2A-I: William Guthrie

William Guthrie 1735 – 1829PA
of Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties, Pennsylvania, USA

Parents: James Guthrie b.1691-1711SCT – 1778PA and (FNU) Bissell (Presumed/Theoretical 
Birth: Abt. 1735
Birth Location: Unknown Location
Marriage: Uncertain – Remained Single or had an Unidentified Wife who died before him.
Occupation: Trader and Soldier
Military Service: Revolutionary War Patriot Soldier
Death: 1 or 8 August 1829
Death Location: Washington Township, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial: Unknown, Presumably in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, USA

As with most things about this branch of the GFG2A Family, facts are a little fuzzy when it comes to William Guthrie’s birth year. There are several documents for consideration. Pension application statements identify him as 84 years old on 9 June 1819, which would make his DOB about 1735. Documents at his death indicate that he 84 years old in 1829, and a death notice indicating that he was in his 95th year. Taking all of these accounts into consideration, he was likely 94 years of age in 1829. A DOB of either 1735 or 1745 would fit into the family profile.

There is also a question of whether this William Guthrie ever married and had children. He wrote a will in 1828 naming his brother James’ children and a his (unidentified) sister’s children. He does not identify a wife, any children, or grandchildren of his own. This seems to be the hallmark of a single man rather than one with a family.

The section on William Guthrie in American Guthrie and Allied Families [LRG, pp.301-308] notes that there were three men named William Guthrie living in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania at the same time, and that it is difficult to distinguish one man’s record from the others.
#1: William Guthrie (1735-1829), presumed son of James Guthrie & Miss Bissell – lived in Washington Twp.
#2: William Guthrie (1751-1828), son of James Guthrie & Jeanette Wilson – moved Westmoreland to Armstrong, married to cousin Elizabeth Guthrie. Also a soldier.
#3: William Guthrie (1777-1865), son of John Guthrie & Jane Reed, lived in Salem Twp. and m1.Agnes Dixon, m2. Mary Hill.

Author LRG credits this William Guthrie, #1, with an unidentified wife, with whom he was living at Fort Pitt during his days as an Indian Trader. That he left during the beginning of Pontiac’s War and found refuge in the Westmoreland Settlement. The section in ‘American Guthrie and Allied Families’ includes the identification of a “supposed” son, James Guthrie, who married Sally Cochran, and moved from Westmoreland to Armstrong County in 1805. Both #2 and #3 had sons named James that are already accounted for.

William was a patriot soldier during the Revolutionary War and was at one time a British prisoner for 18 weeks, released likely during a prisoner exchange about 1 Jan 1777. After a possibly furlough, he signed up again on 1 March 1777 serving in the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown being discharged at Valley Forge 1 Jan 1788 at the end of his term of enlistment. He next joined Col. Broadhead’s Regiment.

At his death, the Westmoreland Democrat published: “William Guthrie of Washington Township 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 four years in the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment Continental Line. He participated in many engagements with the Indians on the Westmoreland frontier and was noted for his great bravery.” William lived in the settlement around Fort Wallace in Washington Township, Westmoreland County.

CHILDREN: None confirmed

Y-DNA Project Participants: N/A – No Confirmed Descendants
Autosomal DNA Participants: N/A – No Confirmed Descendants


BOOK: Guthrie, Laurence Rawlins. ‘American Guthrie and allied families : lineal representations of the colonial Guthries of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North and South Carolina, some post-revolutionary emigrants and of some allied families‘, Chambersburg, Pa.: Kerr Print. Co., c1933. Digital Repository: Ancestry.com

DOCUMENTS: SH0063. William Guthrie or Guthery, Revolutionary War Pension Application Document Images. Digital Repository: Fold3

DOCUMENTS: U.S. The Pension Roll of 1835. Digital Repository: Ancestry.com
William Guthrie, Rank: Private, Annual Allowance: 96.00, Sums Received: 1179.48, Description of Service: Penn. Cont. Line, When Placed on the Pension Roll: June 9, 1819, Commencement of Pension: May 4, 1818, Age: 84, Laws under which they were formerly inscribed on the pension roll, and remarks: Died August 1, 1829.

DOCUMENTS: The Last Will and Testament of William Guthrie, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Will Book 1, p.213 (img 141 of 660), Digital Repository: Ancestry.com