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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, French, Irish

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


Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Jourdan family name include Jordan, Jordain, Jorden, Jordana, Jordens, Jordin, Jourdain, Jourdan and many more.

First found in Suffolk, where the name first appeared in the early 12th century. Like many surnames, the name Jourdan 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. That someone's first name was taken as a surname may have indicated that the first bearer of the name was related or owed allegiance to someone of that name, or it may have been an arbitrary choice.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jourdan research. Another 141 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1182, 1202, 1327, 1612, 1685, 1603 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Jourdan History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jourdan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Jourdan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Jourdan family to immigrate North America:

Jourdan Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Silvanus Jourdan, who landed in Bermuda in 1609-1610
  • Silvester Jourdan, who arrived in Virginia in 1609-1610
  • Samuel Jourdan, who arrived in Virginia in 1610
  • Cicely Jourdan, who arrived in Virginia in 1611
  • William Jourdan, who arrived in New England in 1651-1652

Jourdan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Solomon Jourdan, who landed in Virginia in 1700
  • Salomen Jourdan, who landed in Virginia in 1700
  • Jean Jourdan, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Christopher Jourdan, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773

Jourdan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Alic Jourdan, aged 37, landed in Maryland in 1812
  • Ellera Jourdan, who landed in Texas in 1829
  • Antonio Alejandro Jourdan, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1841

Jourdan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Jourdan a stowaway, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "South Australain" in 1837


  • David Walter Jourdan (b. 1954), American author, co-founder and president of Nauticos, a deep ocean exploration company which has specialized on the quest for Amelia Earhart’s lost Lockheed Electra airplane
  • Carolyn Jourdan, American author, known for her memoirs and biographies that have made The Wall Street Journal list of top ten bestselling books
  • Theodore Charles Jourdan (1895-1961), American Major League Baseball first baseman with the Chicago White Sox (1916-1920)
  • Ronald Lee Jourdan (1947-2014), American college and Olympic track and field athlete
  • Jean-Baptiste Jourdan (1762-1833), Marshal of France; he fought in the American Revolution and the French Revolutionary wars
  • Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, French Marshall of the Empire during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815
  • Georges Jourdan (b. 1872), French individual épée fencer at the 1900 Summer Olympics
  • Philippe Jean-Charles Jourdan (b. 1960), French Roman Catholic dignitary, Apostolic Administrator of Estonia and Titular Bishop of Pertusa
  • Catherine Jourdan (1948-2011), French actress who appeared in 22 films and television shows between 1967 and 1989
  • Éric Jourdan (b. 1938), French novelist and playwright, best known for his novel Les Mauvais Anges which explored a homosexual relationship between two adolescent boys



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. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  11. ...

The Jourdan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Jourdan 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 13 March 2015 at 11:09.

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