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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, French, Irish

Where did the Irish Jordan family come from? What is the Irish Jordan family crest and coat of arms? When did the Jordan family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Jordan family history?

The Jordan name comes from the Gaelic Mac Siúrtáin. It was adopted by one a Connacht family who came to Ireland with the Norman invasion of 1172. Ultimately, Jordan is derived from the name of the river Jordan, "Yarden" in Hebrew. The name first became popular in Europe as a personal name during the Crusades when it was a common practice for Crusaders to bring back vials containing the waters of this river to use in the baptism of their children.


Names were simply spelled as they sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, his name was often spelt in many different ways, explaining the many spelling variations encountered while researching the name Jordan. Some of these variations included: Jordan, Jordane, Jordain, Jordaine, Jourdan, Jourdane, Jorden, Jurden, Jurdon, MacShurtan, MacJordan, MacShurton, MacShurdane, MacShurtaine,McShurtan, McJordan, McShurton, McShurdane and many more.

First found in Normandy where the name there was recorded as Jordanus as in the listing of Richard, Rovert and William Jordanus in 1998. [1] An earlier branch of the family came to Ireland with the "English invaders" in 1168 and at that time were known as De Exeter because they came from Exonia or Exeter in England. They accompanied Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, in his invasion of Ireland, and acquired lands from King John the English King. In order to assume Irish patronymics, the name was changed to MacJordan after Jordan De Courcy (Jordan Teutonicus) who died in 1197. O'Hart quotes: "The De Exonias or De Exeters submitted to be called MacJordans, from one Jordan De Exonia, who was the first founder of the family." The family rose to become Lords of Athleathan, in the Barony of Gallen, and County of Mayo. [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jordan research. Another 303 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1641 and 1652 are included under the topic Early Jordan History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 24 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jordan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Irish immigration to North American began in the late 18th century as many Irish families desired to own their own land. This pattern of immigration grew slowly yet steadily until the 1840s. At that time, a failed crop and a growing population in Ireland resulted in the Great Potato Famine. Poverty, disease, and starvation ravaged the land. To ease their pain and suffering the Irish often looked upon North America as a solution: hundreds of thousands undertook the voyage. Their arrival meant the growth of industry and commerce for British North America and the United States. For the individual Irishman, it meant survival and hope, and the opportunity for work, freedom, and ownership of land. The early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Jordan:

Jordan Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Cicely Jordan, who landed in Virginia in 1610
  • Samuel Jordan, who arrived in Virginia in 1610
  • Sisley Jordan, who arrived in Virginia in 1610
  • William Jordan, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • Peter Jordan, who landed in Virginia in 1622

Jordan Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Guillame Jordan, who landed in Louisiana in 1718-1724
  • Eliza Jordan, who landed in Virginia in 1719
  • Claude Jordan, aged 19, arrived in Louisiana in 1719
  • Antoine Jordan, aged 19, arrived in Louisiana in 1719
  • Michael Jordan, who landed in Virginia in 1723

Jordan Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Eva Cath Jordan, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Mary Jordan, who landed in New York, NY in 1813
  • Nicolas Jordan, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1816
  • Dennis Jordan, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816
  • Sarah I Jordan, aged 24, landed in Mobile, Ala in 1820-1873


  • Benjamin Jordan (1896-1975), American politician, democratic U.S. senator from the state of North Carolina
  • Vernon Jordan (b. 1935), African-American civil rights leader and lawyer
  • Louis Jordan (1908-1975), American Jazz artist, songwriter and bandleader, known as the "The King of the Jukebox"
  • Richard Jordan (1938-1993), American actor
  • Michael "MJ" Jordan (b. 1963), American basketball player, considered by many to be basketball's greatest player ever
  • Barbara Charline Jordan (1936-1996), American politician and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Robert Jordan (1948-2007), pen name of American writer James Oliver Rigney, Jr., known for his bestselling The Wheel of Time series
  • Clifford Laconia Jordan (1931-1993), American Jazz saxophone player, honorary Founding Board member of the Jazz Foundation of America
  • James Ralph "Shug" Jordan (1910-1980), American football, basketball, and baseball player and coach, posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1982
  • Lee Roy Jordan (b. 1941), retired American NFL football linebacker, inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983



  • These Jordan Were Here by Octavia Perry.
  • Yesterday in the Texas Hill Country by Gilbert John Jordan.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Percussa Resurgo
Motto Translation: Struck down, I rise again


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  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)

Other References

  1. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  2. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Jordan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Jordan Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 September 2014 at 15:56.

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