Joseph Guthrie of Liberty, Adams County, Ohio appears to be the progenitor of this group of Guthrie families. Several of his sons are noted to have been born in Virginia, so it is possible that Joseph was born there. Until recently, one of his descendants has been the lone project member representing this line with a Y-DNA test that had no matches to any established group. That result is no longer unique to him, as it appears that another lineage from Ohio also matches that Y-DNA profile. While this does not expand on our knowledge of Joseph Guthrie’s ancestry, it confirms that the genetic direct paternal line goes back as far as his generation.



Submissions welcome.


  • Descendants of Joseph Guthrie & Unknown (MNU) of Liberty, Adams, OH
  • Descendants of William Guthrie (1819OH-1844OH) & Katy Emeline Boyles

We don’t know much about Joseph Guthrie. He appears to have been living in Virginia at the time his first sons were born. He may have gone to Ohio by way of Pennsylvania. He was living in Liberty, Adams, Ohio during the time of the 1820 census.

William Guthrie was born in Ohio in 1819 and appears to have lived in Adams County his entire life. He married there in 1839 to Katy Emeline Boyles by whom he had 4 children.


Our current participants do not match the YDNA profile of any other Guthrie family group. The earliest potential common ancestor between the two lines is Joseph Guthrie himself, which means that the genetic mismatch goes back at least as far as Joseph’s generation. There is no obvious single surname source amongst their matches at the Y37 level of testing.

Their Haplogroup is I-M253, which reaches peak frequencies in Sweden and western Finland. Remember that haplogroups indicate prehistoric ancestry, so the direct paternal line ancestor of GFG15 may (or may not) have come from one of those Scandinavian countries, but does have ancient human ancestry in common with many who live there today.

Based on the fact that William Guthrie was born in Ohio and seems to have lived his entire life in an area originally settled by Joseph Guthrie, it is fairly easy to conclude that William is probably a direct descendant.

In 1820, the census of Liberty, Adams, Ohio did not list an infant in Joseph Guthrie’s household. It is also likely that Joseph already had a son named William Guthrie who was born about 1806.

Looking at the men named as Joseph’s sons (David 1792, Jonathan 1793, Joseph 1803, Elisha 1805, and William 1806), it appears that David Guthrie is the best candidate to be the father of William Guthrie.

David Guthrie, whose wife was Mary (MNU) was living in Huntington, Brown, Ohio in 1820. Huntington borders Liberty Township, Adams County. Most of what I know about the family structure comes from enumerations in the 1820, 1830, and 1840 censuses. There is a spot for an unidentified son born between 1816-1820. That’s a perfect fit for William Guthrie, born in 1819.

If you have more information on Joseph Guthrie of Liberty, Adams, Ohio and his descendants, please submit them.

Is This Your Piece of the Puzzle?

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