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Origins Available: Jewish, Scottish-Alt, Scottish


The history of the Gordon family begins in the Boernician tribes of ancient Scotland. The Gordon family lived on the lands of Gordon, in the former county of Berwickshire, since ancient times. There is little doubt that bearers of Gordon came to Britiain with the Normans, and it is generally thought that they descend from the place named "Gourdon" in Saone-et-Loire, Normandy, but the oldest roots of the bearers of Gordon in Scotland may lie with the Boernician tribe of ancient Scotland. It is entirely possible that the Gordon surname was created from a pre-existing place name Gordon. It has been suggested that this place-name was originally derived from the Welsh (ancient Brithonic) words, gor and din, which mean "spacious" and "fort," and such, Gordon would be a type hereditary surname, known as a habitation name: one that is derived from a pre-exiting name for a town, village, parish, or farmstead.

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The surname Gordon was first found in Berwickshire an ancient county of Scotland, presently part of the Scottish Borders Council Area, located in the eastern part of the Borders Region of Scotland, where legend has it that they were granted lands by King Malcolm Ceanmore, successor to MacBeth, in 1057, thus placing bearers of the name in lowland Scotland, before the invasion of the Normans. The first Gordon on record was Richer de Gordum, lord of the Barony of Gordon in the Merse, who granted a piece of land and the church of St. Michael between the years 1150-1180, to the monks of Kelso. Adam Gordon acquired by Royal grant the lands of Coldstream on the River Tweed and his successors held these lands for many centuries.

Before the first dictionaries and printing presses went into use in the last few hundred years, spelling, particularly of names, was a largely intuitive matter. Consequently, many spelling variations occur in even the simplest names from the Middle Ages. Gordon has been spelled Gordon, Gordun, GŰrdon (Gaelic) and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gordon research. Another 405 words (29 lines of text) covering the years 1280, 1449, 1594, 1619, 1761, 1402, 1470, 1439, 1501, 1498, 1501, 1514, 1562, 1546, 1610, 1644, 1609, 1679, 1637, 1720, 1632, 1665, 1635, 1697, 1651, 1652, 1652 and are included under the topic Early Gordon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Sir Adam de Gordon, Lord of Gordon (died 1402), 14th-century Scottish baron; Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Huntly (died 1470) when he succeeded his father as Lord Gordon he began using his mother's family name of Gordon, was knighted in 1439...

Another 179 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gordon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Gordon family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 141 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The east coasts of the United States and Canada are still populated by many of the descendents of the Boernician-Scottish families who made that great crossing. They distributed themselves evenly when they first arrived, but at the time of the War of Independence those who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. This century, many of their ancestors have recovered their past heritage through highland games and other Scottish functions in North Ameri ca. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that many immigrants bearing the name Gordon or a variant listed above:

Gordon Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Nicholas Gordon settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Edmond Gordon, aged 18, landed in New England in 1635
  • George Gordon settled in Virginia in 1636
  • Daniel Gordon, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1651
  • Laughleth Gordon, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1651
  • ...

Gordon Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Ursillas Gordon, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Alexander Gordon, who landed in Maryland in 1716
  • Roderick Gordon, who landed in Virginia in 1732
  • Adam Gordon, who arrived in America in 1734
  • Barbara Gordon, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
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Gordon Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Helen Gordon, who landed in Virginia in 1800
  • Elizth Gordon, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Geo Gordon, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Thomas Gordon, who landed in America in 1805
  • Wm, Gordon Jr., who landed in America in 1807
  • ...

Gordon Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Cameron Gordon, who arrived in Arkansas in 1905
  • Robert Gordon, who landed in Alabama in 1917

Gordon Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Barnard Gordon, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Geo Gordon, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • James Gordon, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • John Gordon, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Gordon, who landed in New Brunswick in 1783
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Gordon Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Isabella Gordon, aged 6, arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia aboard the ship "Commerce" in 1803
  • Donald Gordon, aged 40, a farmer, arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia aboard the ship "Commerce" in 1803
  • Christian Gordon, aged 31, arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia aboard the ship "Commerce" in 1803
  • Henry Gordon, aged 5, arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia aboard the ship "Commerce" in 1803
  • James Gordon, aged 3, arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia aboard the ship "Commerce" in 1803
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Gordon Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • James Gordon, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Robert Gordon, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Alexander Gordon, a stone-mason, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • George Gordon, English convict from Buckinghamshire, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Philip Gordon, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia
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Gordon Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Bernard Gordon landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Gordon landed in Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • W Gordon landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr Gordon landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Harrington
  • John R Gordon landed in Wanganui, New Zealand in 1843
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  • Paul Christian Gordon (1963-2016), American musician, composer, and producer, member of New Radicals and the keyboardist for the B-52's from 2007 to his death
  • Gale Gordon (1906-1995), born Charles Thomas Aldrich, Jr., American character actor perhaps best remembered as Lucille Ball's longtime television foil
  • James Power Gordon (1928-2013), American physicist
  • Julia Swayne Gordon (1878-1933), American actress
  • Brigadier-General John Clarence Gordon (1906-1992), American Comptroller, Air Material Command (1947-1949)
  • James Beck "Jim" Gordon (b. 1945), American recording artist, musician and songwriter
  • Captain (USN, Ret.) Richard Francis Gordon Jr. (b. 1929), former NASA Astronaut with over 315 hours in space
  • Jeffery Michael "Jeff" Gordon (b. 1971), American (NASCAR) auto racer
  • Ruth Gordon (1896-1985), American actress and playwright
  • John Brown Gordon (1832-1904), American public official and Confederate general
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Gordon Historic Events



HMS Hood

  • Mr. Leslie S Gordon (b. 1909), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Gosport, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. James Gordon, British Boy, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. James Gordon, British Leading Stoker, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died during the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Reginald Gordon, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died during the sinking
  • Mr. Gordon, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Isaac Alfred Gordon, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died during the sinking

Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)

  • Olive Leonora Gordon (1963-1988), English Passenger from London, England, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died

RMS Lusitania

  • Mr. George Gordon, Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. J. Gordon (d. 1912), aged 29, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Lucy Christiana Duff Gordon, aged 48, English First Class passenger from London, England who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 1
  • Sir Cosmo Edmund Duff Gordon, aged 49, English First Class passenger from London, England who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 1
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  • A Genealogical Study of the William Gordon Family in Indiana by H.C. Gordod.
  • Gordon Kinship by Nancy S. McBride.
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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: Bydand
Motto Translation: Remaining.

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Gordon Clan Badge
Gordon Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...

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Septs of the Distinguished Name Gordon
Achan, Achand, Achane, Achant, Achen, Achend, Achenson, Achensoun, Achent, Acherson, Achesolm, Achesom, Achesomb, Achesombe, Achesome, Acheson, Achesone, Achesoom, Achesoomb, Achesoombe, Achesoun, Achesown, Achesum, Achesume, Achesune, Achieson, Achine, Achink, Achinson, Achinsoun, Achinsoune, Achint, Achison, Achynd, Ackan, Ackand, Ackane, Acken, Ackend, Ackenson, Ackensoun, Ackent, Ackesolm, Ackesom, Ackesomb, Ackesombe, Ackesome, Ackeson, Ackesone, Ackesoom and more.

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Gordon Coat of Arms/Family Crest Key-chainGordon Coat of Arms/Family Crest Key-chain
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Gordon Framed Surname History and Coat of ArmsGordon Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms

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Citations



    Other References

    1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    2. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
    3. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
    4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
    5. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
    6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    8. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
    9. 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).
    10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    11. ...

    The Gordon Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gordon 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 26 August 2016 at 04:57.

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