New Group: GFG17

Patience paid off for one of our Guthrie DNA Project members after a 5-year wait for a YDNA match. A great-grandson of the Reverend Thomas Guthrie, D.D. (1803SCT-1873ENG), whose commitment to social reforms came in support of the Temperance Movement and led to the development of the Ragged Schools (charitable organizations dedicated to the free education of destitute children), has been in an “Ungrouped Family Status” for ages. There was no conclusive documentation or genetic evidence proving ties to any of our established family groups. Dr. Guthrie’s autobiography reveals his ancestors belonged to a long line of yeomen (farmers) in Menmuir and Brechin disassociated with any known familial connection to the Guthries of Guthrie.

Since the most likely Guthrie Family Group to be genetically related to the Guthries of Guthrie is GFG1A, a group that includes a living descendant of the Guthries of Craigie, we already knew that Rev. Thomas Guthrie’s descendant was not a genetic match for that group. While that result seemed to confirm the theory, there was no second match to verify it until now.

Finding a genetic match with YDNA is not always an easy task. Some historic lines may no longer have living male descendants in that direct paternal line of descent. Those that do may simply not be involved in their family history or genetic genealogy. Celebrate each new discovery because it is really a remarkable thing to be able to tie family lines together and see our lost family histories take shape.

One of our newest members encouraged her father to participate with a YDNA test. His family continue to live and farm in Angus, Scotland just as their forebears have done for generations. Their line traces back to David Guthrie and Elspet Christie in Cortachy, most likely to Robert Guthrie and Helen Eddieson in Bogside, and probably back to David Guthrie and Janet Stewart in Cookston and Balbirnie Mill.

The latter couple is theorized as the Most Recent Common Ancestors for our two GFG17 members. This unique genetic line is now proven back to the 1650s.

There are also several other Guthrie DNA Project members in the USA and Australia who descend from couples associated with GFG17 lineages. They can now rule out any other genetic association with other established groups.

For your review:

Guthrie Family Group 17 Summary

GFG17 – Branch A: Descendants of John Guthrie and Helen Wyllie / Residing in Knowehead, Menmuir

GFG17 – Branch B: Descendants of David Guthrie and Elspet Christie / Residing in Hindhaugh, Cortachy


  1. Sometimes those old family stories passed done from generation to generation DO PROVE TO BE TRUE, as I have said repeatedly and knew we were from Scotland. Families, especially the Guthrie men, do not lie. It’s one of their beautiful traits and they broke the mold when our Guthrie men started dying off, leaving us to end our lineage.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. These Guthrie families from GFG17 already knew they hailed directly from Scotland. Some of them still live there today. Finding specific Guthrie lines that actually relate to your own is the challenging part, especially when so many of them lived within a relatively small region. Groups like yours in GFG14 and mine in GFG2A need a bit of luck to find some missing pieces to our family puzzles.

  3. We have been able to go back to our 3rd Great Grandfathers.
    John Jacob Guthrie then his son John Wolfe Guthrie both of Tyrone County, Ireland. Our Grandfather Marshall Abner Guthrie orig of Prston Co. WV. Our Father Ewing B Guthrie, Uniontown PA. We have only 2
    male Guthrie cousins Todd Guthrie, OR and Douglas Guthrie, Minn. MN. I pray we can connect with yours. All have been or farm now.
    Thanks so much.

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