Descendants of this group need to be careful when it comes to the existing documentation on this family line. It is full of holes and wrong turns, in addition to an apparent genetic mismatch to either GFG2A or GFG3A depending on the origin theory. This is the story of Andrew S Guthrie’s adoption into the Guthrie Family of Bulls Gap, Tennessee.



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  • Descendants of Andrew S Guthrie 1801TN-1869TN & Isabella Rader


One of our key references in researching Guthrie families, especially those with early colonial roots, is ‘American Guthrie and Allied Families’ by Rev Laurence R Guthrie. This author painstakingly gathered family histories and trees, and conducted research on many of our early American immigrants. He traced their family lines, and hypothesized about relationships between various Guthrie families when the documentation did not provide the details. These theories were sometimes right, and sometimes found to be wrong. That seems to be the case with the family of Francis Guthrie. There may be an error in the reported family line, either an attachment to the wrong family tree, or a missing generation or two. 


Francis Guthrie born c1710IRE
Married: Unknown Spouse or Spouses
Reportedly a relation of the Guthries of GFG2A, no genetic proof as yet. 

Son#1: Robert Guthrie – Born c1727PA Died 1789VA
Married: Esther Giles
Y-DNA of Descendants = GFG3A

Son#2: Paul Guthrie – Born c1760 in IRE/PA Died 1798SC
Married: Elizabeth Bell
No Participants of this Line in the DNA Project

Son#3: James Guthrie – Born c1769 Died c1829TN
Married: Isabella Carmichael (not Isabella King)

Child: Andrew S Guthrie
Married: Isabella Rader
Y-DNA of Descendants = GFG10
Adoption into the Guthrie Family

Child: James G Guthrie
Married: Mary Ann Simpson
No Participants of this Line in the DNA Project 

Online trees based on author LRG’s published theory lists the birth of Francis Guthrie as c1710, and credit him with 3 sons: James, Paul, and Robert. Francis Guthrie reportedly was a Scottish immigrant who settled in Colerain Township, Lancaster County, PA. He was also theorized to be related to Guthries whose descendants are linked by DNA testing to Guthrie Family Group 2A.

If Francis is indeed the progenitor of this lineage, the timeline seems to suggest that we are missing some data or generations in between.

Francis was born, according to the history, about 1710. The first known Land Warrant for him is in 1738. The birth of the eldes of the three “sons”, Robert Guthrie, is about 1727, which would make Francis Guthrie about 17 years old at his birth. He is young, but certainly within an acceptable age range for procreation. Although it is possible that they are siblings rather than father-son.

Robert Guthrie is found on the 1776 Maryland Colonial Census living in Elizabeth Hundred, Frederick County, Maryland, with his family. Wife: Esther (Giles) Guthrie. Boys: John, James, Richard, & Robert. Girls: Ann, Pheeb, mary, Sarah, and Sarah Jane. Possible Sister: Mary Guthrie. A descendant of Robert & Esther is a genetic match for Guthrie Family Group 3A. The name Robert Guthrie is found in the Tax Records of Colerain, Lancaster, PA just beneath the entry for Francis Guthrie in 1756. This piece of evidence links Francis Guthrie and Robert Guthrie.

Paul Guthrie’s estimated DOB is over 30 years younger than his presumed brother, Robert Guthrie. Although a man of Francis’ estimated age of 50 is capable of producing a son, it seems likely that we would be dealing with a 2nd wife. According to one biography, Paul was actually born in Ireland rather than Pennsylvania. The story goes that Paull married Elizabeth Bell, who was the daughter of the Reverend John Bell. The reverend moved to South Carolina, and so Paul & Elizabeth (Bell) Guthrie moved with him. There is no Y-DNA or Family Finder participant from Paul’s line in the Guthrie DNA Project at this time.

Now take an already convoluted family tree and add a couple of new twists… 

James Guthrie was born about 1769, 42 years after the birth of presumed brother, Robert Guthrie. According to online data, James emigrated from PA to VA, and later on to the Bulls Gap area of Eastern TN. James and his wife Isabella were listed as parents to Andrew Guthrie and James Guthrie, although only the latter is listed in James’ will.

Y-DNA testing has provided some interesting evidence to rip apart the theory about Francis Guthrie and his descendants. We do need tests from additional sources to provide us with a clear picture of this Family Tree.

Contrary to the belief that Francis Guthrie was a relative of GFG2A Guthries from Lancaster County, PA, there is no Y-DNA connection to GFG2A.

Y-DNA testing of a descendant of Robert Guthrie & Esther Giles shows this line to be a genetic match for GFG3A. We also have descendants of this couple in the Family Finder Project.

So, one would expect the descendants of Paul Guthrie and James Guthrie to match Robert Guthrie, if they are indeed his brothers. There are currently no descendants of Paul Guthrie participating in the project, so we have no genetic data for Paul’s line.

The two children who are listed for James & Isabella (Carmichael) Guthrie are Andrew S Guthrie and James G Guthrie. We have no genetic data for the latter son. Y-DNA Testing from two men descending from Andrew S Guthrie & Isabella Rader have resulted in a unique Guthrie Group designation of their own. GFG10 does not match any other Guthrie group, nor does it appear to match any other group or list of people. There’re two other matches at the Y67 level, surnames Cameron and Perry.


Looking into the details about Andrew S Guthrie, we find a Goodspeed Biographical Sketch about Andrew’s son, Lewis William Guthrie. It indicates that Andrew’s father moved to MS when he was just a boy and left him in the care of relatives. Presumably, these relatives would be James & Isabella (Carmichael) Guthrie. So did Andrew assume the Guthrie surname? Or was he a Guthrie by birth, but one with “other” DNA? The mystery continues. 

Is This Your Piece of the Puzzle?

Consider helping everyone out by sharing your knowledge about your family line. There may be only a handful of people in your immediate family, but hundreds or thousands more around the globe who share your more distant Guthrie ancestry. A little bit of research can potentially provide someone with the clue they need. Contact Ann if you have info to share, want to write an article, or collaborate to create one.

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