Guthries of Craigie / SCT /Middlesex VA / Worcester MD

GUTHRIE FAMILY GROUPS consist of genetically unique lineages descended from a common paternal ancestor at some point in their shared past. This might be as distant as the Middle Ages when surnames developed or more recently during the Modern Age.

When we think about the GUTHRIE surname and its potential Scottish origins, it is likely that we associate it with the GUTHRIES of GUTHRIE and the builders of GUTHRIE CASTLE in Forfar, Angus, Scotland. The DNA project results have revealed that people of GUTHRIE ancestry come from a variety of genetic origins, and that all are not genetic descendants of the GUTHRIES of GUTHRIE. If any group can legitimately theorize a connection at this time it is GFG1A. The GUTHRIE DNA PROJECT includes a direct descendant of the GUTHRIES of CRAIGIE as a participant. Currently, YDNA matching has confirmed that historical paper trail as far back as the generation of James Guthrie and Christian Scott. This family, by its historical connections, descends from the GUTHRIES of GUTHRIE, so the results may be inferred as a match until subsequent DNA testing provides additional samples for confirmation.

There are still missing pieces to this genealogical puzzle showing us how these individual branches fit together into the larger GFG1A Family Tree. Do the Middlesex VA and Worcester MD branches have a common American ancestor, or were they descended from two separate immigrant ancestors? Current online family trees listing a connection between the Middlesex VA immigrant ancestors and the historical family tree should be considered only theoretical at best, and closely scrutinized, for there is no existing documentation identifying generations prior to Middlesex, VA at this time.



Charles Ronald Llewelyn Guthrie, 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. (Source: Wikipedia)  


  • Descendants of the Guthries of Craigie Lineages
  • Descendants of Patrick Guthrie & Agnes Foord of 1700s Scotland
  • Descendants of John Guthrie d1706VA & Elizabeth Baskett of Middlesex County, Virginia
  • Descendants of John S Guthrie b1815MD & Euphemia Jones. These are the “Snow Hill Guthries” of Worcester County, MD
  • Descendants of William Guthrie 1785 Ireland – 1850 California & Jane Steele
  • Descendants of George Leonard Guthrie c1845MD-1882/92 & Annie Maria White

We are fortunate to have Lord Charles Ronald Llewellyn Guthrie, Baron of Craigiebank, as a volunteer participant in the Guthrie DNA Project. His Y-DNA is a match for Guthrie Family Group 1A. The baron’s title is a modern one, and gives homage to his ancestors who lived at Craigie. The paper trail of his ancestral line is that of the Guthries of Craigie, which are in turn connected to the Guthries of Guthrie.

Patrick Guthrie was born and died in Scotland. His wife was Agnes Foord. They had 5 known children: Jannet, Patrick, Barbara, Anna, and James, all born between 1729 and 1739. One participant from this line is in the DNA project. He descends from their son Patrick Guthrie 1731SCT-dSCT & Margaret Smith. The family remained in Scotland until the late 1800s or early 1900s when William Petrie Guthrie settled in Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland. William’s son, Frederick Lewis Guthrie immigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1906.

John Guthrie was born in Scotland during the mid-1600s. His parents’ identies remain unknown. He may have immigrated to Christ Church Parish, Middlesex County, Virginia by the 1670s. His marriage to Elizabeth Basket occurred on 6 Feb 1686. The parish register credits them with 5 children: Ann, John, Richard, Masey, and Mary. Of the sons, only John’s lineage has been traced. John Guthrie (Jr) 1689VA-1733VA was married 3 times and produced children with wife Jane Mitcham and wife Mary Shay.

Benjamin Guthrie, born 1791-1794 in South Carolina is believed to be the son of James Guthrie 1756-1837, who is a descendant of Garritt Guthrie, and therefore a descendant of John Guthrie & Elizabeth Baskett. So far the documentation to prove that theory is lacking. However, the Y-DNA of a descendant matches GFG1A, so while the genetics cannot prove the specific parent-child connection, neither can they disprove the theory behind it. Benjamin likely married sometime prior to 1820 when his first known child was born. The family lived in Laurens County, South Carolina in the 1820s, was living in Troup County, Georgia in the early 1830s, and then moved to Chambers County, Alabama. The identity of Benjamin’s wife is unknown. Children: James Edward, William H, Martha Ann, John Harris, Eliza Jane, Joshua, Thomas Sanford (YDNA/FF), Barbara V, Rebecca, Caroline, Matthew William, and Harriette.

William Guthrie was born somewhere in Ireland about 1785. He married about 1840 in Perry, Armstrong, Pennsylvania to Jane Steele. They had 2 daughters and 4 sons. William drowned in California in 1850 where he was engaged as a contractor. His body was returned to Pennsylvania for burial.

GUTHRIE-JONES (aka Guthrie of Snow Hill MD)
John S Guthrie was born about 1815 in Worcester County, MD. He was a bootmaker. He married Euphemia ‘Fammie’ Jones in 1841. They lived in the area of Worcester County known as Snow Hill. They had 7 children: Martha, Nelson Gray, John James, May, Nancy, Ama, and Annie. There are several other families believed to be interrelated living in the Snow Hill area.

George Leonard Guthrie was born about 1845 in Maryland. Possible census matches place him in Worcester County, MD, which is also home to the Snow Hill Guthries of GFG1A. He married Annie Maria White sometime between 1860-1863. They had 1 daughter and 2 sons.

This couple and their descendants were originally placed into GFG2A-Branch H due to a false document trail. Their ancestor had lived in the same location as members of that group. This lineage has been determined to link instead to the William Guthrie-Elizabeth Wingfield line from Amherst, VA.

This participant’s known ancestors are all of the Godfrey spelling, although his Y-DNA is a match for GFG1A. Although the Godfrey spelling is sometimes found in lieu of Guthrie in early records, it is very rare and almost always an error. The name Godfrey has separate origins and is a surname in its own right. Chances are that this is an example of an adpotion or paternal event in past generations rather than an alteration of the Guthrie name. This person’s furthest known Godfrey was William Godfrey, born in PA c1800 and d in IN.

There are two Marshall surname matches at the Y67 level. No family trees attached. Most likely Guthrie DNA introduced to the Marshall line by a paternal event or adoption.  

There is one Salkeld match at the Y67 level and another at Y37 (participant did not upgrade to Y67). The latter names ancestor William Salkeld 1783-1840, and the former a Nicholas Salkeld born c1100-1135. Both are more examples of potential paternal events or adoptions.

The newest discovery for GFG1A is the lineage of John Guthrie (1821/2AL or TN-1889AR) & Nancy Mahala (MNU). Our Y-DNA participant has a 37/37 match with the men from GFG1A, and Autosomal Testing reveals closest matches are with the descendants of Henry Guthrie & Penelope Johnson.


The reigning theory about Guthrie Family Group 1A is that it descends from the original Guthrie lineage stretching back to Alexander Guthrie 1st of Kincladrum who in 1446 obtained a charter to the lands of Kincaldrum in the Barony of Lower Leslie and the Sheriffdom of Forfar. This line is (for the most part) well documented, and the lands and titles purchased, obtained or granted are traceable to those who have inherited them. 

This is the lineage connected to the Guthries of Guthrie, the Guthries of Gaigie, the Guthries of Taybank, and the Guthries of Craigie spelled out in that ancient rhyme. One must keep in mind that there is potentially a difference between historical documentation and genetic ancestry. Through paper trails and research, we have an historical ancestral tree for Guthrie Family Group 1A. The DNA Project reveals a genetic profile for those Guthrie families who share a common ancestry, and in the case of GFG1A, proves a genetic connection to a man with a documented historical ancestry with the Guthries of Craigie.

The generous donation of a DNA sample by a direct descendant of the Guthries of Craigie, has allowed other members of GFG1A to prove that they share a common paternal line ancestor.

Another Y-DNA match within GFG1A has proven a genetic connection within this line going back to James Guthrie (Merchant) 1669 Dundee, Angus Scotland – 1711 & Christian Scott. Their son James Guthrie was the first Baron of Craigie. The second participant descends from their son Patrick Guthrie.

Other lineages within the group share common ancestors somewhere on the same tree. The challenge is in discovering that exact connection. High quality YDNA testing (Y-111 markers) can narrow the estimated number of generations between two Guthrie men and their most recent common ancestor.

So, for example, if John Guthrie of Middlesex County, Virginia, was born in the mid-late 1600s, his common ancestor with Lord Charles would not be found in the 1700s. Looking at his lineage one finds James Guthrie 1698-1788, 1st Baron of Craigie, (Elizabeth Gardyne). This is probably too late. The next earlier generation is that of James Guthrie 1669-1711 (Christian Scott). Again, probably too late. He seems to be of the same generation as John Guthrie of Middlesex, VA. The next earlier generation is that of John Guthrie 1631-1666, Minister in Arbirlot (Isobel Lamb) . They actually had a son named John Guthrie born 5 Apr 1664, who was a merchant, and is known to have had 2 daughters by the names of Isobel and Margaret. This seems like a good place to start, keeping in mind that the Most Recent Common Ancestor could still be several generations back.

So now we know that GFG1A’s Middlesex VA connection with the historical Guthrie line reaches to a timeframe before the creation of James Guthrie 1740-1830 as 1st Baron of Craigie, with the first man as a potential common ancestor being John Guthrie 1631-1666, the Minister of Arbirlot. 

What about the other branch progenitors from GFG1A?

At the Y67 level, Patrick Guthrie’s descendant is a genetic distance of 6 from Lord Charles, so it appears that his Most Recent Common Ancestor is even more distant than Larry’s.

The Guthries of Snow Hill, Worcester County, MD might be descendants of John Guthrie & Elizabeth Baskett of Middlesex County, VA, or they might have come over on a separate voyage to America. That determination must be made before considering where he fits on the Guthrie Family Tree. The participant has only taken a Y37 marker test, so genetic distance comparisons are less accurate.

At this time we do not have a 2nd Guthrie in the project who can positively trace his lineage back to the Guthries of Guthrie and provide documented evidence. Additional participants from well documented lines are needed in order to determine that genetic identity of GFG1A is the same along more than one branch.


Use caution when tracing lineages in online trees and published works. The convenient information you find may also have inconvenient errors. Some resources can also look very official, yet have no original data to back it up. There is a huge difference between collecting random data and conducting actual research that includes original or secondary sources.

If you’re a Guthrie with roots in Colonial America, especially in the South, chances are that you’ll find information connecting your family line to the Guthrie family of Middlesex County, Virginia. It is one of the earliest family lines in America, and one that has frequently been co-opted by eager folk looking to find some ancestors whether or not there is documentation to prove it.

DNA testing has already proven that many of these conclusions were false. There are a lot of gaps in Virginia records for certain counties, and it is so tempting to latch on to a person with the same name in a county nearby whose records are better if not entirely intact.

The same thing goes for Descendants of proven GFG1A lines in trying to establish ties from America back across the water to Scotland. Historical records have gaps. Barking up the wrong branch of the right tree is still wrong.

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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