Claim to Fame

GUTHRIE descendants can be found in the history books and modern day life. Rebels, Preachers, Race Car Drivers, Pioneers, Statesmen, Counterfeiters, Inventors, Singers, Pulitzer Prize Winners, and TV personalities all have interesting stories, but are your GUTHRIE ancestors part of their history, too?

2026-1534 B.C.

Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

Guthrie men who belong to GFG2A share YDNA with an Irish Bronze Age Skeleton discovered in a burial cist on Rathlin Island. High Quality YDNA tests performed on the skeleton show matching Haplogroup and SNP markers. Rathlin1 most likely had light hair and brown or blue eyes. He was a genetic carrier of hemochromatosis, an inherited genetic disorder that causes excessive retention of dietary iron. Markers for this disease are found in 11% of the modern Irish population. Interestingly, the GFG2A participant whose Big-Y test matches Rathlin1, is also a carrier per his 23andMe results.

1200s – 1400s


One of the first men of the GUTHRIE name on record in Scotland is that of Squire Guthrie in 1303 during the Wars of Scottish independence. He had been sent to France to request the return of William Wallace, who had retired there having resigned the guardianship of Scotland. His mission was a success as “Braveheart” returned home. The Guthries of Guthrie received their estates by a charter from King David II of Scotland between 1329-1371.

Laird of Guthrie and Kincaldrum
Lord Treasurer of Scotland (1461)
Lord Chief Justice of Scotland (1473)

Sir David Guthrie was the son of Alexander Guthrie of Kincaldrum. From 25 Mar 1466, when David Guthrie recovered the barony and estates of Guthrie granted to his family by David II, but afterwards sold, his full title was Sir David Guthrie of Guthrie and Kincaldrum. In his youth, he was the armour-bearer to King James II, afterwards rising high in favor with James III. He was Sheriff of Forfarshire in 1457. During James III’s minority he was made lord treasurer in 1461 by the queen mother. On 15 Oct 1466 Sir David Guthrie became Comptroller of the Household. Sir David is credited with building the oldest section of Guthrie Castle in Forfar. (The current house was erected in 1760 and connected to the original tower in 1848.) He was later appointed Lord Chief Justice of Scotland in 1473. He founded and endowed a collegiate church at Guthrie. He married twice. His eldest son Alexander Guthrie, a grandson, three sons-in-law, and a nephew were all slain at the Battle of Flooded, 1513. [GFG Unproven. Inferred to be GFG1A]


Scottish Prelate
Bishop of Moray

John Guthrie was a Scottish prelate active in the first half of the 17th century. The son of the goldsmith Patrick Guthrie and Margaret née Rait. As Bishop of Moray, Guthrie remained a staunch royalist, an active anti-Catholic and keen promoter of ecclesiastical discipline. He took a large role in the Scottish coronation of King Charles I in 1633. Bishop Guthrie supported the King’s plans to bring the Scottish church in line with the Church of England, authorising all ministers in Moray to obtain and use the new Scottish Book of Common Prayer. Bishop Guthrie was, however, out of touch with general religious sentiment in Scotland, and the Glasgow assembly of Scottish churchmen deposed him from his bishopric on 11 December 1638. Guthrie refused to accept this deposition and refused to recognise the legality of the National Covenant. He preached against it into the Spring of 1639 and on 11 July 1639 he was excommunicated by the Scottish church. He had married one Nichola Wood, by whom he had three sons (John, Patrick, and Andrew) and three daughters (Bethia, Nicolas, and Lucretia). [Inferred to be GFG1A]

Scottish Presbyterian Minister
The Martyr of Sterling

According to historical text, James Guthrie was a son of the Laird of Guthrie. He was brought up in the Episcopal faith and schooled at Brechin. He attended St Andrews to study philosophy. After university, he took up the ministry of a Presbyterian church, and was for many years minister at Lauder and Stirling. He infamously told King Charles that he recognized the King’s authority in civil matters, but that he must not meddle with matters of religion. Oliver Cromwell described Guthrie as “The short man who could not bow”, meaning that he would not give in or concede his argument, which was critical of the Cromwellian approach to religion. Guthrie was hanged, drawn and quartered. His head hung on the Netherbow Gate for 27 years. He was among the first of thousands of Covenanters to die in the name of religious freedom during the Restoration.
[Inferred to be GFG1A]

Scottish Devine (Minister)
Author of ‘The Christian’s Great Interest’

A distinguished divine, and author of the standard treatise entitled ‘The Christian’s Great Interest,’ was born at Pitforthy, Forfarshire, in 1620. His father, a cadet of the ancient family of Guthrie, was proprietor of the lands of Pitforthy, and his mother was a daughter of the house of Easter-Ogle. He was the eldest of eight children. He was ordained by the presbytery to the pastoral charge of Fenwick on November 7, 1644. He speedily acquired great popularity as a preacher, and persons from various places at a distance were in the habit of coming almost regularly to hear him, so that he soon had a crowded congregation. In August 1645, Mr. Guthrie married Agnes, daughter of David Campbell, Esq. of Skeldon, in Ayrshire, a remote branch of the Loudon family. When the church unfortunately divided into the two parties of Resolutioners and Protesters, Mr. Guthrie joined the latter; and in the Synod held at Glasgow in April 1661, when the days of persecution had begun, he presented the draught of an address to the parliament, for the better securing the privileges of the church, and the purity of religion in Scotland.
[Ungrouped Guthrie Family – Need DNA] 


American Chemist, Inventor, and Physician

He discovered Chloroform, which radically changed the medical field by providing an anesthetic. He also invented percussion pills, an appliance that superseded the flint lock in firearms. The process by which potato starch could rapidly be converted to molasses was another discovery. Samuel Guthrie was a descendant of Branch F’s John Guthrie & Abigail Coe via their son James Guthrie & wife Abigail Betts.
[GFG2A-Branch F]

American Politician / U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

James Guthrie was born to General Adam and Hannah (Polk) Guthrie near Bardstown, Nelson County, KY. His immediate ancestors reportedly came from Ireland, but his family is of Scottish descent. His father was a pioneer and indian fighter from Virginia who developed a large plantation in Kentucky and served in the state’s General Assembly. Guthrie first found a job on a flatboat transporting goods down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans, LA, but decided that the work was unfulfilling. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1817, and was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1827, and the Kentucky Senate in 1831. He unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1835. President Franklin Piece recognized Guthrie’s financial acumen and appointed him Secretary of the Treasury in 1853, and Guthrie soon became the most influential member of Pierce’s cabinet.
[Ungrouped Guthrie Family – Need DNA]

Scottish Devine (Episcopal Minister) / Philanthropist

The Very Reverend Thomas Guthrie FRSE DD was born at Brechin, Angus, Scotland. He was one of the most popular preachers of his day in Scotland, associated with many forms of philanthropy, especially temperance and Ragged Schools, of which he was a founder. He was made Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland in 1862. His own writings indicate that his Guthrie ancestors were farmers of Brechin rather than directly related to the Guthries of Guthrie. However, there is no documentation to prove it one way or the other.
[Ungrouped Guthrie Family – Need DNA]

American Politician
Mayor of Pittsburgh (1851-1853)
Collector of Customs, Port of Pittsburgh

John Brandon Guthrie was born in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, the son of shipbuilder James V. Guthrie and Martha Brandon, daughter of Revolutionary War captain John Brandon. When Guthrie was young, his family moved from Armstrong County to Pittsburgh. Guthrie married Catherine Murray, daughter of Magnus Miller Murray, the lawyer, businessman, and two-time mayor of Pittsburgh. Guthrie served in the Mexican War with the Duquesne Grays. He was appointed “Collector of Customs” for the port of Pittsburgh. Guthrie served two terms as mayor. During his terms, Guthrie appointed a new police force who ended the lawlessness of 1851 in Pittsburgh. Guthrie was the father of George W Guthrie, who would also serve as mayor. Guthrie was a member of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention of 1872-73. He died in 1885 in Cresson, Pennsylvania. He is buried in Allegheny Cemetery.
[GFG2A-Branch E]

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

British politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. He was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States. His 2ndGGM was Sarah Guthrie, daughter of John Guthrie & Abigail Coe of CT.
[GFG2A-Branch F]

Scottish Painter / Portraiture and Realism

Best known in his own lifetime for his portraiture, although today more generally regarded as a painter of Scottish Realism. Guthrie was born in Greenock, the youngest son of the Rev. John Guthrie, a minister of the Evangelical Union church, and Anne Orr. He originally enrolled at Glasgow University to study law, but abandoned this in favour of painting in 1877. Unlike many of his contemporaries he did not study in Paris, being mostly self-taught, although he was mentored for a short time by James Drummond in Glasgow and then John Pettie in London. He lived most of his life in the Scottish Borders, most notably in Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, where he painted some of his most important works, including A Hind’s Daughter (1883), and Schoolmates. He was strongly influenced by the French Realists. Guthrie was commissioned by many of the rich and famous of his day.
[Ungrouped Guthrie Family – Need DNA] 

42nd Mayor of Pittsburgh (1906-1909)
U.S. Ambassador to Japan

George Wilkins Guthrie was born in Pittsburgh on September 5, 1848 to John B. Guthrie (twice elected Mayor of Pittsburgh) and Catherine Murray Guthrie. He graduated from the Western University of Pennsylvania in 1866 and studied law at Columbian college for three years. Guthrie became an attorney and began an involvement in reform issues during an era of increasing government corruption. He ran for mayor of Pittsburgh in 1896, but was narrowly defeated by Henry P Ford. He was elected mayor in 1906 and immediately pushed for statewide reforms. One of his successes was the implementation of a water filtration system that significantly reduced the incidence of typhoid in Pittsburgh. Guthrie’s term was noted for a significant decline in the city’s death rate due to improvement in public health. After leaving office, Guthrie was appointed US Ambassador to Japan on 20 May 1913. He was the personal representative of President Wilson at the coronation of Emperor Taisho of Japan on 30 Sep 1915. He died while at that post in Tokyo. The Japanese government set the armored cruiser Azuma to return his body to San Francisco as a mark of respect.
[GFG2A-Branch E]


English Stage Director, Playwright
Founder of Guthrie Theater

Sir William Tyrone Guthrie (2 July 1900-15 May 1971) was an English theatrical director and founder of the Stratford Festival of Canada, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at his family’s ancestral home in County Monaghan, Ireland. Guthrie was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, the son of Dr Thomas Guthrie (a grandson of Scottish preacher Thomas Guthrie), and Norah Power. His great-grandfather was the Irish actor Tyrone Power, and he was also a second cousin of the Hollywood actor Tyrone Power.
[Ungrouped Guthrie Lineage – Need DNA]

Novelist, Screenwriter, Historian
Pulitzer Prize Winner

A.B. Guthrie was a journalism major at the University of Montana, where he was a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. Bud won the Nieman Fellowship from Harvard while working as the executive editor of the newspaper Lexington Leader in Kentucky. An English professor at Harvard provided education and inspiration for his interest in writing fiction. A.B. Guthrie won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his novel ‘The Way West’ in 1950. He died in 1991 at the age of 90 at his ranch near Choteau.

American Musician, Folk Singer-Songwriter

Musician Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie is a descendant of GFG5 via the line of Shadrick Guthry 1722SC-1850MS & Malinda Bodley. His musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional, and children’s songs. His best-known song is “This Land is Your Land”. Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression. Guthrie was married three times and fathered eight children, including American folk musician Arlo Guthrie. He died from complications of Huntington’s disease, a progressive genetic neurological disorder. 

American Physician, Microbiologist
Inventor of the PKU Test (Newborn Screening)

Dr. Robert Guthrie (28 Jun 1916-23 Jun 1995) is the American scientist who launched the field of newborn screening, credited with saving tens of thousands of infants worldwide from irreversible brain damage and death. The Guthrie Test was initially developed in 1960 to screen for a single disorder, phenylketonuria, abbreviated PKU, which resulted in mental retardation. Developed in the Buffalo, N.Y. lab of Dr. Robert Guthrie, the PKU test became a state-mandated test for newborns in the United States and slowly spread around the globe. Read more at The Robert Guthrie Legacy Project.
[Ungrouped Guthrie Lineage – Need DNA]

American Race Car Driver
Aerospace Engineer

Janet Guthrie was the first female race car driver to compete in a NASCAR Winston Cup stock car race, the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500. She was named to the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1980, and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006. She was originally an aerospace engineer after graduating from the University of Michigan. She began racing in 1963 and was racing full-time by 1972.

Field Marshall British Army
Baron of Craigiebank

Born into a Scottish landed family in 1938, Guthrie was the elder son of Ronald Guthrie and Nina Guthrie (nee Llewelyn).  During his military career he served with the Welsh Guards and the Special Air Service, and was closely involved in military operations in Northern Ireland and provided advice to the British Government during the Bosnian War and the Kosovo War. He was created a Life Peer (appointed members of the peerage whose titles cannot be inherited), as Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank, in the City of Dundee, in June 2001, and sits as a crossbencher in the House of Lords.

American Folk Singer-Songwriter and Actor
Political Activist

Arlo Davy Guthrie was born in Brooklyn on 10 Jul 1947, the son of Woody Guthrie and Marjorie Mazia Guthrie. Like his father, Arlo is known for singing songs of protest against social injustice. His best known work was his debut piece, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a satirical talking blues song that has since become a Thanksgiving anthem. His song “Massachusetts” was named the official song of the state. He is the father of four children, who have also had careers as musicians. In addition to his work as a singer-songwriter, Guthrie has been a lifelong political activist, and was awarded the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience award in 1992.

American Politician
U.S. Representative for Kentucky’s 2nd Congressional District (2000-2008).

Guthrie was born in Florence, Alabama, the son of Carolyn P. (née Holt) and Lowell M. Guthrie. He earned his Bachelor of Science in mathematical economics from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1987 and his Master’s of Public and Private Management from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1997. Guthrie is a former vice president of Trace Die Cast, Inc., an automotive parts supplier based in Bowling Green. Guthrie has previously served as a field artillery officer in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Guthrie represented the 32nd district in the Kentucky Senate from 1999 to 2008, where he served as vice chairman of the Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee, and was chairman of the Transportation Committee.[GFG2A-Branch A]

Journalist, Talk Show Host, News Anchor, Lawyer

Born in Melbourne, Australia on 27 Dec 1971 where her father was stationed, Savannah Guthrie was raised in Tucson, Arizona. She got her start in television at NBC affiliates in Missouri, Arizona, and Washington D.C.. She earned a law degree at Georgetown University Law Center, graduating magna cum laude, also receiving the highest score on the Arizona bar exam. Afterward, she became a legal correspondent, and later began working at the Today show. She was named co-host of the show in July 2012.[GFG Affiliation Unknown]

Do you have another Famous, Infamous, or Notable Guthrie you’d like to see on this list? Comment below.

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