GFG1A: New Match

Once again a YDNA test has proven that a little cheek swab can do good things for a lot of people. Descendants of John Guthrie / Guthery and Nancy Mahala (MNU) of Washington County, Arkansas are now represented in our project by a direct line male Guthrie. His genetic results match the men from Guthrie Family Group 1A and are closest to those who descend from John Guthrie and Elizabeth Basket of Middlesex County, Virginia. Since YDNA can be inherited without genetic changes for many generations, it is possible that John Guthrie’s shared ancestry extends further back, or may be linked to one of the other branches of GFG1A. His Family Finder (Autosomal DNA) test lists his closest matches as cousins descending from Henry Guthrie and Penelope Johnson echoing back to the likelihood that John Guthrie and Elizabeth Baskett are indeed the right branch.

Check out John & Nancy Mahala (MNU) Guthrie’s Family and Historical Highlights in the Guthrie Family Group section for GFG1A-Branch H to get the full story.

According to census records, John Guthrie may have been born in either Alabama or Tennessee. Guthrie Family Group 1A descendants are known to have settled in both of those locations. Now that we know this family belongs to GFG1A, we can rule out several families living in the same regions because their group status has already been discovered as originating from other genetic groups.

Researching records isn’t always clear cut when you discover that they have already been attached to someone else. It can be difficult to determine whether a record belongs to one person or another when they share the same or similar name and live in the same or a nearby location. While piecing together John & Nancy’s story, I found family lines that had been twisted up into knots. When Arkansas Territory opened up several Guthrie families appear to have flocked to it, and nobody ever has a unique name to stand out in the crowd.

Quick Reference to the Family

John Guthrie – born about 1821/2 in either Alabama or Tennessee. Records lean toward Tennessee.

The marriage to Nancy Mahala (MNU) probably took place in Washington County, Arkansas, which means that her parents were also probably there at the time. Check the census records for people with other children born in Missouri.

1) Mary Guthrie – She might probably died young. Aternatively, she could be the Mary E Guthrie who married John L Griffin in Benton, Arkansas. There is a better candidate, Mary Elizabeth Guthrie / Reed whose family was actually lived in Benton County.

2) Malissa Guthrie – Another childhood death.

3) James Guthrie – There were two by this name in the family. The younger was only 2 in the 1880 census, suggesting that he had been named after the elder son who died young.

4) John Guthrie – This son is documented at 5 years of age during the 1860 census. The family seems to be missing in the 1870 census. Online trees sometimes link this John Guthrie with records associated with John Alexander Guthrie, the son of James Guthrie & Elvira Randolph, who m1 Emely Emanda Sneed and m2 Lavina Elizabeth Daily.

5) Elisha Guthrie – This is the ancestor of our YDNA participant whose family remained in Washington, AR long enough to be adequately tracked between there and his new home in Cherokee County, OK. Wife: Tennessee Ann Walker.

6) Sarah F Guthrie – Appears to be the woman who married Columbus Wilburn in Washington County, AR in 1885.

7) Joseph Henry Harrison Guthrie – This man is listed primarily as Joseph H Guthrie, but in different records is found as Joseph Henry or Joseph Harrison. His DOB is also muddled up, and online trees have connected him to other sets of parents. Census and marriage records show him living in the same Washington County, AR communities as John & Nancy Mahala Guthrie’s family. In fact, he was living next door to Elisha Guthrie’s family during one census year. Wife: Sarah Ann Wood.

8) James P Guthrie – The youngest son of the family appears in the 1880 census with his widowed father and two of his siblings. He married Annie Lee McKee on 15 Nov 1900, but she died less than 10 months later on 16 Sep 1901. After that, he disappears from the records. There is a possibility in Oklahoma, but no definitive evidence that it is the same man.

Review the documents and data now added to my Guthrie Research Tree on Ancestry.

1) Do you have any supporting documentation or contradictory evidence regarding the data found for this family?

2) Do you descend from this family and want to get involved in YDNA or Autosomal DNA testing?

3) Want to try to track down the missing generations that link John Guthrie to his GFG1A ancestors? Share your thoughts and theories.

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