The Two George Guthries
Continental Dragoon Officers
of the American Revolution

An Explanation of
The American Revolutionary War Records of
Lt. George Guthrie of Pennsylvania
And Lt. George Guthrie of Virginia

During 1990, while on assignment in Richmond Virginia, I performed extensive research of the 4th Regiment of Continental Light Dragoons in the Revolutionary War from 1777 to 1783. My primary sources were the Washington papers on microfilm, the 39 volume Washington Papers text books, The Calendar of Correspondence Between General Washington and his officers and the Papers of the Continental Congress and numerous Virginia specific publications and copies of Pennsylvania archival material. These publications when known are cited tn the following text.

This research was conducted to be better informed so we could relate the times, places, people and events in Revolutionary War history attended by the men of the 4th Continental Light dragoons. We were actively engaged in Revolutionary War re-enacting as IV Light Dragoons since 1982. During this time, we were approached by many people who have stated that their ancestor had been a dragoon in the Revolutionary War and some knew that their ancestor served in or with the Continental Dragoons. This is the case with a descendent of the Guthrie family of Walnut Grove, Georgia.

In 1982, upon adopting the persona of an 18th century 4th Continental Dragoon, I was introduced to certain research materials to acquaint me with the regiment, its function, its personal and their place in American history. Those initial research materials were;

In the book Washington's Eyes, the biographical section contained the reprinted entries from the original edition of Heitman's Historical Register of Officers of the American Revolution. The following entry for George Guthrie is the basis of this paper;

Guthrie, George (Va) - Cornet 2nd cavalry Pulaski legion, July 1779;
Lieutenant 4th Continental dragoons ____? and served to close of war.

The actual entry for George Guthrie appears in the original edition of the Historical Register Page 73 of the 131-206 section.
In 1989, while on assignment in Roanoke Virginia, I came upon a book of the Original Eligible Members of the Society of the Cincinnati. In it, there are two entries for George Guthrie. From this discovery, further investigation revealed that:

  1. George Guthrie of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania served as a lieutenant in the 4th Continental Light Dragoons.
  2. George Guthrie of Matthews, Virginia served as private soldier in the 1st Continental Light Dragoons and in 'Light Horse' Henry Lee's Virginia Legion as a sergeant. He may have been promoted upon entering the cavalry of Pulaski's Partisan Corps. Upon the disbandment of Pulaski's Corps, he appears to have returned to Lee's Legion as a lieutenant.

These conclusions are documented in the following paper.

The Two George Guthries of the American Revolution

Later and current editions of Heitman's Register list only one Guthrie, George as (Pa) only. There is no entry for Guthrie, George (Va). I am not aware of the submission or correction policies of the editor or publisher of the Register. However, the following Virginia publications identify George Guthrie of Matthews, Virginia as a member of Light Horse Harry's Lee's Legion;

  1. Saffell's list of Virginia soldiers in the Revolution
  2. Gwathmey's Historical Register of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines,
  3. Catalogue of Revolutionary soldiers and sailors Virginia land bounty Warrants.

The book Guthrie and Allied Families, compiled by Laurence R. Guthrie of Pennsylvania, appears to mingle the Revolutionary war records of the two George Guthries. This is understandable, because it appears to have been done in Gwathmey's Historical Register also. There are three entries for George Guthrey/ie on page 333 of Gwathmey's:

  1. Guthrey, George, lst Light Dragoons; pvt. in 1777 and 1778 serving as Lieut. At close of war. May have been lieut. George Guthrie of Penn. (This appears to be erroneous for a 1st (Virginia) Dragoon)
  2. Guthrey, George, Lee's Legion; Sgt major Apr. 1, 1779; cornet Aug 1, 1779; Lieut: served to close of war awarded 3,111 acres.
  3. Guthrie, George, Lieut., E.

There are several entries for other Guthries of various spellings in Gwathmey's also.

This entry is from the Catalogue of Virginia Land Bounty Warrants; page 31,
Warrant #1892; Guthrey, George : 2666 2/3 : Lt : Va. Cont line : 3 yrs : Oct 1783.

A book of Pennsylvania land bounty warrants indicates that George Guthrie's land bounty was assigned to Peter Manifold, who was a 4th Dragoon captain and troop Commander.
Heitman's entry for Peter Manifold reads:
Manifold, Peter (Pa) Cornet 4th cont. Drag., Apr. 14, 1778, Lt. May 1, 1778;
Captain, Aug 1, 1779; Resigned Oct 30, 1780.
George Guthrie (Pa) may have served with or in Peter Manifold's troop.

Another 4th dragoon officer that may also be associated with George Guthrie (Pa) is Erasmus Gill of Virginia, who may have served in or with Pulaski's legion. The actual transfers to Pulaski's Legion have yet to be located in the Washington papers or the papers of the Continental Congress.
The entry for Erasmus Gill in Heitman's Register;
Gill, Erasmus (Va.) sergt 2nd Va., Aug 28 1776; ensign, Nov 28, 1776;
2nd Lt June 15, 1777; 1st Lt 4th cont drag, Feb 1779, to rank from Dec 25, 1778; taken prisoner at siege of Savannah, Oct 3, 1779, exchanged Oct 22, 1780;
Captain ____? Served to close of war.
This entry is from the catalogue of Virginia land Bounty warrants; page 31,
warrant #1352; Gill, Erasmus : 4666 2/3 : capt : Va. Cav : 7 yrs : July 4 1783

Information about Pulaski's legion appears in the brief history of the dragoon units in the American Revolutionary War later in this paper.

The two George Guthries of the American Revolution

The following information was found on the NARS Revolutionary War service index on microfilm reel #27.Entries for;

2814 :Gutherey, George : 1st LD : private private
2821 : Guthery, George : 4th LD : _____ ______
2822 : Guthery, George : 1st LD : private private
2837 : Guthery, George : Lees : sergeant lieutenant
2838 : Guthery, George : 1st LD : private private
2849 : Guthrie, George : Penn : lieutenant lieutenant

Based upon the Virginia Revolutionary war records, a George Guthrie of Matthews, Virginia is identified as a Revolutionary war soldier. Most of the Glouster/Matthews county records were lost. However, from the fragmentary records that do exist, a George Guthrie, a Revolutionary war soldier, resided in and was a deputy sheriff in Matthews Virginia and appears last on the 1810 Virginia census.

Working from Pre-Revolutionary was era records, this entry appears in the Register of Abington parish. Glouster County, Virginia;

Guttery,Thomas, son of Henry and Sara Guttrey was born
Feb 24 and was baptized March 13, 1714/15.
We have not found any other records to relate this Guttrey to George Guthrie/ey of Mathews Virginia. A George Guthrie b. ____ d.____ is buried in a church cemetery in Walnut Grove, Walton County, Georgia. This George Guthrie is known to have come to Georgia with his father when he was a young boy. Circa ____? Possibly, this information will further or renew research in to the Guthrie family history.

The Clan Gutrhie images are from the Jacksonville, Florida Highland Games, in February of 1997.
We were awarded best Clan Tent for our prsentation honoring all the Guthries who participated in the American Revolutionary War.
The following is a partial list of Guthries who served in the Revolutionary War.