William & Matilda (Ross) Guthrie
Contributed by Belinda McCormick


William and Matilda (Ross) Guthrie are my GGGG Grandparents, William Guthrie was born in Cork, Ireland, 01 March 1796, his parents had died in Ireland and he was adopted by Captain Rainer, a nobleman of Cork, Ireland who saw that he had a good education. After his arrival in New York City, when he was 19 years old, he worked some then traveled to Pennsylvania, where he found young men enlisting for the Black Hawk War. He enlisted in the army, and it is reported he was present at the capture of Black Hawk.

William had viewed the lands of Illinois during his tenure as a soldier, At one point he stood upon the site of present day Chicago when it was marked by only nine houses, for one day's work he could have become the possessor of any lot in the village. Instead he made his way futher westward, and used his land warrant to secure land in the vicinity of Viola Township, called Guthrie's Grove,( but later became known as Little Melugin's Grove.) The year was 1834. In the next year he built his cabin.a log affair,the first in this township. He cut logs from his grove and lived near by until his death. The Grove was laid off into small lots of about one acre and sold as timber lots in the early day.

The only work to be had at that time was twenty miles away at Ross's Grove in DeKalb county and the payment for it was made in provisions. William Guthrie, and John Gilmore walked forth and back; the first of the week eastward to work; Saturday night backward with their wages on their shoulders. It was here that he met Matilda Ross, and in the fall of 1836 William Guthrie was married to Matilda Ross of Ross Grove, where he had worked most of the winter before. Matilda Ross was the daughter of Joseph and Mary (Hunt) Ross, she was born 01 March 1817, and was a sister of Mary Ross who married Zachariah Melugin . To this union 13 children were born, on May 25, 1837 twins Joseph and Mary were born, but Mary died, another daughter Matilda was born in Jan 10 1839, but also died. next came William 23 April 1840, John, 2 April 1842, David 4 March 1844, (David is my GGG Grandfather), Rebecca 28 Mar 1846, Phebe, 13 April 1848, Mary 24 MAY 1850, Samuel, 16, April 1852, Charity 16, Sept 1858, Matilda 15 Dec, 1855, and Margaret 16, Sept 1861.

William died 17 Oct 1863, and Matilda died 9 May 1886. both are buried in the Melugin Cemetery, but Williams head stone can no longer be found......

Misc gleanings about William Guthrie:

William Guthrie: History of Lee County by H.H. Hill 1881, Chicago, Pg 64 Wm Guthrie filed a claim on Section 35 of Viola Township 1836-1837 Pg 68 The first term of the circuit court convened in Dixon on the 3rd monday of April 1840; William Guthrie was among the panel of petit juriors. page 427; Compton ; Masonic Lodge no. 282 was organized at the residence of O.P. Johnson in 1858. Treasurer William Guthrie. page 435, section on Samuel Argraves: In 1850 Samuel Argraves was stricken with "Gold Fever" and accordingly set out for California by wagon. He spent two years there, and returned home by way of New Orleans. While absent his wife became distitute, but owing to the kindness of John Gilmore and William Guthrie she was well supplied with the neccessaries of life until Mr Argraves' return. and they were repaid for their kind deeds. Research by Dave Needham Oct 7, 1995 Lee County genealogical Society, POB 63, Dixon, Il. 61021-0063 sent to Belinda



I WILLIAM GUTHRIE of my own fore will accona make this my last will and testament.

I bequeath unto my wife MATILDA GUTHRIE the south east quarter of section thirty five (35) town thirty eight range 1 east of north west to have and to hold the same is her own right subject to her own disposal during her life time also five horses and harness, one wagon, a Seeder, mower and a clippers likewise the cows and hogs on the estate to have and to hold the same during her life.

Unto my son JOSEPH GUTHRIE I bequeath one dollar and his mothers blessing.

Unto my son WILLIAM GUTHRIE I bequeath the east half of the south east quarter of section twenty seven (27) also five acres of timber commencing at Adams Bearnes south east corner of the line west parallel with said line to the south west stake of~dam~~eames thence south on said line until it takes in five acres, I also in lieu of this require him to pay REBECCA GUTHRIE my daughter when she reaches the age of nineteen the sum of two hundred dollars.

Unto my son JOHN GUTHRIE I bequeath the west half of S.E. 1/4 section twenty seven town 28 range one (1) also of five acres of timber running parallel with that described bequeathed unto WILLIAM GUTHRIE by him paying unto my daughter PHEBE the sum of two hundred dollars when she reaches the age of nineteen years.

Unto my son DAVID GUTHRIE I bequeath the west half of the south east quarter of section thirty five (35) town (38) thirty eight range one (1) also five acres of timber joining on the south to that d~cribed bequeathed unto my son JOHN by him paying unto my daughter MARY GUTHRIE the sum of two hundred dollars when she reaches the age of nineteen years.

Unto my son SAMUEL GUTHRIE I bequeath the east half of the south east quarter of section thirty five (35) TOWN THIRTY EIGHT (38) range one (1) also seventy acres more or less of my timber lot. Also the house and barn on said land by him paying my daughter MATILDA GUTHRIE the sum of two hundred dollars when she reaches the age of nineteen years. Also to CHARITY GUTHRIE my daughter two hundred when she reaches the age of nineteen also the baby the sum of two hundred dollars when it reaches the age of nineteen.

If any of my sonís should die before reaching the age of twenty one than the landed property to be divided among the three by then paying the indebtedness thereof. If any of my daughter die before reaching the age of nineteen then their portion to be divided among the remaining girls.

I also wish JOHN and WILLIAM to pay an annuity to their mother MATILDA GUTHRIE of every fifth bushel of grain raised by them on the above mentioned land my indebtedness to be paid by my wife MATILDA GUTHRIE out of the property left her by me. I desire my wife MATILDA to act as my executrix in this disposition of my property. I desire my son WILLIAM to act as guardian of the minor children.

Filed Nov. 13th 1863 in Lee County Illinois


Matilda Guthrie, daughter of William & Matilda (Ross) Guthrie, born 15 December 1855


Eunice Easter & David Guthrie

Eunice Easter was born 9 March 1856 in Van Buren Co IA, the daughter of Jacob & Bathsheba (Blount) Easter.

David the son of William & Matilda (Ross) Guthrie was born 4 March 1844 in Guthrie Grove, Lee Co IL.

They were married in Bedford Co Iowa 24 October 1872.

Later moved to Woodward Co OK where they both died and are buried in Vonton Cemetery.

Eunice died on 6 May 1927 and David on 27 March 1929.


William Atkinson & Mary (Ross) Melugin


Zachariah Melugin - 1st husband of Mary Ross


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