke of Portland seems to have been anxious to bring those who ploughed below the land and those above the land together, and when the last advertisement appeared he asked William Guthrie, who then lived at Auchans (having Auchans, Harpercroft, Bogside, Ploughland, &c,. under his tenure), if in the event of His Grace buying the Loans portion of those lands he would lease and manage them. This was agreed to, on condition that the Duke should build him a new house, the old house of Sculloch Mill on the Craiksland road being a small one-story habitation. This was done, Mr Guthrie, who had Robin Young of Troon for mason, and Tom Wilson, completing the building in 1810 for £800. The Duke said if Mr Guthrie built the house at his own expense he would pay him interest, which he did. The Sculloch Mill was an old corn-grinding mill overriding Craiksland Burn, an overflow from Craiksland meadows and the Clevance watershed. The tenants of Sculloch Mill and farm were, from 1788 till 1890, Robert Allan and Adam Andrew. When Allan’s tack ran out (Andrew had no lease), Mr Guthrie took over the place. Mr Guthrie had however, been in occupation of the lands lying between Troon and Darley in 1807, taking over Wallacefield in 1808. Robin Mitchell and Ned McCrone were the tenants of Craiksland meadows, subsequently known as the Lochwoods. William Guthrie previously referred to died in 1847. He having been responsible for the laying out of much of the modern landscape as we now know it, we will proceed to give an account of how he set about it. 

The remainder of the article provides more information about farming than it does about family, but it is interesting nonetheless. There are some dates and locations of importance in documenting William Guthrie’s life provided by the man himself.

“The Reclamation of Crossburn” 

The following is from an old paper by Mr William Guthrie which is in possession of his family. It is entitled “Answers to the Queries Regarding Leveling and Straightening of Lands”. 

“In 1808 I began to level and straighten land, and since that time I have leveled and straightened upwards of 400 acres. To that extent I distinguish four varieties of soil – a light soil on a gravelly bottom; alluvial soil; a sharp thin clay on a hilly bottom of Sculloch Mill; and last, a clay soil, rather more damp and of a softer stuffy nature at Harperland. In the first description I proceeded with a green crop, and in the other three by bare summer fallow. The land upon which I commenced my operations was a rather light upon a gravelly bottom, interspersed with strata of clay. In the winter proceeding levelling I cut drains from 3 or 4 feet deep for the intercepting of the springs which are generally found in gravelly bottom land breaking out where the gravel meets the clay. In the spring I began to level down the land for a green crop. It was then in a very foul state, I have since continued to work the land on the 4 course shift, and the crops have been good and the levelling and straightening undoubtedly advantageous. I now consider two years pasture will be an improvement. 

In 1810 I began upon an alluvial soil or carse land with crokked ridges, and which were very wet and fit only for summer crops. The field was much intersected with small drains intended to take off the surface water, which cause much difficulty in plowing the land for summer fallow and did not answer the purpose intended. To form the land into square fields and to take away the water I filled up the small drains and altered and cut deeper the main drain. The ridges I formed about 16 feet in breadth and gathered them twice, so that they were crammed in such a way that the water got running out freely, and afterwards abundant crops of wheat and beans were produced. These lands were afterwards taken into the hands of the proprietor, and on these the levelling and straightening was a great improvement. 

In 1811 I commenced levelling the lands of Sculloch Mill which were all high ridged and rather of an uneven surface, and ill lying. The soil is a thin clay upon a tilly bottom, but a sharp land, well adapted for either wheat or beans. The ridges I mostly cut the crown and throwing into the furrows. Some of the soil (subsoil) was unavoidably brought to the surface, but as I had considerable quantity of dung and seaweed, it was manured at the rate of 50 carts per acre, and the crops turned out well. The levelling and straightening was advantageous in this case. 

In 1814 I commenced a new lease of the farm at Harperland (softer and more duffy clay). I had occupied it before for 24 years. My system of management during the first lease was to plow one quarter, take three white crops and sow down with grass seeds, which were cut one year and pastured eight years, always limiting on the sward at the rate of 50 or 60 boils per acre before breaking up. By this cheap system the land was improved and was perhaps equal to any dairy farm in the country. 

From the high prices in 1812 and inconvenience of working crooked ridges, I was induced to try leveling and straightening, in which was not very successful. My method was principally by digging out the crowns and throwing into the furrows, but unavoidably a great quantity of the rich soil which had been made by my former labours was thrown into the deep furrows and in some measure lost, and the cold unproductive subsoil turned up. The leveling was followed by a summer fallow giving some time and what dung the farm produces. The wheat crop was not good, the hay deficient, and the pasture inferior. In the first going through the leveling was not profitable, but the second crops were not so very deficient. By liming and working the land is brought to carry as good crops as before, the leveling and the straight ridges are much more convenient, but in damp clay soils I do not consider the system as profitable to the tenant, at least without the complete surface draining. Draining seems the first step to every improvement of such lands. I am certain it would have been much more profitable for me to have managed the farm in the system of the first lease. I am of an opinion that summer fallowing of damp clay lands is rather hurtful for oats and pasture, and were the land does not carry wheat will not be profitable.” The portion of the land alluded to as taken bak into the landlords own hands was that large portion of old grass land lying between the road to Troon and Fullarton coachway from the Ayr road and about a quarter of a mile westward of Crossburn house

Repository: Ayr Library, Scotland
Research of Sharyn Guthrie


Guthrie family residences noted in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire
Associated with the family in Sidehead, Craigie, Ayrshire
Craigie in Ayr is not to be confused with Craigie in Forfar

The author erroneously lists William Guthrie’s death as 1847. There is no OPR death record for a William Guthrie in Ayrshire in that year. The only record is for 1844 in Dundonald.

Relative: John Guthrie 1761 – 1827
Relative: Alexander Guthrie, born at Sidehead in Craigie, 1783
Error: Article erroneously lists Alexander Guthrie, 1783, as the father of William Guthrie. Being born 1758-1772, William could not be the son of a man born after him in 1783.

The Guthries of Pitforthie are mentioned as being the potential forebears of this Ayrshire line via John Guthrie, Minister of Tarbolton. This origin theory may have come from the record of the matriculation of the Coat of Arms of Christina Guthrie of Mount, which documents her father as being “believed to be” paternally descended from John Guthrie, Minister of Tarbolton. John was the youngest son of James Guthrie, Laird of Pitforthie, and Jonet Lyon. His eldest brother was Rev William Guthrie, Minister of Fenwick, who also became Laird of Pitforthie at their father’s death.

There are no other known documented connections between the lineage of John Guthrie, Minister of Tarbolton, and Alexander Guthrie of Mount. Note that Tarbolton is in South Ayrshire near Mauchline.

John Guthrie was born in 1633 in Brechin or at Pitforthie. As a potential father to the eldest George Guthrie, born in 1660, the dates would make sense. John Guthrie was appointed Minister of Tarbolton, an Ayrshire parish, in 1657. Ejected in 1662. Cited before the Council 1663. He was likely living in the area at the time of George Guthrie’s birth. No records found.

As most articles on Guthrie families do, this also one mentions Rev James Guthrie, the Martyr of Stirling, who was reportedly a son of the Laird of Guthrie. The author notes that the Laird of Pitforthie was supposed to be a brother to the Laird of Guthrie.

Next mentioned is Alexander Guthrie of Mount and Lord Oranmore. It is by documenting Alexander’s ancestry that we may discover William Guthrie’s.


This is the man mentioned in the above article as William’s father, which is an error on two counts. First is that Alexander was born about 20 years after William Guthrie. Secondly is that Alexander and his wife, Christina Marshall, had only daughters. It only takes a little digging to figure out where the author mixed up the facts. I suppose the most important idea the author is trying to convey is that there is a familial relationship between William Guthrie and Alexander Guthrie of Mount. 

Alexander Guthrie was born and baptized on 30 Apr 1783 to parents John Guthrie 1761-1827 & Helen Hutchison in Riccarton, Ayrshire, Scotland (OPR)

Alexander Guthrie’s father, John Guthrie, is the same John Guthrie in the article extract above. 

Keep in mind that John Guthrie would be of the right age to be William Guthrie’s brother.

Alexander Guthrie and Christina Marshall (married 7 Apr 1829) were parents to Mary Guthrie 1830-1843, Helen Guthrie 1833-1842, and Christina Guthrie 1834-1887.

Upon his death on 28 January 1852, Alexander Guthrie’s daughter, Christina Guthrie became his sole heir. Legal documents designated the requirement that her husband and children had to assume the Guthrie surname.

Christina Guthrie married Geoffrey Dominick Augustus Frederick Browne, Lord Oranmore, on 31 Dec 1859 at St George Hanover Square, London, Middlesex, England. Their children are designated as Browne Guthrie.

Based on this data this Ayrshire lineage appears accurate:
John Guthrie/Helen Hutchinson > Alexander Guthrie of Mount > Christina Guthrie of Mount, Lady Oranmore

Extract of the 1856 Christina Guthrie of Mount (Coats of Arms)

Christina Guthrie of Mount
1856 (Coats of Arms)



JOHN GUTHRIE (Farmer / Coal Master)
Parents: George Guthrie & Margaret Bowie
Born: 22 Mar 1761 in Craigie (Ayr)
Married: Helen Hutchinson 30 Jul 1782 (Record not found)
Died: 23 Jan 1827 (Record not found)
Buried: High Kirk Churchyard of Kilmarnock

Parents: Alexander Hutchison & Unidentified MNU
Born: 4 Aug 1756 in Galston (Ayr)
Died: 17 Jul 1834
Buried: Unknown

CHILDREN: Alexander* 1783 (Riccarton), George 1784 (Riccarton), Janet 1786 (Riccarton), John 1788 (Riccarton), Margaret (1789 Riccarton), Helen (1792 Kilmarnock), Mary Anne (1794 Kilmarnock), Isabella (1795), Douglas (1799 Kilmarnock), Wilhelmina (1799 Kilmarnock)

* Alexander Guthrie of Mount


Parents: John Guthrie & Janet Howie
Born: Abt. 31 March 1728 in Sidehead, Craigie (Ayr)
Married: Margaret Bowie (Record not found)
Died: 21 Mar 1802 in Ayrshire, Scotland
Buried: Craigie Churchyard

Parents: Unknown
Born: Abt. 1733
Died: 4 Sep 1814 in Ayrshire, Scotland
Buried: Craigie Churchyard

CHILDREN: Anna (1757 Craigie), Janet (1758 Craigie), John (1761 Craigie), William* (1763 Craigie)

*Theorized to be GFG3A – Branch C’s William Guthrie d.1744, which would make him an uncle to Alexander Guthrie of Mount.


There is only one OPR entry for John Guthrie infants born 1760-1762 in Ayrshire and that is to father George Guthrie in Sidehead, Craigie in 1761. Just above the entry for John is the birth of a William, son to James Hunter, so there are people of the Hunter surname in the area at the same time.

There are 11 entries in the OPR for Guthrie children born 1730-1790 to fathers named George Guthrie. 4 of these are specifically in Craigie:

Anna Guthrie 7 Feb 1757
Janet 29 Oct 1758
John 22 Mar 1761
William 27 Feb 1763

These 4 are all documented with father George Guthrie in Sidehead. Mother not identified in the records. Note that the 1763 DOB for William Guthrie is within the estimated birth year range for the GFG3A man.

The next 3 Ayrshire records are also for a George Guthrie/Unidentified Spouse, but in Thornyside, Ochiltree: William (1768), Thomas (1768). This William Guthrie is also within the estimated birth year range. The spouse is probably the Agnes Logan found in the Ochiltree marriage records for 1766.

Then 5 for a couple George Guthrie & Margaret Robertson/Robinson in Ayr: Barbara (1783), Mary (1785), William (1787), Jean Paterson (1790), Patrick (1792)

Without other corroborating data, only the first four associated with the Craigie entries can be confirmed as belonging to the same George Guthrie associated with the John Guthrie born in 1761.

So far, Alexander’s tree seems to be lining up as George Guthrie > John Guthrie > Alexander Guthrie of Mount.

The placement of William Guthrie as the brother of John Guthrie is still a matter of conjecture because we do not have a confirmed DOB. However, consideration should also be given to the use of Scottish Naming Patterns. The eldest son of William Guthrie by both of his wives, Ann Hunter, and Jacobina McClure, was named George. This might increase the odds that William’s father was indeed named George.

The following headstone in the Craigie Churchyard identifies the spouse of George Guthrie of Craigie (Ayr) as Margaret Bowie.

Inscription reads:
“Erected in 1832 in memory of George Guthrie, Sidehead of Cairnhill, who died March 21st 1802
and of Margaret Bowie, his wife,
who died Septemeber 4th 1814″.


Source: ‘Journal for the year …’ by Association for the Preservation of Memorials of the Dead in Ireland, 1913, Volume 9


Parents: Unidentified
Born: Abt. 1660 Scotland
Married: Isobald Hewie
Occupation: Unknown, presumably a farmer/tenant farmer
Died: 21 Sep 1712 in Craigie, Ayrshire, Scotland
Buried: Craigie Churchyard (Original Tombstone Moved)

Parents: Unidentified
Born: Abt. 1652
Died: Apr 1692
Buried: Craigie Churchyard (Original Tombstone Moved)

CHILDREN: George 1688 Craigie, John 1690 Craigie

No marriage record found for this couple. The birth/baptismal records of their two sons only list their father’s name, George Guthrie/Gottray. Neither specifies a location in Craigie. The tombstone inscription provided by Lord Oranmore and Browne reveals that George Guthrie lived in Sidehead.


Parents: George Guthrie & Isobald Hewie
Born: Abt. 30 Nov 1690 in Craigie (Ayr)
Married to Janet Howie of Riccarton on 15 Jan 1725 in Craigie (Ayr)
Occupation: Unknown, presumably a farmer/tenant farmer
Died: 4 Mar 1743
Buried: Unknown, presumably at the Craigie Churchyard

Parents: [Possible – John Howie & Elizabeth Smith of Riccarton]
Born: [Possible if above parents accurate – 3 Oct 1703 Riccarton]
Died: Unknown
Buried: Unknown, presumably at the Craigie Churchyard

CHILDREN: Jane (Jean) 1725-1737 Craigie, George 1728 Craigie, John 1731-1735 Craigie, James c1731-1743 Craigie, Elisabeth 1735-1743 Craigie, John & Jane (twins) 1738 Craigie, Jannet 1742-1743 Craigie.

The marriage record for John Guthrie & Janet Howie specifies that Janet was from Riccarton. That narrows down potential parents and DOB to one entry in the OPR during a reasonable time period for Janet’s birth. Most likely couple: John Howie and Elizabeth Smith in Riccarton about 3 Oct 1703.

The birth/baptismal records of their children only list their father’s name, John Guthrie/Guthree. They do specify that John Guthrie lived in Sidehead in Craigie. John Guthrie’s DOD is also inscribed on the tombstone inscription provided by Lord Oranmore and Browne. The tombstone also lists the DOD of several of John and Janet’s children: John 21 July 1735 aged 5. James 1 May 1743 aged 11. Jean 3 Oct 1737 aged 11. Elizabeth 24 Mar 1743 aged 8. Janet died 19 Mar 1743 aged 1.


The family traced here belongs to Alexander Guthrie of Mount. It is clear that his descendants claimed the Guthrie family of Sidehead, Craigie, Ayr as their own. They went so far as to move the family tombstone to Ireland for preservation.

George Guthrie c1660SCT-1712Craigie(Ayr) & Isobald Hewie
John Guthrie c1690Craigie(Ayr)-1743Craigie(Ayr) & Janet Howie
George Guthrie c1728Craigie(Ayr)-1802Ayr & Margaret Bowie
John Guthrie 1761Craigie (ayr)-1827 & Helen Hutchison
Alexander Guthrie of Mount 1783Riccarton (Ayr)-1852

The issue to be addressed is whether or not William Guthrie d.1844 is the same man within this extended tree who was born in 1863 to parents George Guthrie & Margaret Bowie.

George Guthrie c1660SCT-1712Craigie (Ayr) & Isobald Hewie
John Guthrie c1690Craigie (Ayr)-1743Craigie(Ayr) & Janet Howie
George Guthrie c1728Craigie (Ayr)-1802Ayr & Margaret Bowie
William Guthrie b.1763Craigie (Ayr)


Not yet.

We have the Y-DNA and Autosomal DNA of descendants of William Guthrie and Ann Hunter.

Alexander Guthrie of Mount had only female descendants, so there is no existing Y-DNA from his specific Guthrie line. Nor do we have any other descendants participating in the Guthrie DNA Project who claim him as their ancestor.

There are also no participants claiming descent from George Guthrie & Isobald Hewie, John Guthrie & Janet Howie, or George Guthrie & Margaret Bowie. A Y-DNA test of a male Guthrie from one of these lines would be an instant match or mismatch to GFG3A Y-DNA. Autosomal DNA testing needs several people for comparison, so the more the merrier! Send us your Kit Results.

Regarding the possible family ties to the Guthries of Pitforthie, GFG2A also claims a connection, so we have a rival for those historical family ties from a different genetic group. However, GFG3A’s claim is backed up by the fact that it names a potential ancestor, Rev John Guthrie, Minister of Tarbolton, and he was living in the general area at the right time to father the child known to belong to Alexander Guthrie of Mount’s direct line.

Unfortunately, the descendants of the male lines of the Laird of Pitforthie are poorly traced. There are a couple of documented female lines that could potentially be represented by descendants with Autosomal DNA testing.


Is William Guthrie, who died in 1844, and lived at Harperland and other places in Ayr the same person as William Guthrie, the uncle to Alexander Guthrie of Mount?

The age difference documented in the 1841 census is the only red flag. Does the fact that James Guthrie, living with him, also has the wrong age listed provide enough evidence that William was born earlier than 1771?

The article suggests that William Guthrie was not just a farmer, but a farmer of some means. He held lands of about 2000 acres in the Kyle District.

The other candidate of close birth year is William Guthrie, son of another George Guthrie, of Thornyside, Ochiltree on 11 Jul 1768. Does his story provide any insights? Note that the 1841 age difference also applies here, although the original estimate of 1771 is closer.

Is there any truth to the rumor that Alexander Guthrie of Mount’s direct paternal ancestor was Rev. John Guthrie, Minister of Tarbolton, the youngest son of the Laird of Pitforthie?

Do you support this theory about the origins of the GFG3A New Zealand line?

Do you have any additional documentation, general comments, or alternate theories to submit?

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