D: Adam Guthrie & Mary Anderson

Guthrie Family Group 7 – Branch D
of Ireland and Virginia, North Carolina, Franklin, Tennessee & Kentucky, USA

Origin Theories
Mistaken Identities
The Family of Adam Guthrie & Mary Anderson
Historical Highlights
The Guthrie DNA Project
Research & Resources


According to Tennessee researcher Penelope Johnson Allen in an article for ‘Leaves from the Family Tree’ originally written for the Chattanooga Times Sunday Magazine, Adam Guthrie is a lineal descendant of Niall MacGuthrie whose pedigree has been traced from King Fergus of Connaught through Miles, the son of Cobtatch to Gothfrith, the Lord of Brefney. Exactly how Adam Guthrie’s ancestors connect to this family from the Irish Gaelic Middle Ages is a mystery, if they are actually related at all. For now, it is an interesting origin story that may or may not have any basis in fact.

Moving forward in time by about a millennium, GFG7 – Branch A has documented roots in Ayrshire, Scotland. It is there that we will more likely be able to find potential connections for the other branches of this Guthrie Family Group.

Adam Guthrie was reportedly born somewhere in Ireland. There is no specific county given in the family lore. According to one source, Adam may have spent some time in Scotland prior to coming to America. Again, nothing is documented to prove or even hint at that possibility. His most likely immigration period was the late 1760s – early 1770s. Many Irish immigrants at that time entered the colonies by way of Pennsylvania prior to going to Virginia, as was the case with his future wife’s family, the Andersons.


Adam Guthrie is frequently mistaken for:

Adam Guthrie 1762IRE-1826KY & Hannah Polke, son of James Guthrie & Elizabeth Dunlap. Adam was their only son. His children include James Guthrie (1792-1868), US Secretary of the Treasury / Kentucky State Senator. Others were: Elizabeth (1789), Edmund (1791), John Berry (1794), Mary (1796), Sarah (1798), Nancy (1800), Hannah (1801). This line has similar locations to the Guthrie-Anderson line, including ties to Augusta County, VA, but that Adam Guthrie and this one are not the same person.

This is also not Adam Guthrie, son of William Guthrie, an Irish immigrant to colonial Delaware living in Mill Creek Hundred. That family is associated with GFG6 and is therefore genetically unrelated.

Adam Guthrie c1761SCT-bef.1797, son of Thomas Guthrie & Jean Duncan of GFG9. He is not mentioned in Thomas’ 1797 will and is believed to have died prior to that date. No known descendants. Now that we have a Y-DNA test for the Guthrie-Anderson line conclusively proving them to belong to GFG7, we can completely rule out descent from GFG9’s Guthrie-Duncan line.


Parents: Unidentified
Born: Abt. 1740-1745
Location: Ireland, County Unknown
Marriage: Bet. 1766-1775, reportedly in Augusta County, Virginia
Occupation: Farmer and Planter
Died: 20 August 1827
Location: Cumberland County, Kentucky, USA
Buried: Cumberland County, Kentucky, USA (presumably)
According to his origin story, Adam Guthrie, the “immigrant ancestor of the Guthrie family in East Tennessee came to America from Ireland in the latter half of the 18th century and found his way to Kentucky.” Another version told by descendants is that Adam, who had been born in Ireland, went to Scotland prior to his journey across the Atlantic. His exact port of arrival is unknown, but Adam likely lived in Augusta County, VA for a time as that was the residence of his future wife’s family, the Andersons. He settled in a few places that no longer exist. During the 1770s he was a resident of Fincastle County, Virginia. It was formed from Botetourt County in 1772, but abolished in 1776. By the 1780s, Adam was living in the Western Territories of North Carolina, in what is now present day Sullivan County, Tennessee. He was one of many resident of the short-lived State of Franklin petitioning for release of obligations, taxation, and duties to the North Carolina government. In 1793, Adam Guthrie received a land grant for 123 acres along the north bank of the French Broad River in Greene County, NC (now Sevier, TN). When two of his sons, James and George, moved to Cumberland County, Kentucky, the family followed settling along Illwill Creek in the region of the Upper Cumberland River in present day Clinton County, Kentucky.

Parents: George Anderson Sr & Elizabeth (possibly Crawford)
Born: Abt. 18 March 1744
Location: Augusta County, Virginia
Sons: James (1777), George W (1780), Thomas (1789)
Daughters: Elizabeth Polly (1784), Nancy (1786)
Died: Bef.1820 (Alt. 1824)
Location: VA, NC, TN, or KY
Buried: Unknown
Notes: “Adam Guthery” is listed in the 1784 will of George Anderson Sr who identified him as his son-in-law. The identity of the daughter married to Adam is not actually specified in the will. Researchers have concluded that Mary Anderson is the most likely candidate based on known family members. Mary’s DOD is listed in trees as 1824, but there is no supporting evidence for this date. The 1820 census data enumerating only Adam and his 2 unmarried daughters suggests that his wife died prior to 1820. That could have been in VA, NC, TN, or KY.

More Notes: I had speculated that this line might belong to my group, GFG2A because my family members have multiple autosomal DNA connections with Guthrie-Anderson descendants. However, we also descend from George M Anderson of Bedford County, Virginia, so the relationship might have been on either side of the family line. Now that YDNA has proven the origins are not on the Guthrie side, some additional digging suggests that it is indeed common Anderson ancestry. Mary’s father is not “my” George M Anderson whose will was written in 1778 and probated in Bedford, VA, but his presumed nephew, George Anderson of Augusta County, VA. According to family tradition mentioned on this site on my George Anderson, he was the brother of a John Anderson, born in Scotland, but moved to Ulster, Ireland before coming to Philadelphia. John was the father of the George Guthrie who was father to Mary Anderson.


1777VA – 1852KY
I have yet to find a document that clearly identifies James Guthrie’s birthplace. His birth year is listed as either 1777 or 1784, the latter being calculated from his listed age on his death record, which also identifies his parents as “Adam & M Guthrie”. The same record lists his Place of Birth as “Not Known”. The 1850 census, 2 years prior to his death, erroneously lists his birthplace as Kentucky. Census records list him as 26-44 in 1810 (born 1766-1784), 45 and over in 1820 (born before 1775), 50-59 in 1830 (born 1771-1780), 50-59 in 1840 (born 1781-1790), and as 73 in 1850 (born 1777). James’ father, Adam Guthrie, is documented in Fincastle County, Virginia in 1773 and in the Western Territory of North Carolina (now Sullivan County, Tennessee) by 1779, so the location is probably either Virginia or NC (now TN).

James Guthrie married Sarah ‘Sally’ Atchley (1785VA-p1860KY in Cumberland County, Kentucky. He was a farmer. Their children include 5 sons and two daughters. James died on 20 Sep 1852 in Clinton County, Kentucky. Sally survived him and was still living during the 1870 census.
1) Thomas Guthrie abt.1808KY-bef.1846KY married Catherine Bryson (1834) +children
2) James Anderson Guthrie 1808KY-1894KY married Mary E Keen (1842) +children
3) Rebecca Guthrie 1812KY-1899TN married Hugh Alexander Tompkins +children
4) Albert M Guthrie abt.1815KY-1893KY married 1st Lydia Patrick (abt. 1841) +children, 2nd Agnes Keen +children
5) Adam Guthrie abt.1817KY-aft. 1880 married Mary E Vance (abt. 1842) +children
6) Armenias Guthrie 1819KY-1897KY married Matilda C Vance (abt. 1844) +children
7) Lydia Guthrie 1823-aft.1880 remained unmarried as of the 1880 census.

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

Abt.1780__ – Aft.1840IL
George is another son with a birth date and location that remains up for debate. The 1820 census lists him as 26-44 (born 1776-1794). In 1830 he is 50-59 (born 1771-1780), In 1835 he is 50-60 (born 1775-1785), and in 1840 50-59 (1781-1790). These age ranges do not fully overlap, but the dates suggest that he is more likely to have been born in the Western Territory of North Carolina than in Virginia. George and his brother James Guthrie moved to Cumberland County, Kentucky around 1800 where they married. George’s spouse’s identity is unconfirmed. Their 9 children are listed as being born in Kentucky. Before 1830, George moved his family to Fayette County in central Illinois. He died there sometime after the 1840 census. Some trees list him as George Washington Guthrie or George William Guthrie. They also attach the marriage record for William Guthrie and Hannah Smiley (1Feb1800 Greene, TN) to the latter entries.
1) Mary Ann ‘Polly’ Guthrie 1803KY-aft.1880IL married David Sidwell +children
2) Thomas Guthrie 1805KY-aft.1865IL married Mariah (MNU) +children
3) Adam Allen Guthrie 1808KY-aft.1860IL married Mahala Sidwell +children
4) George W Guthrie 1811KY-1878KS married 1st Jane Austin (1834IL) +children, 2nd Margaret Harris Cothern (1848IL) +children
5) Lavinia Guthrie 1812-abt.1843IL married Rev. Isaac Denton Sidwell +children. She was the 2nd of 3 wives.
6) Lydia Guthrie abt.1814KY-bef.1860 married Oliver Williams (1840IL) + children.
7) Nancy Guthrie 1817KY-1901IL married Richard Austin (1834IL) +children
8) Jackson S Guthrie 1819KY-1892IL married Mary Luvista Austin (1841IL) +children
9) Gilbert Guthrie 1825KY-aft.1880IL married 1st Emily Yates Maughan (1849IL) and 2nd Mary Ann Staton (1869IL) +children

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

Abt. 1781NC (TN) – aft.1850TN
The 1850 census indicates that Polly’s birthplace was in Tennessee. Technically at that time the location was probably in the Western Territory of NC and only later became part of Tennessee. Based on the census records, it appears that Polly never married, and as a consequence there is not much information to be found about her because there are no descendants to share her personal story. The same goes for her sister Nancy, below. During the 1820 KY census they are likely the two females in the 26-45 category. Their widowed father died in 1827. The 1830 KY census Polly Guthrie is listed as the Head of Household with one other females, both aged 40-50 (born 1780-1790). In 1840, they appear to be living in their brother Thomas Guthrie’s household and are still listed in the 40-50 and/or 50-60 category. In 1850 Mary Guthrie, age 69, is listed with an Elizabeth Guthrie, age 60, who may actually be Polly Canterbury Guthrie, widow of Thomas. The census taker appears to have switched their given names. Since she is not found in the 1860 census, it appears that Elizabeth ‘Polly’ Guthrie likely died after the 1850 census, probably in Hamilton County, Tennessee.

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

Abt. 1786NC (TN) – aft.1840
Probably born between 1780-90 in Western Territory of NC, which is now Sullivan County, TN. Probably younger than her sister Polly. The two sisters apparently remained single throughout their lifetimes. Census records show that in 1820 KY, Nancy is likely one of two females in the 26-45 category living in the household of her father, Adam Guthrie. Since Adam died in 1827, the 1830 KY census lists her older sister Polly Guthrie as the Head of Household. Both women were aged 40-50 category (born 1780-1790). In 1840, Nancy appears to be one of the females listed in the 40-50 age category (born 1790-1800), which is probably the wrong category for her. Although her sister is living with their sister-in-law’s family in Hamilton, TN in 1850, Nancy is not. Did she marry? No record found. Did she live with a different family member? Probably not considering that she and Polly had been together their entire lives. Most likely, she died between 1840-50 either in Kentucky or Tennessee.

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

abt. 1789NC (TN) – Aft.1840TN
Thomas Guthrie was born either near the end of existence for the State of Franklin (1788) or the creation of the Southwest Territory after NC ceded its western lands to the federal government (1789). Either way, his parents were living in the region of what is now Tennessee, probably on the Reedy Creek property in what is now Sullivan County, TN. He married Mary ‘Polly’ Canterbury (possibly Mary Elizabeth as the 1850 census would seem to indicate) on 8 Sep 1809 in Sevier County, TN. She was the daughter of William Canterbury and Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Lawson. Not long after their marriage, they moved to Cumberland County, Kentucky, along with his parents and sisters, where his brothers James and George had settled. They first lived at the site of the prehistoric Cherokee town of Toqua later receiving an occupant land grant on 7 Aug 1839 for 160 acres in the Ocoee Land District. Briefly, they also lived at King’s Point in Hamilton County, TN before moving north along the river and permanently settling near Wolf Tever Creek and the Tennessee River. The family was relocated generations later by the Tennessee Valley Authority in order to build the Chickamauga Reservoir. Due to relocation of family graves by the TVA, the exact burial location of Thomas and Polly (Canterbury) Guthrie is uncertain. Both died between 1840-1850 in Hamilton County, TN.
1) William C Guthrie abt.1811KY-1864TN married Sara Jane (MNU) +children
2) Elizabeth Guthrie 1815KY-1897TN married John Fryer/Friar (abt. 1853) and later divorced (1883) +children
3) Lawson Guthrie 1816KY-1873TN married Narcissa Maxwell Smith. No known children.
4) Thomas Jefferson Guthrie 1819KY-1903AR married Mary M Rainwater (1856AR) + children
5) Robert Henderson Guthrie (Rev.) 1820KY-1891TN married Martha Levert Skillern (1840TN) +children
6) Mary Guthrie 1822KY-1858TN married Lewis Hall (abt. 1839TN) +children
7) James A P Guthrie 1824KY-1896TN married 1st Mary Adeline Julian (1852TN) +children, 2nd Martha Jane McKinsey (1864TN)
8) George B F Guthrie 1825KY-1871TN married Francis Adeline Price +children
9) Carolina Guthrie 1828KY-p1880AR married Aaron Matthew Sawyers (abt.1844TN) +children

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


Somewhere in Ireland, presumably
It is said that Adam Guthrie was an Irish Immigrant, but that seems to be part of the family lore rather than documented officially. His birthdate is also a moving target. The only document known to list his approximate age is the 1820 census, which puts him in the 45 and over category indicating that he was born before 1776. Since his eldest son was born in the late 1770s or early 1780s, chances are that Adam’s DOB was at least 20-30 years earlier. A very broad range would be 1740-1760. However, the DOB of his wife, Mary Anderson is given as a fixed date of 18 March 1744 (source unknown), so it is likely that Adam was of a similar range, probably 1740-45.

Orange County, Virginia on 22 May 1740
“A list of persons who imported themselves, or were imported by others, and the date they proved their importation in Orange County, Virginia, from 1734 through 1745, in order to obtain legal right to hold title to land in the colony. They came principally from Great Britain through Pennsylvania into the Valley of Virginia.”

* George Anderson, Elizabeth, his wife, William Anderson, Margaret, John and Frances Anderson; 22 May 1740; O Bk II, 158.

* John Anderson, Jane his wife, Esther, Mary, and Margaret Anderson; 22 May 1740; O Bk II, 158

Original Source: Orange County Virginia Order Book II, p.158. Source: Wilson, H. McKnight. (1954). The Tinkling Spring, headwater of freedom: a study of the church and her people, 1732-1952. Fishersville, Va.: Tinkling Spring and Hermitage Presbyterian Churches. Repository: Hathi Trust Digital Library

Beverley Manor, Orange County, Virginia
Source: Orange County Court Records, Deed Books III-IX.

Augusta County, Virginia on 18 March 1744
Mary Anderson, daughter of George, was baptized on 18 March 1744 by John Craig, the first permanent pastor in Augusta County in 1740. He founded the Stone Meeting House in 1741.

“A Record of the names of the children bap’d by the Rev’d John Craig both in his own & in the neighboring congregations where God in his providence ordered his labors.”

George Anderson’s children:
* William 2 Nov 1740
* Margaret 27 Jun 1742
* Mary 18 Mar 1744
* John __Jun 1746
* George 25 Nov 1748

This record includes several other Anderson men and their children:
Jacob Anderson’s son John (1747)
James Anderson’s children Agnes (1740), Ann (1741), Mary (1743), Thomas (1745), Samuel (1747)
John Anderson’s children John (1740), Robert (1741), Jean (1744), Rebecca (1746), James (1748)

Source: Wilson, H. McKnight. (1954). The Tinkling Spring, headwater of freedom: a study of the church and her people, 1732-1952. Fishersville, Va.: Tinkling Spring and Hermitage Presbyterian Churches. Repository: Hathi Trust Digital Library

We also don’t have a marriage record listing an exact date or year of marriage for the couple. They were definitely married before 1784 when George Anderson named Adam Guthery as a son-in-law when writing his will. The census record (1850) lists son James est. DOB as 1777, but it is also given in trees as 1785. With a DOB of 1744, this would make Mary somewhere between 33 and 40 at the birth of her first known child. The marriage likely occurred in Augusta County, Virginia where the Anderson family resided.

This county was created in 1772 from Botetourt County, the boundaries of which then extended all the way to the Mississippi River. Fincastle was abolished just 4 years later in 1776, and divided into three new counties: Montgomery, Washington, and Kentucky.

Fincastle County, VA

Fincastle County, Virginia on 3 March 1773
A County Court lawsuit was filed against Adam Guthrie by James English, on command. Suit being agreed, case dismissed. Order Book No.1.

Fincastle County, Virginia on 3 May 1774
A second lawsuit filed, Order Book No. 2 County Court, James Inglis v. Adam Guthry, on attachment. Isaac Riddle and George Armstrong entered as sureties for defendant. Robert Topp not appearing as garnishee, attachment ordered against him. Continued.

According to letters written by George Christian, son of Gilbert Christian (husband of Margaret Anderson, and brother-in-law to Mary Anderson/Adam Guthrie) to Lyman C Draper, Esquire on the settlement of his family in what is now eastern Tennessee, “My father was married in 62 or 3 to Margaret Anderson, daughter of George Anderson of Middle River, Augusta Co., VA. There were four brothers of the Andersons (John, James, George, and William.) These were among the first settlers in Augusta–they were from Pennsylvania, their native State.” … ” Father must have moved to Holston in 72 or 3, made a temporary settlement on the waters of Reedy Creek, seven or eight miles from Holston river from whence he removed in the Autumn of 75 to Holston river at the mouth of Reedy creek opposite Long Island, where we remained until the next summer at the breaking out of the Cherokees. At the time they were five children of us, one daughter the oldest of us.” … “On the first intimation of the hostile movements of the Cherokees, the frontiersmen left their farms and collected in Stations or in some cases several families banded together for mutual defense as was the case with us. On recent of the intelligence bro’t by Mr Harlan we were removed some miles to James Clendennin’s where they were eight or ten families collected I think with intent to build a fort.” … Urgent news of an impending attack arrived. “At this time Father was home having gone to the farm. Our horses all in the woods, mother had a brother and brother-in-law in company. Her brother in bad heath, each of those had a wife and one child.” … “A little before sunset Mother and all her children were all mounted and on the road for the interior.”… “We must have travelled some 15 miles this night. Was joined by Father, who conveyed us some forty miles to a relation, Mr Trimble, where he left us and returned to Eaton.” … “From Trimble, Mother with her brother John Anderson and her brother-in-law, ADAM GUTHERY, proceeded to Autusta where we remained until the Autumn of 78, when Father, who had stayed on the Holston, went on with a wagon and brought us home. The journey must have been in June, as it was in time of harvest.”
Source: White, K. K. (1966). The Kings Mountain Men: The Story of the Battle, with Sketches of the American Soldiers who Took Part. Dayton, Virginia, Joseph K Ruebush Company.

“The territory of Tennessee originally consisted of six counties–Washington, Sullivan, Greene, Davidson, Sumner, and Tennessee (later Montgomery & Robertson)–under the jurisdiction of North Carolina from 1777 to 1788. The counties requested protection from the Indians and the right to navigate the Mississippi River but North Carolina neglected these territories.” (Secretary of State – sos.tn.gov)

The 1850 census lists James’ age as 73, which would estimate his birth year as 1777. The family might have been in Virginia, or more likely the Western Territory of North Carolina (now TN). See George Christian’s letters to Lyman C Draper, above. It is possible that James Guthrie is the child inferred by Christian’s commentary, or that there was an older child of unknown gender whose identity remains unknown.

Western Territory, North Carolina (Now Sullivan County TN)
On 2 Oct 1779 Henry Simpson acquired 100 acres on the waters of Reedy Creek adjoining Col. Pendleton and Adam Guthery’s property. Grant File #1789

Washington County, North Carolina
Sullivan County, North Carolina was formally established in 1779 from part of Washington County, and was named after Continental Army officer John Sullivan. The area of present-day Kingsport had already been settled in the 1770s and was known as the King’s Boatyard, or “The Boatyard”.

Western Territory, North Carolina (Now Sullivan County TN)
On 6 Oct 1779 Adam Guthery for William Tatham acquires 500 acres adjoining Anderson’s Bottom and Nathan Page’s property, includes said Guthery’s improvement where he lives and on both sides of Reedy Creek. Grant File #1827

On 6 Oct 1779 Adam Guthery for George Anderson, a minor orphan of John Anderson, son of George, deceased, acquired 200 acres on Reedy Creek adjoining Nathan Page and John Kitt’s properties on both sides of the creek and includes said Anderson’s improvement.

Property Location: Reedy Creek, near Long Island, currently Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee. (See Floyd’s site for commentary.)

Sullivan County, North Carolina
Adam Guthrey was named on a petition in 1780 to the General Assembly of NC from the inhabitants of “Sulivan” County who are concerned about the extension of the boundary line between NC and VA.
Document: Series: General Assembly; Box: Aug – Sep 1780 [North Carolina State Archives]; Call Number: Folder: Petitions JP; Page Number: 2; Family Number: 12 (Ancestry.com. U.S., Census Reconstructed Records, 1660-1820 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.)

Greene County was formed in 1783 from a part of Washington County.

Greene County, Washington County, Sullivan County and the Western territories of North Carolina all participated in the creation of the State of Franklin. Greeneville was designated as the capital. During this period the people had divided loyalties about the government, which ultimately led to the dissolution of the State of Franklin in 1788.

Adam Guthrie, his brother-in-law, Gilbert Christian, and nephew, George Christian were among the “Inhabitants of the Western Country” petitioning the General Assembly of North Carolina. (Transcript)

“As North Carolinian officials discovered the territory’s attempted independence, they slowly reasserted their authority over the area. Disagreements among rival factions, coupled with the North Carolina resistance, doomed the state of Franklin, which passed out of existence in 1788.” (Secretary of State – sos.tn.gov)

Augusta County, Virginia, USA on 12 June 1784
Page 144. George Anderson Sr. –To wife; to grandson, George, infant, son to testator’s deceased son and heir-at-law, William, 100 acres where William lived, adjoining Paterson’s Island; to sons, George and James, executors; to grandson, George Anderson, son to testator’s deceased son, John, infant; to son William’s daughters, sisters of grandson George, supra; to son-in-law, Gilbert Christian; to son-in-law, Adam Guthery; to son-in-law, James Andiddle; to son-in-law, Wm. Anderson; to daughter, Jane. Teste: Robert Kenney, James Magonel. Andrew Anderson. Codicil, 9th June, 1788. The 100 acres devised to grandson George is now devided between him and his mother Margaret, and at her marriage or death, then her 50 acres to testator’s grandchildren, Elizabeth, Mary Margaret, Robert, Jane, and Nancy Anderson. Teste: James Anderson, Wm. Anderson, Wm. Brooks. Proved, 21st April, 1789, by Kenny and Anderson, and on 22d April, 1789, executors qualify. 

The Dec’d: George Anderson, Sr
Wife: Unidentified, but living at the time of the writing of the will.
Children of George Andrerson Sr: William Anderson, John Anderson (dec’d), Jane Anderson, Unidentified Daughter (Anderson) Christian, Unidentified Daughter (Anderson) Guthery, Unidentified Daughter (Anderson) Andidle, and Unidentified Daughter (Anderson) Anderson.
Heir-at-Law: William Anderson (son of George), dec’d
William Anderson’s wife: Margaret
William & Margaret Anderson’s children: George Anderson (an infant), daughters
John Anderson’s children: George Anderson
Son-in-Law: Gilbert Christian
Son-in-Law: Adam Guthery
Son-in-Law: James Andiddle
Son-in-Law: William Anderson
Miscellaneous Grandchildren: Elizabeth, Mary Margaret, Robert, Jane, and Nancy Anderson.

“North Carolina ratified the United States Constitution and ceded its Tennessee lands to the Federal government. This area was now designated as the “Territory of the United States, South of the River Ohio,” more commonly known as the “Southwest Territory.” The United States created three districts in the area: two for East Tennessee and the Metro District on the Cumberland. Each district had courts, militia, and office holders. William Blount governed the territory following his appointment by George Washington. Early governance of the territory focused on treaty-making and securing settlers from Indian attacks while raising land values and encouraging settlement. Between 1792 and 1794, warfare with Native tribes increased until strikes led by James Robertson and John Sevier eliminated the threat of Native raids against the East Tennessee and Cumberland settlements.” (Secretary of State – sos.tn.gov)

Greene County, North Carolina, USA on 12 Jan 1793
Adam Guthrie received a 123 acre land grand on the north bank of the French Broad River in Greene County, North Carolina (now Sevier County, Tennessee). Signed 12 Jan 1793 and recorded 23 Oct 1794. This property neighbored that of Col. James Hubbert (Hubbard), who was married to an Elizabeth Anderson.
(Floyd Owsley speculates that Elizabeth was a close relative of Mary (Anderson) Guthrie)

NC Revolutionary War Land Grants: Roll 12, Book 1
TN State Library and Archives

A transcription of this grant is found in Greene County North Carolina Deed Book 3, page 454:

12 Jan 1793
State of North Carolina
No. 1234
To all to whom these presents shall come greetings:
Know ye that we for and in consideration of the sum of fifty shillings for every hundred acres hereby granted paid into our Treasury by Adam Guthrie have given and granted and by these presents do give and grant unto the said Adam Guthrie a tract of land containing one hundred and twenty three acres lying and being in our County of Greene. Beginning at a post oak on the north bank of French Broad River on a corner of James Hubbards land,then north three hundred and twenty five poles with said Hubbards line to a stake standing thereon then due east until it strikes the river a persimon then down the meanders to the beginning. As by the plat hereunto annamed doth appear together with all woods, waters, mines, minerals, hereditaments and appurtinances to the said land belonging or appertaining to hold the said Adam Guthrie his heirs and assigns forever yielding and paying to us such sums of money yearly or otherwise as out general assembly from time to time may direct provided always that the said Adam Guthrie shall cause this grant to be registered in the registers office of the said County of Greene within the time limited by law otherwise the same shall be void and of no effect.

In testimony whereof we have caused these our sellers to be made patent and our great seal to be hereunto affixed. Witness Richard Dobbs Spaight
Esquire our governor Captain General and commander in Chief at Newbern the 12th day of January in the 17th year of our Independence and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety three.
By his Excellency’s Command.
Richard Dobbs Spaight

J. Glasgow, Secretary

Recorded in the Registers office in Greene County
The 23d day of October 1794 by
James Stinson Clk.

Tennessee was initially part of North Carolina and later part of the Southwest Territory. It was admitted to the Union on 1 June 1796 as its 16th state. It was the first Federal territory to apply for statehood to Congress.

Dorothy Foster Sanner, a descendant of George Guthrie, son of Adam Guthrie and Mary Anderson, was awarded membership in the First Families of Tennessee project by the East Tennessee Historical Society based on her work in identifying her ancestor Adam Guthrie as a resident within the borders of Tennessee prior to and after its Statehood. (

Cumberland County, Kentucky, USA

Cumberland County, Kentucky about 1809
Two of Adam & Mary (Anderson) Guthrie’s sons, James and George, had already made the move to Cumberland County. Although the land grant surveys are dated 1805 and 1806, the family reportedly followed about 1809 crossing the Cumberland Mountains and settling along Illwill Creek in what is now Clinton County, Kentucky. It may be that Adam divided his time between the KY settlement and his property in TN. They are not enumerated in the 1810 census, so their arrival may have been slightly after that date.

Burksville, Cumberland County, Kentucky, USA
The James Guthrie Household:
1M 26-44 (1766-1784)
1F 16-25 (1785-1794)
1M under 10 (1801-1810)
Total Household Members: 3
Note: This would be James, wife Sally, and son James (born 1808) suggesting that son Thomas, born abt.1808 would have been born after the 1810 census.)

The Geo. Guthrie Household:
1M and 1F 26-44 (1766-1784)
2M and 2F under 10 (1801-1810)
Total Household Members: 6
Note: This would be George, his unidentified wife, sons Thomas and Adam, daughter Mary Ann ‘Polly’, and an unidentified daughter. The next known daughter, Lavinia, wasn’t born until 1812.

The Hannah Guthrie Household:
1F26-44 (1766-1784)
2M and 2F 10-15 (1795-1800)
1F under 10 (1801-1810)
Total Household Members: 6
Note: Who are these people? No known association with this extended family. They are listed in the same township in Cumberland, KY, but 3 pages away on the census list. They also don’t show up in the 1820 census. This is definitely not Hannah (Polke) Guthrie who married Adam Guthrie of Bardstown, KY as both were alive and living in Bardstown, Ky in 1810. It also does not appear to be Hannah (Smiley) Guthrie who married William Guthrie in Greene, TN on 1 Feb 1800. This couple had 4 children born prior to 1800, unless it was a 2nd marriage for William. That man is thought to be related to the family from the Bulls Gap, TN area.

Paoli, Cumberland County, Kentucky
The Adam Guthrie Household:
1 Male 45 and over (before 1776)
2 Females 26-44 (1776-1794)
Persons Engaged in Agriculture: 1
Total Free White Persons: 3
Total Household Members: 3
Note: This would be Adam and his two unmarried daughters, Mary ‘Polly’ and Nancy. Where is his wife Mary (Anderson) Guthrie at this time? She reportedly lived until 1824.

The James Guthrie Household:
1M 45 and over (before 1776)
1M 10-15 (1805-1810)
4M and 1F under 10 (1811-1820)
Total in Agriculture: 1
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total Household Members: 7
Note: This would be James (abt.1777), sons James (1808), Thomas (abt.1808, but apparently closer to 1811), Albert (1815), Adam (1817), Armenias (1819), and daughter Rebecca (1812). It looks like James’ wife is also not enumerated in the 1820 census. Sally lived until 1860. What were Mary and her daughter-in-law Sally doing in 1820? They are not listed here.

The George Guthrie Household:
1M and 1F 26-45 (1776-1794)
2F 16-26 (1795-1804)
2M 10-15 (1805-1810)
2M and 2F under 10 (1811-1820)
Persons in Agriculture: 1
Total Free White Persons: 10
Total Household Members: 10
Note: George and his unidentified wife appear to be present in this record along with 4 sons and 4 daughters. The sons born prior to 1820 are: Thomas (1805), Adam (1808), George (1811) and Jackson (1819), who all fit the age categories listed. The number of daughters is correct except that one falls into an earlier age category than currently listed, which is also consistent with the 1810 census. Either Lavinia or Lydia was actually born 1795-1800. This also suggests that daughter Mary Ann ‘Polly’ did not marry David Sidwell until after the 1820 census.

The Thomas Guthrie Household:
1M and 1F 26-45 (1776-1794)
1M 10-15 (1805-1810)
4M and 1F under 10 (1811-1820)
Persons in Agriculture: 1
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total Free Colored Persons: 1
Total Household Members: 9
Note: This would be Thomas and his wife Mary, son William (1811), Lawson (1816), Thomas Jefferson (1819), Robert Henderson (1820), and one unidentified male either 10-15 or under 10. Also daughter Elizabeth (1815), and one unidentified male free person of color 26-44.

Cumberland County, Kentucky, USA
This is the year reported as being when Mary (Anderson) Guthrie died, presumably in Cumberland County, KY where the family was living at the time. Original source needed. She is not enumerated with them during the 1820 census, nor is she mentioned in her husband Adam’s will written in 1825. Most likely died prior to 1820 census.

Cumberland County, Kentucky, USA – written on 1 May 1825 / proved 20 Aug 1827
ADAM GUTHERY, deceased In the name of God, amen, I, Adam Guthery, of the state of Kentucky and County of Cumberland, being sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God, calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, Doth make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say Principally and first of all I recommend my soul into the hands of almighty God, that gives, and my body I recommend to be buried with a decent christian burial at the direction of my Executors, nothing doubting but at the general Resurrection I shall receive the crown? I again by the mighty power of God, and as touching such worldly Estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life, I give and dispose of in the following manner and form to-wit: I first give to my son JAMES GUTHERY, one gray mare that he has now in his possession and to GEORGE GUTHERY, one cow; and to THOMAS GUTHERY a plantation on which he now lives, and to POLLY and NANCY GUTHERY the Plantation on which I now live; also a plantation in east Tennessee on French Broad River on which I formally lived; also the balance of my stock, farming utensils and household furnature to be equally divided between E. Polly and Nancy and if anything can be recovered on an obligation I now hold on John Anderson of forty pounds, it is to be equally divided among all my children. I also appoint THOMAS GUTHERY and GEORGE C. CRAFT the executors of this my Last Will and Testament and I do hereby utterly Disallow, revoke and Disannull all other testament, wills, legacies by me in anywise before made. Willing and confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this 1st day of May in the year of our Lord 1825. Adam Guthery (Seal) In Presence of Michael Craft William Craft State of Kentucky, Cumberland County Sct. I, Milton King, Clerk of the County Court for said county do certify that the within will of Adam Guthery, deceased, was proved in open court at the present August term by the oath of Michel Craft and William Craft, the two subscribing witness there to be recorded and I have truly recorded the same together with this certificate in my said office, this 20th day of August, 1827. Milton King

Cumberland County, Kentucky, USA

Cumberland County, Kentucky, USA on 20 Aug 1827

South of the Cumberland River, Cumberland County, Kentucky, USA

The James Guthrie Household
1M 50-59
1F 40-49
1M 20-29
2M and 1F 15-19
1M 10-14
1M and 1F 5-9
Total Free White Persons: 9
Total Household Members: 9

The Thomas Guthrie Household
1M 40-49
1F 30-39
2M and 1F 15-19
2M 10-14
1M and 1F 5-9
2M and 1F under 5
Total Free White Persons: 12
Total Household Members: 12

The Elizabeth Guthrie Household
1F 50-59
1F 30-39
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total Household Members: 2

The Polly Guthrie Household
2F 40-49
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total Household Members: 2

The Anslem Guthrie Household
1M 30-39
1F 20-29
2F 5-9
1M and 1F under 5
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total Household Members: 6

Nelles Creek, Cumberland, Kentucky, USA
The Thomas Guthrie Household
1M 30-39 (1801-1810)
1F 20-29 (1811-1820)
2M under 5 (1836-1840)
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total Household Members: 4
Note: This is the Thomas & Catherine (Bryson) Guthrie household. Thomas was the son of James Guthrie & Sarah ‘Sally’ Atchley, and therefore grandson of Adam & Mary (Anderson) Guthrie.
Household members include Thomas, wife Catherine, and sons, Ransom (1834) and Noah (1836).

Hamilton County, Tennessee, USA
The Thomas Guthry Household
1M and 1F 50-59 (1781-1790)
2F 40-49 (1791-1800)
2M and 1F 20-29 (1811-1820)
2M 15-19 (1821-1825)
1M and 1F 10-14 (1826-1830)
1F 5-9 (1831-1835)
1 Female Slave 10-23
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 5
Total Free White Persons: 12
Total Slaves: 1
Total Household Members: 13
Note: This is the last census record for Thomas Guthrie, son of Adam Guthrie who is believed to have died between 1840-1850.
Household members are likely to be Thomas Guthrie and wife Mary Canterbury, Thomas’ two unmarried sisters, Mary and Nancy, and his children: Elizabeth (1815), Lawson (1816), Thomas (1819), Mary (1822), James (1824), George (1825), Caroline (1828). Unidentified are 1M 10-14, 1F5-9 and 1 female slave 10-23. Sons William C Guthrie and Robert Henderson Guthrie are living in their own households nearby (see below).

The Wm C Guthry Household
1M and 1F 20-29
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Total Free White Persons: 1
Total Household Members: 1
Note: Household members include William and his wife Sarah Jane. William was a son of Thomas Guthrie and Mary Canterbury. They presumably married prior to the 1840 census. By 1850, this couple moved to Georgia.

The R H Guthry Household
1M and 1F 20-29
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total Household Members: 2
Note: Robert Henderson Guthrie, another son of Thomas Guthrie and Mary Canterbury, became a Methodist minister. He married Martha Levert Skillern on 27 Feb 1840 and they were enumerated in their own household for the census that year.

Hamilton County, Tennessee, USA

The Elizabeth Guthrie Household:
Elizabeth Guthrie 60 (born 1790) Value of Real Estate: 6000 born VA
Mary Guthrie 69 born TN (born 1781)
Elizabeth Guthrie 35 born KY (born 1815)
Thomas Guthrie 32 Farmer born KY (born 1818)
Mary Guthrie 28 born TN (born 1822)
James Guthrie 26 Farmer born KY (born 1824)
George Guthrie 25 born KY
Note: This one is a little confusing. By 1850, Thomas Guthrie appears to have died leaving his widow as the Head of Household, but the census taker mixed up some family names. It should have been as follows:

Mary Guthrie – age 60 – born in Virginia,  Value of Real Estate Owned: $6,000.00  (Mary “Polly” Canterbury Guthrie) Elizabeth – age 69 – born in Tennessee  (Elizabeth “Polly” Guthrie, daughter of Adam Guthrie) 

In the 1850 Hamilton County, Tennessee Agriculture Census Schedule, it correctly noted Mary Guthery (Guthrie) as the owner of the farm worth: cash value $6,000.00.

Living next door to the Mary Canterbury Guthrie family was the family of Lewis Hall and Mary Guthrie Hall, daughter of Thomas Guthrie and Mary Canterbury Guthrie. In 1850, the census taker gave the name of Lewis Hall’s wife as Martha and their oldest daughter as Mary. His wife was actually named Mary and the oldest daughter was named Martha. This is a fact. I am descended from Martha Adeline Hall Bassett Sylar (not Skylar), daughter of Lewis Hall and Mary Guthrie Hall.

1850 Hamilton County, Tennessee Census (Page 405B, District #27, Family 480/480) 
Lewis Hall – age 32 – born in Indiana, Value of Real Estate Owned: $700.00  
Martha – age 28 – born in Kentucky (should be Mary Guthrie, daughter of Thomas Guthrie and Mary “Polly” Canterbury 
Mary – age 10 – born in Tennessee (should be Martha Hall, oldest child of Lewis Hall and Mary Guthrie)
James – age 7 – born in Tennessee  
Jane – age 5 – born in Tennessee 
Elizabeth – age 2 – born in Tennessee

The Robert H Guthrie Household:
Robert W H Guthrie 31 (born 1819) Methodist Preacher born: KY
Martha Guthrie 30 TN (born 1820)
Mary Guthrie 8 TN (born 1842)
Martha Guthrie 6 TN (born 1844)
Thomas Guthrie 4 TN (born 1846)
James Guthrie 0 TN (born 1850)
Note: Robert W H Guthrie is Robert Henderson Guthrie, son of Thomas Guthrie and Mary Canterbury.

The Lawson Guthery Household:
Lawson Guthery 34 (born 1816) Merchant (Not Specified Retail Trade) born KY
Narcissa Guthery 18 (born 1832) born TN
Note: Lawson is the son of Thomas Guthrie and Mary Canterbury

The Joz. J Reeves Household:
Joz. J Reeves 33 Doctor born GA
Elizabeth Reeves 33 born GA
Jeremiah Reeves 9 born GA
Absalom Reeves 9 born GA
Laura Reeves 5 born GA
Mary Reeves 3 born GA
Joseph Reeves 0 born GA
George Nelson 25 Mason (Construction) born VA
Eno R Taylor 25 Carpenter (Construction) born NC
Jno. T Guthree 32 Daguerran (Misc. Personal Services) born NY
Minerva Guthree 35 born NY
Note: Appears to be an unassociated couple from NY. No known relation.


Guthrie Family Group: GFG7
Group Designation: Branch D

Haplogroup: R-M198 (Predicted)
Confirmed Haplogroup: (Unconfirmed)

YDNA Matches: 1
Kit 962550 + FF

Adam Guthrie/Mary Anderson > Thomas Guthrie/Mary Canterbury > Robert W Henderson Guthrie/Martha Levert Skillern > Robert Henderson Guthrie Jr/Sidney R ‘Nettie’ Farris (GGP)

Family Finder / Autosomal DNA Kits: 6
Kit 26340
Adam Guthrie/Mary Anderson > Thomas Guthrie/Mary Canterbury > Mary Guthrie/Lewis Hall > Martha Adeline Hall/Houston Hartley Skylar > William Luther Skylar/California Fryar (GGP)

Kit 215404
Adam Guthrie/Mary Anderson > George W Guthrie/Unidentified Spouse > Mary Ann Guthrie/David Sidwell > Elizabeth Sidwell/John David Enlow > Hannah Margaret Enlow/Byron Lamb >Byron Nelson Lamb/Alta Emmaline Horn > Margaret Lamb/Francis Bernard Smith (GGP)

Kit B13639
Adam Guthrie/Mary Anderson > George W Guthrie/Unidentified Spouse > Mary Ann Guthrie/David Sidwell > Mary Ann Sidwell/James Simpson Ball > William David Ball/Sophronia Henry Dillon (GGP)

Kit B50304
Adam Guthrie/Mary Anderson > George W Guthrie/Unidentified Spouse > Mary Ann Guthrie/David Sidwell > Mary Ann Sidwell/James Simpson Ball > William David Ball/Sophronia Henry Dillon (GGP)

Kit B93071
Adam Guthrie/Mary Anderson > George W Guthrie/Unidentified Spouse > Mary Ann Guthrie/David Sidwell > Mary Ann Sidwell/James Simpson Ball > William David Ball/Sophronia Henry Dillon (GGP)

Kit B217196
Adam Guthrie/Mary Anderson > Thomas Guthrie/Mary Canterbury > Mary Guthrie/Lewis Hall > Martha Adeline Hall/Houston Hartley Skylar (GGP)


Website: Adam Guthrie and Mary Anderson – Pioneer Family of East Tennessee – Coordinated by Floyd L Owsley

Website: Owsley and Related Families (Tree)

Website: Genealogy.comGenealogy Report: Descendants of Adam Guthrie – by Ronald-S-Guthrie-TN

Transcript: Petition of the Inhabitants of the Western Country [State of Franklin, 1787]

Website: NC Land Grant Images and Data

Website: TN County Formation Maps1784 (State of Franklin)

Book: Wilson, H. McKnight. (1954). The Tinkling Spring, headwater of freedom: a study of the church and her people, 1732-1952. Fishersville, Va.: Tinkling Spring and Hermitage Presbyterian Churches.

Book: White, K. K. (1966). The Kings Mountain Men: The Story of the Battle, with Sketches of the American Soldiers who Took Part. Dayton, Virginia, Joseph K Ruebush Company.

Article: Kastor, P. J. (1997). “Equitable Rights and Privileges”: The Divided Loyalties in Washington County, Virginia, during the Franklin Separatist Crisis. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 105(2), 193–226. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4249637