"BACK TO ENGLAND"
(by David S. Jordan)

The history of the Jordan Surname in England can be traced back almost 1000 years. One of the more colorful legends, mixed with facts, credits a man named Sir William Deardon who participated in the 3rd Crusade in the Holy Lands. Sir William performed a number of heroic deeds during a battle at the River Jordan. These deeds were witnessed by King Richard the Lionhearted who promptly dubbed Sir William as "Sir Jordan" in honor of his heroic performance. Sir William asked the King for permission to change his Surname to "Jordan" and also to change the name of the Hamlet where he lived to Jordan. The King granted this request and according to the Dartmoor Historical Society the Surname of Jordan was born. The Hamlet of Jordan still exists in the Moors of Dartmoor in Devonshire, England. A Jordan Manor House is there and is over 500 years old while resting on an original foundation, which is estimated at 1000 years old. The Jordan name is found in ancient records in many parts of England. Some of the more notable areas are Dorchester, Lyme-Regis, Melcombe-Regis in Weymouth, and Gloucestershire.

The Rev. Robert Jordan emigrated from England to America in 1638. Robert was baptized 12 Jan 1611 at St. Swithuns Church in Worcester, England. Robert's father was a bookseller in Worcester City. Robert attended Balliol College, Oxford University where he graduated in the class of 1634. He was ordained an Anglican Minister in the Church of England. In 1637 both of Robert's parents died of the Plague. He inherited 50 pounds (Approx. $7,500 in today's dollars) and soon after left England for America where he settled in the Colony of Maine, which was part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He became the religious leader of a settlement on the coast of Maine, which was a fishing enterprise established by John Winter. Robert married John Winter's daughter, Sarah Winter, and their descendants formed together into an organization in 1989 known as The Family Jordan.

Official documented proof of Rev. Robert Jordan's direct ancestors in England has been traced back to the 1550's.

1st Generation

John Jordan - Buried 29 Apr 1587 - Ashchurch Parish - Gloucestershire

A copy of John Jordan's Will was obtained from the London Public Records Office.

This John Jordan was Rev. Robert Jordan's great-grandfather.

John Jordan's wife was named Isabel Jordan and she is also buried at Ashchurch

Parish, St. Nicholas Church, Gloucestershire, England. (Church still exists).

2nd Generation

Baptisms - Children of John & Isabel Jordan

Circa 1550 - Thomas Jordan

Circa 1555 - Richard Jordan

17 Sept 1557 - Robert Jordan

21 Oct 1564 - Mary Jordan

The Thomas Jordan born circa 1550 is the Grandfather of Rev. Robert Jordan.

Thomas Jordan was buried Apr 1614 at Ashchurch, Gloucestershire, England.

Copies of baptismal records and death record obtained from Ashchurch records.

 

3rd Generation

13 Jun 1574 - Thomas Jordan married Elizabeth Clark at Ashchurch.

Baptisms - Children of Thomas & Elizabeth: (Ashchurch Parish, Goucestershire).

2 Oct 1573 - William Jordan

10 May 1576 - Mary Ann Jordan

19 Sep 1578 - John Jordan

13 Nov 1580 - Elizabeth Jordan

17 May 1584 - Thomas Jordan

13 Nov 1585 - Edward Jordan

The Edward Jordan baptized in 1585 is Rev. Robert Jordan's Father.

Copies of marriage record and baptismal records obtained from parish book of

Ashchurch Parish, St. Nicholas Church, Gloucestershire, England.

 

4th Generation

10 Jul 1608- Edward Jordan married Elizabeth Broughton - Worcester, England.

(Elizabeth Broughton was baptized at St. Helen's Parish, 15 Jul 1584, Worcester.)

Baptisms - Children of Edward & Elizabeth: (St. Swithuns Church, Worcester)

12 Jul 1608 - William Jordan

12 Jan 1609 - Fowlke Jordan

28 Nov 1610 - Margaret Jordan

12 Jan 1611 - Robert Jordan

16 Dec 1613 - Edward Jordan

16 Apr 1615 - Elizabeth Jordan

22 May 1616 - Mary Jordan

21 Jan 1619 - Margery Jordan

2 Jul 1621 - Thomas Jordan

1 Feb 1622 - John Jordan

5 Dec 1624 - Dorothy Jordan

The Robert Jordan baptized Jan 1611 is our ancestor who immigrated to America.

22 Jun 1637 - Edward Jordan buried (victim of plague) (Robert's Father)

28 Jul 1637 - Elizabeth Broughton Jordan buried (victim of plague) (Robert's Mother)

Copies of records obtained from St. Swithuns Church records, Worcester, England.

The Jordan name is very common in England to this day. There are "Jordan Hills", "Jordan Rivers", "Jordan Gates", "Jordan Roads", "Jordan Manors", and many other points which carry the Surname of Jordan. The many Jordans of Australia trace their roots to the same areas of England as we do and the same can be said of the Jordans of Ireland. It is hoped that much more research on our Family Jordan history in England will be accomplished in the future.