2A-A: Robert Guthrie

Rev. Robert Guthrie 1770MD – 1843MO & Mary Smith
of Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, & Missouri, USA

Parents: James Guthrie c1720IRE-1801NC & Elizabeth (MNU)
Birth: 3 November 1770
Birth Location: Maryland, near Baltimore
Marriage: 29 January 1791 in Hillsborough, Orange County, North Carolina, USA
Occupation: Cumberland Presbyterian Minister and Farmer
Death: September 1843
Death Location: Keytesville, Chariton County, Missouri, USA
Burial: Bennett Cemetery, Keytesville, Chariton County, Missouri, USA
A biographical sketch of Tennessee and Missouri Guthries written by his son, Rev. Allen Washington Guthrie indicates that Rev. Robert Guthrie was born near Baltimore on 3 Nov 1770. The family had moved from Maryland to Orange County, North Carolina by 15 March 1781 when Robert remembered hearing the cannon fire during the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. He would have been about 11 years old at the time. He and his 7 siblings grew up along the Hico River in Orange County, North Carolina. Their family were Presbyterians. The specific church they attended is unknown, but religion played an important part in their lives. Bibles and other books were listed among the property of his father, James Guthrie, upon an inventory of his estate. Robert, several of his children and nephews, all became ministers in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Robert Guthrie married Mary Smith in 1791, and his brother James married her sister Jane Smith a month later. These two couples, likely accompanied by their sister and brother-in-law Ann (Guthrie) & John Shannon travelled to Tennessee beginning in 1792 initially pausing in the Holston River area in Eastern Tennessee for up to a year near Greenevill prior to settling along the Robertson-Sumner County border area in Middle Tennessee. The earliest record in Sumner County, Tennessee places Robert Guthrie there in October 1799 as a witness to a deed. Robert’s father James Guthrie died in Orange County, North Carolina in 1801 leaving property to both of his sons, which was then located on the Caswell County side of the Orange-Caswell County, North Carolina border. Having settled in TN by that time, they sold the NC property. Robert Guthrie was ordained as a Minister of the Gospel in 1820. The Rev. Richard Beard, who lived with the Guthrie family for a time wrote a biographical sketch on Some Early Ministers of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which included information on Robert Guthrie and his ministerial works. This info can also be found at this sight on the Cumberland Presbyterian Church history. Robert also served for a time during the 1820s as a Justice of the Peace for Sumner County. About 1831 Robert and Mary, along with the majority of their family members, moved to Missouri settling in Chariton County. Robert died in September of 1843. Mary lived until 1846. They are buried at Bennett Cemetery in Keytesville, Chariton, Missouri.

Parents: Andrew Smith & Elizabeth Kerr (presumably)
Birth: 1773
Birth Location: North Carolina
Death: 1846
Death Location: Keytesville, Chariton County, Missouri, USA
Burial: Bennett Cemetery in Keytesville, Chariton County, Missouri, USA
Notes: Mary Smith is believed to be the eldest of 9 Smith siblings. She was noted to be nicknamed ‘Polly’ by her brother Andrew Smith. The parents are believed to be Andrew Smith and Elizabeth Kerr, but they are not named in a lengthy court document that lists all of the siblings, their spouses, and heirs.


1793 NC or TN – 1834TN
Anna Guthrie aka ‘Annie’ was born on 2 June 1793 either in Orange County, North Carolina or East Tennessee near Jonesboro. She was 19 when she married William Turney in Sumner County, Tennessee on 7 July 1812. They settled Springfield and later White House in Robertson County, TN where they raised their family.
1) Rev. Stanford Guthrie Burney 1814TN-1893TN married Susan Grey +children
2) Rev. Harris Lacky Burney 1816TN-1898TN married 1st Mary Lucy Vick +children, 2nd Ann C Montague
3) Mary Levinea Burney born in 1818TN. No further details.
4) James Howard (vs Harvey?) Burney 1821TN-1851KY married Sarah ‘Sally’ E Jernigan +children
5) John Franklin Burney 1824TN-1851TN married Nancy Ann Parks. No known children.
6) Robert Washington Burney born 1829TN. No further details.
7) Westley Monroe Burney 1929TN-1862MO. Unmarried.
8) Eli Gunn Burney 1832TN-1904FL married Esther Dorothy Schillinger +children

Y-DNA Project Participants: N/A – Descendant of a female Guthrie
Autosomal DNA Project Participants: Yes

Reports vary as to the location of James Smith Guthrie’s birth either in Orange County, NC, East TN, or Sumner, TN. Based on the timeframe, TN appears to be accurate even if the exact location within TN is unknown. As a young adult, James worked as a cropper for old William Foster, who was a religious patriarch within the community in Sumner County, Tennessee. His own father was also in the process of becoming a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian faith. James was received as a candidate for the ministry by the Nashville Presbytery in the spring of 1816 and became a licensed minister on 14 October 1819 and was ordered to ride the ‘upper circuit’ as a traveling minister. There is a biographical sketch of James Smith Guthrie included in the works of Rev. James Beard. He settled in Alabama where he married Lethe Burns in the fall of 1827 in Elyton, Jefferson, Alabama. They were living in Talladega during the 1840 census, but by 1850 had moved west to Rusk County, Texas. He died of pleurisy in 1856 in Alton, Hidalgo, Texas.
1) Aurelia Panthea Guthrie 1830AL-1908TX married Houston Jackson Gray +children
2) Robert Burns Guthrie 1832AL-1908CA married Nancy A Killain +children
3) Mary Amanda Guthrie 1837AL-1883TX married John Hunter Gay +children
4) Vienna Guthrie born about 1840AL. Listed in Rusk, TX 1850 census. No further details.

Y-DNA Project Participants: Yes
Autosomal DNA Project Participants: No

Andrew Harvey Guthrie was born 27 August 1797 and is sometimes referred to as Harvey Guthrie or ‘A.H.’ in the records. Not to be confused with his first cousin by the same name. He was baptized during his infancy and was admitted in 1818 to the Beech Creek Church. He married on 6 (or 11) April 1820 to Margaret Stewart Kirkpatrick, a daughter of Hugh & Isabella (Stewart) Kirkpatrick. Peggy was the mother of: John Kirkpatrick Guthrie, James Porter Guthrie, Mary Isabella Guthrie, William Etherly Guthrie, and Hugh Kirkpatrick Guthrie. They lived near the Bethel Meeting House on Drake Creek in Sumner County, Tennesseee. She died in 1835. On 7 March 1836, he remarried at Shackle Island, Sumner, TN to Jane Stewart Kirkpatrick, a daughter of James & Mary (Stewart) Kirkpatrick. She was mother to the youngest three children in the family: Robert Alexander Guthrie, James Stewart Guthrie, and Mary Isabella Guthrie. They settled in Perry County, Tennessee prior to 1860. He was an elder of Beech Creek Presbyterian Church. Harvey apparently ‘had much trouble during the Civil War and died shortly after its close’ on 9 October 1864. He is buried at Bethel Cemetery in Perry County, TN. His tombstone includes a Masonic Emblem. Jane died in 1895.
1) John Kirkpatrick Guthrie 1821TN-1899TN married Lucy Ann McDonald +children
2) James Porter Guthrie born 11 Nov 1824 in TN. No further details. Possibly died young as #7 also named James.
3) Mary Isabella Guthrie born on 3 Sep 1827. Died young as #8 also has the same name.
4) William Etherly Guthrie born on 27 Sep 1830 in TN. Living with family in Perry, TN in 1850. No further details.
5) Hugh Kirkpatrick Guthrie 1833TN-1890MO married Martha Ann Norman +children
6) Robert Alexander Guthrie 1839TN-1903TN married 1st Nannie (MNU) +children, 2nd Hattie Eliza Sims +children
7) James Stewart Guthrie 1844TN-1906TN married Medora Frances Randel +children
8) Mary Isabella Guthrie 1849TN-1923TN married John Mcanally Webb +children

Y-DNA Project Participants: Yes
Autosomal DNA Project Participants: Yes

My ancestor Robert Wesley Guthrie aka Wesley was born on 2 April 1799 in Sumner County, Tennessee. He was baptized in his infancy by William McGee, who became a Cumberland Presbyterian Minister. McGee was already in Sumner County by 1796 when he married Anna King, so this is another event by which the family’s presence in the area is established. In 1817 he was officially admitted to the communion of the Dry Fork Creek Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He was married to Nancy Foster, daughter of William & Agnes (Allen) Foster, on 7 October 1819 in Sumner County, with Rev. Hugh Kirkpatrick performing the ceremony. His brother, Andrew H Guthrie was his bondsman. They lived on the family farm along Dry Fork Creek and donated land for the church and cemetery, which remains to this day. Wesley was a clerk and elder of the church. He was a farmer and a cabinetmaker. He and his wife Nancy had three children.
1) Mary E Guthrie 1820TN-1884TN remained single. No children.
2) William Foster Guthrie 1828TN-1853TN died of an acute cerebral disease at 24 years of age. Unmarried.
3) Nancy Elizabeth Guthrie 1832TN-1904TN married a cousin James Irvin Guthrie 1827TN-1904TN, son of Robert & Aseneth (Motheral) Guthrie +children

Y-DNA Project Participants: Yes
Autosomal DNA Project Participants: Yes

Eli Guthrie was born on 6 February 1801 in Sumner County, Tennessee. He became a Cumberland Presbyterian Minister and between 1824 and 1828 preached at Mt. Sharon Cumberland Presbyterian Church with John Beard and William Guthrie in the Robertson County area. He married Eliza Coldwell in Dickson, Tennessee on 23 February 1830. His move to Missouri prompted his parents and many of his siblings and their families to uproot and follow. He and his wife Eliza had 3 children. Tragedy struck on 19 December 1837 when Eli responded to cries for help from two men in an overturned boat who had become trapped in the ice and turbulent waters of the Missouri River. He and one other drowned in their failed attempt to rescue the men. His story is told in detail in Rev Beard’s sketch of Rev Eli Guthrie.
1) Robert Coldwell Guthrie 1831MO-1843MO died in early childhood.
2) William Montgomery Guthrie c1832MO-1853MO died due to ‘congestive chills’ while in college. Unmarried.
3) Mary Jane Guthrie 1837MO-1865MO married Patrick Henry Perkins great-great grandson of the illustrious Patrick Henry of colonial Virginia. +children

Y-DNA Project Participants: N/A – No surviving male children with direct male descendants
Autosomal DNA Project Participants: No

Elizabeth Guthrie aka ‘Betsy’ was born in 1803 in Sumner County, Tennessee. She married at 20 years of age on 9 April 1823 to George W Wills. Her brother Eli Guthrie was their bondsman. They lived in Robertson County, TN for a few years after their marriage, but made the move to Missouri with many of the other Guthrie family and relatives settling in Chariton County. Elizabeth died there on 29 May 1836 at the age of 33. George remarried to Abarilla Phillips on 27 Jan 1840, with the presiding minister being Elizabeth’s youngest brother, Rev. Allen Washington Guthrie. George and Abarilla had 9 children: Mary Wills, Arnetta Wills, Simon White Wills, Emily W Wills, Louisa Wills, Jane Wills, George W Wills, Abirella Wills, and Missouri Wills. His children with Elizabeth Guthrie were:
1) James G Wills born about 1824 in TN. Listed as single in 1870 Keytesville, Chariton, MO. Possibly died 1877TX.
2) (FNU Son) Wills born 1825-1830 in Tennessee or Missouri. Enumerated in the 1830 Census. No further details.
3) Margaret T Wills c1826TN-1866MO married James Monroe Gardner +children
4) Letha Parilee Wills 1829TN-1853MO married 1st John J Cowell +children, 2nd Lloyd Benley Cash +children
5) Jane Wills born & died between 1830-1836MO. No further details.

Y-DNA Project Participants: N/A – Descendant of a female Guthrie
Autosomal DNA Project Participant: Yes

Sarah Guthrie was born in 1805 in Sumner County, Tennessee. She married 1st Thomas Culbertson on 22 Dec 1825, with the minister being her older brother, Rev. James Smith Guthrie, and George Willis their bondsman. Their two children were born in Tennessee. Sarah and her family moved to Missouri with her parents and other Guthrie family members about 1831 settling in Chariton County, Missouri. Thomas died in 1843. The following year on 30 Jun 1844, Sarah married widower Abraham Cash. He had previously been married to Louelle Deborah Glover with whom he had 5 children: James Chambers Cash, Endamile Cash, Lloyd Bentley Cash, Joshua Marion Cash, and Jasper Newton Cash. Sarah died on 17 September 1853 in Chariton, Missouri. The following year, Abraham married her widowed sister, Mary Harriet (Guthrie) (Wills) Moss.
1) Mary K Culbertson 1826MO-1907TX(?) married 1st John William Fridley +children, 2nd John H Silvey
2) James Ewing Culbertson 1828MO-1865MO married Elizabeth Stewart +children

Y-DNA Project Participants: N/A – Descendant of a female Guthrie
Autosomal DNA Project Participant: ?

Mary Harriet Guthrie was born in 1809 in Sumner County, Tennessee. Her first marriage to Mathew T Wills occurred at the tender age of 16. They initially lived in Robertson County, TN and made the move with the rest of the Guthrie and extended family members to Missouri about 1830/1 settling in Chariton County, MO. Mary and Mathew were parents to 4 children. Mathew died sometime between 1831 and 1839 in Missouri. Mary remarried on 3 June 1849 to Frank Moss. The ceremony was performed by Justice of the Peace, A. Cash. This was probably Abraham Cash, Mary’s then brother-in-law and future third husband. Frank was 64 in 1850 and a widower with children of his own. Mary and Frank had no children. Frank died sometime between 1850 and 1854 when Mary married her widowed brother-in-law, Abraham Cash. No children by that marriage.
1) Martha Jane Wills born 1825-30 TN – 1854MO married Joshua Marion Cash. No children. He married x2 afterward.
2) Sarah Fanata Wills 1827TN-1908TX married William Edmund Chrane +children
3) Robert Hoop Wills 1829TN-1889WA married Sarah Frances Breeze +children
4) Eliza Caldwell Wills 1831MO-1921MO married James Chambers Cash +children

Y-DNA Project Participants: N/A – Descendant of a female Guthrie
Autosomal DNA Project Participant: ?

Jane Guthrie was born in 1811 in Sumner County, Tennessee. She was about 20 and unmarried at the time her parents moved to Missouri. She married James Capper on 22 December 1831 in Chariton, Missouri. This date helps establish the timeline of their arrival. James and Jane had 3 children. Little is known about this family. Both died sometime before 1869.
1) Sallie Capper was born sometime after 1831 presumably in Missouri. No further details.
2) (FNU Daughter) Capper. No further details.
3) (FNU Son) Capper. No further details.

Y-DNA Project Participants: N/A – Descendant of a female Guthrie
Autosomal DNA Project Participant: No

Allen Washington Guthrie, listed in many records as A.W. Guthrie, was born on 26 November 1813 in Sumner County, Tennessee, the youngest son of the family. He was about 17 years old when his parents and most of his siblings moved en masse to Missouri. He married on 16 September 1838 to Elizabeth Ann Young, daughter of Benjamin and Nancy (Moore) Young, the same year he became ordained as a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. They lived in Chariton, Missouri for a few years prior to moving to Andrew County, MO. He and his wife Elizabeth had 10 children, although 5 of them remain unidentified and may have died at birth or in their infancy. Elizabeth died in 1855. He was legally appointed curator of his wife’s minor heirs on 8 Jan 1856 likely indicating that his wife had inherited something from her father that was to be conveyed to any grandchildren. Allen remarried on 17 April 1856 to Margaret A Smith. They settled in St Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri. Margaret died on 30 March 1880. Allen died 13 April 1891 in Macon, Macon, Missouri. He is buried there in Oakwood Cemetery.
1) Benjamin Eli Guthrie 1839MO-1918MO married Susan Ann Middleton Mitchell +children
2) Robert James Guthrie 1843MO-1883TX married Anna Buntin. No known children.
3) Virginia A Guthrie 1846MO-1877MO married John M Mitchell +children
4) Barnet M Guthrie 1849MO-c1849MO died in infancy or early childhood.
5) Elizabeth Luvenia Guthrie 1851MO-1937ID married John Abner Fox +children
6 – 10) Unidentified Sons and Daughters likely died in their infancy.

Y-DNA Project Participants: No
Autosomal DNA Project Participants: ?

Nancy Kerr Guthrie was the youngest of 11 children. She was born 27 April 1816 in Sumner County, Tennessee. She was still a child when her parents moved with most of their family to Missouri, and only 17 years old at the time of her 1833 marriage to Daniel Benton Culbertson in Chariton County, Missouri. They were parents to 8 children. Nancy died at the age of 63 in Keytesville. Her husband Daniel survived her dying in 1891. They are both buried at Bennett Cemetery.
1) Mary Frances Culbertson 1835MO-1922MO married William Bland Owens +children
2) Frances Guthrie Culbertson 1836MO. This is either a duplicate child (#1) or a daughter who died prior to 1850.
3) Robert Guthrie Culbertson 1839MO-1870-9MO married Sarah Catherine Cash, dau. of James & Eliza (Wills) Cash. +children
4) Ann Jane Culbertson 1843MO-1902MO married Jasper Newton Cash, son of Abraham & 1st wife. +children
5) Nancy Elizabeth Culbertson 1845MO-1945MO married James Dudley Mooreman +children
6) James Benton Culbertson 1847MO-1920MO married Emma G Davis +children
7) Benton Culbertson 1847MO. This is either a duplicate child (#6) or a son who died prior to 1850.
8) Eli Culbertson 1850MO-bef.1860MO died in infancy or early childhood.

Y-DNA Project Participants: N/A – Descendant of a female Guthrie
Autosomal DNA Project Participant: No


WEBSITE: Robert Guthrie 1770-1843 Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

WEBSITE: Reverend James McGready (wikipedia)

LOCATION: Gasper River

WEBSITE: Gasper River Meeting House (Logan, KY) The Birthplace of Cumberland Presbyterianism

BOOK: Beard, Richard. Brief Biographical Sketches of some of the Early Ministers of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Read sketches for Rev. James McGready (p.7), Rev. Robert Guthrie (p.120), Rev. James Smith (p.198), Rev. Francis Johnston (p263)

WEBSITE: Presbytery of Missouri Records, 1817-1920. Repository: The State Historical Society of Missouri. (Contact). Index Includes: Guthrie Family v. 1, 4, 7.

BOOK: White, Edgar comp; Taylor, Henry, & company, pub. General History of Macon County, Missouri

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