William and the Revolution

Our recent Family Focus on William Guthrie of Henry County, Kentucky revealed how easily a shared fact can lead to the misattribution of an entire record. When the record happens to be a Revolutionary War Pension file full of vital statistics and a description of patriotic service the error leads to more than just misinformation. There are two victims to this unintentional case of identity theft. The man who lived the life behind those dates and details becomes practically obliterated, a forgotten individual, while the second’s story is replaced by another. Don’t forget to count the descendants who may have been honoring the wrong man.

A deep dive into the Pennsylvania Archives Series and Revolutionary War Pension Records led to more than one key discovery. Let’s explore the lives of a few men of the same name to see where their records turned up. If you’ve got an ancestor named William Guthrie who lived in Pennsylvania during the American Revolution (1775-1783), we should compare notes.

Sometimes family researchers become so focused on finding facts for one individual that it’s easy to forget that 18th century names are rarely unique, especially when loved ones practiced repetitious naming patterns so that grandfather, father, son, and at least four cousins shared in the honor. Try to take a breath before automatically attaching a record to your tree considering there might be more than one candidate, and always review the original image rather than the basic transcription. Sometimes you’ll find some great details the transcription leaves out, or find evidence that the record is not a match for your ancestor.

The Pennsylvania Archives Series contains a massive amount of information on Colonial History and our early ancestors. Colonial Records are covered in 16 volumes followed by nine more Series packed with records from 1664-1902, including Frontier Ranger Companies, Militia Rolls, Revolutionary War Diaries, Oaths of Allegiance, all gathered into one enormous resource. With so much information in the 138 volumes it becomes challenging to narrow your search. The good news is easy accessibility and available indexes.

Summarized by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission
Ancestry.com Digital Database: Pennsylvania Published Archives Series 1664-1902
Family Search: Pennsylvania Archives (Series)
Fold3: Pennsylvania Archives
The Online Books Page: Pennsylvania Archives

The Revolutionary War Pension Records are housed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., but you can view them at Fold3. Easily searchable, and there is so much to explore!

National Archives: The American Revolution
Fold3: Revolutionary War Collection
Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters
Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution

A discrepancy on the death date for William Guthrie, (m1.Esther McClelland, m2. Franky Young) who died in Shenandoah County, VA about 1803-1804 took me on quite a journey. Numerous family trees listed 1823. and a different death location. My copy of ‘American Guthrie and Allied Families‘ listed no birth or death date for William, but mentioned that William and his wife lived in Henry County, KY. The data was seemingly sourced from William’s Revolutionary War Pension Record. Multiple other documents on the family indicated William had no connection with Kentucky, so it became necessary to look at the Pension File itself in order to determine if that was the source of the discrepancy.

Revolutionary War Pension File for William Guthery (or Guthry) S35997

S35997 is the Pension File associated with William Guthrie of Henry County, Kentucky. Familiar data, all of the patriotic service details matched what we had been told. So did the death date of 10 March 1823 that conflicted with the Probate Records from Shenandoah, VA dated between 1805-1810. The birth date of 1736 (at that point still listed in my tree) for William Guthrie, was apparently calculated from his age at his DOD in Henry County, KY in 1823. This man’s attestation indicated his wife had died between 1816 and 1820, and that he had only 2 children. Yet, William Guthrie’s second wife Franky lived until about 1835, and he was a father of eight. None of the family details were similar indicating that they were two separate individuals.

Pension Record S35997, all of its vital statistics and service details have been attributed to the wrong person for a very long time. This error pre-dates Rev. Laurence R Guthrie’s research conducted in the 1920s, as there are references to earlier queries. Read more further below on the search for the real service history of William Guthrie (m1. Esther McClelland, m2. Franky Young), and how that spiraled into the discovery that there are some other issues with record placement and patriotic service assignment for more than one man sharing the name.

There are currently 4 men named William Guthrie recognized by the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) website with a record of patriotic service during the Revolutionary War who served in Pennsylvania. The Sons of the American Revolution (S.A.R.) site lists three of them, but adds another.

1) William Guthrie 1736PA-1823KY – Ancestor#A048629 / P-171929 (m1. Esther McClelland, m2. Franky Young)
2) William Guthrie 1744IRE-1807PA – Ancestor# A048623 / P-171931 (m. Mary Welch)
3) William Guthrie 1751IRE-1828PA – Ancestor#A048624 / P-171932 (m. Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee)
4) William Guthrie 1763PA-1835PA – Ancestor# A048621 / No SAR # (m1.: Mary Batten, m2. Hannah Batten)
5) William Guthrie 1766IRE-1848OH – Ancestor # N/A / P-171934 (m. Margaret Smith)

There are actually 2 more Patriot Soldiers by the name William Guthrie not on either list:
1) William Guthrie 1736PA – 1823KY (m. Catherine MNU)
2) William Guthrie c1735_ – 1829PA (unmarried pensioner)

Only 3 Pension Files apply to the 7 men above: S40063, S35997, and W3245.

Read more about Pension Act Legislation in this article by Will Graves at the Southern Campaigns site. Here are a few highlights:

The Continental Congress had already started thinking about pension plans for its wounded veterans in 1776 by offering half pay for life for disabled soldiers if rendered unable to work. The potential for a pension encouraged enlistment, while minimizing desertions and resignations during the war. Widows and orphans were covered by an act of the Continental Congress on 24 Aug 1780. The federal government created the Revolutionary War Pension Act of 1818, which allowed patriots who had served at least 9 months to receive compensation for their service. One Senator thought there would be less than 1,500 eligible survivors in 1818, but the Secretary of War was inundated with applications from over 20,000 impoverished candidates seeking pensions.

If your Revolutionary War Ancestor died before 1818 there is probably no pension file to find unless his wife was alive to file a Widow’s Pension. However, there may be other individual records documenting their patriotic service. Families who were not under impoverished circumstances may not have sought out a pension, or in one case we will discuss here, may have completed an application, but never submitted it.

William, William, William, William, William, William, & William…
That’s obviously going to sound confusing, so let’s give them a name tag.
Call them “WG-#”:
WG-1) William Guthrie 1740/43PA-1803/04VA (m. Esther McClelland, Franky Young)
WG-2) William Guthrie 1736PA-1823KY (m. Catherine MNU)
WG-3) William Guthrie 1744IRE-1807PA (m. Mary Welch)
WG-4) William Guthrie 1751IRE-1828PA (m. Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee)
WG-5) William Guthrie 1763PA-1835PA (m. Mary Batten, Hannah Batten)
WG-6) William Guthrie c1735-1829PA (Unmarried / No Children)
WG-7) William Guthrie 1766IRE-1848OH (m. Margaret Smith)

WILLIAM GUTHRIE (Bet. 1740-43 PA – 1803/4 VA)

DAR Ancestor #: A048629
SAR Patriot #: P-171929
Guthrie DNA Project Designation: Guthrie Family Group 2A – Branch H
Ancestors: John Guthrie/Jane Stuart (grandparents) > John Guthrie (1708IRE – 1790PA) & Ann Hill (parents)
Occupation:  Planter / Farmer
Corrected Birth:  Abt. 1740-1743  / Not 1736 (Wrong Man)
Family Residence 1775-1783: Chester or York, PA > 1777 Augusta, VA
Corrected Death: 1803/04 in Shenandoah, VA / Not 10 Mar 1823 Henry KY (Wrong Man)
Spouse 1: Esther McClelland 15 June 1761 – Middle Octorara Society, Chester County, PA
Guthrie Children: John, Nancy, Ann, Daniel, William, Esther, Polly
Spouse 2: Frances ‘Franky’ Haley 19 Jan 1796 in Shenandoah County, VA
Daughter of Benjamin Young and Elizabeth Agnes Hawkins
Previously married to Alexander Wright (4 children) and Edwin Young (stepchildren only)
Guthrie Children: Haley Guthrie

PENSION RECORD:   NONE FOUND / Misattributed as S35997
The pension file S35997 has been linked to this William Guthrie in family trees and other sources for decades. Both the pensioner and WG-1 have ties to York County, PA, which appears to be the main factor in the early association of the record with the wrong individual leading to the birth year, death year, and death location of the pensioner being attributed to WG-1. The evidence trail proves they are two distinct individuals, with the pensioner of S35997 being WG-2. This results in the uncertainty that this man, WG-1, has any record of service in the Revolutionary War. Recommend a detailed records search, including in York County, PA and Augusta County, VA to determine the location of WG-1 during the war years, 1775-1783.

The widow of WG-1, Frances “Franky” (Haley) Guthrie died about 1835 in Page County, Virginia. If William had served in the war, she would be eligible for a pension. However, they appear to have had more monetary resources than others, so she may not have felt the need to do so.

William Guthrie (WG-1) was the son of Scot-Irish immigrant, John Guthrie, whose earliest record in Chester County, PA is dated 3 May 1733. He settled in Oxford Township on Octorara Creek bordering Lancaster County, PA. William’s DOB has long been recorded as 1736, but that apparently was sourced from the other man’s pension record. This also made him 9 years older than the second child in the family, which should have been a red flag, but was probably explained as possible miscarriages or undocumented siblings. If WG-1 was at least 18-21 at the time of his 1761 marriage, his estimated DOB would be 1740-1743. William’s marriage to Esther McClelland was on 15 Jun 1761 as recorded in the Diary of Rev. John Cuthbertson.

One matter of confusion is their place of residence between the time of their marriage and the onset of the war. It has been documented as York County, PA, but was that because they lived there, or because of being tied to the other man’s pension record, which shows his enlistment location as York, PA?

A William Guttery is listed as a taxable in Hamilton Bann Township, York in 1767, which could be this man or the pensioner, WG-2.

THE WAR YEARS (1775 – 1783):
Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish in Virginia, extracted from Original Court Records of Augusta County 1745-1800, by Lyman Chalky in Three Volumes, is another source available online. Volume 2. pp.65

This seemingly points to a more extensive entry in the Augusta County Records, which I have not been able to find at Family Search: Augusta County Virginia. This could provide valuable info. Please find it!

The Direct and Reverse Deed Indexes for Augusta are locked online unless you’re at the Family History Library or a Center. Most of the books have direct indexes, but they’re not easily legible. Also not found is the initial property purchase between Alexander Stuart and William Guthrey, which is supposed to be dated 6 June 1778.

‘American Guthrie and Allied Families’ indicated that William Guthrie moved his family from Pennsylvania to Augusta County, VA settling 3 miles from Waynesboro. He then immediately returned to York, PA to enlist in the militia. The remainder of the account is sourced directly from the pension record of William Guthrie of Henry County, KY S35997.

There is no known 2nd enlistment document for a man named William Guthrie, or variation on the name in York, PA. Whether or not he was a Patriot Soldier is unknown. He may have chosen not to enlist, provided a ‘substitute’ to fight in his stead, or offered another form of patriotic participation, such as goods and services. We need to research the possibilities.

The published account of his family indicates William Guthrie ‘returned’ to his plantation in Augusta County, Virginia. That statement was contingent upon him being the Patriot Soldier in S35997, but could still be true if he physically served in the war in some location.

“He was early identified with the Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church and continued a faithful member of it during his residence in Virginia.” (LRG)

The October 1786 General Court Session for Augusta County, Virginia included a lengthly lawsuit: Stuart v. Guthrey &c wherein Alexander Stuart complains of Wm Guthrey & Hugh Gilkeson in custody that they owe him two hundred pounds Virginia money that they have owed him since 6 June 1778 and refused to pay, including additional damages for the delay of the payment. In April 1787 there had been a payment for security, and then court continuances in April 1788, October 1788, at the Staunton District Court, with more continuances in April 1789, and September 4th, 1789.

An indenture dated 13 Aug 1790 between Alexander Stuart and Mary his wife of Rockbridge, VA and William Guthrie of Augusta VA for 1,100 pounds current Virginia money in hand paid arranged the sale of 490 acres of land in Beverly Manor. Uncertain if this is a totally separate land deal than the property inferred by the Oct 1786 court case, or if it is in addition to what was already owned.

After the death of his wife Esther McClelland in 1794, he sold his home property to a son and (definitely) moved to York County, PA. He remarried to widow Franky Young and afterward reportedly moved to Henry County, KY. That account is partly correct. The final location is sourced from the other man’s Pension Records S35997. Neither William nor Franky moved to Kentucky. Some of their descendants ended up there or moved through there on the way to final destinations, which may have added to the records confusion.

This William Guthrie (WG-1) did indeed go to York, PA in 1794/5, which may support him living there prior to moving his family to Virginia, or simply be coincidental. Why go back to PA if not to a place that had some meaning for him?

Power of Attorney Assigned – 12 Mar 1795 • Augusta County, Virginia, USA
William Guthrie of York County, PA assigns power of attorney to Isaiah Roberts in Augusta County, VA. Witnesses: Daniel Guthrie and David Throrrow.

Power of Attorney
by William Guthrie of York, PA to
Isaiah Roberts

Isaiah Roberts had recently married his daughter, Nancy Guthrie on 14 Jan 1794. Her brother John also married that year to Margaret Gilkeson on the 15th of March. Unknown if William departed before or after his children chose to marry. A couple of months later, William decided to sell his home and property, not to his eldest son John, but to Daniel.

Property Sale to Son Daniel Guthrie – 2 May 1795 • Augusta County, Virginia, USA
William Guthrie Senr to Daniel Guthrie of Augusta Virginia 170 acres situate in Beverly Manor, Augusta County a part of the tract the said Wm now lives on.
(Augusta DB28 p.337 – FHL Film 008140727)

Having moved to York, PA, William Guthrie returned to Virginia under a year later, but ended up in Shenandoah County, VA.

Marriage – 19 Jan 1796 • Shenandoah County, Virginia, USA
William Gutridge and Franky Young, married by Rev John Coonts , bondsman Benjamin James.
(Shenandoah County, Virginia Marriages)

Witness – 13 Mar 1798 • Shenandoah County, Virginia, USA
Wm Guthrie is a witness to a transaction between John Moore Jr & Rebecca, his wife, of Shenandoah, and Thomas Jones, shoemaker of same, Land near/at foot of Carrols Mountain on some branches of Smiths Creek.

Revocation of Power of Attorney – 23 Jan 1800 • Shenandoah County, Virginia, USA
William Guthrie of Shenandoah revokes power of attorney given March 29 1795 to Isaiah Roberts to transact his business in VA; William is late of York Co., PA, and has now returned to VA.
(Augusta Will Book 9 p.43 FHL Film 007643869) 

Revocation of Power of Attorney
to Isaiah Roberts by
William Guthrey of Shenandoah, VA

This document connects the William Guthrie who lived in Augusta and moved to York, PA to the William Guthrie who settled in Shenandoah proving him as the same individual. It also demonstrates why it is so important to review unexpected documents. Further, it suggests that William Guthrie had every intention of remaining in Virginia.

William Guthrie (WG-1) died in Shenandoah County, Virginia prior to 1805. He died intestate, but probate docs exist to prove that he had met the end of his days. WG-1 is definitely not the man who died in Henry County, KY in 1823.

Estate Inventory and Appraisement – 9 Dec 1805 • Shenandoah County, Virginia, USA
At a court held for the County of Shenandoah on Monday 9th day of December 1805 this inventory and appraisement of the Estate of William Guthrie decd was returned and ordered to be recorded. (Will Book F)

Estate Account – Oct 1806 • Shenandoah County, Virginia, USA
The estate of William Guthrie decd in account with Danl Strickler admir.

Property: Dower – Sep 1807 • Shenandoah, Virginia, USA
Deed Bk Q p488 – Sep Court 1807 [PLAT] (The Court) directed John Roads William Marye and Christian Forres have laid off and assigned to Frankey Guthrie late Frankey Young widow and relict of Edwin Young decd her dower of a certain tract of land, 142 Acres.

1830 • Western District, Shenandoah, Virginia, USA – The 1830 US Federal Census
Grouped with the “G” names, Frances Guthrie is the only member of her household, listed at 70 to 80 years of age. Listed next to the household of her son, Haley Guthrie.

Formation of Page County, Virginia: 1831
Land was portioned off from Shenandoah and Rockingham Counties to form Page County, Virginia in 1831. It is likely that Franky and Haley’s properties were located in the Shenandoah section that fell across the Page County line upon its creation.

Widow’s Death:  About 1835 in Page County, VA

Estate Sale – 7 Apr 1835 • Page County, Virginia, USA
A list of property sold at the sale of FRANCES GUTHERY deceased on the 7th day of April 1835.

Lawsuit – 15 Sep 1837 • Shenandoah County, Virginia, USA
A lawsuit was brought by John B. Young and others. Statements include: “Frankie Guthrie died in Jun of last”; “Frances Young, widow of Edwin, took her dower in slaves, then she married William Guthrie.” Children of Edwin Young listed: John (deceased), Edwin Jr., William, Daniel, Cynthia Burner “Sintha”, Elizabeth Johnson, Frances Garing, Nancy Allen.

The timeline for this family in no way matches the pensioner named William Guthrie associated with Pension File S35997 who moved to Henry County, KY. Related documents prove they are separate individuals. See WG-2. There is no current evidence proving WG-1’s Patriotic Service, but there are certainly other places to look for it including in the PA documents explored in this report, as well as in Virginia.


DAR Ancestor #:  None
SAR Patriot #      
Guthrie DNA Project: Ungrouped Family Status (Need Verified Descendants)
Parents: Unknown
Occupation: Unknown
Birth: 1736, presumably in Pennsylvania
Family Residence 1775-1783:  Presumably in or near York County, Pennsylvania
Death: 10 March 1823 in Henry County, Kentucky
Spouse: Catherine (MNU) died bet. 1816-1821 in KY or IN
Children: (FNU) Son (marital/child status unknown), (FNU) Daughter (married with 9 children)

Vital statistics, service history, residence, and death location have been attributed to WG-1 for nearly a century. The recovery of these facts and patriotic service to the correct man may prove difficult.

The initial pension application attestation in 1818 did not include any notation of WG-2’s family. After approving the pension, the government requested additional service and personal details. WG-2 did not name his family members, but mentioned that his wife had died (prior to the attestation date in 1821). He had one son whom he had not seen in 5 years, and a daughter with nine children and a poor husband. His worldly property included a cow & calf, and a riding horse.

Excerpt S35997
Attestation of 15 Aug 1821

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 23 – Pennsylvania Pensioners in Kentucky
p.560 – Henry County, Kentucky – Guthery, Wm, pr, P.L., Sept. 29, 1819; 87; d. March 10, 1823

Catherine died prior to 1821 before her husband, William Guthrie of Henry County, KY.

Limited data as this individual has only been recently revealed to exist. His enlistment in York, PA may indicate residency in that county. A William Guttery was listed as a taxable in Hamilton Bann Township, York in 1767, which could be this man or WG-1. Unknown if his marriage occurred pre or post-War. Two children are listed, but not named in the pension records, so their DOB and birthplaces are unknown.

Enlistment on 27 May 1777 in York, PA
Rank: Private, 7th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Continental Line. Capt. William Alexander’s company, Commanded by Col William Erwin, Gen Anthony Wayne’s Brigade
Pension Record: S35997

PA Arch Ser 2 Vol 10 – 7th PA Continental Line Roll of Capt. William Alexander’s Company
p.626 – Guthrie, William, May 27, 1777

Military Engagements: Battle of Brandywine (British Victory) – 11 Sep 1777 • Pennsylvania
Pension Record: S35997

Military Engagements: Battle of Paoli (British Victory) – 21 Sep 177 – Pennsylvania
Pension Record: S35997

Military Engagements: Battle of Germantown (British Victory) – 4 Oct 1777 – Pennsylvania
Pension Record: S35997

Military Engagements: Battle of Monmouth (Draw) – 28 June 1778 – New Jersey
Pension Record: S35997

Honorable Military Discharge:  24 Jan 1781 at Trenton, New Jersey
Notice that 1781 is not at the end of the war. Colonial volunteers could sign up for short or long-term stints, however there was something else going on with the 7th Regiment that resulted in their discharge in 1781.

There was a Mutiny of the Pennsylvania Line. “On January 1, 1781, 1,500 soldiers from the Pennsylvania Line—all 11 regiments under General Anthony Wayne’s command—insist that their three-year enlistments are expired, kill three officers in a drunken rage and abandon the Continental Army’s winter camp at Morristown, New Jersey.”

The enemy tried to enlist them…
“British General Henry Clinton sent emissaries from New York to meet the mutineers and offer them full pardon and the pay owed them by the Continental Army in exchange for joining the Redcoats. Instead, the men turned south towards Princeton, which they captured on January 3, intending to march on Philadelphia and Congress. From Princeton, the mutineers dispatched envoys to meet with General Wayne, who was following behind them. They aired their grievances and handed over Clinton’s men for eventual execution.”

With this show of devotion to the Patriot cause, the mutineers strengthened their position in negotiations with Congress. General Wayne and Congressional President Joseph Reed met with the mutineers to hear their grievances on January 7; they came to an agreement three days later. Half the men accepted discharges, while the other half took furloughs coupled with bonuses for reenlistment. Those who reenlisted formed the Pennsylvania Battalion, which went on to participate in the southern campaign.”

William Guthrie’s pension record does not include mention of a mutiny or the Battle of Princeton. Presumably, he was in the group of men who chose discharge after negotiations.

No York County documents found to indicate that William Guthrie returned there after the war.

PA Arch Series 3 Vol 17 – Returns and Valuations – Little Britton Twp. 1782 – Lancaster County
p.718 – Gutrig. Wm. Acres: 125, Horses: 2, Cattle: 3, Servants: 0, Tax:  3.18.0
Note: This could potentially be WG-2 as no other identified man by that name is associated with that township.

Another possibility…

One of these is probably William Guthrie (WG-6), but the other is unplaced.
PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 22 Return of State Tax of 1786 for Westmoreland
p.507 – Hempfield Twp (North District), Guthrie, Wm, single, Amount of Tax 18 .2
p.514 – Hempfield Twp (South District), Guthrie, Wm, Amt. of Tax 1.6

1810 Federal US Census of Henry County, Kentucky – 6 August 1810
Wm Guthrie Household:  1M and 1F 45 and over.

Property Purchase: Floyd’s Fork – 15 Nov 1815 • Henry County, Kentucky, USA
Baronet Chasten and Sally his wife of Washington, Indiana Territory, sold to William Guthrie of Henry County, KY for $500 consideration 136 acres on Floyd’s Fork.

Tax List of 1815 for Henry County, Kentucky, USA
Will Guthrie: 136 A Floyd’s Fork Water Course. Whites: 1 Blacks Above 16: 1 Total: 3 Horses: 5
Note: The first year William Guthrie appears on the Tax Lists even though he has been living in Henry County KY for a minimum of 5 years. Suggests that he did not own property prior to that time.

Property Sale: Floyd’s Fork – 18 Nov 1816 • Henry County, Kentucky, USA
William Guthrie of Henry County, KY and Catharine his wife of Clark County, Indiana sold to Stephen Drone of Shelby County, KY for $112 consideration, 136 acres on Floyd Fork.

Tax List of 1816 for Henry County, Kentucky, USA
1815 and 1816 are the only 2 years that William Guthrie appears on the Henry KY tax lists, which is when he owned property.

Lawsuit (Plaintiff)
1819 • Henry County, Kentucky, USA – Lawyer recommended case dismissal.

Death of Wife Catherine (MNU) Guthrie – Bet. 1816 and 1821.
William Guthrie’s attestation in the pension documents indicates that his wife (not named in the record, but noted on the property records) had died prior to the year 1821. The 1816 sale of their Henry County KY property indicates that his wife Catherine was at the time residing in Clark County, IN. The pension records suggest that afterward, Guthrie moved in with his married daughter who had nine children. He had not seen his son in 5 years. Either William and Catherine had separated, or she was visiting friends or family in Indiana in 1816. Nothing found on her death location.

Newspaper Notice: Letter – 1 Jan 1823 • New Castle, Henry, Kentucky, USA
The Argus of Western America (30 Jan 1823, Thu., p4) published ‘A list of Letters remaining in the Newcastle KY post office on 1 Jan 1823’. Includes a letter for William Guthrie. Letters to be held 3 months before being sent to General Post Office.

10 Mar 1823 • Henry County, Kentucky, USA
William Guthrie’s DOD verification was provided by attestations of Booth Turner and Moses Hankins.
(Pension Record: S35997)

Could one of these men be the son-in-law?

Newspaper Notice: Letter Remains
1 Apr 1823 • New Castle, Henry, Kentucky, USA
Kentucky Gazette (24 Apr 1823, Thu., p.2) ‘A list of letters remaining in the Post office at Lexington on 1 Apr 1823, which if not taken out in three months will be sent to the General Post Office as dead letters’. Includes: William Guthrie.

William Guthrie (WG-2) was a real individual with a family and children of his own. Their descendants may potentially be merged with those of WG-1. We have yet to identify them. Although he was in York, PA to enlist, we do not know if he was living there at the time. Did he come to KY directly from PA or by way of IN? There is definitely an Indiana connection with this family, although it may be the location William and Catherine’s son was living. Catherine was living there (temporarily or permanently) when she and William sold their property in 1816. The Children of WG-1 should be verified as belonging to Esther McClelland just to make certain that WG-2’s son and daughter are not mistakenly attached to that family. Let me know what you find.


DAR Ancestor #: A048623
SAR Patriot #:     P-171931
Guthrie DNA Project: Guthrie Family Group 6
Ancestors: William Guthrie c1710IRE – 1775. Mill Creek Hundred, Delaware (father)
Occupation: Farmer
Birth: 16 Jul 1744 in Ireland, possibly County Antrim
Family Residence in 1775 – 1783: Derry Twp. Westmoreland County, PA
Death: 8 April 1807 in Derry, Westmoreland, PA
Spouse:  Mary Welch
Children: Alexander, John, Margaret, James, Thomas, Mary, Joseph, William

Died prior to the Rev War Pension Act of 1818


American Immigration – Arrived with family from Ireland and settled in Mill Creek Hundred, New Castle County, DE before 1760. Believed to come from County Antrim.

Bef. 1767 – William Guthrie moved from Delaware to the Conococheague Settlement in the Cumberland Valley of PA and lived in the vicinity of Conococheague Presbyterian Church, now Franklin County, PA

Abt. 1767 – William Guthrie and others were among the first white settlers in what is now Westmoreland County, PA. See “The Derry Settlement‘. Afterward, he would be associated exclusively with Derry Township. “He was a noted frontiersman, a soldier in the Revolution, and an extensive land holder.” (LRG, p.357)

A Wikipedia entry on Derry Township provides this information sourced from Boucher’s History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

The first settlements in Derry township were created by soldiers from Forbes’ army in 1762. After hearing of the land being settled by soldiers from Forbes’ army, John Pomroy, a man of Scots-Irish descent, left his home in Cumberland valley and settled in Derry township, near present-day New Derry. Later, James Wilson came and settled near by and they helped one another build and farm. One winter, a few years after settling in Derry township, Pomroy and Wilson returned to their homes in the East. When they returned, each brought with him a wife. Pomroy married Isabel Barr. Later, her father and two of her brothers, along with William Guthrie and Richard Wallace and others migrated to Derry township.

9 Mar 1772 – Marriage to Mary Welch in Franklin County, Pennsylvania

Bef. 1774 – William Guthrie traded at the Conococheague Settlement for many years even after his removal to Westmoreland County. Purchases included powder, lead, chocolate, wine, and sundries. (Ledger F, folio 50)

Without a pension record providing a timeline it is difficult to pin down when William Guthrie entered service. He is said to be associated with Capt. Love’s Company of Westmoreland Rangers.

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 23, Rangers on the Frontiers 1778-1783 – Westmoreland County, PA
p.283 – Westmoreland County – William Guthrie is grouped under a list of Capt. William Love’s rangers.

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 23, p.315
Rangers on the FrontierCapt. William Love’s CompanyWestmoreland Rangers
Includes: Wm. Guthery
(This was a Loyalhanna Valley Company during the revolution.)

Capt. William Love was also with the 1st Battalion of Westmoreland County, Militia, 1777, Commanding Officers: Col. Alexander Barr, Lt. Col John Pomeroy, Major James Wilkins, under Company 8: Capt. William Love, 1st Lt. Alexander Craig, 2nd Lt. Adam Maxwell, Ensign Thomas Watson.

Note the names Pomeroy and Barr are also found in the Derry Twp entry, above. So, it appears like the right fit for this William Guthrie.

PA Arch Ser Vol 2 Part 2 p.269 – Westmoreland County – Officers of the First Battalion, 1776.
Colonel: John Proctor; Lt. Col. Archibald Lochry, Major: John Shields, Captains: Wendle Ivey, Alexander Thompson. Thomas Stokely. Lieutenants: John Cummins in Stokely’s company; Privates: William Guthrey, William Perry; afterwards Captain.

PA Arch Ser Vol 2 Part 2 p.312
“A return of elections in the 1st Battalion of Westmoreland County, Militia – 4th Company: William Guthry (Captain), Andrew Crookshank (Lieutenant), William Kerr (Ensign). Under Lt. Col. William Parrey, and Major Christopher Trubey.

Richard Wallace, who came to Westmoreland County with William Guthrie (see above) reported his time as a Ranger under Captain William Guthrie. Wallace was a Quartermaster under Lt. Col. Lochry. “In the Summer of 1781, Col. Archibald Lochry, Lieutenant of Westmoreland County, raised several companies of volunteers of which he was chosen as commander” leading an expedition against the Shawnees and other Indian Towns along the Ohio River. (See Lochry’s Expedition) “Thirty-six, including five officers, were killed and sixty-four made prisoner. One or two escaped but did not reach home for several months afterward.” Lochry was tomahawked after his surrender. The prisoners were marched up the Miami River, taken north to Detroit, and from there to Montreal. Quarter master Richard Wallace was among those captured and taken to Canada. He returned July 1782.

“Ensign Guthrie” is included on a list of the prisoners and is inferred to be William Guthrie.
(Expedition List of those Killed and taken Prisoner)

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 22, pp.394-395 – Transcript of Property – Derry Twp, Westmoreland PA
Guthrie, Wm. 300 acres, 2 horses, 2 cattle, no sheep

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 22 Return of State Tax of 1786 for Westmoreland, p. 514, 521, 529
Wm #3 – Westmoreland County, PA – p.529 – Derry Twp, Guthrie, Wm. Amt. of Tax 8.6

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 26 Part 10 pp.435-439
County of WestmorelandWarrantees of Land:
(None, One, or More May Apply to this William Guthrie)
Guthrie, Wm – 300 Acres – Date of Survey Nov. 8, 1784
Guthrie, William – 100 Acres – Date of Survey March 10, 1785
Guthrie, William – 200 acres – Date of Survey Nov 6, 1786
Guthrie, William – 50 Acres – Date of Surname May 29, 1790
Guthry, William – 307.127 acres – Date of Survey Feb 25, 1799
Guthrie, Wm & Sam’l Hill & c – 50 acres – Date of Survey March 30 1829

The 1790 United States Federal Census of Derry, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania
Household of Wm Guthrie: 3 Males 16 and over, 4 Males under 16, 4 Females. Total Household Members: 11.

The 1800 United States Federal Census of Derry, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania
Household of William Guthrie: 1 Male & 1 Female 45 and over, 1 Female 26-44, 5 Males 16-25, 1 Male & 1 Female 10-15. Total Household Members: 11.

William Guthrie (WG-3) died on 8 April 1807 and is buried at Old Salem Church Cemetery with a Rev War Marker. He was 63 at his death. His wife, Mary (Welch) Guthrie died on 7 Dec 1828 at the age of 88.

The names of the people surrounding William Guthrie during his journey from Franklin PA into Westmoreland PA continue into the Ranger and Militia Rolls. The Lochry connection does make it difficult to identify this man versus John ‘Jack’ Guthrie when they are sometimes noted only by surname.


DAR Ancestor #:       A048624
SAR Patriot #:           P-171932
Guthrie DNA Project: Guthrie Family Group 2A – Branch G
Parents: James Guthrie c1720IRE – p1801PA & Jeanette (Wilson) Moore
Occupation: Ranger / Farmer
Birth: 9 July 1751 in Cumberland County, PA
Family Residence in 1775 – 1783: Salem Twp/Washington Twp, Westmoreland County. PA
Death: 10 Mar 1828 in Redbank, Armstrong, PA
Spouse: Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee –  Descendant of John Guthrie / Jane Reed
Brownlee Children: John, Jane 
Guthrie Children: William, James, Elizabeth, Mary, Jane, Jane ‘Jennie’, (FNU), Nancy, Joanna, and Joseph Brownlee

PENSION RECORDS:  No Individual File
William Guthrie completed, but never submitted his attestation for a pension. Documents are attached to Widow’s Pension file, entered under Joseph Brownlee’s former widow. See: W3245.

Pension Number: S40063 and corresponding service description have been erroneously associated with this man instead of the actual pensioner, WG-6.

Check the Note!
W3245 includes William Guthrie’s
Pension Application

WIDOW’S PENSION RECORDS:  W3245. Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee Guthrie submitted her Widow’s Pension Application as the former widow of Capt. Joseph Brownlee, who had tragically died along with her son at Hannastown. She and her daughter were taken captive by Seneca Indians for many months, marched to Canada, and eventually sold to the British where they remained until released. After returning to Westmoreland County, the widow married her cousin, William Guthrie. The details of her ordeal are described in the 99 page pension file. (Reading Recs:: Woman on Fire, by Gail A Curtis.)

William Guthrie’s father, James Guthrie had immigrated from County Derry, Northern Ireland prior to his 264a property purchase on Back Creek in Cumberland County PA, on 5 Mar 1748. His mother, Jeanette (Wilson) Moore’s son by her first husband was John Moore, who became Judge for Westmoreland County, PA. Early on they were associated with Hamilton Twp and later with Mount Pleasant. His future wife’s side of the family were at Hannastown, Salem Twp, Westmoreland County.

PA Arch Series 3 Vol 22 – Return of Tax – 1773 – Armstrong County
p21 – Guthery, William – Amt. of Tax: 2.0
[Possibly WG-4, who is later associated with Armstrong County.]

May 1776 – Jan 1777 – William initially served under Capt. Jack McConnel’s Company of Militia at the Flying Camp, after which he was discharged. (W3245)

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 23, Rangers on the Frontiers 1778-1783 – Westmoreland County, PA
p.334 – John McClelland’s Company – Wm. Guthery

Military Engagements:  Battle of Trenton (26 Dec 1776) – Patriot Victory (W3245)

Military Engagements:  Battle of Princeton (3 Jan 1777) – Patriot Victory (W3245)

Military Discharge: sometime after the Battle of Princeton, in Jan 1777. (W3245)

Frontier Ranger: 1777-1779 Mount Pleasant Company
Captains included: Matthew Jack and William Guthry (May 1779). This is likely his promotion date. Served 2 years in this company.
PA Arch. Series 6, Vol. 2, p265, IMG 6 of 154

Frontier Ranger – 1780 • Westmoreland County, PA
Enlisted in 1780 as a lieutenant in Capt, Matthew Jack’s Company of Rangers. (W3245)

William Guthrie’s Company of Rangers – May 1780 • Westmoreland County, PA
“For the County of Westmoreland – Captain William Guthrie, May 27, 1780.”
PA Ser. 6, Vol. 2 Part 2 p329 and p333 

Frontier Rangers – Capt. William Guthrie’s Company – 15 Jun 1781 • Westmoreland
Pay Roll of Capt. William Guthrie’s Company of Rangers Westmoreland County – Discharged 15 Jun 1781. William Guthrie’s rank: captain, (commencing 18 May 1780) The company included 29 men.

1781-1782 • Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, USA
William Guthrie’s attestation of service describes that after serving as Captain of a Company of Rangers he “went into service” in 1780 and 1782. Since his discharge from the rangers was June 15, 1781, the remainder of 1781 and the 1782 entry would be his.

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 23 – Rangers on the Frontiers – Westmoreland County, PA
p.231 – Wm. Guthrie, Capt.; George Stevenson; Thomas Hampton; Robert McFarren; Abraham Tuber.

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 23, Rangers on the Frontiers – 1778-1783 – Westmoreland County
p.338 – Wm. Guthrie’s Rangers Comp.— Wm. Guthrie, Capt., John Jameson, Lieut., plus 40 other rangers, including Richard Wallace. 

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 23 – Muster Rolls of Militia – Westmoreland County – pp.457-458
p457 – Captain William Gutherie’s Company
Officers and Privates of Captain William Gutherie’s Company of Rangers, Westmoreland County, from 25th July, 1780, to 15th January, 1781.
Captain. William Gutherie; Lieutenant. John Jameson; Ensign. John Torrethel; Sergeants. Kershaw Pelling, Randolph Death, John Pheasant (killed)
p.458 (Captain William Gutherie’s Company, cont.)
Corporals. Robert Watson; John Ferrell (inlisted with the enemy); Drummer. Solomon Fossett; Fifer. Samuel LeFever (killed); Privates: George Stevenson, Isaac Patton (Killed), Elijah Lockhart, John Smith (killed), Thomas Smith, James McConnell, Thomas Patton, Charles McLean, Henry Horn, James Glen, William Glen, John Hudson, John McDonald, James McDonald, Ignatius Gilpin, Robert Barr, James Kennedy, Charles Stuart, John Gibson.

Westmoreland County Militia – 1782
Signed acknowledgement of receipt of pay from the state of PA for services done in the Militia of Westmoreland County in the year 1782: William Guthry 1 . 9 5 [PA Arch Ser 2. Vol 2 Part 2 p.353 (Ancestry.com img95 of 154)]

13 July 1782 – Massacre / Burning of Hannastown
William Guthrie’s cousins (and future wife) resided at Hannastown. Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee was the wife of Capt. Joseph Brownlee. He and their young son were killed. Elizabeth and their daughter Jane were taken as captives and marched north. A British officer purchased Elizabeth for $20, Jane for $10, and two gallons of rum, after which they were held in Montreal until they were released through a prisoner exchange and returned to Hannastown. 

Marriage: 1784 – William Guthrie married Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee on 7 July 1784. They resided in Westmoreland County, PA until 1806 when they moved to Porter, Armstrong, PA

Death: 10 Mar 1828 • Redbank, Armstrong, Pennsylvania, USA
“Mr. Guthrie was killed by falling off a bridge on his way home from Kittanning, where he had gone for a load of store goods.”

Mar 1828 • Derry, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, USA
Salem Presbyterian Church Cemetery (Old Salem Community Church and Cemetery located in Derry Township and the address is 6500 Rte 982 Blairsville, PA 15717)

Orphans Court Records
17 Dec 1833 • Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, USA
William Guthrie, add of the estate of Wm Guthrie, late of Redbank Twp, died intestate leaving 6 heirs all over the age of 21. Petitions court to sell land to pay estate debts.

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 22 Return of State Tax of 1786 for Westmoreland, p. 514, 521, 529
Wm #4 – Westmoreland County, PA – p.521 – Mount Pleasant Twp, Guthrie, Wm, Amt of Tax 4

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 26 Part 10 pp.435-439
County of WestmorelandWarrantees of Land:
(None, One, or More May Apply to this William Guthrie)
Guthrie, Wm – 300 Acres – Date of Survey Nov. 8, 1784
Guthrie, William – 100 Acres – Date of Survey March 10, 1785
Guthrie, William – 200 acres – Date of Survey Nov 6, 1786
Guthrie, William – 50 Acres – Date of Surname May 29, 1790
Guthry, William – 307.127 acres – Date of Survey Feb 25, 1799
Guthrie, Wm & Sam’l Hill & c – 50 acres – Date of Survey March 30 1829

Once you find the right Pension Application (tucked away in W3245), the facts flow from there. The horrific story of what happened at Hannastown and Elizabeth’s survival story tends to overshadow William’s service record, which seems to be something of a side-note compared to the rest. One wonders why he made the choice not to submit it.


DAR Ancestor #: A048621
SAR Patriot #: 
Guthrie DNA Project Designation: 
Guthrie Family Group 2A – Branch I
Ancestors: James Guthrie/Miss Bissell (grandparents) > James Guthrie/Ann MNU (parents)
 1763 in Chester County, PA
Family Residence in 1775 – 1783: West or East Caln, Chester County, PA
Death: 30 Jan 1835 in Chester County, PA
Spouses: Mary Batten, Hannah Batten
Children: James Batten, Ann, Jane, Mary, Hannah, Sarah 



William Guthrie turned 18 in 1781, so he missed out on the early war years due to his age. His father, James Guthrie, had moved to Chester County settling near the vicinity of what is now Guthriesville in Chester County, PA. The family is associated with East/West Caln Township and Brandywine Township in Chester County.

Rank: Private
1st Battalion Pennsylvania Militia, Capt. Robert Lockart’s Company commanded by Col.  John Gardner
Sources:  PA Arch. Series 5, Vol 5 pp.478-483, 486-487, 504
Associators and Militia of Chester County

A Return of the 4 last classes in the first Battalion of Chester County Militia Commanded by Col. John Gardner who are ordered on a Tour of duty Immediately September 24th, 1781.
Capt. Lockhart’s Compy. – 5th Class
Joseph Dugan, Joseph Darlington, Elijah Smith, David Jenkins, Wm Guthrey, James McLaughlin, James O Davlin, John Darlington.

Return of the State of Capt. Lockhart’s Company of Militia Commanded by Coln. John Gardner, December 15, 1781.
p487 – 5th Class: 
Joseph Dugen, Joseph Darlington, Elijah Smith, David Jinkens, William Guthrey, John Davien, John darlington, James McGlaughlin

A List of the Four Last Classes of Capt. Lockhart Company Now Under Orders to March.
p.504 – 5th Class:
Joseph Dugan, Joseph Darlington, Elijah Smith, David Jinkens, Willm Guthry, James McGlacklan, John O’Davlin, John Darlington.

24 Sep 1781 – PA Arch Ser 5 Vol 5 p478-483 (named on 483)
15 Dec 1781 – PA Arch Ser 5 Vol 5 p486-487 (named on 487)


  1. Nephew of William Guthrie (WG-6) whose Pension Record is the real S40063
  2. William Guthrie turned 18 in 1781, so that may actually be his enlistment year
  3. If he served less than nine months, William would have been ineligible for a pension.
  4. 1st Battalion, 1780, Commanding Officers, Lt. Col John Gardner, Capt. Robert Lockhart (Chester County Militia)
    • Capt. Robert Lockhart – 1777 – East Caln Township – 5th Company
    • Capt. Robert Lockhart – 1780 – East Caln Township – 8th Company (1780-1781)

William Guthrie (WG-5)’s only definitive connection with Patriotic Service is his residence in Chester County, PA. He is the best candidate to match those records.

WILLIAM GUTHRIE ( c1735 – 1829 PA)

DAR Ancestor #:  None
SAR Patriot #:      None
Guthrie DNA Project:   Guthrie Family Group 2A-Branch I
Parents: James Guthrie/Miss Bissell
Occupation: Indian Trader
Birth: abt. 1735 (Estimate – Obit in 1829: “He was in the 95th year of his age.”
Residence in 1775 – 1783: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, PA
Death: 8 Aug 1829 in Washington Twp, Westmoreland, PA
Spouse: None
Children: None

This pension record is currently attributed to the wrong man, WG-4, whose actual pension application is tucked away in his Widow’s pension file under her first husband’s name. No wonder people can’t find it! Another reason this man, WG-6, gets overlooked is that he had no wife or children, and therefore no descendants, to claim file S40063 as their own.

S40063 p.6

Certificate of Pension issued 9 June 1819 and sent to William Jack Esq. Associate Judge of Westmoreland County at the Courthouse.
Pension approved at rate of $8 per month to commence (retroactively) on 4 May 1818

On 17 July 1820, Wm appeared in the Court of Common Pleas to record another attestation of his service, with additional information, including his family record, which stated he had never had a wife or children. He owns a horse valued at $20.

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 23 – Pennsylvania Pensioners
p.518 – Westmoreland County – Guthrie, Wm., pr, P.L. June 9, 1819; 84; d. Aug 1, 1829.  (Note: DOD published in the newspaper was 8 Aug 1829)

The pensioner clearly states in his attestation that he has never had a wife or children, yet the other man had both, which proves that he is not WG-4. who has a large family.

1761 – April 14 – A Return of Houses,  Men, Women and Children at Fort Pitt
Upper Town – House No.43 – William Guttery – 1 man, 1 woman, no children.

1765 – William Guthrie, associated with Fort Pitt, was said to be an Indian Trader and translator. He is noted in the Journals of Col. George Croghan.
Croghan, George, d.1782, (1904) ‘A Selection of George Crogan’s Letters and Journals Relating to Tours into the Western Country – November 16, 1750 – November 1765.’ Digital Repository: Internet Archive

Rank:  PrivateEnlisted in 1776 as a private in the 7th Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment of the Pennsylvania line commanded by Col. Samuel Miles, in Capt. Joseph Erwin’s Company. 2nd Battalion Major John Patten. 

Military Engagements: Battle of Long Island (27 Aug 1776) – British Victory
William Guthrie and Col. Samuel Miles were among about 100 patriot soldiers taken prisoner by the British and held for about 18 weeks. Released as part of a prisoner exchange about 1 Jan 1777.

1 March 1777 – Joined Capt. James Carnahan’s Company of Col. Walter Stewart’s Regiment.

Military Engagement: Battles of Brandywine (11 Sep 1777) – British Victory

Military Engagement: Battle of Germantown (4 Oct 1777) – British Victory

Discharged at Valley Forge – 1 January 1778 – by reason of expiration of term of enlistment.

Reenlisted in the Militia March 1778 as a private under Col. Broadhead for a term of 21 months, which included:
Capt. Patrick Jack’s Company / Dunlop’s Regiment – 2 months
Capt. Matthew Jack’s Company of Rangers / Broadhead’s Regiment – 8 months
Capt. Thomas Stockley’s Company – 6 months

PA Arch Ser 1 Vol 12 pp.230 – Letter dated 6 May 1780, Fort Pitt, To Capt Thos. Beall from Col. Daniel Broadhead.
“I hear you have sent Mr. Guthrie for the Westmoreland Militia, and I wish he may not cause too great an alarm. Should the alarm prove false or the Militia arrive at Fort Crawford you will immediately proceed to Fort Armstrong.” 

Discharged at end of term, but his papers were stolen along with his pocket book at Charles McGill’s Tavern in Bedford County, PA. 

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 23 p.518 – Pennsylvania Pensioners, Westmoreland County
Guthrie, Wm., pr. P.L. June 9, 1819; 84; d. Aug 1, 1829. (pr. = private; P.L. = Pensioners List)


PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 22 Return of State Tax of 1786 for Westmoreland
p.507 – Hempfield Twp (North District), Guthrie, Wm, single, Amount of Tax 18 .2
p.514 – Hempfield Twp (South District), Guthrie, Wm, Amt. of Tax 1.6
[Most likely the single individual on p.507]

PA Arch Ser 3 Vol 26 Part 10 pp.435-439 – County of Westmoreland – Warrantees of Land:
Guthrie, Wm – 300 Acres – Date of Survey Nov. 8, 1784
Guthrie, William – 100 Acres – Date of Survey March 10, 1785

Guthrie, William – 200 acres – Date of Survey Nov 6, 1786
Guthrie, William – 50 Acres – Date of Surname May 29, 1790
Guthry, William – 307.127 acres – Date of Survey Feb 25, 1799
Guthrie, Wm & Sam’l Hill & c – 50 acres – Date of Survey March 30 1829
(None, one, or more may apply)

Westmoreland Democrat 1829: “William Guthrie of Washington Twp died Aug 8 1829 in the 95th year of his age. He was one of the pioneers. Mr Guthrie enlisted in May 1777, and continued in the service for 4 years in the 7th PA Regiment Continental Line. He participated in many engagements with the Indians on the Westmoreland frontier, and was noted for his great bravery.”

Will Written – 9 Jan 1828 • Washington, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, USA

GUTHRIE, WILLIAM, p213, Washington Twp., (#980) 1829, To “brother James’ children and my sister’s children.” Executor: Matthew Jack Jr; Witnesses: Matthew Jack & John Rudolph. Made: 1-9-1828. Proven: 10-6-1829.

1. Uncle of #1 William Guthrie (1763-1835), son of his brother James Guthrie (1731-1778)
2. Associated with James Carnahan who went out as second lieutenant with Captain Joseph Erwin’s Company, raised in Westmoreland county, joined the Penna. Rifle Regiment, Col. Samuel Miles, at Marcus Hook. This company was subsequently included in the Thirteenth Penna. Regiment, then in the Second, and finally discharged at Valley Forge, Jan. 1, 1778, by reason of expiration of term of enlistment.

By this pensioner’s own words “I have no wife nor family – nor never had any,” WG-6 proves that Pension File S40063 cannot belong to WG-4 because that other man has a large family.


DAR Ancestor#: None
SAR Patriot # P-171934
Guthrie DNA Project: Ungrouped Family Status (Ireland > Pennsylvania > Ohio)
Parents: Unknown
Occupation: Farmer, Weaver and School teacher
Birth: 20 June 1766 in Ireland
Family Residence 1775-1783: Unknown, presumably in Westmoreland PA
Death: 14 Sep 1848 in Poland Township, Trumbull (now Mahoning) County, Ohio, USA
Spouse: Margaret Smith
Children: James Smith, Elizabeth, John, Jane



The History of Trumbull and Mahoning Counties, Ohio includes a short biographical sketch on James S. Guthrie, the eldest child of William Guthrie (WG-7) and Margaret Smith, and provides a little information about William. He was a native of Ireland and emigrated with his parents to America “in an early day” settling in Pennsylvania where they lived until 1804.

William Guthrie was born on 20 June 1766 in Ireland. The first record associated with him is found in Franklin County, PA. He purchased in 1800 the farm of 200A, which they lived on until 1803 when they moved to Ohio.


No official documents found to connect to WG-7 in Mahoning County, Ohio.

Ohio. Adjutant general’s dept. The official roster of the soldiers of the American revolution buried in the state of Ohio. [Columbus, Ohio, The F. J. Heer printing co., 1929.

These two Guthrie entries have some red flags. They are the only two listed in the source for Mahoning County Ohio. The third entry, not shown here, is for Lt. Col John Guthery (m. Lydia Baldwin), which does not apply to this family.

The Poland Presbyterian Cemetery (see Find-a-Grave) includes 5 entries for the Guthrie family. William Guthrie (WG-7) 1766-1848; Margaret, his wife, 1775-1849; James S Guthrie died 1844, the 4 years old son of John & A; a John Guthrie (no DOB/DOD listed); and a William Guthrie d.1833, the 5 year old son of James & E.

“James & E” refers to William & Margaret’s son James Smith Guthrie and his wife Elizabeth Pauley. Both also died in Poland Twp., Mahoning, OH.

“John & A” refers to William & Margaret’s other son, John Guthrie and his wife Anna Ewing.

The John Guthrie with the unlisted DOB/DOD has been designated as GFG2A-Branch E’s John Guthrie 1749-1832 and Sarah Ann Davis. However, that John Guthrie is documented as dying in Pittsburgh and is buried there at the First Presbyterian Churchyard. “Capt. John Guthrie” is listed on the churchyard’s commemoration marker. That family has no known connection to Ohio. He definitely has a well-documented patriotic service history. Plus, John and Sarah were ancestors to two Mayors of Pittsburgh, so the family definitely stuck around Pennsylvania.

Wouldn’t the John Guthrie buried in Poland Presbyterian Cemetery be more likely to be William and Margaret’s son, John Guthrie? Are there other clues anyone cares to share about these Mahoning OH folks?

As for William Guthrie (WG-7), I suspect there is bad news there, too. He has a documented DOB of 20 Jun 1766, which would make him about 9 years old at the start of the war in 1775. He would be about 17 at its close in 1783. If he did serve in some capacity as a Frontier Ranger, it seems very unlikely that he would be the Captain as stated in the above record.

Yet an official Graves Registration Card exists showing the service record of a Ranger Captain in Westmoreland County, which is probably the service record of WG-3 or WG-4.

William Guthrie was a respected Elder in the Reformed Presbyterian Church. He was 82 years old at his death on 14 Sep 1848.

The Revolutionary Era record as a Ranger Captain most likely belongs to WG-3 or WG-4. The descendants of this Mahoning OH man should review their documentation, and look for other clues. If there is any military history for this William Guthrie it will probably be found in the Ohio frontier country rather than back east in PA.

Something else to consider…

Since William Guthrie came to Ohio from Franklin County, PA, which is the same place WG-3 was living prior to his move to Westmoreland, is it possible that they’re related and simply mixed up family stories? The timing of his DOB would be about right to make him a nephew. We do not have a qualified Y-DNA Participant representing the Guthrie-Smith lineage in the Guthrie DNA Project. It might be good to know if you match GFG6.

WG-1) William Guthrie 1740/43PA-1803/04VA (m. Esther McClelland, Franky Young)
WG-2) William Guthrie 1736PA-1823KY (m. Catherine MNU)
WG-3) William Guthrie 1744IRE-1807PA (m. Mary Welch)
WG-4) William Guthrie 1751IRE-1828PA (m. Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee)
WG-5) William Guthrie 1763PA-1835PA (m. Mary Batten, Hannah Batten)
WG-6) William Guthrie c1735-1829PA (Unmarried / No Children)
WG-7) William Guthrie 1766IRE-1848OH (m. Margaret Smith)

This is like tugging on a never-ending thread. The mysteries just keep on unraveling.
Okay, so I love it.
Let’s hope no one finds yet another William Guthrie’s pension file hidden in an old trunk.


  1. Thank you for all you do Ann and Guthrie Genealogy. This is great information discovered and shared. From Distant Cousin

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