Jordain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Jordain family

The surname Jordain was first found in Suffolk, where the name first appeared in the early 12th century. Like many surnames, the name Jordain was taken from a common personal name at the time.

The personal name Jordan (and the female equivalent, Jordana) comes from the River Jordan; some knights and soldiers returning from the Crusades brought some of the water of the River Jordan back with them to baptize their children with and therefore gave the name to those children. [1] [2] [3]

We should point out at this time that another reputable source disagrees with this etymology. "Not, as has been fancifully conjectured, from the river Jordan, in Crusading times, but from Jourdain, an early Norman baptismal name, probably corrupted from the Latin Hodiernus, which was a not uncommon personal name of the same period. It may be remarked that the names Jourdain and Hodierna, the feminine form, occur almost contemporaneously in the pedigree of Sackville." [4]

"Jordan is a name established in many other parts of England besides the North and East Ridings, for instance, in Bucks, Derbyshire, Devonshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, etc. In the 13th century it was common as Jordan and Jurdan in Oxfordshire, and was also represented in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, etc. (H. R.). The Jordans of Enstone, Oxfordshire, have been resident in that parish since the 14th century (Jordan's "Enstone"). This surname is a form of Jourdain, an early Norman baptismal name." [5]

In Scotland, "Jordan the Fleming was chancellor to David I in 1142-43, in a charter of Adam son of Swain, c. 1136-53. Jordan de Wodford, charter witness in Angus, c. 1170. Jordanus Brae granted a piece of land to the church of S. Mary and S. Kentigern of Lanark, c. 1214. Magister William Jordanus witnessed confirmation charter by Gilbert, bishop of Aberdeen between 1228-39." [6]

Early History of the Jordain family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jordain research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1182, 1202, 1327, 1603, 1685, 1619, 1612, 1685, 1611, 1569, 1632, 1569, 1698, 1770, 1698, 1707, 1687, 1691, 1707 and are included under the topic Early Jordain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jordain Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Jordan, Jordain, Jorden, Jordana, Jordens, Jordin, Jourdain, Jourdan and many more.

Early Notables of the Jordain family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Joseph Jordan (1603-1685), vice-admiral, probably related to John Jourdain [q. v.], president of the English factories in the East Indies, slain there in June 1619. [7] Thomas Jordan (ca.1612-1685), was an English poet, playwright and actor, starting as a boy actor in the King's Revels Company. [7] William Jordan (fl. 1611), Cornish dramatist, lived at Helston in Cornwall, and is supposed to have been the author of the mystery or sacred drama 'Gwreans an Bys, the Creation of the World.' [7] Edward Jorden (1569-1632), was an English physician and chemist, born in 1569 at High...
Another 120 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jordain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Jordain family to Ireland

Some of the Jordain family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 85 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Jordain migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Jordain or a variant listed above:

Jordain Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Eliza Jordain, who landed in Virginia in 1651 [8]
  • Richard Jordain, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 [8]
Jordain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Jordain, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [8]


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


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  8. ^ 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)


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