Branch Updates in GFG1A

It may be time to shake a few branches. Y-DNA test results just in for a new twig on the GFG1A tree. Branches D & E now have a known common ancestor, and our latest participant looks to belong to that family. Branch F also needs to officially expand to include earlier generations. First things first: the newbie on the block.

A descendant of Leonard Guthrie of Snow Hill, Maryland has joined the project with results that place him exactly where we would expect. Our other Snow Hill participants are genetic matches to Guthrie Family Group 1A, and so is this Guthrie whose earliest proven ancestor Leonard was born about 1842.

The Snow Hill participants share some of the same genetic mutations as our VIP participant who descends from the Guthries of Craigie, and one who shares common ancestors in James Guthrie (merchant) 1669-1711SCT & Christian Scott. The matching changes in the DNA compared to the rest of the group suggest inherited genetic changes and more recent shared common ancestry. The Snow Hill lineages are closer genetic cousins to the Guthries of Craigie than are their Middlesex cousins.

Our last Family Focus entry discussed John Guthrie, a Farmer of Snow Hill, Maryland, and the family formed from his three marriages to 1) Betsy Nelson, 2) Piercey Wilson, and 3) Ann (MNU). The discovery by a project participant of a document of indenture by John Guthrie arranged for an apprenticeship for his son John S Guthrie in the trade of Boot and Shoemaking. One clue led to another. Along with genetic evidence suggesting close family ties, we were able to piece together the family of John Guthrie as follows:

Marriage #1: Betsy Nelson (1801-bef.1833)
1) John S Guthrie (boot & shoemaker) 1819-1893 [Ancestor of Guthrie DNA Project Participant (YDNA)]
2) William W Guthrie (farmer) 1820-1893
3) Thomas B Guthrie (boot & shoemaker) 1824-1882
4) (FNU-Daughter) Guthrie c1826
5) James Guthrie (laborer & carpenter) 1826-1903

Marriage #2: Piercey Wilson (1791-bef.1840)
5) Hannah Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Guthrie (b.1834 – twin)
6) Margaret A Guthrie (b.1834 – twin)

Marriage #3: Ann (MNU)
7) George Leonard Guthrie (day laborer) 1840-1882 [Ancestor of Guthrie DNA Project Participant (YDNA)]
8) Ann Guthrie (b. abt. 1844)
9) James Guthrie (b. abt. 1845)
10) Charlotte Guthrie (b. abt. 1847)
11) Charles Guthrie (b. abt. 1848)

The Y-DNA of our new participant suggests that his ancestor Leonard Guthrie also belongs to the family above.

Note his name… Leonard. It is already found among the children above as a middle name for son George.

Leonard is a difficult guy to track down even during census years.

If he does belong to the family of John Guthrie, he would likely be one of the sons from his marriage to Ann (MNU). Could her maiden name be Leonard?

The 1850 census of District 2, Worcester, Maryland lists the household of JNO GUTHERY as follows:
Jno. Guthery 50 farmer
Ann Guthery 35
Ann Guthery 6
George Guthery 10
James Guthery 5
Charlotte Guthery 4
Oddly, the birthplaces for the entire family are listed as ‘unknown’ as if a neighbor reported their names and ages instead of John or Ann.

There is no other sign for Leonard Guthrie listed elsewhere in the 1850 census.
Could his name actually be James Leonard Guthrie or Charles Leonard Guthrie?

The 1860 census of Costens, Worcester, Maryland (Post Office: Snow Hill) lists:

The Hancock Household:
John H Hancock – 31, Farmer, Real Estate – 200, born Maryland
Elizabeth Hancock – 21, born Maryland
Leonard Guthrie 15, born Maryland
(This census indicates that Leonard’s estimated DOB is about 1845)

The Brittingham Household:
Elijah Brittingham, 50 Farmer, Real Estate – 2000, Personal Estate – 600, born Maryland
Mary Brittingham, 34, born Maryland
Children: Mary 9, Conata 7, Elijah 5, Sarah 2, Alfred 2/12
Euphemia Pruitt, 34, born Maryland
George Guthrie, 22, born Maryland
(This census indicates that George’s estimated DOB is about 1838.)

There is no sign of Leonard Guthrie in the 1870 census. Sometime between 1860 and 1879 he settled in Smyrna, Kent County, Delaware.

Leonard married Mary I Evans on 17 Dec 1879 in Philadelphia. The record lists him as a farmer from Smyrna and his birthplace as Snow Hill, Maryland.

Mary may have been previously married or had a child out of wedlock.

The 1880 census of Clayton, Kent, Delaware lists Leonard, Mary and James Guthrie. The latter was already 4 years old, which places his DOB as being about 1876. Three years before Leonard and Mary were married. It is actually the birth record of their son Elmer Thomas Guthrie in 1881 that confirms James is not Leonard’s biological son. “Child’s number in this family: 1st. Child’s number by this Mother: 2nd.”

Leonard worked for the Delaware Railroad, which may be one reason the family is difficult to track. A newspaper article published in the Middletown Transcript dated 16 Nov 1883:

Maryland Matters.
– While workmen were engaged in repairing a bridge on the Kent county railroad, near Kennedyville, last Saturday, the scaffolding gave way and threw those working upon it to the ground below, a distance of twenty feet. Leonard Guthrie, of Smyrna, was seriously hurt.

Leonard’s wife Mary presumably died sometime between 1880 and 1885. By that date Leonard had remarried to Frances E Tighlman by whom he had children Ernest George Guthrie (1885), Leroy Guthrie (1891), and Violet Annie Guthrie (1897). The birth records for the sons show the family was living on Pearl Street in Smyrna with Leonard working as a roof painter and laborer.

By 1899, Leonard and Florence had moved to Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware where he worked for the Delaware Chemical Company. The Evening Journal dated Thursday, 15 Jun 1899 reported:

Local News Notes.
Leonard Guthrie, an employee of the Delaware Chemical Company, had his face badly burned yesterday by the explosion of ammonia.

His last known address per his 1903 death record was 511 East 6th Street in Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware.

One would think he would be listed in the 1900 Wilmington Census, but I have not positively identified him.

I haven’t been able to trace the other sons of John Guthrie & Ann (MNU), James and Charles, to determine if there is indeed a possibility that one might be the man known as Leonard Guthrie.

If anyone has any details or documentation on this family, please share it.


Guthrie Family Group 1A’s branches are now due for a bit of housecleaning.

John Guthrie (farmer) of Snow Hill is the proven progenitor of GFG1A Branches D and E, and so they will be merged into a single branch labelled as Branch D. Leonard’s line will be listed as an inferred sub-set of John’s family as I am fairly confident that is where he belongs.

Branch H will move up to the vacated Branch E.

Branch F’s progenitors will be listed as William Guthrie m1 Lettice Burk, m2 Frances Wilbourn. This line technically still needs a 2nd YDNA participant descending from someone other than William Guthrie who m. Mary Magdalene Roarke in order to confirm, but autosomal DNA tests also skew in the GFG1A direction.

These updates will be completed this month.

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