McJordan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The McJordan 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, McJordan 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 McJordan family

The surname McJordan 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 McJordan family

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

McJordan Spelling Variations

Medieval scribes and church officials spelt names simply the way they sounded, which explains the various name spelling variations of the name McJordan that were encountered when researching that surname. The many spelling 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 McJordan family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the McJordan family

A great number of Irish families left their homeland in the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century, migrating to such far away lands as Australia and North America. The early settlers left after much planning and deliberation. They were generally well off but they desired a tract of land that they could farm solely for themselves. The great mass of immigrants to arrive on North American shores in the 1840s differed greatly from their predecessors because many of them were utterly destitute, selling all they had to gain a passage on a ship or having their way paid by a philanthropic society. These Irish people were trying to escape the aftermath of the Great Potato Famine: poverty, starvation, disease, and, for many, ultimately death. Those that arrived on North American shores were not warmly welcomed by the established population, but they were vital to the rapid development of the industry, agriculture, and infrastructure of the infant nations of the United States and what would become Canada. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Irish settlers bearing the name McJordan: Stephen Jurden, who sailed to New England in 1633; Anthony Jordan who settled in Virginia in 1635; followed by Eliza in 1650; Jacob in 1649; Ann in 1655.



The McJordan 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. ^ 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)


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