Canadian Guthrie Families

Guthrie families have put down roots around the globe. Their path leaving Scotland was not always one of direct immigration to their final destination. Scots in the mercantile shipping business settled in Sweden or France. Many moved to Ireland or settled its northern Ulster plantations. Those places may only have been a temporary stop on their journey to the other side of the world. Many of them chose the Canadian provinces as their new homeland, either as their original destination or as a refuge from conflict.

Canadian historians recognize two distinct colonial periods that people of Guthrie ancestry should give their attention.

  1. New France (1604 – 1764)
  2. British North America (1670 – 1873)

A definite historical connection exists between Scotland and France throughout European history, both political and economic. No doubt there were Guthries who settled there and moved to Colonial New France, perhaps with a new French variation of their surname. “There were two main populations within New France, one in the Maritimes known as Acadia, and the other in Quebec, whose members lived almost exclusively along the St. Lawrence, Richelieu, and Saguenay rivers.”

When New France fell to the British in the 1760s cutting off further immigration, merchants and farmers from New England surged into Quebec to take over jobs and property abandoned by those who had returned to France. This was just the first influx of immigrants caused by war on the continent.

With France out of the way as its major colonial opposition in the north, British subjects settled in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Peace was not on the horizon just yet. Those pesky American colonists to the south decided to free themselves from British rule. Many Loyalist families left the new United States for the Canadian provinces. Conflicts, such as the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, or catastrophes like the Irish Potato Famine, also brought waves of immigrants to Canada, and with them families of Guthrie heritage.

Early records divide colonial Canada into geographical sections:
Upper Canada – a part of British Canada established in 1791 – included all of modern day Ontario and areas north
Lower Canada – a British colony on the lower Saint Lawrence River and shores of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence (1791-1841) comprising the current province of Quebec and the Labrador region of the current province of Newfoundland.

Beginning in 1841, the Upper and Lower Canada colonies were merged into the Province of Canada, but for the purposes of administration, the new province was subdivided:
Canada West – formerly Upper Canada / Ontario
Canada East – formerly Lower Canada / Quebec

The Province of Canada ceased to exist at Canadian Confederation on 1 July 1867 when it was divided into the Canadian provinces of Ontario ad Quebec.

Highlighted below is a sampling of Canadian Guthrie families. Some may have proven connections to established Guthrie Family Groups. Others are still waiting for family representatives to make a genetic connection (Y-DNA testing) to prove their origins.



Parents: Unidentified
Birth: 26 June 1799 in Scotland (county unverified, possibly Angus)
Marriage: Ann Watson on 30 April 1820 in Montrose, Angus, Scotland
Occupations: Painter/Farmer
Religion: Presbyterian
Canadian Immigration: Before 1842
Canadian Residence: St-Armand, Missisquoi, Quebec, Canada East
Children: Robina (1823), Mary (1826), David Gordon (1828), Edwin Watson (1830), James R (1835), Catherine Elizabeth (1838), Caroline (1840), Adeline Eliza (1840)
David’s Death: 31 December 1873 – Buried in Pigeon Hill Cemetery, Quebec
Ann’s Death: 16 Feb rural 1895 – Buried in Pigeon Hill Cemetery, Quebec
David Guthrie and Ann Watson were married in Montrose, Angus, Scotland. Their marriage record lists them as being “both of this parish”. While that tells us that David Guthrie was a resident of Montrose in 1820, it does not conclusively prove he was also born there. The OPR birth/baptismal records for Montrose show only 1 record bet. 1780-1805 for an infant named David Guthrie, but it is nowhere close to 1799. Either he was not born in that location or his baptism was not recorded.

David and Ann’s household is recorded on the Canadian census of 1842, 1851, 1861, and 1871. Their son Edwin Watson Guthrie moved briefly to Vermont, USA during his first marriage to Henriette Yates, and their daughter Amy Harriet was born there in 1855. The mother died, and the daughter, Harriet is shown living with David and Ann during the 1861 census. Edwin remarried in Berkshire, Vermont to Lucy Lancaster and they moved back to Quebec.

Parents: Unverified (See Note)
Birth: 1812-1822 in Scotland
Marriage 1st: Mary Smyth – Prior to 1835, probably in Quebec, Canada East
Marriage 2nd: Mary Beattie – Bet. 1842 – 1844, probably in Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada
Occupation: Farmer
Religion: United Presbyterian
Canadian Immigration: Prior to 1835
Canadian Residence: Lacorne, Terrebone, Quebec, Canada
Children: William (1835), Andrew Smith (1837), Mary Anne (1839), Janet (1842) // George Beattie (1844), Ann (1846), Alexander (1848)
George’s Death: 14 December 1901 in New Glasgow, Quebec, Canada
Mary Smyth’s Death: 24 July 1842 in Quebec, Canada
Mary Beattie’s Death: 2 April 1880 in Quebec, Canada
One family tree identifies this man as George Edward Guthrie, the same documented in a transcribed immigration record for 1833. Need to find copy of the original. One of this man’s grandsons does have the name George Edward Guthrie, so there is a possibility this George also had that same full name, however no original document has been found listing him as such to date. Additionally, this George’s DOB is poorly defined in the census records ranging from estimates bet. 1812 – 1822. All records identify Scotland as his birthplace, but none list a specific county. The same family tree lists a set of parents for George as being William Guthrie and Janet Mercer whose son George Guthrie was born on 29 Aug 1812 in Huntleywood and baptized in Gordon Parish, Berwickshire, Scotland on 13 Sep 1812. Although 1812 does fit one of the potential DOB listed for George Guthrie, there were 13 infants of that name found in Scotland’s OPR for the range of 1812-1822. Some descendant lineages immigrated from Canada to the USA, one in Massachusetts and another in Iowa.


Parents: Unidentified
Birth: Est. 1790-1791 in Scotland (Est. based on being aged 43 at his death in 1834)
Marriage: 6 Nov 1819 in Ayrshire, Scotland (Recorded both in his parish: Kilmaurs and hers: Dreghorn)
Occupation: Unknown, possibly a Farmer
Religion: United Presbyterian
Canadian Immigration: Est. bet. 1832 and 1834
Canadian Residence: Ayr, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Children: David (1822), Robert (1824), Janet (1827), Agnes (1829), John (1832), Mary (1834)
David’s Death: 28 October 1834 at Ayr, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Buried at Ayr Cemetery. (Aged 43)
Margaret’s Death: 22 November 1884 at Oxford, Ontario, Canada. Buried at Ayr Cemetery. (Aged 90)
There are 7 OPR records for infants named David Guthrie for Ayrshire, Scotland bet. 1789-1793, with 4 of them in 1790 and 1791. Additional clues are needed to identify this David Guthrie’s parents. He was living in the parish of Kilmaurs in Ayrshire when he married Margaret Wyllie. Five of their six children were reportedly born in Scotland. The youngest was born in Canada in 1834. David died that same year. His widow Margaret remarried to a tailor named James Calders sometime bet. 1835 and 1861. She outlived him as well. James died in 1869. Margaret was buried with her first husband, David Guthrie at the time of her death in 1884.

Parents: Unidentified
Birth: 1791 in Ireland
Marriage: 25 April 1822 in York, Ontario, Canada
Occupation: Farmer
Religion: United Church > Wesleyan Methodist
Canadian Immigration: Before 1822
Canadian Residence: Whitby, Durham, Ontario, Canada
Children: Margaret (1823), Sarah Ann (1824), Mary Jane (1828), Ann (1833), Ellen Eliza (1835), Harriet (1837), Agnes (1839), Elizabeth (1841), Richard (1843)
John’s Death: 1862 in Whitby, Durham, Ontario, Canada
Isabella’s Death: 1852 in Whitby, Durham, Ontario, Canada
A direct line male Guthrie descendant of John and Isabella’s son Richard represents this line with a YDNA test that matches the genetic profile of Guthrie Family Group 6.

Parents: Unidentified
Birth: 1812 in Scotland (unidentified county)
Marriage: Mary Sutherland on 22 March 1850 in Brock, Ontario, Canada
Occupation: Laborer
Religion: Presbyterian / Free Church
Canadian Immigration: Bef. 1850
Canadian Residence: Oxford, Ontario, Canada
Children: Isabella (1851), David/Daniel/Donald (1855)
George’s Death: 25 Sep 1888 in Oxford, Ontario, Canada – buried Ingersoll Cemetery
Mary’s Death: 26/27 1909 in Oxford, Ontario, Canada – buried Ingersoll Cemetery
More clues are needed to identify George Guthrie’s parents. There are 10 birth/baptisms in the OPR for Scotland between 1810 – 1814. The number and names of George and Mary’s children is also difficult to determine. Isabella’s birth and death are documented in the cemetery records, which also identify her parents. David is listed on the 1861 census, Daniel on the 1871 census, but neither list Donald, who married twice and had a large family.

Parents: Unverified
Birth: Abt. 1815 in Scotland
Marriage: Susanna Thompson on 12 Dec 1840 in Abbey, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Occupation: Gardener/Farmer
Religion: United Presbyterian
Canadian Immigration: Abt. 1849
Canadian Residence: Barton, Wentworth, Canada West (Ontario), Canada
Canadian Residence: Wawanosh, Huron, Canada West (Ontario), Canada
American Immigration: Abt. 1864
American Residence: Preemption, Mercer, Illinois, USA
American Residence: Abingdon, Mercer, Illinois, USA
Children: William A (1842), Robert (1844), Martha Brewster (1846), Andrew D (1848), Elizabeth Brown (1851), Susan (1853), Margaret Miller (1856), Samuel Leslie (1859), Jessie Cameron (1863)
This family has a complex immigration history. Presumably, their earliest Guthrie ancestors are from Scotland, but the family appears to have been in Ireland when some of the Branch M sons were born and then settled in Renfrewshire, Scotland (which may or may not have been their home county prior to Ireland). Due to the state of the records in Ireland, it is difficult to find a paper trail connecting the Branch M families. Samuel Guthrie of Branch M has a descendant with a Y-DNA test. Samuel’s line immigrated from Scotland to New Jersey to Mercer County, Illinois. He was joined there simultaneously by several Guthrie men and their families. Like Andrew, some migrated from Canada to Mercer, IL. Another came via Missouri and Iowa. These men are believed to be Samuel’s brothers, including Andrew Guthrie. Y-DNA testing is needed to verify the lineage as belonging to GFG2A.

Parents: Unverified
Birth: 30 October 1816 in Ballymena, Antrim, Northern Ireland
Marriage (1st): Jean Totten on 17 April 1842 in High Church, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Marriage (2nd): Catherine (MNU) between 1868 and 1870 in Illinois. Previously married to a McRae.
Occupation: Laborer / Farmer
Religion: Church of England
Canadian Immigration: Abt. 1851
Canadian Residence: Ashfield, Huron, Canada West (Ontario), Canada
American Immigration: Abt. 1861 after the death of 1st wife Gennie in Ontario
American Residence: Green, Mercer, Illinois, USA
Children (1st Marriage): Sarah Ellen (1843), William H (1845), Thomas (1846), Martha (1847), Andrew Robert (1856), Isabella Holiday (1859)
Step-Children (2nd Marriage): Catherine ‘Kitty McRae (1857), Anna Mary McRae (1859), John McRae aka Guthrie (1862), Edward McRae aka Guthrie (1864), Duncan McRae aka Guthrie (1866), Phillip S McRae (1868)
Children (2nd Marriage): Sarah Guthrie (1870), Farquhar ‘Frank’ (1872)
William’s Death: 2 January 1895 in Gilchrist, Mercer, Illinois, USA.
Gennie’s Death: 1860 in Ashfield, Huron, Ontario, Canada (COD: Inflammation)
Catherine’s Death: 2 March 1910 in Viola, Mercer, Illinois, USA
Like Andrew Guthrie, above, William Guthrie is believed to be a brother of Samuel Guthrie of Mercer, IL whose descendant’s YDNA matches the genetic profile of Guthrie Family Group 2A and has been labelled Branch M. William was born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, but moved to Renfrewshire, Scotland where he met and married his first wife. They immigrated to Canada about the same time as Andrew Guthrie and lived in the same general area in Huron prior to making another move to Mercer County, IL where Samuel Guthrie and presumed brother Edward were also living. The theorized connection between these Mercer, IL families must still be verified by YDNA testing.

Parents: Unverified (See Notes)
Birth: 1825-1828 in Ireland
Marriage: Catherine Jackson on 7 Jan 1856 in Emily Township, Victoria, Ontario, Canada
Occupation: Farmer
Religion: Wesleyan Methodist
Canadian Immigration: Before 1854
Canadian Residence: Emily, Victoria, Ontario
Children: William John (1857), Robert James (1858), Thomas Henry (1860), George Alfred (1862), Joseph (1864). Martha (1865), Forrest Caldwell (1866), Mary Jane (1868), Catherine (1873). Hannah (1875), Edith Louise (1877).
John’s Death: 26 March 1888 in Emily, Victoria, Ontario (Aged 63)
Catherine’s Death: 17 Jan 1907 in Emily, Victoria, Ontario (Aged 71)
John’s middle name, Forest, is documented on a son’s death certificate. Born in Ireland, John was living Ontario by 1856 when he married Catherine Jackson, but his exact immigration date is unknown. The Canadian Census of 1851 lists one family living in Durham, Ontario that might fit the description:
John Gutry, laborer, Ireland, Church of England, 22, male (born about 1828)
John Gutry, butcher, Ireland, Church of England, 76, male (born about 1775)
Jane Gutry, – , Canada, Church of England, 14, female (born about 1837)
Canadian immigration would have been between 1829 and 1836.
Further up on the same census page is a single entry for a Samuel Gutry, laborer, Ireland, Ch of E, 24, male.
Their listed neighbors include a Wesleyan Methodist family living Emily.
Speculative: John Guthrie (b.1775IRE) > William (b.1790IRE) > John (b.1825-28 IRE)

Parents: Unidentified
Birth: 8 July 1832 in County Sligo, Ireland
Marriage: Margaret Crawford bef. 1857
Occupation: Gardener > Head Gardener at the Provincial Lunatic Asylum in Queen West
Religion: Church of England > Methodist
Canadian Immigration: 1852
Canadian Residence: Saint Patrick’s Ward, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Canadian Residence: West York, Ontario, Canada
Canadian Residence: Parkdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Children: Ann Jane (1858), James Bernard (1859), Catherine Rebecca (1863), Elizabeth (1863), Richard Hamilton (1865), William Wellington (1869), Florence (1870), Maggie (1871), William John (1876), Alfred Edward (1877), Mary Louise (1878)
Richard’s Death: 13 January 1924 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Aged 91). Buried at St James Cemetery, Toronto.
Margaret’s Death: 6 August 1885 (Aged 49). Buried at St James Cemetery, Toronto.
The 1861 census of Toronto lists Richard’s birthplace as Ireland and his wife Margaret’s in Canada, and eldest child Ann Jane as a 4 year old born in Canada. Richard seems to have immigrated to Canada from Ireland sometime prior to 1857 even though the 1921 Census lists his immigration year as 1860. The 1901 census lists his immigration year as 1852.

Parents: (FNU) Guthrie and Jane Melton (1811IRE – 1880KS, USA)
Birth: 10 June 1833 in Dundas, Ontario, Canada
Marriage: Mary Jane Patrick on 31 October 1855 in Ontario, Canada
Occupation: Farmer
Religion: Church of England
Canadian Immigration: N/A – Native Born
Canadian Residence: Dundas, Canada West (Ontario)
American Immigration: Abt. 1866 – Settled in Kansas, USA
Children: James Andrew (1857), Jane (1858), Nancy (1861), Mary (1864), William John (1866), Marget Anna (1870), Sarah Mona ‘Sadie’ (1874), Alla M. (1877), Samuel Wesley (1877), Lula (1879), Alice Blanche (1881)
James’ Death: 14 Dec 1907 in Valley, Pratt, Kansas, USA (74 years)
Mary Jane’s Death: 10 Jan 1938 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA (99 years)
The 1900 census lists James Andrew Guthrie’s father’s birthplace as Canada English, and his mother’s as Ireland. At that time James was a naturalized US citizen. These papers might document his father’s identity. His unidentified Guthrie father is believed to have been born about 1807 in Pleasant Valley, Dundas, Ontario.

Parents: Unidentified
Birth: 12 July 1834 in Ireland (County Unknown)
Marriage: Mary Ann Howden about 1865 in Canada
Occupation: Laborer
Religion: Church of England / Anglican
Canadian Immigration: 1854
Canadian Residence: Millbrook, Cavan, Durham East, Ontario, Canada
Children: Ellen M (1860), Phoebe Ann (1862), Margaret Elizabeth (1865), Susannah (1868), John James (1872)
Robert’s Death: 10 April 1906 in Millbrook, Cavan, Durham, Ontario, Canada (Aged 71)
Mary Ann’s Death: 31 March 1901 in Port Hope, Durham, Ontario, Canada (Aged 66)


Parents: Unidentified
Birth: 1791 in Ireland
Marriage: 21 June 1819 in Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick, Canada
Occupation: Unknown
Religion: Church of England
Canadian Immigration: Before 1820
Canadian Residence: Pennfield Ridge, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada
Children: Francis (1820), Michael J (1827), Robert (1835), Justus (1838), George (1844)
Alexander’s Death: 23 February 1852 at Pennfield, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada (Aged 61)
Susannah’s Death: 25 October 1857 at Pennfield Ridge, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada (Aged 62)
Alexander and Susan’s son Michael emigrated to the USA where the census records include his parents’ birth locations. Alexander’s birth location is given as Scotland.

Parents: Jean-Pierre Gaudreau & Marguerite Bastarache
Birth: 15 August 1802 in Tracadie, New Brunswick, Canada
Marriage: Barbe Comeau on 9 July 1824 in Tracadie, New Brunswick, Canada
Occupation: Unknown
Religion: Roman Catholic
Canadian Immigration: N/A – Native Born (5th Generation Gaudreau in Nova Scotia / New Brunswick)
Canadian Residence: Tracadie, New Brunswick, Canada
Children: Barbe (1826), Jean-Olivier (1828), Cyrille (1832), Michael (1834), Clothilde (1837)
Pierre’s Death: Unknown.
Barbe’s Death: Unknown.
Is Gautreau a variation of Guthrie? More recent generations within this line are documented as Guthrie, so it may be true. DNA evidence is required to prove the connection.

Claude Savoie’s AncestryTree lists: Francois Gaudreau 1613FRA-1693Nova Scotia, CAN > Claude Gaudreau 1659 New Brunswick – 1733 Nova Scotia > Francois Henri 1685 Nova Scotia – 1759 Bretagne, FRA > Pierre-Mathurin Gâteau 1734 Nova Scotia – 1798 New Brunswick > Jean-Pierre Gaudreau abt. 1761 > Pierre Gautreau 1802. All generations require verification. The English marriage record writes Pierre’s name as “Peter Gouthrean”


Some of the earliest records available for Nova Scotia are Poll Tax Records from 1770-1795 and a 1771 Census Return. They include these and other men listed with variants of the Guthrie name:
1771: Paul Gotherow in Amherst, Cumberland (Census Return)
1791: John and Peter Gotro in Maccan, Nappan, River Hebert, Cumberland (Poll Tax)

Whether are not these surnames are indeed based on the Guthrie family and if their descendants carry Guthrie DNA has yet to be determined.

There are many more Guthrie families that immigrated to Canada. If you would like your family represented here add them to the comment section using the above format, or contact the site coordinator with the details.


WEBSITE: Canadian Museum of History “Historical Overview of Immigration to Canada

WIKIPEDIA: Scots-Quebecer – Scots who settled in Quebec (then New France)

WEBSITE: The Canadian Encyclopedia – “Scottish Canadians

WEBSITE: Highland Titles – “The Links between Scotland and Canada”

WEBSITE: History in Focus – “Crossing Borders: Scottish Emigration to Canada”

WEBSITE: “The Thistle and the Maple Leaf: The Scots Go to Canada”

WEBSITE: Ulster-Scots in Canada

Here’s a new entry for Guthrie Places: Guthrie Island in Manitoba, Canada 59°44’01.5″N 97°52’27.1″W

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