2A-G: Nancy Guthrie

Nancy Guthrie 1771 PA – 1862 PA and James C Porterfield
of Westmoreland and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania, USA

Nancy Guthrie
Parents: John Guthrie 1725 IRE – 1797 PA and Jane Reed 1726 IRE – 1780 PA
Birth: 1771
Birth Location: Pennsylvania, USA – Probably Lancaster County
Marriage: 20 February 1794 to James Porterfield in Pennsylvania.
Porterfield Children: John (1795), William (1797), James (1798), Samuel (1800), Jane (1806), Sarah (1806), William Seth (1808), Nancy (1811), Robert Guthrie (1814), David Clarence (1817), Elizabeth (1819).
Death: 31 December 1862
Death Location: Unknown, presumably in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Location: Cowansville Cemetery, Cowansville, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, USa

James C Porterfield
Parents: Samuel Porterfield 1726IRE – 1789PA and Sarah Cunningham 1726MA – 1768PA
Birth: 1766
Birth Location: Pennsylvania, USA – Probably Lancaster or Cumberland County
Occupation: Farmer
Military Service: Captain, 5th Company, 4th Regiment (after Revolutionary War); War of 1812 (teamster)
Death: 15 December 1837
Death Location: Sugarcreek Township, Armstrong, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Location: Unknown, presumably in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, USA


Nancy Guthrie was the youngest daughter of John Guthrie and Jane Reed. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1771. Note that Find-a-Grave lists her birth year as 1775 in spite of the fact that the photo of Nancy’s grave marker indicates that she was 91 years old at her death in 1862. (1862 – 91 = 1771). The Porterfields book also lists her DOB as 1771. Westmoreland County was formed from Lancaster, Northumberland, and Bedford Counties on 26 Feb 1773, two years after Nancy’s birth.

James Porterfield’s birth location is often listed as Kittanning, Armstrong, Pennsylvania, however Armstrong County was not officially formed until 12 March 1800 from parts of Allegheny, Westmoreland, and Lycoming Counties. The settlement of Kittanning “once marked the northwestern extreme of white settlement and expansion and served as the Delaware Indians’ stronghold during the French and Indian War.” It was a notable bounty point between the northern colonies and the Indians as determined by a treaty1768. White settlement of the area began during the 1790s. Town plots in Kittanning were set out in 1803.

The Porterfields book includes James’ father, Samuel Porterfield, in the section on Westmoreland County Porterfields, but states that Samuel had moved from Lancaster County to Cumberland County locating in Newton Township, per the tax records, between 1778-1785. Westmoreland County, PA was formed on 25 Feb 1773 from other counties and Newton Twp. remained in Cumberland.

Since Armstrong County was not yet formed at the time of James and Nancy’s marriage on 20 Feb 1794, it is most likely that the event occurred in the bride’s home county of Westmoreland.

They were living in Salem Township in 1797 when James Porterfield quit-claimed his interest in the estate of John Guthrie for 5 shillings.

Census records for 1800 and 1810 list the household of James Porterfield in Washington, Westmoreland, PA.
1800: 1M and 1F 26-44, 3M under 10.
1810: 1M 45 and over, 1F 26-44, 2M 10-15, 2M and 2F under 10.

By 1820 the family had moved to Sugar Creek Township, Armstrong, PA.
1820: 1M and 1F 45 and over, 2M 16-25 (2 16-18) and 2F 16-25, 1M and 1F 10-15, 2M and 2F under 10.
1830: 1M 60-69, 1F 50-59, 2M and 1F 20-29, 1M and 1F 10-14.

The Porterfields book gives a very brief sketch about James C Porterfield:
“James Porterfield (1766-1837) m. 1794, Nancy Guthrie (1771-1862); was captain of the 5th Company of the Forth Regiment after the Revolution; served as a teamster in War of 1812; was a farmer; lived at Middlesex, now Cowansville.” (Porterfield, p.182)

James Porterfield wrote his will on 18 Nov 1837 and died the following month on 15 Dec 1837. His widow Nancy survived another 25 years. She was 91 years old at her death on 31 Dec 1862.


1795PA – 1862IL

John Porterfield was born on 12 January 1795 in Pennsylvania. Online trees document his birthplace as Kittanning, Armstrong, PA, but the town nor county were formed at that time, so his birthplace was most likely still officially Westmoreland County. He married Elizabeth Thompson. I find marriage dates of “about 1826” and “1829”, but no original source. John was a farmer. He and his family lived in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania most of his life. Sometime after 1850 they moved to Mount Erie, Wayne County, Illinois where Elizabeth died on 10 March 1860 (58y 18d) and he died 24 July 1862 (aged 67y 6m 11d). They are buried at Yohe Cemetery in Mount Erie.
1) Nancy McLee Porterfield 1828PA-1920IL m.1855IL Samuel Linn Allison +children [McLee vs McKee?]
2) William Henry Porterfield 1830PA-1897IL (farmer) m.1855IL Elizabeth McFarland Wall +children
3) Elizabeth Porterfield 1836PA-1911KS m.1856IL Samuel Holmes +children
4) Sarah J Porterfield 1837PA-1913IL m1. Thomas VanDyke, m2. Anderson Landrum Wall. No children.
5) James Thompson Porterfield 1839PA-1890IL m.1870IL Mary Ellen Price +children
6) Mary Bell Porterfield 1841PA-1870IL m.1864IL Anderson Landrum Wall +children
7) Samuel A Porterfield 1844PA-1864IL died at 19 years of age at Camp Butler, IL.
8) Margaret Porterfield 1846PA-1932OK m.1869IL Moses Johnson III +children

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

1797PA – 1797PA

John and Nancy (Guthrie) Porterfield had a son named William who was born around 1797 and died during his infancy or very early childhood. The 1797 date may be an estimate. They later named another son William, so online trees tend to erroneously merge the two by showing the DOB of that second William as 1797.

1799PA – 1888IL

James Porterfield was born on 9 November 1799 a few months before Armstrong County, Pennsylvania was officially formed. A farmer, James married Jane McClatchey (1800-1883) on 8 Jan 1819. They lived in Sugar Creek Township through the 1850s and moved to Mendota, LaSalle, Illinois by 1860. Many trees only list those children named in later census records, but the early census records suggest a much larger family. These are all identified in The Porterfields book, along with the next generation or two.
1) Elizabeth C Porterfield 1821PA-1895NE m1.1847 or 1852 John Walters, m2.1859 James Anath Barnes +children
2) James Colmery Porterfield 1822PA-1910CA m.1838 Emily M Kenworthy +children
3) Charles Wallace Porterfield 1824PA-1901KS m.1848 Mary Crawford +children
4) Robert Porterfield 1827PA-1905IL m.1852 Mary Jane Dickey +children
5) John Guthrie Porterfield 1830PA-1913WI m. Fanny Crawford +children
6) Samuel Porterfield 1833PA-1861IL m. 1853 Mary Elizabeth Brown +children
7) Nancy J Porterfield 1835PA-1860-66IL m.1854 Andrew R Morrow+ children
8) Jeremiah McClatchey Porterfield 1837PA-1872IA m.1860 Clarinda Luellen +children

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

1800PA – 1872IL

Samuel Porterfield was born on 10 Oct 1800. He lived in Kittanning, Armstrong, PA after his first marriage to Nancy Davis, with whom he had ten children. During the 1850s he was working as a marble cutter, but later as a farmer. Nancy died in 1850. She is buried at Worthington Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in Armstrong County, PA. The book on The Porterfields, p.188 identifies Samuel’s second wife as Margaret S. Carson (1806-1890). She was the widow of James Carson with whom she had children. Samuel and Margaret’s remains are interred at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Sidney, Illinois.
1) James Beatie Porterfield 1826PA-1891IL m.1845PA Elvira Henrietta Blaine +children
2) Robert Orr Porterfield 1828PA-1908IL m.1862 Elizabeth Heffelfinger France +children
3) Chambers A Porterfield 1829PA-1867IL. Unmarried.
4) John Wesley Porterfield 1831PA-Abt.1857CA. Unmarried gold prospector.
5) Samuel Davis Porterfield 1835PA-1922IL m. Jane K Maxwell +children
6) William Wilson Porterfield 1838PA-1865IL. Unmarried.
7) Henry Harrison Porterfield 1841PA-1892IL m.aft1870 Martha J (MNU)
8) Benjamin Franklin Porterfield 1845PA-1905IL m.1870 Sarah Margaret Hunter +children
9) Mary Anne Porterfield 1846PA-1846PA died during infancy.
10) William Henderson Porterfield 1847PA-1847PA died during infancy.
11) Albert Gallatin Porterfield 1848PA-1930IL m. Eliza J Tucker +children

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

1804PA – 1852PA

Jane, also known as Jennie, was reportedly born on 9 May 1804 and died about 1852. American Guthrie and Allied Families author, Laurence R Guthrie, reveals that she married a Mr Kincaid. Online trees and Find-a-Grave lead us to Jane (Porterfield) Kincaid whose remains are buried in the Old Section (Lower End) of Bear Creek Cemetery in Petrolia, Butler County, Pennsylvania. The inscription on her tombstone reads that she was the wife of John Kincaid and that she died a sudden death on 16 Feb 1852 at 48 years, 10 months, and 7 days old. Calculating her birthdate shows she was born on 9 April 1803, which is a year off from her reported DOB. John Kincaid is also buried there. He was born 13 Dec 1795 in Westmoreland County, PA, and died 23 Jan 1853 at 59 years, 11 months, and 10 days of age. After their deaths their eldest son, Samuel Porterfield Kincaid acted as parent and counselor to his siblings who were bereft of both parents within less than a year.
1) Samuel Porterfield Kincaid (Minister) 1827PA-1866PA. Unmarried.
2) Nancy Kincaid 1829PA-1865PA m. Andrew Jackson Moore +children [Andrew m2. Nancy Jane Cowan below]
3) Mary Jane Kincaid 1833PA-1834PA died in her infancy.
4) James Kincaid (alias Dunbirth Kincaid) King 1840PA-1905WV m. Rosanna Gray +children
5) Sarah Elizabeth Kincaid 1841PA-1916PA m.

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

1806 – 1877

Sarah Porterfield was born on 31 July 1806 in Sugarcreek, Armstrong, Pennsylvania. She was married on 11 June 1833 to James Cowan and afterward lived in North Buffalo Township. James was a farmer born 14 April 1806 and died 11 Oct 1867 in Cowansville, Armstrong, Pennsylvania. Sarah died on 2 March 1877. They are buried at Kittanning Cemetery, Section H, in Kittanning, Armstrong, Pennsylvania. The family memorial stone lists three of their children: John, James, and Almira.
1) John Cowan 1834PA-1834PA died in his infancy.
2) James C Cowan 1835PA-1855PA died at 20 years of age.
3) Samuel W Cowan born abt.1836PA- died 1860-70 during Civl War m. Mary Ann Greer +children
4) Nancy Jane Cowan 1839PA – 1894PA m.1866PA Andrew Jackson Moore [see above] +children
5) Alvira Cowan 1841PA-1844PA died in early childhood
6) Robert W Cowan 1844PA-1912PA m.1870PA Emeline Louise Anderson +children
7) Rosanna Cowan 1846PA-1902PA. No further details.
8) Sarah Ann Cowan 1848PA-after 1880. No further details.

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

1808 – 1843

The Porterfields lists William Seth Porterfield’s DOB/DOD as 1808-1843, but he was listed in the 1850 census, so his DOD was bet. 1850-1860. One family bio mentions that he married a Miss Cowan and then married Lena / Leanna Parker. The 1850 census lists her as Lavina. William was a farmer. He and Lena moved from their home in Pennsylvania to Mount Erie, Wayne County, Illinois. Lena remarried to a Jonathan Ake before the 1860 census.
1) Jane Anderson 18??PA-18??IL m. George Anderson. No further details.
2) James Clarence Porterfield 1837PA-1862TN (farmer, soldier killed at Shiloh). Unmarried?
3) Rachel Porterfield, 18??PA-18??PA, died young
4) Martha Porterfield 1846PA-aft. 1860. Unmarried.
5) William Parker Porterfield 1843-1911 (farmer, carpenter, constable) m.1865 Martha Berg +children

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

1811PA – aft.1865IL

Nancy Porterfield was born 13 April 1811 in Sugarcreek, Armstrong, Pennsylvania. She married Thomas Jackson (1799-1865) about 1835. He was a son of Thomas and Nancy (Gallen) Jackson, and a farmer. Thomas and Nancy settled in Fairview, Butler, Pennsylvania where they lived during the 1850 census. Like many of the extended Porterfield families they moved to Mount Erie, Wayne, Illinois by 1860. Thomas Jackson died in Mount Erie on 12 Oct 1865. His grave is located at Yohe Cemetery along with sons Samuel P and James H. Although online trees list Nancy’s death is listed as also being in Mount Erie in 1865, she is not listed at Find-a-Grave in the same cemetery. This may indicate that her death was after 1865, the year of her husband’s death.
1) Mary Ann Jackson 1836PA-1906IL m. Townsend Edwards. No children.
2) Sarah Jane Jackson 1841PA-1888TX m. James Leamon Waller +children.
3) Alvirah Angeline Jackson 1843PA-1910IL m.1869IL Jonathan Milton Douglas +children
4) Samuel P Jackson 1846PA-1864IL died at 17 years, 7 months, 8days of age. Buried at Yohe Cemetery.
5) Eliza Jackson 1848PA-after 1860. No further info.
6) James H Jackson 1851PA-1854IL died at 3yrs, 4 months, and 26 days of age. Buried at Yohe Cemetery.
7) Ellen Jackson 1853PA-1898IL (Dates need verification) m1. John N Graham, m2. Daniel P Boaz +children

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

1814 – 1872

Cowansville, Middlesex, Armstrong, Pennsylvania is an unincorporated community situated a few miles northwest of Kittanning. The Cowansville postoffice opened 8 Aug 1849 and the town laid out about 1850. Among its first residence was R.G. Porterfield, a farmer. He was born in Armstrong County on 31 May 1814. Robert was 22 at the time of his marriage to Hannah Campbell, daughter of James and Hannah (Claypoole) Campbell. Their 10 children were born in Armstrong County. The US Federal Census records place them in Buffalo, Armstrong, PA between 1840 and 1860. By 1870 they had moved to Sidney, Champaign, Illinois. Robert died there on 22 Oct 1872 (58Y, 4M, 2D) and Hannah on 25 Feb 1870 (60Y, 1M, 3D) . They are buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Sidney.
1) Nancy Jane Porterfield 1838PA-???? m. George Forsyth. Unknown if they had children.
2) Lemuel Campbell Porterfield 1839PA-1908IL m. Mary Ann Toy +children
3) Sarah Ann Porterfield 1841PA-1869IL. Unmarried.
4) Samuel Adams Porterfield 1843PA-1914 m. Sarah Elizabeth “Lydia” Williams +children
5) Melinda J Porterfield 1845PA-1876 m.1870IL George Wilson +children
6) Robert Milton Porterfield 1847PA-1937 m.1876 Margaret Hunter +children
7) James W Porterfield 1850PA-before 1887 when biographical sketch of brother published
8) Mary Emma Porterfield 1852PA-1934OH. Unmarried
9) Hannah Margaret ‘Maggie’ Porterfield 1855PA-1931 m. John Kennie. No further info.
10) Martha Alice Porterfield 1857PA-1876IL. Unmarried.

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

1817PA – 1886PA

David Clarence Porterfield was born in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania on 21 April 1817. He married Susannah Vensel about1845. Unlike most of his siblings, he remained in Sugarcreek when the family moved to Illinois. David was a farmer. Although census records show the couple were parents to six children, only three survived to adulthood. David wrote his will on 11 Feb 1884 and died 5 Jan 1886. His widow Susannah died about 1895. They are buried in Cowansville Cemetery in Armstrong County.
1) Joseph Porterfield 1847PA-bet.1850-60PA died between 3 and 13 years of age.
2) James Jefferson Porterfield 1848PA-1927PA m. Mary Jane Vensel +children
3) Nancy Jane Porterfield 1851PA-1923PA m. William Smiley Hepler +children
4) John Porterfield 1855PA-1915PA m.1883PA Henrietta Perilla Seybert +children
5) William Porterfield 1857PA – bet. 1870-80PA died between 13 and 23 years of age.
6) Mary Ann Porterfield 1860PA-bet. 1860-70PA died between early childhood and 10 years of age.

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

1819PA – 1881

The DOB/DOD for Elizabeth Porterfield are listed in the book The Porterfields, but nothing further is disclosed. One tree lists Elizabeth Porterfield born 2 Sep 1819 and died 9 Jun 1881 Mount Erie, Wayne, illinois who was married to Samuel Rogers, and a family bio is listed at Find-a-Grave. Buried in Brown Cemetery in Mount Erie, Eliza’s memorial stone reads that she was 61y, 9m, and 7 days old. “Wife of Samuel Rogers, she was a kind and affectionate wife, a fond mother, and a friend to all.” Samuel outlived her by 14 years. He died on 21 Mar 1895, aged 84. “Here is one who is sleeping in faith and love, with hope that is treasured in Heaven above.”
1) William Rogers 1842PA-1883IL. Unmarried. Died at 41 years of age.
2) James Rogers 1843PA-1878IL Unmarried. Died at 35 years of age.
3) Margaret Rogers 1848PA-1893IL. Unmarried. Died 45y, 7m, 7d.
4) John Rogers 1856IL-1921IL m1. Jemima Cansada ‘Sadie’ Hamilton, m2.Melinda (MNU – Smith?). No children.
5) Robert Rogers 1860IL-1956CA m.1885 Francis Ione Keyser +children

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


BOOK: Frank Burke Porterfield, ‘The Porterfields‘ Southeastern Press, Roanoke, VA, 1947, Digital Repository: Internet Archive. [See Chapter IX: Westmoreland County Porterfields, p165.]

BOOK: Lu Ann Kennedy Cherry, The Beatty book : the descendants of Samuel Beatty of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, including the families of Guthrie, Sedwick and Sutton (1995), p. 29,52; digital image, FamilySearch

BOOK:  Laurence Rawlin Guthrie, American Guthrie and allied families : lineal representations of the colonial Guthries of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North and South Carolina, (Chambersburg, PA, Kerr Printing Co., 1933)

WIKITREE: James C Porterfield (1766 – 1837) [Includes transcription of J C Porterfield’s Last Will and Testament.]

ARTICLE: Barry Paris, ‘Song of Kittanning: Uncovering ghosts at the Great River‘, Pittsburgh Quarterly, 2006 Fall.

BOOK: Robert Walter Smith, History of Armstrong County Pennsylvania, 1883. Digital Repository: PA-Roots.com. Smith’s History Project. [See Chapter 4: The Borough of Kittanning]

BOOK: Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Ill Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County, Together with Portraits and Biographies of All the Governors of Illinois, and of the Presidents of the United States, Chapman Brothers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1887. [See p.202-203, Biographical Sketch of Robert Milton Porterfield]