2A-G: John ‘Jack’ Guthrie

Capt. John ‘Jack’ Guthrie 1752IRE – 1805KY and Mary Erwin 1755PA – Aft.1825PA
of Northern Ireland and Pennsylvania, USA

Parents: John Guthrie 1725IRE – 1797PA and Jane Reed 1726IRE – 1780PA
Birth: 1752
Birth Location: Londonderry, County Derry, Northern Ireland
American Immigration: 1771 (19 years of age)
Military Service: Revolutionary War Patriot Soldier – Adjutant, Rank: Captain, Associator and Militia of Westmoreland, 2nd Battalion, 7th Company
Military Service (Ongoing): Frontier Ranger
Marriage: Mrs Mary (Erwin) Lochry / Loughry on 6 May 1789 in Westmoreland, PA
Death: Abt. 1805
Death Location: Kentucky
Burial Location: Unknown, probably in Kentucky

Parents: Joseph Erwin 1700-1763 and Elizabeth Irwin 1730-1805
Birth: Abt. 1755
Birth Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Marriage 1st: Archibald Lochry/Loughry (1733-1781) about 1775 in Pennsylvania
Lochry/Loughry Sons: None
Lochry/Loughry Daughters: Jane/Jean (1776), Elizabeth (1780)
Guthrie Sons: John (1790), James (abt. 1794), Samuel (abt. 1803)
Guthrie Daughters: Margaret (abt. 1797), Jenny (abt. 1800)
Other Children: 2 (documented as having given birth the 9 children, 8 mentioned in estate papers)
Death: After 1825
Death Location: Unknown, probably in Pennsylvania
Burial Location: Unknown, probably in Pennsylvania, possibly at Poke Run Cemetery

John ‘Jack’ Guthrie was the eldest son of John and Jane (Reed) Guthrie. He was born in Northern Ireland and was already about 19 years of age when the family arrived in Pennsylvania. They settled in Westmoreland County and his uncle and cousins who were already living in Pennsylvania soon joined them. When the American Revolution began, Jack signed up. He was in the Westmoreland County Militia, and eventually served as an adjutant with the rank of captain in the 2nd Battalion, 7th Company. He was a frontier ranger acting to protect the settlements against attacks by Indians and their British allies.

On 26 Oct 1778 at Hannas Town, a group of Westmoreland County Magistrates wrote to General Lachlan McIntosh to inform him of the scarcity of grain, crops destroyed, and families killed because of Indian attacks. They requested a supply of powder and lead sufficient for 150 volunteers. Signed Christopher Truly, John Guthery, Joseph McGarrack, Joseph Barr, and Charles Foreman, Esquires. The John Guthery in the document may have been Jack’s father rather than Jack, although the addition of a footnote suggests the author thought it was the latter.
Footnote: “John (usually known as Capt. Jack Guthrie lived hear Beaver Run in the northwestern part of Westmoreland County. he commanded a militia company under Col. Archibald Lochry in 1781 and was captured at the latter’s defeat. Afterwards, he escaped, was made a major of militia, and having entered the regular service served with St. Clair in 1791. He died about 1810 while on a visit to Kentucky.” (Kellogg, pp149-151)

Jack’s mother, Jane (Reed) Guthrie died in 1780.

Not all of the actions by the frontier rangers and local militia were for the greater good, especially when viewed through our modern lens. “Due to an alliance between the Delawares and the United States, Col. Brodhead, in the autumn of 1780, received the aid of more than forty friendly Delawares of the Turtle and Turkey Clans, who had come to assist him in his contemplated operations against the Wyandots. The chagrin of the loyal Delawares was great when Broadhead told the that the expedition would have to be abandoned on account of lack of food. To make matters worse, a band of militia from Westmoreland County marched to attack these friendly Delawares, their wives, and children. In a letter to President Reed, dated November 2nd, 1780, Broadhead says: “I believe I could have called out near an hundred. But as upwards of forty men from the neighborhood of Hannastown have attempted to destroy them whilst they consider themselves under our protection, it may not be an easy matter to call them out again, notwithstanding they (the Hannastown settlers) were prevented from executing their unmanly intention, by a guard of regular soldiers posted for the Indians’ protection. I was not a little surprised to find that the late Captains Irwin and Jack, Lieutenant Brownlee, and Ensign Guthrie concerned in this base attempt. I suppose the women and children were to suffer an equal carnage with the men.” (PA Archives, Vol. 8, page 596).

The Colonial Army was organizing an attack on the British Regional Headquarters at Detroit. About 400 men serving under Gen. George Rogers Clark sailed from Fort Pitt in August 1781. Col. Archibald Lochry and his 107 recruits were several days behind them after a delay due to the building of additional boats. Ensign John ‘Jack’ Guthrie was present on 24 August 1781, when Chief Joseph Brant, a Mohawk leader, with about 100 Indians from local tribes ambushed Lochry and his men. It was a decisive loss. One third of the men were killed and the rest captured. Lochry was murdered after the battle was over. The wounded also killed. Survivors, including Jack Guthrie, were taken to the British regional headquarters in Detroit. They were later were imprisoned in a stockade built on an inland in the St. Lawrence River, near Montreal. Captain Craig, Mathias Fisher, and a few of their companions, escaped from this island in the late summer of 1782 and after suffering great hardships returned to Westmoreland by way of Lake Champlain, New York and Philadelphia. The remainder were released at the end of the war.

This next bit probably applies to Jack’s father, John Guthrie. If so, there may be a son we don’t know about…
“On the day of the destruction of Hannastown (13 July 1782), John Guthrie, who had been ill, did not go to the harvest field with other members of his family, but remained at home with his youngest son to watch the bread baking in the oven. The little boy strayed into the woods to play. Then came the alarm. The father from the house and the other members of the family from the field hastened to the Hannastown Fort, none noticing that the little boy was missing. He was never seen again.” (Sipe, p.669)

During that same attack on Hannastown, Jack’s sister, Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee and her infant daughter were captured by the Seneca. Elizabeth’s husband, Capt. Brownlee, and their young son were killed.

On 6 May 1789, Jack Guthrie married Mary (Erwin) Lochry, the widow of Lt. Col Archibald Lochry. Mary Lochry shows up on the Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Tax Lists in 1783. Pension applications show that Mary and Archibald had two daughters, Jane ‘Jean’ and Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Lochry.

Jack’s father also remarried to a Lochry Expedition widow, Mary (Simpson) Wallace, the widow of Richard Wallace.

The family’s trials were far from over. The Narrative of Massy Harbison includes mention of Capt. John ‘Jack’ Guthrie and his wife Mary. She reveals that after a quiet year for the frontier settlements in 1793, Indian attacks commenced once again in 1794 consisting of “pillage, spoliation, and murder.” In June of that year, a boat with Capt. Sharp and his men, four of whom had their wives with them, was set upon by “savages”. Four of the men were killed, and others wounded. The attack came on the Kiskiminitas River. Afterward, the boat floated down to the Allegheny where it continued for two days just past Duck Creek where the women called out for help. The boat was brought ashore, and the survivors transported to Pittsburgh. Mary was pregnant during the ordeal. “The wife of Capt. Guthrey, who was in the boat with her husband, was shortly after she arrived in Pittsburgh, delivered of her ninth child.”

The above narrative makes it easy to mistake this ambush as being the date of Jack Guthrie’s death as the wording appears a little vague when it comes to saying which of Capt. Sharp’s men died versus those who were wounded. Four men happened to die (but not all of them). Four men also happened to have wives on the boat (but not necessarily the same four men that died). Based on what we know, Jack survived, and he and Mary had additional children.

Jack’s father, John Guthrie, died in March of 1797. He wrote deeds in lieu of a will. Six years prior to his death, on 14 Dec 1791, he deeded Jack a tract called ‘Guthrie’s Fancy’ containing 142 acres, 112 perches, which Jack in turn sold to Michael Ringer.

Guardianship records for the youngest children later show the family had been living in Washington Township, Westmoreland County. The 1800 census of Washington, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania includes a John Guthrie household with the following enumerations:
1M and 1F 26 – 44 (Jack was about 48 in 1800 and Mary was about 45. Close, but not an exact match.)
3F 16 – 25 (presumably Jean, 24, and Elizabeth Lochry 20, and 1 unknown – too old to be a Guthrie daughter)
2F 10-15 (2 unidentified daughters)
2M and 2F under 10 (John, 10, James 6, Margaret 3, Jenny 0)
Note: Samuel was not born until 1803. Also keep in mind that the people enumerated in a household were not always just the members of the nuclear family. They could have been other relatives, servants, or boarders.

The Lochry’s only had 2 living daughters at the time of Archibald’s death in 1791. That doesn’t preclude the possibility of children who died at birth or in their infancy that might be included in the total of nine children by 1794. That would indicate another 3 children born afterward for a total of 12. “Estate records” which I have yet to see reportedly mention 8 children. I take this to mean 8 surviving children. Were they only Guthrie children, or did that number include the two Lochry stepdaughters?

The family narrative reveals that Jack Guthrie decided to seek out a new homestead for his family in Kentucky. He became ill and died there. The guardianship records of the children are dated in 1805, so it is believed that he died that year.

His widow Mary (Erwin) Guthrie survived for at least another 20 years.


15 Apr 1776PA – 15 Dec 1845PA

The eldest daughter of Archibald and Mary (Erwin) Lochry was Jean, born on 15 April 1776. She was about 4 or 5 years of age when her father was killed during the Clark Expedition in the battle now known as Lochry’s Defeat. Jean married Samuel Thompson. Children: Alexander, Mary, Nancy, William, Elizabeth, Sarah, David, Jane, Lydia, Lucy, Watson, and Samuel.

3 Aug 1780PA – aft. 1860

The second child of Archibald and Mary (Erwin) Lochry, Elizabeth was born on 3 August 1780. She was only a year old at the time of her father’s death. Elizabeth married David McBrier/McBryar/McBriar. Children: James, Mary, David, Nathaniel Watson, and John.

1 Jun 1790PA – 27 Mar 1866PA

‘American Guthrie and Allied Families’ author Laurence R Guthrie lists only one confirmed child for Jack and Mary (Erwin) Guthrie, their eldest son John Guthrie, born 1 June 1790. At an Orphans Court held at Greensburgh for the County of Westmoreland the third Monday of December in the year 1805, he petitioned the court for a guardian. “CAPT. JOHN GUTHRIE, DECD: On petition of John Guthrie one of the children of Capt. John Guthrie of Washington Township, decd, setting forth that he is above the age of fourteen years and praying that Samuel Paul of said township may be appointed his guardian and the said minor appearing in court and making choice of the said Samuel the court thereupon appointed the said Samuel Paul guardian over the person and estate of the said John Guthrie until he attains the age of twenty one years.”

John Guthrie married Catherine Buchanan before 1813. They had 3 sons and 4 daughters. “Early in life John Guthrie learned the trade of blacksmith, which he followed until he removed to Armstrong County in 1857. He then bought a farm upon which he resided until his death which occured in 1866, when he was in his seventy-sixth year of his age. He was a member of the Presbyterian church and in his early life an old line Whig. In 1856 he became a Republican and supported that party until his death.” 
(Source: Cyclopedia of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, under head of “Biographies of Armstrong County,” p. 516.)

Note that census records show the family living in Allegheny, Armstrong County, PA as early as 1830. They moved to Manor, Armstrong, PA by 1850 and remained there. John died on 27 March 1866. Catherine died in 1876. They are buried at Appleby Manor Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Ford City, Armstrong, PA.
1) Letitia Buchanan Guthrie 1813PA-1898PA m. George Washington Crownover (farmer) +children
2) Jane Guthrie 1818PA-1905PA m. bet.1855-60 Samuel McCorkell / McCorkle (farmer). No children.
3) John P Guthrie (farmer) 1820PA-1907PA m1.1846 Elizabeth Hancock, m2.1864 Hannah Iseman +children
4) Elizabeth Guthrie c1824PA – 1895PA m.Alexander Walker +children
5) Samuel Guthrie (farmer) 1824PA – 1864PA. Unmarried.
6) David Guthrie (farmer’s son) 1826PA-1844PA. Unmarried
7) Sarah Guthrie 1829PA – 1905PA m. Samuel Walker (farmer) + children

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

1794PA – 1840PA

According to the harrowing tale of Massy Harbison, Jack Guthrie and wife Mary narrowly escaped an Indian ambush in June of 1794. Mary was heavily pregnant at the time and was “soon delivered of her ninth child” upon arriving back in Pittsburgh. Since son James Guthrie’s birth year is estimated to be 1794, that makes him the most likely candidate for “ninth child” status. Those numbers definitely don’t add up unless there are quite a few children we haven’t yet identified. Orphans Court Records for the guardian appointment and probable end of James’ guardianship are found in: Vol. A, p166, 1805, Vol 4B, p77, 1805, and Vol 1 OC, p219, 1820. Need images or transcriptions! The index for the latter record notes that Paul Morrow and David Maclean were the guardians. Note that the 1820 entry may actually refer to James Guthrie, son of Samuel Guthrie Esq (d.1820) and Jane Wilson.

James Guthrie married Mary Miller on 15 Dec 1813 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He died at about 38 years of age in 1840 leaving his widow Mary and 7 children. Mary did not long survive him. She died on 7 Feb 1844 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1) Mary ‘Polly’ Guthrie 1815PA-1865IA m.1850 Joshua Owens (salt manufacturer) +children
2) Elizabeth ‘Betsey’ Guthrie 1822PA-1850PA m.abt.1838 Joshua Owens (salt manufacturer) +children
3) Jane Phoebe Guthrie 1823PA-1876MO m.Solomon Thompson +children
4) William Guthrie 1826PA-1910PA m.1850 Anne Phillips +children
5) James Guthrie 1831PA-1911IA m.1854 Emily Bowles +children
6) Samuel Smith Guthrie 1832PA-1916NE m1.1849IA Nancy Jane Lillie, m2.1868IA Nancy Jane Grieve +children

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

1797PA – 1871OH

Margaret Guthrie was born in 1797 Westmoreland County, PA. I did not find guardianship documents indexed for Margaret Guthrie in 1805. She married John Christie about 1816

The History of Butler County, Pennsylvania provides a biographical sketch of the family:
“JOHN CHRISTIE, eldest son of William and Sarah CHRISTIE, was born in Westmoreland county, in 1796. In 1818 he took charge of his father’s farm in Concord township, upon which the latter had settled in 1800, and devoted the balance of his life to clearing and improving it. He possessed a good education, and was one of the pioneer school teachers of Butler county. Politically, he was one of the leading Democrats of his time, and filled many of the minor township offices. In religious faith, he was a Presbyterian. Mr. CHRISTIE married Margaret, a daughter of Capt. John GUTHRIE, a veteran of the Revolution. She was a native of Westmoreland county, and became the mother of nine children, viz.: Sarah, who married Johnson TIMBLIN; Mary; William A.; John G., of Concord township; Eliza, wife of John ANDERSON; Nancy, deceased; Martha, wife of James PRYOR; Ellen, and Oliver, of Kansas. Mr. CHRISTIE died in 1861; his widow survived him ten years, dying in 1871.”

“Some time during the Revolutionary war, William, accompanied by an older brother, had their horses shot from under them by the Indians while taking them to pasture. William was captured, and his life spared, and was finally sold to the British; his brother essayed to escape, but was caught in the woods and scalped. John CHRISTIE, who died in 1861, in his sixty-sixth year, and his wife Margaret (GUTHRIE) who died in 1872, were the parents of nine children – Mary, John G., Eliza, Nancy, Eleanor, Oliver M., and William A., who now lives on a tract of land purchased of John KIRK. He, and his wife, Sarah J. (MCJUNKIN) have a family of four children now living. Although devoting the major portion of his attention to farming, Mr. CHRISTIE has served as County Commissioner three years.”
1) Sarah Christie 2 Dec 1818PA – 20 Aug 1908PA m. Johnstone Timblin +children
2) Nancy Christie born rough est. 1821PA. No further details.
3) William A Christie 13 Jan 1823PA – 1905PA m1. Sarah Jane McJunkin, m2. Kezia Jane McCandless +children
4) Mary Christie born abt. 1825PA – 1908PA. No further details
5) John Guthrie Christie born rough 18269PA. No further details. Speculative family: See Tree.
6) Margaret ‘Eliza’ Christie abt. 1829PA – aft. 1870PA. No further details.
7) Martha Christie abt. 1833. No further details.
8) Margaret Eleanor ‘Ellen’ Christie 13 Aug 1835PA – 27 Jan 1921PA Unmarried.
9) Oliver McClain Christie born 7 Feb 1838PA – 5 Mar 1922PA m.1861 Mary Ann Campbell +children

Y-DNA Project Participants: N/A – Female Guthrie
Autosomal DNA Participants: Yes

1800PA – ????

Jenny Guthrie, possibly named for her grandmother, Jane (Reed) Guthrie, was born about 1800. She was definitely one of the youngest children of Jack and Mary (Erwin) Guthrie at the time of Jack’s death, which is estimated to be about 1805 because that is the year several of his children were assigned guardians by the Orphan’s Court of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. A child would be designated an orphan if their father was deceased even though their mother was still living. That child would also not necessarily live with their assigned guardian, who was chiefly intended to oversee the welfare of the child’s interest in their father’s estate.

James Guthrie functioned as Jenny’s personal representative during the guardian appointment proceedings. There are 2 entries: Orphan’s Court Vol A, p166, 1805 and Vol 4B, p77, 1805. Need images or transcriptions!

Nothing further is known about Jenny. Guthrie researcher and author of ‘Woman on Fire: Based on True Events – The Story of Elizabeth Guthrie Brownlee Guthrie‘, Gail Curtis, speculated that Jenny might have married David Maclean, noted to have a wife named Jenny. However, Find-a-Grave lists his wife as Jane Morrow, the daughter of Paul Morrow and Hetty Guthrie.

Y-DNA Project Participants: N/A – Female Guthrie
Autosomal DNA Participants: No

1803PA – 1889PA

Samuel was born about 1801 – 1803 depending on the source. He was assigned James Guthrie as a guardian in 1805, and later Paul Morrow and David Maclean. These guardianships would when Samuel turned 21. The General Index to the Registers Office of Orphans Court Records lists three documents: Vol A, p166, 1805, Vol 4B, p77, 1805, and Vol 1 OC, p219, 1820. Need images or transcriptions!

The 1820 entry could refer to Samuel Guthrie, son of Samuel Guthrie, Esq (d.1820) and Jane Wilson. The next entry in the index is for Sibbie Guthrie documented on the same page and date as that of Samuel Guthrie Vol 1 OC, p219, 1820. No corresponding entry for 1805. This is probably Sybilla Wilson Guthrie, daughter of Samuel Guthrie Esq and Jane Wilson.

Samuel was a wheelwright. He lived in Versailles, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, and later in Pittsburgh. He married Mary (MNU) and had 4 children. Mary died in 1878 and Samuel on 19 Feb 1889.
1) Sarah Guthrie born abt. 1837 – died after 1870. No further info.
2) John P Guthrie May 1839 – 28 Aug 1921PA m. Margaret ‘Maggie’ (MNU) +children
3) Samuel Thomas Guthrie Apr 1842PA – 19 Oct 1917PA m. Lucy Ann Rasey +children
4) Elizabeth Guthrie born about 1850PA – died after 1860. No further details.

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


BOOK: Jewett, Julia A., ‘A Brief Genealogy of The Loughry Family of Pennsylvania‘, St. Louis, Missouri, 1923.

REPORT: House of Representatives, 35th Congress, 1st Session, Report No.289. Heirs of Archibald Loghrey.

BOOK: Notes and Queries Historical and Genealogical /Chiefly Relating to Interior of Pennsylvania Annual Volume 1899. Digital Repository: Ancestry.com [Section on Colonel Archibald Lochry and family begins on p.62 (image 71 of 252).]

BOOK: Harbison, Massy. ‘Narrative of the Sufferings of Massy Harbison, from Indian barbarity giving an account of her captivity, the murder of her two children, her escape, with an infant at her breast ; together with some account of the cruelties of the Indians, on the Allegheny River, &c. during the years, 1790, ’91, ’92, ’93, ’94‘, University of Pittsburgh, 1825. Digital Repository: University of Pittsburgh, ULS Digital Collections. [John and/or Mary Guthrie are referenced on pages: 26, 44, 51.]

WEBSITE: Lochry’s Defeat. Wikipedia.

WEBSITE: The Historical Marker Database. Lochry’s Defeat.

BOOK: Descriptive List of Manuscript Collections of the State Historical Society, by State Historical Society of Wisconsin. List of Manuscripts: 8. … “and John Guthrie’s adventures after Lochry’s defeat (1781)”

BOOK: Kellogg, Louise Phelps. Frontier Advance on the Upper Ohio, 1778-1778. Section on the Wisconsin Historical Collections.

BOOK: Sipe, C. Hale, The Indian Wars of Pennsylvania, An Account of the Indian Events, in Pennsylvania, of the French and Indian War, Pontiac’s War, Lord Dumore’s War, The Revolutionary War and the Indian Uprisings from 1780 to 1795,, Tragedies of the Pennsylvania Frontier, The Telegraph Press, Harrisburg, PA, 1929. Digital Repository: Internet Archive. [John Guthrie is mentioned p.610, 638, 667, 669. Mrs Elizabeth Guthrie, p667]

BOOK: Brown, R. C., History of Butler County Pennsylvania, with Illustrations, R.C. Brown & Co., Publishers, 1895, University of Pittsburgh. Digital Repository: Internet Archive.