GFG6: New Match

A second descendant of James Guthrie 1775CT-1850NY and Editha Munson has joined the Guthrie DNA Project. As expected, he is a genetic match for Guthrie Family Group 6. There are currently 16 genetically unique groups in the project. This one appears to be a very old Guthrie tree with Scandinavian origins. It has several branches with ties to Berwickshire Scotland, Northumberland England, Ireland, Colonial America (CT/DE/PA/NY), and Ontario, Canada. Details within the YDNA results suggest that the most recent common ancestor for GFG6’s various branches is very distant.

James Guthrie was born in Connecticut about 1775. He is believed to be the son of John Guthrie who died during the American Revolution. James and some or all of his siblings may have lived with George Guthrie and wife Elizabeth Cleghorn in Hebron, Washington County, New York during their youth. George, along with a Samuel Guthrie, are believed to be John’s brothers.

The common ancestors of our two GFG6-Branch J participants are William Guthrie 1814NY-1886WI and Sarah Catherine Neill. They married at the Associate Reform Presbyterian Church in Livingston County, New York on 4 December 1839. They sold their NY property in 1842 and moved to Vernon, Waukesha, Wisconsin where they reared a large family of 6 boys and 3 girls.

An account of this family was written by Jean Guthrie Linton (1922-2009) and is available online at Family Search. Northern Guthrie Families: Charts, with notes, of the Descendants of Samuel (1771) and James (1775) of Washington County, New York and their Westward Migration to the Midwest, California and Canada, 1994. (162 pages)

The YDNA results are interesting for this group because while the overall results show relatedness, the number of genetic variances (mutations) suggest that many generations separate the branches from their Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA).

Genetic mutations are basically copying errors that happen when an infant is conceived. A tiny little ‘oops’ occurs that in turn gets passed on to the next generation and the next. For the purposes of genetic genealogy, we are looking for exact or closely matching genetic markers. When reviewed as a collective, Guthrie Family Group 6 has a basic genetic profile with specific values (numbers) for each genetic marker. Participants either match the marker or have a different number compared to the group’s mode result (the most common value for any given marker). Too many differences will suggest that the people being compared are not at all related, unless there is a relative of the same line within the group with fewer differences who is closer to mode results.

There is only 1 genetic difference between our two descendants when compared at the Y67 level. That single difference apparently developed in a generation after William Guthrie, who is their most recent common ancestor.

Compared to GFG6’s Mode Results, these men share the following differences:
DYS390 = 17 instead of Group Mode = 16 (Unique within GFG6 to these 2 men.)
DYS447 = 24 instead of 25 (Shared by 1 other within GFG6)
DYS449 = 31 instead of 30 (Unique within GFG6 to these 2 men.)
DYS460 = 11 instead of 12 (Unique within GFG6 to these 2 men.)
DYS456 = 17 instead of 18 (This marker is about half 17 and half 18 within the group.)
CDYii = 38 instead of 39 (A known ‘fast moving’ marker. About half 38 and half 39 within the group.)
DYS565 = 12 instead of 13 (Unique within GFG6 to these 2 men.)

The genetic differences that are unique were inherited by these two men from their MRCA, William Guthrie. These variances may be found only among the descendants of William Guthrie. They could potentially be found among other direct male descendants of William’s brothers, which would indicate that James Guthrie also possessed these genetic differences. What will truly be helpful with future participants is discovering whether these matches pop up amongst other branches of GFG6.

Markers DYS447, DYS456, and CDYii have variances that are shared with other members of the group.

DYS447 = 24 is also found in GFG6’s descendant of Justice Oliver Guthrie b1874PA & Nellie Bordreau. Justice was born on 29 May 1874, discovered to be an adoptee, and a descendant of Thomas Guthrie who was a head of household in Muncy Creek, Lycoming, PA during the 1800 census. The participant is one of 2 descendants of Thomas Guthrie in GFG6. The other participant’s DYS447 = group mode of 25. So this may or may not be helpful in identifying extended close family within the group.

DYS456 = 17 is split between participants of either 17 or 18. Those with the value of 17 are descendants of:
Thomas Guthrie of Muncy > James G Guthrie/Susan Wolf > Justice Oliver Guthrie/Nellie Bordreau
Thomas Guthrie of Muncy > James P Guthrie/Martha Fancy > Joseph Jones Guthrie/Susannah Andrews
William Guthrie b1810 Northumberland, England (This line England to British Columbia, Canada in 1900s.)

CDYii = 38 is truly a “fast moving” genetic marker meaning that it can show frequent changes over a relatively short span of generations. Almost all genetic groups in the project have differences at this marker, so it may or may not be of value as a familial marker. Lineages matching CDYii=38 within GFG6 are descendants of:
John Guthrie 1791IRE-1862 Ontario, Canada & Isabella Stinson
Adam Guthrie c1740 Northumberland, England & Elizabeth Nesbit (This participant’s line remains in England)
William Guthrie b1810 Northumberland, England

While it is true that these new results did not provide any mind-boggling discoveries there are still important clues to be found here. The most important thing is that the two participants who descend from William & Sarah Catherine (Neill) Guthrie have conclusively proven that their genetic lineages extend back to that generation. Secondly, we can see some genetic results that may be familial markers, which will help identify future participant lineages or expand what is know about James Guthrie & Editha Munson’s connection to the larger GFG6 tree.

If you have responses, questions, or research you’d like to share about Guthrie Family Group 6 and its associated lineages, send them my way by commenting below.


  1. I have a question, since my father is dead, but his first cousin took the DNA test, can you tell me which group we are in?

  2. I am almost positive that Benjamin F. Guthrie born 1820 was the brother of my great-great-grandfather Alexander Guthrie 1817-1892. Benjamin died in the Civil War in 1864, and the following year, Alexander had a son, who he named Benjamin Franklin Guthrie 1865-1944, who was likely named in honor of Alexander’s brother Benjamin. Also, Benjamin’s son Benjamin F. Guthrie 1842-1919 lived near Alexander in Aston, PA in the 1880 Census. In the 1920 Concord, Delaware County, PA , Benjamin Harrison Guthrie and family lived next to Mary Ann Eachus, who was the daughter of Alexander Guthrie 1817-1892 and also the mother of Benjamin H. Guthrie’s wife Elizabeth H. Eachus Guthrie. So Benjamin H. and Elizabeth were not only married to each other, but they were also 2nd cousins. There is so much evidence that the families were connected, and I believe Alexander and the first Benjamin were brothers, given the fact that Alexander was born in 1817 and Benjamin was born in 1820. I have not been able to find out for sure who their father was.

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