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 –
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