THE SURNAME JORDAN

 

photo by canstock

With some surname family history one can find patterns for how a name is spelled to chronologically stay on track.  The surname FLEWELLING is a perfect example.  That is also an early NC, considered part of the Jamestown set, surname. However, the surname morphed over time – from Flewelling to Fluellen to F’Ellen and finally Ellen.  There also were not that many of them so the job of tracking is less complex.

For Jordans we have no short cuts.  The way the name appeared on a deed or census report or court record does not help us isolate a particular branch or even a particular tree of Jordans!  Does it matter we pronounce our name Jurdon?  No. Well, maybe…

Right now there are two particular DNA Jordan Family trees who each claim that pronunciation.  The JG3 and JG8 each have folks who want you to know the right way to say their name.  The commonality is not the tree but the location in NC where these families lived.  The why behind it is still a mystery.

WHY is the mystery still in play?  Because there are still Jordans who are born and bred in the South and some specific branches who have called Carolina home for the last 200 years who have yet to establish their specific line or branch of Jordans by submitting a Y37 or greater test through FamilyTreeDNA.com  (FTDNA.com).

For me it is particularly painful because I need help to confirm  our Matthew’s branch and I need help to understand if and how our Jordans related to other Jordans who also called Carolina home during the 1700s.

For 7 years I have tried to reach out to missing branches to get their help.  It’s time to be brutally honest about what I have learned along this seven year tract and where I am at this moment. I will use the RESEARCH BLOG to post my updates.

It is my hope JORDAN researchers will take an interest and we can work together whether we were born and raised in Virginia, one of the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Florida, Texas, or Maryland!  I have found the early JG (aka Jordan Group) Family Trees can be found in these great states today.  Their ancestral roots rests along the Atlantic coastline somewhere.  We need to work together!  And we need to each one understand that our published pedigrees will not stand alone.  DNA must be used in concert with the paper trail and the conclusions made without first hand information from our ancestors.

The Jordan surname is an old one.  If you google it you will find the account the name was first used during the Crusades offered to a Knight along the Jordan River.  Who knows if this is true.

I wonder HOW did the JORDAN river get its name?  In the US names of places occur after someone or by someone is homage of something or someone.  Isn’t that universally true?  If you look the name Jordan can be found in every European Country before there were ships sailing the oceans in the 1500s.  There were Scandinavian Jerdens, French Jourdains, English Jordans, …

And when the ships pulled away from their Old Country ports there were Jordon and Jardon and Jourdaine aboard along with all of the previous identified Jordan surname spellings.  Some captains of vessels, others were skilled ship carpenters or builders or crew, and yet others were seasoned fishermen.  There was mention of musicians and gifted horticulturists.  The Jordan name was found in vineyards,groves, and crops all over Europe.  Some Jordans raised live stock for Kings and Queens. And there were warrior Jordans who served in military conflicts.

Fast forward for the late 1400s to the mid 1600s and there were pockets of Jordans all over the North American Colonies.  It didn’t matter if French, English, Dutch, or Swedish planted a settlement. Each had Jordans.  And yes I do mean plural!  Some folks want so desperately to isolate and pull in the reins to claim a paternal relationship with Samuel Jordan who arrived in the early 1600s somewhere close to Jamestown.  He helped to build and shape the early Virginia Colony.  But the paper trail is a mix of speculation, not a finite autobiography by Sam.  Or even one of his sons. In the early 1900s a Parker researcher who was wrestling with nests of Jordans along the James River all the way to the mouth of the Tar River developed an easy solution.  He simply claimed the earliest found near Rich Square to Henrico all were able to trace back and claim Sam as the single progenitor of most of the Jordans who for centuries were stumped at some 1600 or 1700 ancestor.  DNA has proven that Mr. Parker was wrong.  There is no evidence (and logic would have expected there to be) in the Virginia records of any son for Sam who lived to adulthood.  There were two daughters but their fate seems to have blurred away.

Connecting the dots and understanding particulars for each unique  JG JORDAN Tree depends on current researchers doing their best work and that means including DNA in their family history work.

If you have a Jordan in your family history WHAT is their JG Tree? That may just help you to understand why that particular spelling or pronunciation was used in the earliest paper sources.