(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 inWeymouth, 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 Universitywhere 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.