Category Archives: Guthrie

The John Guthrie Family Of Virginia

The John Guthrie Family Of Virginia

Beginnings
The name of Guthrie is an ancient one in the history of Scotland. The name of Guthrie was often corrupted among the English to “Guttery, Guttreg” or “Gutteridge”. An old tale without substance gives an alternative derivation for the name. One of the early Scottish Kings had taken shelter, along with two attendants, in a fisherman’s hut. The King, knowing his attendants would be hungry, asked the fisherman to prepare two fish for them, but the fisherman offered to feed the king as well and “gut three”; and so, the legend insists, the name stuck.

The lands known as Guthrie are in Angus. Squire Guthrie is the first of the name on record in Scotland, appearing in 1299. In this same year, the Laird of Guthrie was sent to France to invite Sir William Wallace to return to Scotland. Sir William Wallace did return.

It appears that the family got the Barony of Guthrie by charter from David II. In 1446 Alexander Guthrie of Guthrie acquired the lands of Kincladrum and became baillie of Forfar.

In 1457 Sir David Guthrie of Guthrie was armour bearer to the king and captain of the guard. In 1461 he was appointed Lord Treasurer of Scotland. In 1468 he obtained a charter to build a castle at Guthrie which is still standing; until very recently, this was the residence of the chiefs. He was appointed Lord Chief Justice of Scotland in 1473. David increased the estate of the family, as well as founded a collegiate church at Guthrie. In 1513, his son, Alexander, died at Flodden. 1.

The estate of Guthrie passed through cousins until John Guthrie, Bishop of Moray, became chief in 1636. He was the eleventh chief.

The Guthries held the Barony of Guthrie by Charter from King David II; but they were men of rank and property long before the reign of James II.

Alexander of Guthrie and his spouse, Marjory, obtained the lands of Kilkandrum in the Barony of Lower Leslie, and Sheriffdom of Forfar by charter from George, Lord Leslie, of Leven, the Superior, dated 10 April 1475.

“Alexander and Marjory had three sons, David, James, and William, of whom the eldest, Sir David Guthrie, Baron of Guthrie, was Sheriff of Forfar in 1457. He held the station of Armour Bearer to King James III, and was constituted Lord Treasurer of Scotland in 1461; in which post he continued until 1467, when he was appointed Comptroller of the Exchequer.”2. In 1469 he was made Lord Register of Scotland; and in 1472, he was one of the ambassadors on the part of Scotland, who met those of England on 25 April in that year at New Castle, and concluded a truce until the month of July, 1473. In 1473 he was made Lord Chief Justice of Scotland.

The Reverend James Guthrie, was a minister at Stirling and was executed for his writings in Edinburgh 1 June 1661. James was described by Oliver Cromwell as “The short man that would not bow.” Chambers in his History of Eminent Scotsmen, says:

“James Guthrie, the Martyr, one of the most zealous of the protesters as they were called during the religious troubles of the seventeenth century, was the son of the Laird of Guthrie. He became teacher of philosophy, and was much esteemed, as well for the equanimity of this temper as for his erudition.”

Most American Guthries can trace their lineage to pre-Revolutionary War immigrants from Scotland and Northern Ireland. Ireland was a stepping stone for many of our ancestors. James I, who assumed the English throne in 1603, ventured a plan to colonize the Emerald Isle with loyalist settlers from England and Scotland. The Scots saw this as an opportunity to both improve themselves economically and to follow their Presbyterian faith without interference from the Church of England. The resulting prosperity of the former Scots became their downfall.

To better understand why our immigrant ancestors followed the migratory trails they did, it is important to understand the political and religous conflicts of the times; therefore, the following is a brief outline of those times:

English merchants saw the new industry as a threat and enacted the Navigation Acts of 1650, 1660, 1663, and 1696. These acts were British regulations designed to protect British shipping from competition. These acts said that British colonies could only import goods if they were shipped on British-owned vessels and at least 3/4 of the crew of the ship were British.

England believed that the mercantile system was an explanation of the world economy, that wealth was finite, and that with a limited amount of wealth to be had in the world, any trade between countries accrued wealth in the direction of the trade advantage. In general, there was a belief in England that the colonies were a source of raw material for England’s manufacture, and an outlet for finished English goods. In other words, the colonies existed to benefit the mother country. Thus, it became important for England to limit the amount of trade coming and going from the colonies. In order to protect that trade, England found it increasingly necessary to legislate the terms of trade, starting with the Navigation Act of 1651, during Cromwell’s reign or “Protectorate.” This law kept Dutch ships out of the English colonies, and was a reaction to the closing of Dutch claims to New Holland, or New York as it would become known.

This first of the Navigation Acts coincided with the growing success and development of the various colonies themselves. As early settlements grew into expanded communities, immigration increased, commercial development became successful, and the need to reign in the colonies began to be felt in England. The growing prosperity of the colonies was a signal to England that in order to protect their long-term mercantile interests, there grew a need to monopolize trade with the colonies. This was the theory, anyway. England had less need for fish, wheat and lumber produced in the colonies, and the colonies expanded their trade to other European countries without significant English intervention. On the other hand, England was very much interested in controlling other exports from the colonies. The next Navigation Act of 1660 required that all imports TO the colonies had to first pass through England and be taxed.

The North American coastline could not be patrolled effectively, being rather long and providing many natural ports of entry and exit. The Navigation Act of 1663 was circumvented routinely by smugglers, much to English chagrin. Colonists encouraged illegal imports, and often shipped their raw materials to other European ports to avoid England’s desired monopoly. This necessitated the Navigation act of 1673, which required two things. First, all goods leaving colonial ports had to pay an export duty before departure, ensuring collection of tax before goods left the country. Second, it provided for customs agents to reside in the colonies to collect those duties. The importance of the Navigation Acts is that they provided a legal framework and precedent for controlling trade with the colonies that lasted until the Revolutionary war, a hundred years late.

To control Ireland, The Staple Act of 1663 was enacted to prohibit direct Irish exports for most goods. In 1699 this was expanded to prohibit export of goods anywhere except to England and Wales. During this period the Test Act was established by Queen Anne requiring all office holders to take the sacraments as prescribed by the Church of England.

Many Irish, and Scots who had been sent to colonize and strengthen the English claims in Ireland, retaliated by crowding into ships bound for America. This was in response to not only the financial loses faced with the new British legislation, but also was a response to the imposed religious intolerance to any religion outside the establish Church of England, which was established under Henry VIII, when he ran afoul of the Roman Catholic Church. (He refused to acknowledge the Pope, and set himself up as the head of the Catholic Church in England, ie. “Church of England”)

Since money was not available to pay for passage, the majority came as indentured servants, an arrangement which bound the servants for a term of 4 to 7 years. At the expiration of this time, the individual was given clothing, farm tools and usually some land. The arrangement was considered no more demeaning than a normal apprenticeship.

At first the immigrants avoided the southern colonies with their “Established” Church and New England with its “Puritanical ways.” Central Pennsylvania was the favored haven and future jumping off point for further migration. To satisfy their hunger for land, these settlers seldom observed legal proprieties. Their clannish ways made them poor neighbors for either the whites or the Indians. It was truly observed that “the Scots kept the Sabbath and anything they could get their hands on!”

Because of these religious persecutions under which the family suffered, James, John and Robert Guthrie decided to leave Edinburgh and emigrated to the new world, where they first settled in Boston.

James Guthrie of Suffolk County, Massachusetts was listed in the will of John Richardson, dated 7 May 1683, in which Richardson says, “I give and bequeath unto James Guthrie all I have in the world except twenty shillings to buy John Harris a ring and ten shillings to buy John Kyte a ring.” This was witnessed by John Raynsford and John Ramsey.

It is said that this James Guthrie migrated from New England to Bermuda 3.

John Guthrie, of the Jamestown settlement came to America in 1652. Several traditions exist as to his origins in the Americas. One says that he was one of three brothers who emigrated. (How often do we hear that one?!) Another says that he received a grant of land in America from King Charles I of England, prior to Cromwell’s rebellion, and that when the latter came into power, in order to save his life, he was forced to leave England because of his loyalty to the Crown. This tradition claims that his brother, James Guthrie, was beheaded by Cromwell, a fate which he came near to sharing, and assigns the date of his flight as circa 1632. It should be noted here that, while Cromwell held no love for James because of James’ loyalty to the Crown Cromwell did not execute James, who was beheaded in 1661, as previously mentioned.

The first record of John was taken from “Index to Land Grants, Isle of Wight Company, Virginia, book 3, p. 315.” Here it lists: “John Gutteridge, 1654, 350 (acres) .”

In Virginia Colonial Militia 1651-1776, by Crozier, p. 103, it says: “Military officers in Virginia 1680; Isle of Wight Co. Col. Jos. Bridger Commander in Chief of ye horse in ye counties of Isle of Wight, Surry Nanzemond and Lower Norfolk, John Gutridge, Captain.” The same book p. 99 gives Middlesex County Militia,…among others, John Gutteridge.

John married Elizabeth Baskett, 6 February 1686 [Record of Christ Church Parish, Middlesex County, VA]

The principle information concerning John and his immediate descendants was found in a letter which follows:

“Martinsferry, Ohio
March 12th, 1867”

“My Dear Daughter:

“Believing that it would be agreeable to you to know something of your Ancestors, I propose to give you some account of what I have learned by Tradition.

“I am informed by tradition that my Paternal Great Grandfather obtained a Grant for a tract of land in America, emigrated from England some time in Cromwell’s Rebellion and located his Grant on the North side of York River, in Poropotank Neck, in Stratten Major Parish, King and Queen County, Virginia, and that he had four sons, and lived to be old, and that he danced a jig when he was one hundred and five years old, and that he lived to be one hundred and ten years old and at his Death he Bequeathed sixty acres to each of three sons, and the balance to my Grandfather, and it is the Homestead where I was born. The farm is surrounded on two sides by a branch of the Poropotank Creek. I often have heard my father of being the Heir at Laws in this Country and if there should be any thing coming from England he would be the heir.

“My Maternal Grandfather, George Pigg, was a surveyor, and I have heard it said was born in the year one, that is, in the year 1701, but don’t know at what time he emigrated from England. But was in this country when he was twenty-five years old and stood as Godfather for my Grandmother according to the rules of the Episcopal Church and when she was twenty-five years and he fifty years old they were married. They had six children three sons and three daughters of whom Rachel Pigg the second daughter was my mother who was born in 1760. I am not positive what my Maternal Grandmother’s maiden name was but think it was Murie.

“I have heard it said that my Grandfather in surveying called the neighborhood where King and Queen Court House now stands the frontiers which is not more than forty or fifty miles from Chesapeake Bay. He procured a beautiful farm on York River a few miles above Poropotank Creek which he left to his oldest son his two oldest sons enlisted and served three years at the North in the Continental Army and returned in the year 1780 that remarkable cold winter when it was said that a beef could be roasted on the ice, and then George, the second son enlisted and went South and died there of excessive heat and fatigue. My father and one brother enlisted in the Continental Army for three years and was through the New England States. He was Sergeant and returned in the winter of 1780. He was married three times my mother being his third wife and I was born in February 23, 1793.

“I have given you Dear Daughter the most important terms that I derived from tradition which I am sure will be gratifying to you.

Henry P. Guthrie”

In the above letter Henry P. Guthrie stated that his great grandfather, had four sons. The four sons’ names are not given; however, from the given names of the earliest Guthries listed on p. 4 of “American Guthries and Allied Families”, the given names are listed in the following order:

  • John, who received the chief portion of their father’s estate. The remaining three received 60 acres each.
  • Edward
  • James, and
  • Daniel
    Robert Guthrie of Edinburgh, Scotland, was an early settler on Block Island, and was overseer of the poor in 1687. He died 3 December 1692. He married 1st, Margaret, born 1633; died 5 April 1687. He married 2nd, Anna, daughter of Dr. John and Sarah Palgrave Allcocke, widow of John Williams. They had a daughter, Catherine Guthrie, born on Block Island, 24 June 1690; married 9 September 1706, John Sands, and died at Cow Neck, LI, 10 February 1769.

    Descendants of James Guthrie of Virginia
    Records of the Guthrie Family of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Virginia,
    by Harriet M. & Evaline Guthrie Dunn; Chicago, Illinois, 1898, pp. 158-164.

    James Guthrie served as a Sergeant in Captain Phillip Taliaferro’s Company known also as Captain Thomas Minor’s Company, and as as Captain Nathaniel Welch’s Company, 2nd Virginia State Regiment, Revolutionary War.

    James enlisted to serve three years. The company served as follows:

  • At White Plains in July and August, 1778
  • At West Point in September 1778
  • At Middlebrook from October 1778 to April 1779
  • At Smith’s Clove in May and June 1779
  • At Camp Romapan in July 1779, and again
  • At Smith’s Clove in August 1779
    John Guthrie, a brother of James, served as fifer in the same Company.

    The Clan Guthrie Website: Guthrie History at http://www.clanguthrie.org/history.html

  1. Records of the Guthrie Family of Pennsylvania, Connecticutt, and Virginia; by Harriet M. & Evaline Guthrie Dunn; Chicago, Illinois, 1898, pp. 1-2
  2. American Guthrie and Allied Families – Lineal Representations of the Colonial Guthries of Pennsylvania, Connecticutt, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North & South Carolina, et al; by Laurence R. Guthrie, A.B., B.D.; published by the Kerr Printing Company, Chambersburg, PA; p.1
    For further reading on the Guthrie Clan of Scotland, visit Clan Guthrie, USA.

    Inserted from <http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~eaglesnest/Histories/guthrie.html>

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Guthrie Castle

Guthrie Castle Overview
A stately edifice of E Central Angus, Guthrie Castle lies immediately to the west of the village of Guthrie, 2 miles (3 km) west of Friockheim and 2½ miles (4 km) northeast of Letham. Built in 1468, under a warrant issued by King James III (1452 – 88) to Sir David Guthrie (1435 – 1500), who was Lord Treasurer and Lord Justice-General of Scotland, the castle originally consisted of a square keep of three storeys and a garret, with walls 2.5-m (8-foot) thick. A modern house was built adjacent around 1760. In 1848, this was linked to the old tower via a panelled Great Hall by the architect David Bryce (1803-76), who extended the conjoined buildings to form a pleasing country house. The old keep retains much of its original form, although the entrance directly into the first floor, in the middle of the south front, was removed and the cap-house and fortified parapet are Victorian recreations by Bryce. The tower now incorporates the library, snooker room and principal bedrooms.
The grounds of the castle extend to 63 ha (156 acres) and include a loch, a horseshoe-shaped walled garden dating from 1614, a 9-hole golf course and a 160 year-old yew hedge shaped as a Celtic Cross.
The Guthries had their lands confiscated for a time at the end of the 16th century on the orders of James VI, following a feud with the Gardynes. However, they were later recovered and Guthrie Castle remained their home until 1984 when it was sold to the American entrepreneur and the motivational guru Daniel S. Pena. Pena completed a grand scheme of restoration in 2003. The castle remains a private residence, but also serves as the headquarters of Pena’s business activities and is available as an exclusive golfing retreat and conference centre.
Guthrie Castle is said to be haunted.
Guthrie Castle-Pt 2
The castle as described in the Guthrie Castle Brochure which was published ca. 1980……
As built originally by Sir David in 1468 consisted of the square tower only. It is believed that the family gave up living in the Tower and built a house close by in about 1760. In 1848 the present Chieftainess’s great grandfather Jhohn Guthrie of Guthrie, connected the Tower to the house, resulting in the finely panelled hall with the oak staircase leading to the bedrooms above and the well proportioned Drawing Room and Dining Room. The Yett or iron gate which was the original entrance to the Castle now hangs at the entry to the wild flower garden. In the Panelled Hall with its large fireplace the portrait of William Wallace although painted after his death is interesting; and also the finely carved candle. Portraits of various members of the Guthrie family dating from 1732 hang yp on the oak staircase, on the first flight of which is a carved chair known as “King James Chair” which has been in the Castle for many years.
The Library, part of the old Castle, contains some fine paintings by Augustus John, O.M., a portrait by Laslo, and a very attractive Guardi of the late Italian School. The bosses with the Guthrie Crest (one also on the staircase) are interesting, being charming examples of late 15th century Scottish wood carving. They bear traces of the original colour decoration, patches of red and black being clearly discernible in the mouldings. They were removed from the Guthrie “Aisle” where the members of the family are buried. On the bookcase rest various examples of Guthrie China originally glazed in China. The thickness of the Tower walls can be clearly seen at the door and the windows. Of the Library there are doors leading to the Drawing Room and on the left in the alcove the start of the stairway leading to the Tower.
The Drawing Room built in 1848 possesses a very beautiful ceiling and fine proportions. Above the carved marble fireplace hangs a good example of Orpen’s work-a stud of his wife.
The Ghost Room….At the top of the staircase you walk straight into the original West bedroom with its dressing room. This room has a reputation of being haunted. It is reported that when the Bishop of St. Andres was staying at the Castle many years ago, he woke up to see a lady dressed in black with a bunch of keys round her waist walk into the bedroom and sit down on the bed. He described the ghost next morning. It is thought to be one of the Guthrie Ladies, who, following a very extravagant Mrs. Guthrie went round the Castle every night locking everything up. The ghost was last seen by one of the present members of the family when she was a small girl.
The Tower Room…From there you walk up the original staircase to the Tower Rooms which in ancient days was used as the dining hall. This room is similar to its original state and contains the finest fragments of ancient 15th century mural painting in Scotland and are the surviving example. These fragments were removed fromhte Guthrie “Aisle” for the sake of preservation. The mural was once part of the old Church. When the Church was rebuilt after the Reformation it was placed in the Guthrie “Aisle” on the ceiling. It is known as a “Doom” painting and depicts the Last Judgement.
The Guthrie Bell….There is also a painting of the Guthrie Bell which is now in the National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburg. This bell was in the Guthrie family from a very early date and remained at Guthrie Castle until it was handed over to the Museum in 1922. The bell itself is probably the relic of some important Saint whose fame was handed down until late in the mediaeval period. It may well date from before the 8th century. Above the Tower Room is a squash court which was once an old bedroom. Thom here one can walk round the battlements and obtain a fine view of the surrounding countryside and the Castle gardens.
The Castle Gardens….There are two gardens adjacent to each other-the walled garden and the wild garden. Both the gardens face south and are close in proximity to the Castle. No one appears to know the date of the walled garden which is beautifully built and is in a horseshoe shape, the wall on the North side of the garden being of great height. It is possible it was built at the same time as the Castle or it was built round about the 16th century. The Monks, who were renowned builders, may have had a hand in its construction. The notable features of the garden are the Yew Hedges, which are approximately 130 years old, and the Terraces which are flanked on the East side by a Herbaceous Border, and on the West side by Floribunda Roses. The garden also contains many species of roses and other flowers, the Lilies being prominent. Leaving the walled garden by the West gate you walk into the wild garden. As you enter the wild garden you will notice a very attractive stone arch dated 1601, where the original Iron Yett now rests. Strangely enough the Yett fits the arch to perfection. The wild garden was laid out in 1925 and was formerly a wood. There are many fine shrubs in the garden; in particular the Azaleas and Maples are very beautiful. Early in the year the ground is covered by many bulbs, followed by Meconopsis and Primulas. The garden draws many visitors in May when it is at its best.
(Please note: the garden and the castle are no longer owned by a Guthrie and are not a part of any tour. The Guthrie Castle, Forfarshire, Angus, Scotland now owned outside the family is a private home and business with accommodation for those who book for the Dan Pena Seminars.)
{source} The Princess of Greater Scythia, and from the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.

Guthrie History

Guthrie History
Crest and Tartan
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE GUTHRIE CLAN FROM THE GUTHRIE CASTLE BROCHURE……………………More than one historian of Angus gives it as the current opinion that the Guthrie family is the oldest in the county, but, though certainty on this point cannot be arrived at, it is nevertheless true that their records go back to a very early period.
The name is probably derived from that of “Guthrum”, a Scandinavian prince who settled here in the dawn of Scottish history.
In the year 1299, the Northern Lords of Scotland sent Squire Guthrie to France to desire the return to Scotland from that country of Sir William Wallace and resume the fight against the English. Guthrie embarked at Arbroath; landed at Calais, from whence he conveyed Wallace back to Montrose.
The barony was originally granted by David II to Sir David Guthrie, King’s Treasurer, who subsequently obtained a warrant from James III of Scotland under the great seal to build a castle and a “yett” (entrance gate) at Guthrie in 1468. A stronghold undoubtedly existed long before that period. The Castle with additions has continued to be the family residence up to the present day. Sir David’s son, Sir Alexander Guthrie, and his son, David, fell on Flodden Field in 1513, along with his three brothers-in-law.
Sir David’s brother, Richard, then Abbot of Arbroath, succeeded.
From then onwards the Guthries have been prominent in the ecclesiastical affairs of Scotland, there having been two Bishops in the family (Morray and Dunkeld) and also in the military and literary fields.
THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA 2000……..
“Guthrum” also spelled Godrum, or Guthorm, also called Aethelstan, Athelstan, or Ethelstan (d. 890), leader of a major Danish invasion of Anglo-Saxon England who waged war against the West Saxon king Alfred the Great (reigned 871-899) and later made himself king of East Anglia (reigned 880-890).
Guthrum went to England in the great Danish invasion of 865, and in mid-January 878 he attacked Alfred’s kingdom of Wessex. Although all Wessex was overrun, a successful counterattack by Alfred in May brought Guthrum to terms. While negotiations were in progress, Guthrum allowed himself to be baptized under the name Aethelstan, with Alfred as his godfather. The treaty was signed at Aller in present-day Somerset, and in accordance with its terms Guthrum withdrew to East Anglia, where in 880 he founded a partly Christian state and issued coinage under his baptismal name. A copy of a peace treaty that he made with Alfred the Great in 886 is still in existence.
Guthrum’s death is noticed by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 890, and he appears to have been vaguely remembered in Danish and Norman traditions preserved by Saxo Grammaticus and Dudo of St. Quentin.
THE GUTHRIES OF SCOTLAND FROM “THE GUTHERY FAMILY OF GREENE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA” BY MARY GRAY MAY
The origin of the name of Guthrie goes so far back in antiquity that it has been lost. It is said by antiquaries to be of Pictish tribal tongue and akin to some Icelandic and Danish names. It is so ancient as to hold the distinction of having a legend concerning the beginning.
“One of the kings of Scotland was driven on Bervie Brow which was a rock on the Kincardineshire coast on the east coast of Scotland. He found a solitary fisherwoman on the shore and being hungry he asked her to gut twa fish for him. ‘I’ll gut three’, volunteered the loyal dame. ‘Well, replied the king, ‘Gut three, forever thou shalt be.’ “
The family origin was certainly on the eastern shore of Scotland in the county of Angus or as it is now known Forfarshire, where the race was cradled at a very early time. The family apparently took the name from church lands in the parish of Guthrie. As early as 1308 there was a barony of Guthrie held by the Earl of Crawford. In 1440 a George Guthrie was recorded in some land grants. But the first distinct member of the family to leave any record behind him was David Guthrie, an esquire to the Earl of Crawford. He was a remarkable man, being a soldier, churchman and lawyer and was knighted by the English king. Around 1465 he bought the barony of Guthrie of the Earl of Crawford. He also purchased the patronage and church of Guthrie from the Abbey of Arbroath not far away and made it into a collegiate church with a provost and three canons. He had inherited the estate of his father Alexander Guthrie of Kincaldrum which was in the family down to 1676. He was the most distinguished member of the long line of Guthries holding many posts of honor. He was Lord High Treasurer and Lord Chief Justice of Scotland. He was once sent to France on an errand for the king. He was also a deputy of the Sheriff of Forfarshire and Armour Bearer to King James III. Some of the history of the family may be found in “The Land of the Lindsays”, by Andrew Jervise. They were rough, these lairds, as people of their day were rough; they and the Garden family held a deadly feud, waylaying each other on the highway between Brechin and Dundee and taking lives without mercy. Sir David’s son fell at Flodden along with his son and three brothers-in-law. During the reign of Charles I of England, difficulties arose in the family and the present laird Alexander sold his estate to his cousin, Bishop Guthrie of Moray. Bishop Guthrie belonged to the Colliston branch. He had a brother James, ancestor of the Craigie and Taybank line. After the sale of Alexander’s lands (he who was Laird of Guthrie, or in other words Guthrie of Guthrie) Sir David had built a castle and fortifications for himself on the lands of Guthrie. It was occupied by descendants of his kinsman Bishop Guthrie as late as 1882. You may see it at this day (1955). There were several branches of the Guthrie family, all landholders in Angus (Forfarshire). They married into the families of nobles and the gentry and held positions of honor as well as dishonor, in some cases, according to our present day views of ethical behaviour. And one Guthrie was executed as a witch.
There is a provincial couplet referring to at least three freeholders of the name in the shire of Angus as follows:
Guthrie of Guthrie
And Guthrie of Gaigie,
Guthrie of Taybank
And Guthrie of Craigie.
Also there were the following families listed as kin to the others:
Guthries of Carbuddo
Guthries of Colliston
Guthries of Kinblethmont
Guthries of Menmuir
Guthries of Pitforthy
So from any one of these branches our ancestors may have stemmed. Apparently they were all related.
At different periods Guthries went over to northern Ireland and became Scotch-Irish as in the case of our direct line. Both here and in Scotland the spelling of the name has been changed. Probably this happened when clerks made out legal documents as deeds and so on. In Scotch records the name of the same Guthrie will be found spelled in various ways, as here in America: Guthrie, Guthery, Guthrey, Guttry, and so on. Our ancestor used Guthery, but whether from choice or thrust on him by local spelling by sound cannot be determined. Wherever old families are found there will be seen corruptions of the original spelling.
“ETHNOLOGY AND NAME” FROM “AMERICAN GUTHRIE AND ALLIED FAMILIES” BY LAURENCE RAWLIN GUTHRIE……………
The old-world home of the Guthries is in Forfarshire, anciently known as Angus, the most southerly of the Highland shires on the east coast of Scotland. The landscape is beautiful and diversified; a wide fertile valley having the rough and rugged Grampians to the north, the less striking Sidlaw Hills to the south and east of the latter, the Coastal Plain extending to the Firth of Tay and the North Sea. The glens of the southern Grampians and the lochs and streams of the valley are famous for their beauty. The climate of Forfarshire is healthful and the air invigorating. The region is favorable for agriculture; and this occupation and fishing and stone quarrying have been the chief pursuits of the inhabitants from the earliest times. Such natural environments and occupations have had an influence, as they always do, in moulding the vigorous and substantial physical and mental characteristics of the people; but greater than these is the
influence of race, to which attention is now directed.
The old stock of Guthries has probably been indigenous to Forfar for a thousand years and their blood is that of the better class native of the shire. The ancient family controlled the whole of Angus and for centuries the Guthries have exerted a dominant influence in the affairs of the locality. The natives of this country represent a number of racial crossments. The Old Stone Age, or Paleolithic men left none of their crudely formed stone implements in Scotland, though these are occasionally found in England. It is doubtful whether these elemental men ever fought and hunted in the antediluvian wilds of the North and certain that there are no vestiges of their race in the modern population. The New Stone Age, or Neolithic men appeared in the British Isles after they had assumed their present geographic dimensions. Their weapons and implements of polished stone are plentiful in Forfarshire. From bones found in their burial mounds, some physical characteristics of this race have been determined. They had “long oval heads, higher than they were broad, finely moulded and curving from a narrow brow to a full round occiput.” Their lithe bodies were smaller than the average men of today and are supposed to have been dark of skin, hair, and eyes. They are regarded as belonging to the ancient Iberian race, whose most notable present-day representatives are the Basques inhabiting the Spanish and French slopes of the Pyrenees. Distinct traces of their type are discernable in the modern Forfar.
Several hundred years before the dawn of history another people entered Britain from the continent. They came originally from Asia the cradle of mankind, were descendants of Japheth the elder son of Noah and of them we read – “By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” (Gen. 10:5). After Babel they began their pre-historic migration moving along both the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean, crossing to Spain, constantly ceasing from their pilgrimage on the cool shore of Scandinavia. Thus we have the “Celtic Fringe” of western Europe, for this race was the “Kelts” of the ancient writers, the “Celts”(also known as Gauls or Gaels) of the anthropologists. They were far superior physically, mentally and spiritually to the aborigine of Britain, whom they completely subdued, retaining only the best of their captives as slaves. The newcomers were tall, their average height being five feet, eight inches. The skull was almost round, the face broad, the brows beetling, the cheek-bones prominent, the jaw rugged and massive. They were dark blonds and must have presented striking figures surrounded by their stone age slaves, in contrast with whom they resembled the ancient gods come down from mighty Olympus. They tilled the soil, raised stock, wove cloth, made pottery and wrought in bronze and iron. The impress of the Celt is graven deep in Forfarshire. There his implements, his round barrows, his “weems” (underground houses) and traces of his lake dwellings are to be found and unquestionably his race supplied the fundament of the present population. Practically all the subsequent racial elements which affected the people of eastern Scotland were Celtic crossments. For example – the pre-historic migrations of Nordics from the adjacent mainland. These people represented a fusion of the ancient Finns with the Celts and were the ancestors of the modern Danes. They made the largest single contribution to the modern race of Forfar. McIntosh describes the Danish type thus; – “In general tall, walking with a swinging gait, a long neck and rather narrow shoulders; the head is narrow, and increasing in width to a large occipital region. The face is long with rather coarse features, a long high nose, high cheek-bones, with a sudden sinking in above on each side of the forehead. The eyes are grey or grey-blue; the mouth is rather prominent, the chin rather receding; the hair, yellowish flaxon, yellow, red, auburn, chestnut, or reddish brown. The whiskers generally red and the complexion sandy. In character the Danish type is active, energetic and with a tendency to be always doing things and thus frequently getting into scrapes. It is determined, courageous and ambitious; proud, vain and ostentatiously benevolent; has a high sense of honor and is warm in love and hate; is obliging, hospitable and has a tendency to extravagance in eating and drinking; is very sociable and convivial; has a talent for practical science but is deficient in capacity for philosophical studies; good speakers but poor listeners; show a tendency to profit by inventions and a capacity for pushing on material civilizations.”
With the advent of the Romans, written history begins, but they tell us little about the inhabitants of northern Britain save that they were impressed by their huge limbs and red hair. Agicola regarded them as a different race from the Gauls and Britons, with whom he was well acquainted, hence his judgment must have been based upon the common occurence among them of types with which he was unfamiliar. About A.D. 84, he encountered the “Caledonians,” (probably so called from the country) under their great chieftain Calgacus, at Mons Graupius, (incorrectly spelt Grampius and Granpius) supposed to have been in the southern Grampians and traditionally declared to have been in Forfar. Furious fighting lasted all day, during which the enemy wielding weapons of iron and driving chariots armed with scythes, by their impetuous assaults again and again well-nigh overwhelmed the disciplined veteran Roman legions. At night-fall the natives, according to their custom, withdrew into their wooded and rugged fastnesses whither the heavily armed Romans could not follow. At this time the Romans had a fortified camp at the mouth of the Isla, at a place now called Inchtutyhill, but soon afterward abandoned it. Their tenure of the North was so short and so insecure that no element of their blood was introduced into the country.
Whether the Caledonians of the Romans were identical with the Picts is a mooted question. If not, then the latter had a part in the racial make up of the people of eastern Scotland. The preponderance of the evidence indicates that Picts appeared in Scotland at a later date than that when the Romans were in contact with the natives of the North. Gildas, a trustworthy ancient historian, represents them as being “a trans-marine nation, coming from the northeast or north northeast in a few long boats,” about the year A.D. 400. The date of Gildas is at least one hundred years too late. “The Caledonians and other Picts” are mentioned in the year A.D. 300. The Picts were thus evidently of Scandinavian origin. McIntosh in describing the Norse type says – “Stature generally tall; neck rather short and shoulders rather broad; head a short parallelogram, with square forehead and rather flat face; grey eyes, high nose, but not so long as the Danish; cheekbones often a little projecting; mouth well-formed and often a little depressed; chin angular and rather prominent; complexion of men – ruddy, with brown or sandy hair and sandy whiskers; that of the women – fair, of a pinkish or lily hue. The type has good mental abilities, and with sufficient inducement to cultivation, capable of attaining high rank, but very deficient in precocity; practical, orderly, cleanly; obliging to an unparalleled degree, though not free from suspicion; honest in the extreme, disdaining to take advantage of strangers, making no charge for services, refusing any returns for favors bestowed.”
A wedge-shaped northern intrusion of the Angles and Saxons divided the Picts in southern Scotland into those of Galloway on the southwest and those of Forfar and adjacent shires on the northeast. The territory seized by these fair haired, smooth bodied, medium statured invaders became the Scottish Lowlands, in which their tongue was spoken, but their blood did not influence the Pictish populations to any appreciable extent.
About the year A.D. 503, a small band of “Dalriadic Scots,” of northwestern Ireland, appeared in Argylshire, Scotland. They represented a racial crossment between Norse ivaders and Irish aborigines, hence were cousins of the Picts. They were Christians of the Irish type of that time and introduced the Gailic language wherever they gained the ascendency. A bitter struggle of many years for the mastery of the land was carried on between the Picts, the Anglo-Saxons and the Scots. The latter inspired by missionary zeal, fanatically pressed on under the leadership of their saint Columba. In A.D. 685, Angles and Saxons from Northumbria, under their king Egfrith, invaded Forfarshire and engaged the Picts under king Burde in a mighty battle, an earlier Bannockburn, at Dunnichen, Egfrith was slain and his hosts utterly routed. A.D. 730, the Pict, Aengus, defeated the Scots under their king Elpin, in the parish of Liff, Forfar. Meanwhile the Picts had begun a mortal struggle with the “terrible Northmen,” the Danes, who were harrying their coasts. Right bravely the Picts defeated and repelled the foothold in Forfar, but the proud defenders of their soil, weakened by constant warfare with their enemies, about the year A.D. 850, were completely conquered by the Scottish prince of Argyle, Kenneth McAlpine, who became king of the land and introduced Irish Christianity and the Gaelic language.
The Picts, however, were by no means entirely exterminated, as old legends represent, though they did lose all national identity. If the truth were known we believe that it would reveal a considerable amount of Pictish blood in the ancient Guthries, probably some from the veins of Prince Aengus himself.
The people of Forfarshire were not affected so far as their blood was concerned by the efforts of the Norman-English to conquer Scotland which were permanently ended by the famous victory of Robert Bruce at Bannockburn, A.D. 1214. Thus in Scotland there did not occur the succession of conquests which crowned the campaigns of the invaders of southern Britain. Instead as we have seen the sturdy people of the North and in particular of Forfarshire were able to repulse their enemies, and with the sole exception of the Scots of Ireland, none of them gained a final victory. Men of letters, but ignorant of the race generally, have ascribed the successes of our ancestors to the rough and inaccessible nature of their country. It is true that this was an advantage to them at times, but it was more than offset by their inferior equipment and disorganized mode of warfare. The fact is that they had chiefly to thank their brave hearts and strong arms with which they defended their independence against all comers.
The combination of the foregoing racial elements as found in the old stock of Guthries formed a type more nearly like that of the Danish than any other although Norse and other characteristics are noticeable. The type was – generally tall; shoulders broader than the Danish type; walking with a swinging gait, very pronounced in certain individuals; neck rather short; head medium narrow, rather long, well formed in the occipital regions and full in those portions which phrenologists say denote self-esteem, firmness and veneration. The face was rather long; the forehead narrow and high with beetling eye-brows; the temples often sunken, the eyes deep-set and frequently rather close together and in color blue, grey, brown and reddish brown. The nose high, straight and usually thin; the mouth well-formed and often a little depressed; the jaw well-formed, cheek bones not prominent; the chin somewhat receding. The hair brown, dark-brown auburn or red; the complexion fair and ruddy. The type has good mental abilities, is orderly and practical, capable of success in trades and professions. It is sincere, honest, obliging but not free from suspicion; is unostentatious and lacking in self assertiveness; usually energetic and devout.
During the crusades, the use of surnames developed rapidly in the Holy Land, where many knights were gathered bearing such names as Geodfrey, Gilbert, Stephen, and William. Under such conditions the surname became a necessity to distinguish persons of the same given name from one another. This need had not previously existed at the castle in the homeland, where seldom more than two persons had the same name. Once the practice of employing surnames had gained vogue amongst the Crusaders, like many of their other newly acquired habits, it rapidly spread throughout western Europe. Some of the early surnames were those which referred to personal appearance, such as, – Armstrong, Brown, Broadhead, Strong and White. Other names referred to the occupation of the bearer, such as – Clarke (clerk), Chamberlain, Farmer, Fuller, Mason, Miller and Smith; still other names were derived from the places or lands where the persons dwelt. Good authorities place the name of Guthrie in the last-mentioned class.
In the folk lore of the old country more or less creditable tales are circulated as to the origin of certain names. A fair version of one of these relating to the name of Guthrie, always told somewhat gleefully by the native Scot, follows: A certain ancient Scottish monarch, desiring to be informed as to the state of affairs within his realm, sometimes traveled incognito among his subjects. On one such tour he found himself belated along the East coast and applied at the door of a fisherman’s cot for a night’s lodging. He was bade enter by the “gudewife,” who seeing an air of distinction in her unexpected guest, though unaware of his real identity, began to prepare for him the best that the humble home afforded. An old saying is that the shoemaker’s wife goes without shoes; likewise it is the fisherfolk who do without fish; so she thought that she was doing very well when she began to prepare a fish for the stranger’s evening repast. Just at that moment her husband entered and at a glance took in the situation. He was a “dour” man and saw no reason why his wife should make extra preparations for the wayfarer, who had sought shelter beneath his roof. Illy concealing a scowl, he inquired roughly of his mate, – “Whit wy aire ye fashin’ yersel’ fer yon mon? Gin ye be gaein’ tae gut a feesh, gut three, an’ we’ll each hae ane.” Mortified and humiliated the woman complied with the demand of her lord. On the morrow morn, the stranger, in taking leave of his hosts, thanked the “gudewife” and made known his identity. The “gudemon” was very much frightened when he learned with whom he had been so churlish, but, the King, seeming to ignore the discourtesy, said, – “since thou wert so anxious to be equal with me, I will call thee, Sir Gut Three.” The tale concluded by saying – “And so that name was borne by that man all his life and is carried by his descendants to this day.”
The only possible historical basis for this “yarn” is that found in a story of King David II, of Scotland, who was born in 1324 A.D. and came to the throne at an early age. When ten years of age he was spirited away from the country by friends, in order to save his life, was taken to France, whose monarch, friendly to him, assigned for him as a place of residence the famous Chateau Gaillard, in Normandy. After he had been in exile for seven years, his party gained the ascendancy and amid great rejoicing he was brought back to his waiting kingdom. It is said that he landed hungry on the braes of Bervie, in southern Kincardineshire, after the voyage, and that the Guthries were so called, when after having eaten three haddocks, prepared by them, he said –
“Gut three,
Thy name shall be.”
We might give some credence to this tale were it not for the fact that the name was in existence long before the time of King David, the Second. The probabilities are that the youthful monarch, replete from his hearty meal, happy in being back upon his native heath and joyful in the prospect of immediately taking up the scepter of the kingdom, became for the moment a punster, and playing upon the name Guthrie, uttered his jestful decree.
Hanna, in his work “The Scotch Irish Families in America,” Vol. 2, p. 386, referring to the foregoing tale of the origin of the name Guthrie, and also those of the names which he mentions below in connection with it, says – “These clumsy inventions of a late age, if they were really meant to be seriously credited, disappear when we find from record that there were very ancient territories and even parishes of Douglas, Forbes, Dalzell and Guthrie long before the names came into use as surnames.”
The same author and volume, p. 411 – “The good old Scottish name of Guthrie was derived from lands in Forfarshire belonging to a family of that name, the oldest in the country.”
In “Scottish Surnames” by sims, p. 53, “Guthrie, local; from the lands of Guthrie in Forfarshire.”
“British Family Names”, by Barber, p. 158 – “Guthrie, a local N. Forfar.”
“Place Names and Their Story”, by S. Baring-Gould, London, 1910, p. 344. the author recites the King David II incident, but on p. 410 in appendix I, on chapter 10, in the list of Scandinavian names he includes that of Guthrie.
“Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom,” by Lower, p. 141, – “Guthrie, an estate in Forfarshire, Scotland. This might be considered a tolerably satisfactory origin of the name, expecially as the family continue to write themselves ‘of that Ilk’ to the present day. Tradition, however, has invented another, which is amusingly absurd; I give it as I find it in Chambers’ “Popular Rhymes of Scotland.” Then follows the version of the hungry king as given by that author.
“Surnames of the United Kingdom,” by Harrison, “Guthrie, (Celtic) belonging to Guthrie, Forfar. Fourteenth century form – Gutherie. (Perhaps Gaelic gaoth-aire, ‘windy’)
“Etymological Dictionary of Family Names,” by Arthur, New York, 1860, p. 149 “Guthrie. Warlike, powerful in war. From ‘guth,’ Saxon war. ‘Guthnor,’ Gaelic – loud-voiced. Guthrie, a town in Scotland. Gutric, Gotric or Gotricus – rich in goodness, or rich in God.”
“Family Names,” by Gentry, Philadelphia, 1892, p. 71. “Guthrie. guth, fight, war. Rice, kindom, kingdom of sin.” Not clear, presume he means the name indicates one who fights against the kingdom of sin. Very fanciful.
From these refernces it is to be noted that the best indicate the surname to have been derived from the land. A number give it as a Gaelic, some as Scandinavian, one as Saxon name. There is more evidence to support the Scandinavian, than the Saxon theory. “English surnames,” by Beardsley, p. 17. – “Occasionally in looking over the records of the Twelfth and Thirteenth century we may light upon a ‘Godwin’ of a ‘Guthlac’ of a ‘Goddard,’ but they are of the most exceptional occurrence…………….and yet strange as it may seem, it is very doubtful whether for a lengthened period at least, the owners of these names were of Saxon origin. These country adventurers, then, whose names I have instanced, were of no Saxon stock, but the sons of the humbler dependants of those Normans who had obtained landed settlements or Norman traders who had traveled up the country.” Guthlac was not a Saxon name. A saint of the Britons, of that name lived during the times of the Saxon invasion. It is said that he so hated and feared them, that one evening, hearing a disturbance near his lonely cell, he remained in prayer all that night for deliverance from the Saxon, and was greatly relieved in the morning to find that it had only been the devil prowling around his habitation.
That these similar names were not Saxon, would seem to indicate that neither was Guthrie. We cannot but note a resemblance between the name of the Danish chieftain Guthrum and Guthrie.
It is noticeable that strangers mispronounce the name, as for instance, render it as Guffy, Jeffrey, Geoffrey, Godfrey, Gunther and the like. These mistakes are due to inattention, carelessness, or because those hearing it for the first time have been acquainted formerly with these other names.
Misspellings and corruptions of the name as they appear in writings are more annoying. In the Old Country as well as in America scribes have grossly sinned against the name: especially was this true in the Revolutionary period in America, when ignorant, colonial orderly sergeants grievously mutilated it. It may be found in the record in the following forms – “Guthery,” “Guthrey,” “Guthry,” “Gutery,” “Gutrey,” “Gutry,” “Gutrie,” “Guttrie,” “Guttery,” “Guttrey,” “Guttry.” Also in all of these forms with an o instead of the u.
Instances in which the final letter has been changed to another are found in “Guthriel” and “Guthreg.”
In many places the name has been found changed to Guthridge or Gutteridge. This is a well-established English name and care must be used in meeting it. Beardsley in “Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames,” p. 344, says “Gutteridge, a parish in the County of Herford. Gutlack, Bapt. the son of Guthlac. V. Goodlake.”
There is no such backing for Guttery and Guttrey, which do not appear to be names of long standing; though borne by some modern families, they are generally corruptions of Guthrie. Barber, for instance in “British Family Names,” refers Guttery to Guthrie. He also gives the Gutter, as derived from gutter, a drain-spout. Guttery may also be of Irish derivation in some instances if the following is trustworthy from “Irish Pedigrees,” by Joh O’Hart, p. 527 et sequiter. A footnote under head of MacDonnel (1), of Antrim. – “the first of them mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters, being the son of Randal, the son of Sorley MacDonnel, the Thane or Baron of Argyle, above mentioned; and they accompanied by Thomas MacUchtry, (Mac Guthrie, or Mac Guttry), a chief of Galloway, came A.D. 1211 with seventy-six ships and powereful forces to Derry.”
Other claims to Irish origin of the name Guthrie and Mac Guthrie are given in Vol. 1 of the same book, p. 470, under head of Guthrie of Brefney; – “Feargal, a brother of Cathal (or Charles), who is No. 111, on the O’Rielly Pedigree, was the ancestor of MacGothfrith, Anglicized, Guthrie, and MacGuthrie.” Again p. 605, – “Macgothfrith, (meaning the son of the small straight man), of Brefney, and Anglicized MacGuthrie, Maguthrie, Guthrie and Godfrey.” Again, the same writer and work, Vol. 1, p. 857 says – “O’Lahiff has been modernized to Guthrie.”
We are skeptical about these derivations, though we have heard of Celtic Irish Guthries and MacGuthries.
Rev. Thomas Guthrie, the noted Scotch divine, mentions “some persons of our name in the Highlands.” He was speaking doubtless of the Highlands to the north of Forfar. We have heard of Gaelic speaking Guthries in Canada, but they are few and none come within the province of this book.
THE CLAN GUTHRIE U.S.A. GIVES THE FOLLOWING HISTORY OF GUTHRIE………………………..A little research over the centuries since Malcolm Canmore ruled Scotland, reveals Guthrie, the King’s Falconer; Guthrie-the Herald sent to Europe to seek the aide of the retired liberator William Wallace (“Braveheart”); Guthrie-Commander of the King’s body guard, builder of Guthrie Castle in 1468.
Guthries were religious leaders in the time of Martin Luther and champions of presbyterianism against the Roman church, ready to back up their beliefs with their lives. James “The Martyr” was a Guthrie-executed for his beliefs in Edinburgh in 1661 and referred to by Oliver Cromwell as “the little man who refused to kneel.”
Most American Guthries can trace their lineage to pre-Revolutionary War immigrants from Scotland and Northern Ireland. Ireland was a stepping stone for many of our ancestors. James I, who assumed the English throne in 1603, ventured a plan to colonize the Emerald Isle with loyalist settlers from England and Scotland. The Scots saw this as an opportunity to both improve themselves economically and to follow their Presbyterian faith without interference from the Church of England. The resulting prosperity of the former Scots became their downfall.
English merchants saw the new industry as a threat and The Staple Act of 1663 was enacted to prohibit direct Irish exports for most goods. In 1699 this was expanded to prohibit export of goods anywhere except to England and Wales. During this period the Test Act was established by Queen Anne requiring all office holders to take the sacraments as prescribed by the Church of England.
The strong Presbyterian faith caused many to respond by crowding into ships bound for America. Since money was not available to pay for passage, the majority came as indentured servants, an arrangement which bound the servants for a term of 4 to 7 years. At the expiration of this time, the individual was given clothing, farm tools and usually some land. The arrangement was considered no more demeaning than a normal apprenticeship.
At first the immigrants avoided the southern colonies with their “Established” Church and New England with its “Puritanical ways.” Central Pennsylvania was the favored haven and future jumping off point for further migration. To satisfy their hunger for land, these settlers seldom observed legal proprieties. Their clannish ways made them poor neighbors for either the whites or the Indians. It was truly observed that “the Scots kept the Sabbath and anything they could get their hands on!”
A GENEALOGIST’S PRAYER
LORD HELP ME DIG INTO THE PAST,AND SIFT THE SAND OF TIME
THAT I MIGHT FIND ROOTS THAT MAKE
THIS FAMILY TREE OF MINE
LORD HELP ME TRACE THE ANCIENT ROADS
ON WHICH MY FATHERS TROD
AND LED THEM THROUGH SO MANY LANDS
TO FIND OUR PRESENT SOD
LORD HELP ME FIND AN ANCIENT BOOK
OR SOME DUSTY MANUSCRIPT
THATS SAFELY HIDDEN NOW AWAY
IN SOME FORGOTTEN CRYPT
LORD LET ME BRIDGE THAT GAP THAT HAUNTS MY SOUL WHEN I CANT FIND
THIS MISSING LINK BETWEEN SOME NAME
THAT ENDS THE SAME AS MINE
by anon.

Scots Banished To American Plantations 1650-1775?

A book, “Directory of Scots banished to the American Plantations, 1650-1775, lists two Guthries transported to South Carolina following the 175 Jacobite uprising in Scotland:
John Guthrie, captured at Preston, was transported from Liverpool to South Carolina on the “Susannah,” master Thomas Bromhall, 7 May 1716
Robert Guthrie, captured at Preston, was transported from Liverpool to South Carolina on the “Wakefield,” master Thomas Beck, 21 April 1716.
Has anyone found any records of these two Guthries in the Carolinas? Were they indentured? Did they have families?
Particularly, could there be a connection with Frederick Guthrie of Spartanburg S.C, born 1763 in Edgecombe Co. N.C?

Minor Changes Made

I have made some minor changes to the blog.  A new page was added and several now are listed as a sub-heading. Here are the changes:

The Poetry page is now a sub of the Guthrie Album.

The Obituaries and Death Certificates pages are now a sub of the Cemeteries page.

So when you are looking at things be sure to see the sub-pages too.

Finding My Dad-Woodrow Guthrie

Here is a little background about my early life. My parents divorced before I was 2 and from what I have been told,  it was a nasty split. My mom remarried when I was about 10. My step-father not only filled the shoes of the missing father in my life but became my dad and still is to this day! He’s a wonderful man who I love with all my heart!

However, this is the story of my biological father. Needless to say, I didn’t know much about him except for what my birth certificate showed and that wasn’t much. Like where was he now! When I was a teen, I had my first phone conversation with him and received a photo shortly after that. That was the only contact I had with him until I was about 35 or 36 years old. Needless to say, my mom had really hard feelings about things and just did not want to talk about him. She felt he didn’t deserve to know me! I kept pestering for answers, for names, anything and she finally mentioned a brother’s name. I called a dozen or so Raymond Guthrie’s in Texas and finally found someone who knew who knew the Raymond Guthrie family. However, I was informed  that Raymond had passed away a couple of months earlier. I was devastated! I told my story to the fellow on the phone about trying to find my dad, Woody Guthrie, Raymond’s brother and asked him to please pass my name and phone number on to the family. I thought so close and now so far away, again. Would I ever connect with my dad? It wasn’t a long time before I got a phone call and it was my dad, Woody!  I was so happy that we finally connected.

Woody and I spoke often on the phone over the next couple of years. In 1986, I moved cross county and stopped in Abilene for a visit.  I spent 3 or 4 days visiting with him, his wife Chris, and my half-sister, Gaile and her family and dad’s sister, Billie.  It was a great visit and I learned so much in that short time. I got to visit again about 1989 or 1990 for another 3 or 4 days. Those are the only visits I had with my dad because he died July 23, 1993.

My dad gave me so much information about his family history before he died. Since his death, his wife has sent me boxes upon boxes of photos, military medals, newspaper clippings from his service days and many other things. All these memento’s mean so much to me and have helped fill in so many gaps.

The not knowing where I came from and who he was, who was his family and how everything connected has finally come full circle. I finally feel that I know who I am and what I was meant to do in this life.

Over the years the genealogy research has helped answer many questions and fill in many of the blanks. I am so thankful for the short time we had together, but the research has filled in a lifetime of many happy memories!

Oct. 2, 2010

Just wanted to clarify something-my dad was not the famous singer Woody Guthrie,  nor is there any family connection to his lineage. The singer, Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie was born July 14, 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma. My dad was Woodrow C. “Woody” Guthrie was  born July 18, 1918 in Texas.