Jordan Family Roots Revisited

Over the life of this blog, my article on Jordan Family Roots has been my most visited post.  As of August, 2021, it had been accessed more than 600 times, twice the number of visits to any other article. For that reason I thought it would be well to do an update in which I combine bits from the several posts on our family and try to assemble information in a more coherent form.  This post includes pertinent data from all previous articles, and if the wording seems familiar, that was the intention.

The origins of the Jordan family are obscure.  Surnames in their present form were only adopted in the late middle ages.  Prior to that time persons were usually identified by their place of residence or origin – e.g. William of Kent, Charles de Blois, Otto von Hurtzen; occupation – e.g. John the Miller, Michael the Carpenter; or family connection – e.g. Robert MacDonald, James O’Flynn, Harold Ericson.  As family surnames came into vogue, Jordan, with its Biblical associations, was adopted by more than one family in England and in other countries of Western Europe.  There were many variations in the spelling of the Jordan name.


There are secondary sources of questionable reliability asserting that the ancestor of our Jordan family arrived with William and his conquering Norman army in 1066.  One writer states that this man’s  name was de Courcy (Courcy is the name of a village near Reims in northeastern France).  Several sources also write than a great-grandson of this de Courcy was involved in the Third Crusade (1189-1192) and distinguished himself in battle while protecting King Richard the Lion Heart’s standard. In this account, de Courcy was unhorsed more than once, but he remounted and continued the fight.  For his deeds he was knighted as Sir William de Jordan and assumed the motto Percussa Resurgo (When struck down, I rise again).  I cannot verify this account of heroism from an original source, but we do know that the motto Percussa Resurgo has long been associated with our Jordan family.

Third Crusade

It is believed that several centuries later some descendants of Sir William de Jordan established themselves in southwest England in the counties Dorset, Devon and Wiltshire. It was evidently a large and influential family.

Many of the statements in the following several paragraphs are highly speculative and based on information extracted from various genealogical sources of unknown reliability.


A John Jordaine was born in Wolverton, Buckinghamshire, in 1390.  Surnames had come into general use about one to two hundred years prior to this time, and more than one family had adopted some variant of the Jordan name.  The spelling was phonetic, and it appeared as Jourdan, Jourdayne, Jourden, Jerdan, etc. I have presumed that John was a descendant of Sir William de Jordan, but there is no solid evidence to support this assumption.

John Jordaine of Wolverton was reputed to be the son of another John Jordaine, but other information about the father and his immediate antecedents is unknown.  The younger John probably served with Henry V in France since his son Thomas was born in that country in 1418, three years following the Battle of Agincourt.

Thomas Jordaine not only was born in France, but he died there in 1478.  By virtue of the fact that Thomas Jordaine’s son Sir Robert Jordaine was born in Melcombe Regis, Dorsetshire, circa 1455, it would appear that the family had estates in both England and France.  Sir Robert’s wife was Christie Chantmarle of St. Maixent-sur-vie, France, a commune near the city of Nantes, ancient seat of the Duke of Brittany.

Robert Jordaine II, son of Sir Robert,  was born in Melcombe Regis  in 1470 and was buried there in 1520.  His son, Robert Jordaine III, lived in the same area from 1500 to October 12, 1567.  Robert III’s wife was named Jane  and they had several sons and daughters.  Their son William was born in Lyme Regis, Dosetshire, in 1527.  With the birth of William, we begin to have a fuller, more reliable family history.


William Jordaine had a large and evidently distinguished family. A gentleman named Michael Lutley Jordan spent some years researching the extended Jordan family of Melcombe Regis (Dorsetshire), Lyme Regis, (Dorsetshire), and Exeter, (Devonshire), in the 16th and 17th centuries, and some conclusions from his work appear in the following several paragraphs.

William Jordaine’s wife was named Elizabeth, they are believed to have had at least four sons.  Their son, Ignatius Jourdaine, became a prominent merchant in the city of Exeter, Devonshire, in the late 16th to early 17th century.  He served as mayor of that city and was later elected to Parliament. Ignatius’ younger brother, Sylvester Jordaine was on the ship Sea Venture when it sailed for Jamestown in 1609.  That ship was grounded on a Bahaman reef during a hurricane, and the survivors constructed two small ships and proceeded on to Jamestown the following year.  Sylvester returned to England and penned an account of his adventures that, along with other accounts, served as source material for Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.

Wreck of the Sea Venture

Samuel Jordan was on the Sea Venture with Sylvester, and Lutley along with other researchers have assumed that the two were related. It is also commonly believed that the brothers Sylvester and Ignatius Jordaine were related to Captain John Jourdain of the East India Company, Chief Factor for the English in Bantam, and that the latter was a cousin of Vice-Admiral Sir Joseph Jordan of the Royal Navy.

Sir Joseph Jordan

All the above information on the Jordaines was written in the belief that they may be our ancestors. Very recently, however (April 2023), my son Stuart Jordan discovered a very close DNA connection with a man named Neil Jordan who resides in Wiltshire, UK.  Neil is able to trace his Jordan ancestors back to a William Jordan of Wiltshire, who married Mary Sparks in 1576. He was unable to find any connection with Samuel Jordan of the Sea Venture, nor did he have any information of a relationship between his family and Ignatius or Sylvester Jordaine.  It is possible that the Jordaines of Dorset and Devon and the Jordans of Jamestown were not related.  More research is required.  Hopefully, someday a descendant of Ignatius will take a DNA test


Samuel Jordan, born 1575 or 1578 in Wiltshire or Lyme Regis, Dorsetshire, arrived in Jamestown in 1610. Most researchers believe him to be a probable nephew or cousin of Ignatius and Sylvester Jordaine and place him on the Sea Venture with Sylvester. Recent revelations (April 2023) bring the relationship between Sylvester and Samuel into question.

Unverified accounts say that Samuel Jordan married in England around 1595, and his wife’s first name is thought to have been Frances. These sources also say the couple had a daughter, Anne Marie, and four sons, Robert, Daniel, Thomas i, and Samuel ii.  Samuel’s wife died around 1608, and the widower arranged to leave his young children with relatives before setting sail for the New World.

Within a few years following his arrival in Jamestown, Samuel established a plantation at a place that he called “Jordan’s Journey”, located on the south side of the James River more than thirty miles upstream from Jamestown.  It was situated near the present town of Hopewell at a point where the Benjamin Harrison Memorial Bridge now crosses the river. The early settlers were dependent on water transport, and they settled up and down the banks of the James River much as an ancient Greek writer described his fellow countrymen settling around the Aegean, “like frogs around a pond.”

Samuel represented Charles City at the first representative legislative assembly that convened at Jamestown, July 30, 1619. The assembly consisted of two elected representatives from each of the eleven boroughs in the colony.  Samuel was also a member of a committee appointed to review the “Greate Charter” of Virginia.

In 1620, Samuel married a widow named Cicely Baley, and they subsequently had two daughters, Mary and Margaret.

In 1622, the local Indian tribes organized a surprise attack on the English settlers, and hundreds of men, women, and children were killed (over a fourth of the colonists).  After the attack, Samuel gathered a few of the survivors at Beggar’s Bush, the name of his plantation house at Jordan’s Journey.  He fortified the place and lived there, despite threats from the Indians, with the approval of Governor Francis Wyatt. 

At the time of a survey in 1623, Beggar’s Bush housed 42 people, including some neighboring families who had gone there for protection.  At that time Samuel was still established in his plantation, but he died sometime before April 1623. An inventory of his estate included Cicely and her two young daughters, two plantations, five houses, two boats, ten servants, and several coats of chain mail (all this information can be verified from records of the Virginia Company).

Marker on Jordan’s Point

Various researchers have reported that three adult sons from Samuel’s first marriage, Thomas i, Robert, and Samuel ii, came to Virginia around 1620.  (Though this information on Samuel and his sons has not been confirmed from primary sources, there are strong indications that these Jordan men were related to one another and came to America from the same area of southwest England.)   Thomas i (c1600-1644) is said to have arrived at Jamestown in 1620 and settled in Isle of Wight County.  Robert is believed to have arrived the same year and reportedly died on March 22, 1622, during the Indian massacre.  He was killed at Berkley’s Hundred, some five miles up the James River from Jordan’s Journey, when he went there to warn the inhabitants of the planned Indian attack.  (Although records of the Virginia Company verify that a Robert Jordan died during the attack, the details concerning his death, though reported by several Jordan researchers, cannot be proved from primary sources).  Per some accounts, Samuel ii, believed to be the elder Samuel’s youngest son, was also killed in the Jamestown massacre, but another source disputes this and says that Samuel ii moved west to Lunenburg County where his trail was lost.


Samuel’s presumed son Thomas i survived the 1622 Indian attack.  Thomas had been born in England around 1600, and reports say that he came to Virginia in 1620 in the ship Diana.  Thomas served as a soldier under Sir George Yeardley, Governor of Virginia, and he was in the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1629-1632.  On July 2, 1633, he received a land grant consisting of 900 acres near the head of the Warrasquioake River. This plantation was called Ware Neck, and it was located in Isle of Wight County.  Thomas also acquired land in Nansemond County and evidently prospered as a tobacco planter.  Thomas and his wife had at least three children, Thomas ii, Richard, and Margaret. Thomas i died in 1644. (Note: Most histories say that Thomas i married Lucy Corker, daughter of William Corker of Surry County, but at least one source says this is incorrect and that Lucy Corker married the Thomas Jordan who was a son of Arthur Jordan of Surry County Virginia.)

There is a stained glass window in old St. Luke’s Church, Isle of Wight County, showing the Jordan name and motto Percussa Resurgo.

Window in St. Luke’s Church


Thomas i’s son Thomas Jordan ii is often referred to as Thomas Jordan of Chuckatuck.  Chuckatuck is located in the former Nansemond County, Virginia, an area now in the incorporated city of Suffolk.  According to Boddie’s Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight, Virginia, Thomas ii married Margaret Brasseur, daughter of Robert Brasseur, an immigrant of French Huguenot ancestry, and they had ten sons, Thomas iii, John, James, Robert, Richard, Joseph, Benjamin, Matthew, Samuel, and Joshua.  Thomas ii became a member of the Quaker faith in 1660, shortly after his marriage to Margaret, and he and his family suffered considerable persecution because of their religious convictions.  Several of the sons became very active and prominent members of the Society of Friends.

Family traditions and local histories have long identified Samuel Jordan and Thomas i/Thomas ii as ancestors of our Jordan family of Halifax County, Virginia.  Despite his best efforts, however, my son Stuart Jordan, our family genealogist,  was unable to establish a provable line of descent from Samuel or Thomas to Robert Jordan, born 1755, the earliest Jordan that he could with certitude identify as a forebearer.  At this point in his research, Stuart began to wonder if we were actually related to the Jamestown Jordans.  To settle the question, he took a DNA test.


In 2008 Stuart subjected himself to Family Tree DNA’s yDNA test. Patrilineal ancestry, or male-line ancestry, can be traced using the DNA on a man’s Y chromosome (yDNA) since the Y-chromosome is transmitted father to son nearly unchanged. The yDNA test is therefore very useful for grouping related males sharing the same family name.  Test results are compared another men’s results to determine the time frame in which the two individuals shared a most recent common ancestor, or MRCA, in their direct patrilineal lines. If their test results are very close, they are related within a genealogically useful time frame.  Family Tree DNA is one of the few firms offering yDNA testing, and their results are automatically matched against others with the same surname.   

There are a number of Jordan families, but these families are often no more related to one another than the Browns are to the Millers.  While over 680 Jordan men have taken the yDNA test, Stuart found that only 19 were placed along with his results in our unique Jordan family group.  That group is labeled JG08, and everyone in the group descends from a male who probably took on the Jordan name (or variant thereof) in the 12th or 13th century.

Stuart’s test results definitely established a familial connection between him and Thomas Jordan of Chuckatuck, presumed grandson of Samuel Jordan of Jamestown.  The yDNA test showed that Stuart and Thomas share a common ancestor who evidently lived in southwest England (Devon, Dorset, or Wiltshire) in the mid to late 16th century.  Unfortunately, the degree of biological relationship cannot be determined by yDNA testing alone. For example, the yDNA test will not tell you whether two men having the same last name and similar yDNA test results are father-son, brothers, or distant cousins.  Nor will it determine the degree of relationship between the identified male-line ancestors of two tested individuals. Only the documented record trail can do those things.

Further study of  yDNA test results convinced Stuart that Jordan family group JG08 may be further divided into three subgroups based on different readings in positions 22-25 of the yDNA genetic code.  All 12 individuals in JG08 Subgroup A can prove direct descent from Thomas of Chuckatuck, Those 6 men who fell into Subgroup B can only prove descent from one of the two Jordan men identified as living in Virginia’s Middle Peninsula in the mid-18th Century.  The single Jordan male in Subgroup C remains in England.

Stuart and I identify with Subgroup B, and Stuart is now convinced that our particular branch of the Jordan family descends from relatives of the Jamestown Jordans who emigrated to America sometime following the original settlement and eventually established themselves in Virginia’s Middle Peninsula.  In other words, we are definitely related to Thomas Jordan ii of Chuckatuck (we share a common ancestor), but it appears that we are not direct descendants of that man through any of his ten sons.


Robert Jordan and William Jordan were identified as living in the adjoining counties of Caroline and King and Queen Counties, Virginia, circa 1780.  Based on genetic analyses of their known descendants, these men shared an almost identical DNA profile, and this indicates that they were either brothers or close cousins.  William is believed to be our direct ancestor.

The Middle Peninsula


Evidence suggests that a William Jordan and family resided in Gloucester County, Virginia, from before 1760 until at least 1780, at which time they relocated in neighboring King and Queen County.  Eliza(beth) LNU is believed to have been William’s wife.  Williiam probably died in 1782.   He and Eliza had several children.  Their eldest known son, Robert, is our Halifax County Jordan family progenitor.


Robert Jordan, Sr. was born August 9, 1755, and he is the earliest Jordan from whom we can establish a direct and provable line of descent.  Robert married Elizabeth Church, daughter of Richard Church of Amelia County, Virginia, in 1778. Probate and tax records show that Robert and Elizabeth arrived in Halifax County, Virginia, before January 1779, and they settled in the easternmost section of the county just north of the Bannister River.  They appear to have been friends and neighbors of Captain Joseph Ligon, Sr., who lived in the vicinity of what is now the Staunton River State Park (two of Elizabeth’s sisters married men named Ligon).

For a year or so Robert worked as a manager on the Ligon plantation, but by 1791 Robert and his family had relocated to the region near present day South Boston, having purchased 300 acres of land on Halfway Creek.  Robert evidently became a successful planter, and for the years 1796-98 he was also the Commonwealth-appointed inspector for Dunkirk Warehouse on the Dan River.

Henry Jordan, Continental Army veteran and a presumed younger brother of Robert, lived in King and Queen County for some years before relocating to Halifax County in 1797.  He bought 120 acres of land on Stokes Creek.  Henry later sold that land to his brother Robert Sr. and nephew Robert Jr. before moving on to Tennessee in 1807.

Robert and Elizabeth had eleven children, eight boys and three girls, Mary, William, Robert, Elizabeth, Martha, Richard, Samuel, Henry, Elam, John, and Elijah.  Elijah, our ancestor, was the last child.

Remaining in the south-central region of Halifax County the remainder of his life, Robert Jordan, Sr., died on January 25, 1816.


Elijah was the youngest of the eight known sons of Robert Jordan, Sr. and Elizabeth Church.  Elijah was born on March 24, 1804.  He married Martha Jane Faulkner in 1825, and they continued to make their home in Halifax County.  Elijah was evidently a prosperous farmer, and there were at least eight children: Robert, John, Joseph, William, Clement, Lucy, Samuel, and Martha.  All six of Elijah and Martha’s sons saw service in the Confederate Army.

Robert E. Jordan, eldest son of Elijah and Martha, along with three of his brothers, served in the Black Walnut Dragoons (Company C) of the Third Virginia Cavalry Regiment.  John M., Joseph E., and William I. Jordan were Robert’s brothers in the Black Walnut Dragoons.  John M. Jordan was an officer and in command of the company for most of the final year of the war.  He was wounded at Yellow Tavern.  Joseph E. Jordan was wounded at Athens Station and was for a time a prisoner in Elmira (NY).  William I. Jordan was wounded in the attack on Wilson’s Wharf (Fort Kennon). 

Elijah’s youngest sons, Clement and Samuel, both served in Company B (the Danville Grays), 18th Virginia Infantry Regiment.  Clement was wounded at least twice during the war.  The young Samuel evidently joined the 18th Regiment shortly before war’s end and was captured at Sayler’s Creek a few days following the Confederate withdrawal from the Petersburg–Richmond lines.  Somehow, all six brothers survived the war.  That fact is amazing considering their length of active service and the terrible death rates in the Confederate Army.  For example, five sons of Henry Jordan, Jr. of Tennessee, cousins of the Halifax County Jordans, were old enough to for military service, and three died during the war.  Two of the four adult sons of Dr. Clement Hobson Jordan, cousins from North Carolina, also died during the conflict.  The Jordan boys of Halifax County, four of whom suffered war wounds, certainly lived up to the family motto Percussa Resurgo (When Struck Down I Rise Again).

In June 1864, Elijah, along with 641 other citizens from nearby communities, helped the 53rd Virginia Infantry successfully defend the Staunton River Bridge against attacks by superior Federal forces.  Elijah was 60 years old at the time of this battle, and his name, along with the names of his five sons who were also buried at this place, is inscribed with those of other Confederate veterans on a memorial erected in the Oak Ridge Cemetery, South Boston, Virginia.  Another son, Joseph, moved to North Carolina and was buried there following his death in 1909.

After the war, Elijah’s son Robert became a prominent banker.  Along with his brother, William, he established the first bank located in South Boston, Virginia.

Elijah died on April 24,1885, in the sixtieth year of his marriage to Martha.  Martha died the following year.


Clement Hopkins Jordan was the fifth son of Elijah Jordan and Martha Faulkner of Halifax County, Virginia.  He was born in August 1841. Clement enlisted in the 18th Virginia Infantry Regiment on April 23, 1861. He fought at First Manassas and in the Peninsular Campaign.  He contracted typhoid fever in July 1862 and was hospitalized at Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond, but he rejoined his regiment later that year.  His regiment was in Garnett’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, at Gettysburg, and he was wounded in the famous charge on July 3, 1863.  Clement was back with his regiment by December 1863.  He was promoted to Corporal on April 8, 1864.  The last record of Clement’s service with the 18th Regiment was on March 31, 1865. On that date Clement suffered his second major wound in the fighting at Hatcher’s Run (more commonly known as the Battle of White Oak Road). The day after Clement was wounded the Confederate line was breached at Five Forks, and the retreat to Appomattox began.  Clement was evidently evacuated with other Confederate wounded on April 1st or 2nd, possibly on the same train that took Jefferson Davis west to Danville.  Clement’s younger brother Samuel (17 or 18 years old at the time) had recently joined the 18th Virginia and was captured at Sayler’s Creek a few days later.  Clement’s daughter Elsie once said that after the war Clement was unable to fully extend one of his arms because of his war wounds.  

Clement married Loula Slate, daughter of Saunders Slate, of Danville, Virginia, in 1869.  According to his granddaughter Elsie Jordan Moore, Saunders had once served as High Sheriff of Danville, Virginia.  Clement and Loula’s children were Helena, Saunders (Robert Saunders), Lula, Martha Lee, and Elsie.

Clement died on November 21, 1909 from pancreatitis.  Loula lived until 1932.

(Note: I know almost nothing about my grandfather Clement aside from his Civil War service. I have always regretted not asking my father to tell me more about Clement, Loula and my great-grandfather Elijah.)


Saunders Jordan circa 1895

Robert Saunders Jordan, Sr., was born on May 6, 1873.  Although baptized as Robert Saunders, his mother nicknamed him Sandy after her father Saunders Slate, and as a young man he began signing his name Saunders (or Sandy) Robert Jordan instead of Robert Saunders.  The change in name, though never legalized, stuck.

When he was in his late teens or early twenties, Saunders worked as a telegraph operator for the Southern Railroad.  Eventually he put enough money aside to attend medical school in Richmond, Virginia, and while there he made grades that some say have never been surpassed at that school – at least for many years thereafter.

After graduation from medical school in 1899, Saunders practiced medicine for a time in Orange County, Virginia.  It was during that period that he met a young lady, Sallie Morgan (Sarah) Poindexter of Mississippi, who was attending school in Arlington, Virginia.  Saunders and Sarah were married in 1902.  Following his marriage, Saunders practiced medicine in Mississippi, lived for a time in Texas, and eventually came back to Virginia.

Medical practice was very different in the early 1900s as compared to today.  Saunders was a country doctor (a general practitioner), and he did almost anything that was required – appendectomies, amputations, deliveries, etc. etc.  In those early days he usually traveled in a one-horse carriage – occasionally by horseback.  Hospitals were scarce and hard to get to.  Typhoid fever, diphtheria, and pneumonia were big killers, and antibiotics were forty years into the future.  I once asked my father what he thought of as his most difficult operation.  He told of removing a man’s gangrenous leg (gunshot wound) in a remote cabin.  Another physician was assisting.  The anesthetic was chloroform.  The antiseptic was iodine.  The patient recovered.

Saunders and Sarah had three children: Clement Hopkins, Robert Saunders, Jr., and Sallie Morgan.  They were living in Virgilina, Virginia, in 1917, and Saunders volunteered for service that year with the United States Medical Corps.  He was 44 at the time.  Saunders did not see service overseas.  Instead, his greatest challenge was fighting the great influenza epidemic of 1918-9.  Some months after the end of World War I he returned to Virgilina and his family.

Saunders Jordan, MD circa 1925

Saunders was a Virgilina councilman for several terms and was mayor from 1919-21. After the death of Sarah in 1926, he moved to Greensboro, North Carolina.  There he met and married Annie Belle Rives Fields, widow of Branch Tucker Fields, MD.  I myself, Edwin  Saunders (Sandy) Jordan, was the only child of this marriage.

In 1928-9, Dr. & Mrs. Saunders Jordan built a home in Pleasant Garden, a small village a few miles south of Greensboro, and he served the medical needs of that community for the next ten years.  Around 1934, Saunders suffered an attack of appendicitis.  Unfortunately, the surgeon delayed the operation, and the appendix ruptured.  The resulting peritonitis threatened his life, and this incident adversely affected his health for the remainder of his years.

In 1938, the Jordan family moved to Carolina Beach, North Carolina.  Saunders lived and practiced medicine there until a few years before his death in 1958.

Saunders was a devoted husband and loving father.  He was a lover of children, books, and gardening.

Reflections: My father was 56 years old when I was born, thus he was of an age to have been my grandfather.  I had great love and respect for him.  Indeed, as a young boy I held him in absolute awe.  Even so, I had nothing but love and kindness from him all his days.

Dad was an impressive man in many ways.  He was not tall – probably only 5’9” or 5’10”, but he was big chested and had great upper body strength.  I remember going out with him on house calls sometimes when we lived in Pleasant Garden.  Physician house calls weren’t uncommon in those days.  I would usually sit in the living room of the patient’s home while my father attended the person who was ill.  In some of those old farmhouses they had rifles or muskets and powder horns hanging over the fireplace that looked as though Daniel Boone might have used them.  Maybe he did.  Daniel spent some of his early years in that part of the country.

Dad loved good food.  My childhood was during the Depression years, and often patients could not afford to pay in cash (even though the fee for an office visit was only $3).  Quite frequently, a house or office call would result in a ham hanging on our back porch or a couple of fresh chickens in the pot.  We always ate well even in the hardest times.

Our home in Pleasant Garden was a busy one.  There were four Fields children. My sister Florence was thirteen when I was born; Roberta was ten, and my brother Harold eight.  Branch was almost fifteen, and he spent much of his time with his cousins in Greensboro where he continued to attend high school.  Branch was very much into high school football, and the Pleasant Garden School was too small to field a team.  My sister Sallie Jordan was sixteen, and she split her time between Pleasant Garden and Mississippi, where her late mother’s people lived.  In 1930 or 31 she began attending the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina in Greensboro.  Robert Jordan was twenty-three and worked in High Point.  He was a frequent visitor.  Clement Jordan was twenty-six.  He lived and worked in Norfolk, Virginia, and I did not see him and his family until I was six years old.  His eldest daughter, my niece Sara Katherine, was three months older than me. 

I think we had a very happy household.  Of course, there was some friction, as might be expected when you blend two families, but there was loads of love and good will.  As the baby of the family I was petted and pampered to excess, but somehow, I survived it.

In 1938, we moved to Carolina Beach, North Carolina.  It took me a long time to adjust to the change, and for years I hoped that we would someday return to Pleasant Garden.  I look back at that old country village through a nostalgic mist that smooths all the rough edges.  But, as Thomas Wolfe wrote, “You can’t go home again.”     

My father voted for Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, but in 1933 there were the government mandated bank closings (so-called bank holidays) that cost Dad most of his savings.  I don’t believe that he ever forgave FDR for that.  He was also disturbed by the President’s later attempt to pack the Supreme Court.  I don’t know which candidate Dad voted for in 1936, but by 1940 he was a vocal supporter of the Republican ticket.  Mom remained a committed Democrat, but Dad’s candidate was my candidate.  I believe I was the only kid in my school in 1940 who was pulling for Wendell Wilkie.

Dad saw me finish college, marry, and start my government career.  Of course, he was crazy about Sandy Jr. and Stuart.  He loved all little children.  Dad always seemed to be happy and comfortable with Ann and me and our family, and he and Mom spent Thanksgiving with us in 1957.  We had a great three or four weeks together, and shortly before Christmas I took them back to Carolina Beach.  A few weeks later, we received a phone call from Mom saying that Dad was very ill.  Ann and I packed and put the two boys in the back seat.  We drove all night, arriving on the morning of February 6, 1958.  When I walked into Dad’s bedroom he was in his bed.  He reached out his arms to me and died just as I approached his side.  What a shock!   I had never lost anyone so close before, and I suppose I believed that somehow Dad would go on forever.  I loved him dearly.


My son Stuart published a Jordan family genealogy titled Beneath the Black Walnut in 1999.  It is about our Jordan family of Halifax County, Virginia.   Stuart is in the process of updating this study, and the results should be available in the very near future.

In this blog I wrote about the yDNA genetic test that Stuart took with Family Tree DNA. If any of you Jordan men are interested in whether or not you are related to the Jordans of Jamestown, I advise you to take the same test.

There are other genetic tests available, the most common of which is the autosomal DNA test.  It is very helpful in determining one’s geographic origins.  Stuart and I both took this test, and it proved that our distant ancestors were heavily concentrated in western Europe, primarily in the British Isles.

This information on family origins is of interest, but I have come to believe that it matters little what ethnic group or place your people came from.  Each human being is born with potential, and each of us is responsible for developing those talents with which the good Lord gifted you.  I also think that, over the long run, racial mixing tends to create a healthier and perhaps superior human being.  As a melting pot of numerous ethnicities, America has tremendous potential for achievement.  We must not destroy that potential by creating racial divisions.      

Finally, I think that those of you who read this post will agree that tracing one’s ancestry can be a rather fascinating pursuit.  Sometimes the genealogical record is clear – at other times not so much so.  Perhaps you will discover that a few of your forefathers were distinguished and accomplished people. You may take some pride in that fact and try to live up to them, but their achievements are not transferable. Whether you be a child of beggarman or king, each one of us, with God’s help, is on his own.

Love one another. Use you gifts for good.  And may God bless you, one and all!

4 thoughts on “Jordan Family Roots Revisited

  1. I’ve been looking through my late grandmother’s (Martha Peyton Dunlop) genealogy paperwork, and she had many notes on Samuel Jordan, but our connection appears to have been in Tennessee and/or North Carolina since, at least, the Civil War. My more direct connection is as follows: My maternal grandmother’s mother was May Virginia Hughes, her mother was Ida Hattie Jordan Hughes, Ida’s father was Thomas Bagley Jordan (born 12/6/1903) of Giles, Tennessee who moved to Shreveport, LA. He married Savannah H. Andrews. He was a contractor and “Jordan” street in Shreveport, LA is named for him. We do pronounce it as “Jurdin” though. has given me multiple hints, that go to Thomas Bagley Jordan’s father being listed as John G. Jordan with Henrietta Gound, his father, John Jordan Sr with Catherine Scherrer, his father John Jordan with unknown wife, his father Richard Jordan II with Unity Smith, his father, Richard Jordan and Rebecca Ratcliff, but there appears to be another wife, and Thomas Jordan II who was married to Margaret Brasseur, but appeared to be another wife as well. Thomas Jordan II’s father being Thomas Jordan, and his father possibly being Samuel Jordan of Jordan’s Point. I’m waiting on my DNA test, but this is so far back, I think it may just be guesswork. If you have any information that may steer me in the right direction regarding the Tennessee and North Carolina Jordan family, please help if you can. I appreciate all your work on this blog. Thank you.
    -Robert Schleicher


  2. I loved reading your commentary on Jordan roots as my soon to be wife is a Jordan and never looked into her roots. I hope she gains some confidence with your amazing history of your family. My name is michael boyd. Thanks of oxford.


  3. Thank you for providing this very informative Jordan Family Roots Journey in such interesting chronological sequence that makes the reader want to follow your story from its beginning. Can you remember when your writing style began? It seems as if your sons have also inherited your talent. I believe when you began your career you worked for the government, and now in retirement Jordans-Journey and posts keep your mind swirling with thoughts to share. Thank you. Really enjoyed your recent journey to Holland and Germany.. Betty Sept., 3, 2021

    Sent from Mail for Windows


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