Jordan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Jordan family

The surname Jordan was first found in Normandy where the name there was recorded as Jordanus as in the listing of Richard, Rovert and William Jordanus in 1189. [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.

As to underline this origin, the learned Edward MacLysaght, noted "Mac Siurtáin A Gaelic patronymic adopted by the d' Exeter family-one of those which acquired estates in Connacht after the Anglo-Norman invasion; it was later called MacJordan's country." [2]

Another Chief Herald of Ireland, 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. [3]

Early History of the Jordan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jordan research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1641 and 1652 are included under the topic Early Jordan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jordan Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Jordan family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Jordan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Jordan migration to the United States +

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 United States in the 17th Century
  • Cicely Jordan, who landed in Virginia in 1610 [4]
  • Samuel Jordan, who arrived in Virginia in 1610 [4]
  • Sisley Jordan, who arrived in Virginia in 1610 [4]
  • William Jordan, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [4]
  • Peter Jordan, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Jordan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Guillame Jordan, who landed in Louisiana in 1718-1724 [4]
  • Eliza Jordan, who landed in Virginia in 1719 [4]
  • Claude Jordan, aged 19, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719 [4]
  • Antoine Jordan, aged 19, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719 [4]
  • Michael Jordan, who landed in Virginia in 1723 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Jordan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Eva Cath Jordan, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1802 [4]
  • Mary Jordan, who landed in New York, NY in 1813 [4]
  • Nicolas Jordan, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1816 [4]
  • Dennis Jordan, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [4]
  • Sarah I Jordan, aged 24, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1820-1873 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Jordan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Jordan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • James Jordan, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Philip Jordan, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Miss. Ambe Jordan U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783 was a passenger aboard "Cyrus" on August 21, 1783 from New York to Saint John River, listed as a child less than 10 years of age [5]
  • Mr. Fraser Jordan U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783 was a passenger aboard "Cyrus" on August 21, 1783 from New York to Saint John River, listed as a child more than 10 years of age [5]
  • Mr. Gilbert Jordan U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783 was a passenger aboard "Cyrus" on August 21, 1783 from New York to Saint John River, listed as a child more than 10 years of age [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Jordan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Michael Jordan, aged 45, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork, Ireland
  • Michael Jordan, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork, Ireland
  • David Jordan, aged 17, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork, Ireland
  • Michael Jordan, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork, Ireland
  • Catherine Jordan, aged 60, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Jordan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Jordan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Jordan, English convict who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 16th January 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Francis Jordan, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. George Jordan, (b. 1818), aged 16, English Painter's Boy who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for theft of boots, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. John Jordan, British convict who was convicted in Warwick, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Robert Jordan, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for life, transported aboard the "Blenheim" on 11th March 1837, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Jordan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Jordan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Jordan, (b. 1805), aged 35, English tanner and sawyer born in Berry Pomeroy travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Timandra" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand on 24th February 1842 [10]
  • Mrs. Tabitha Jordan, (b. 1801), aged 38, English settler born in Ashcombe travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Timandra" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand on 24th February 1842 [10]
  • Miss Mary Ann Jordan, (b. 1828), aged 14, English settler born in Ashcombe travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Timandra" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand on 24th February 1842 [10]
  • Mr. John Jordan, (b. 1831), aged 11, English settler born in Ashcombe travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Timandra" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand on 24th February 1842 [10]
  • Mr. George Jordan, (b. 1831), aged 11, English settler born in Ashcombe travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Timandra" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand on 24th February 1842 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Jordan (post 1700) +

  • Ellington "Fugi" Jordan (1940-2020), American soul and funk songwriter and record producer, co-writer of the blues song, "I'd Rather Go Blind"
  • Robert Byrd Jordan III (1932-2020), American politician, 29th Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina (1985-1989)
  • Angel G. Jordan (1930-2017), Spanish-born American electronics and computer engineer, founder of the Software Engineering Institute, co-founder of the Robotics Institute
  • Henry Bryce Jordan (1924-2016), American university administrator and musicologist, 14th President of the Pennsylvania State University (1983-1990), President of the University of Texas at Dallas (1971-1982) and President of the University of Texas at Austin (1970-1971)
  • James B. Jordan (b. 1949), American Calvinist theologian and author
  • James Raymond Jordan Sr. (1936-1993), American murder victim and father of basketball star Michael Jordan
  • James Jordan (b. 1979), American actor
  • James Edward "Jim" Jordan (1896-1988), American actor who played Fibber McGee in Fibber McGee and Molly and gave his voice to the albatross Orville in Disney's The Rescuers (1977)
  • James Jordan, American writer, conductor, and professor
  • James "Jim" Jordan (1925-1999), American basketball player
  • ... (Another 192 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. David A Jordan (b. 1964), American Private from Winfield, West Virginia, USA who died in the crash [11]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Horace David Jordan (1908-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Petersham, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [12]
  • Mr. Ernest John Jordan (1919-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Bankstown, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [12]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Herbert Mason Jordan (d. 1945), British Leading Seaman aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [13]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Kenneth FA Jordan (b. 1911), English Leading Cook (S) serving for the Royal Navy from Bigglesworth, Bedfordshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [14]
  • Mr. Geoffrey W Jordan (b. 1922), English Canteen Assistant serving for the Royal Navy from Deal, Kent, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [14]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Ronald A. Jordan, British Marine with the Royal Marine aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [15]
  • Henry Daniel Jordan (1911-1939), British Corporal with the Royal Marine aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [15]
  • Frederick Jordan (1901-1939), British Petty Officer Telegraphist with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [15]


The Jordan 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


Suggested Readings for the name Jordan +

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

  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. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  3. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  12. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  13. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  14. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  15. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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