Gordan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Gordan family chronicle reaches back into history to the Boernician tribe of ancient Scotland. The Gordan family lived on the lands of Gordon, in the former county of Berwickshire, since ancient times. There is little doubt that bearers of Gordan 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 Gordan in Scotland may lie with the Boernician tribe of ancient Scotland. It is entirely possible that the Gordan 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, Gordan 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.
Early Origins of the Gordan family
The surname Gordan 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 earliest known home of the Scots family was in Berwickshire, and here we find a place name Gordon, from which the surname may have been derived. There was also a distinguished family named Gurdon in Hampshire, England, with whom it has been suggested they were connected. It has been further suggested that the Gordons were cadets of the Swintons as the coats of arms borne by the two families are the same. " 
"According to some genealogists this name is derived from Gordonia, a town in Macedonia; according to others from a manor in Normandy-origins literally too "far-fetched," since the parish of Gordon, in Berwickshire, where we find the family located at an early date, is its true source. " 
"There is a nice little romance to the tune of making the founder of the family a certain Bertrand de Gourdon, who shot Richard the Lion-Hearted at Chaluz. According to history, this Gourdon was a common archer, who having been brought before the dying monarch was forgiven by him, and ordered to be liberated with a handsome present; but the Flemish general, who had no notion of such generosity, very coolly ordered him to be flayed alive. How, after such an operation, he could get into Scotland we are not told." 
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.
Early History of the Gordan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gordan research. Another 203 words (14 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 Gordan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gordan Spelling Variations
Spelling variations occur frequently in Scottish names that date from the medieval era. They result from a general lack of grammatical rules and the tendency to spell names according to sound. Gordan has been spelled Gordon, Gordun, Gôrdon (Gaelic) and others.
Early Notables of the Gordan family (pre 1700)
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 and was Lord of Badenoch, Gordon, Strathbogie & Cluny and his son George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly (died 1501) was a Scottish nobleman and Chancellor of Scotland from 1498-1501; George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly (1514-1562), Scottish nobleman, Lord High Chancellor in 1546 who led a revolt against Mary...
Another 129 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gordan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gordan family to Ireland
Some of the Gordan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gordan migration to the United States +
In the 20th century, the ancestors of many of those Boernician-Scottish people still populate North America. They distributed themselves on either side of the border at the time of the War of Independence. United Empire Loyalists went north to Canada and those who wanted a new nation stayed south. Both groups went on to found great nations. Some of the first North American settlers with Gordan name or one of its variants:
Gordan Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Dann Gordan, who landed in Virginia in 1651 
- Henry Gordan, who arrived in Virginia in 1652 
- Bridgett Gordan, who landed in Maryland in 1666 
Gordan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Cuthbert Gordan, who arrived in Georgia in 1753 
- Elias Gordan, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754 
Gordan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- H Gordan, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 
- John Gordan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1874 
Contemporary Notables of the name Gordan (post 1700) +
- Gordan Jump (1932-2003), American television actor, appeared as Arthur Carlson on 'WKRP in Cincinnati'
Related Stories +
The Gordan Motto +
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 Translation: Remaining.
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)