When I submitted a kit to determine whether CORNELIUS JORDAN of early Edgecombe (now Wilson) was related to our MATTHEW JORDAN of Johnston I unearthed my first JG8 kit.  Our Matthew line was JG3 and Cornelius was JG8.  As I reviewed the matches I met a very kind and frustrated man of TX who had been working on his JORDAN family history for decades and could not seem to make any ground as to who were the parents of his earliest known ancestor, DR. Alfred (possibly Alford) E. Jordan.   This TX fella was and is a consummate researcher.  He had poured over all paper records and when that didn’t yield the answer he turned to genealogical DNA!  It was the logical course to take.  He bought every test possible and hoped by doing so he could solve the mystery of Dr. Alfred E Jordan’s parents.

He did everything right but still there remains a brick wall as to who were the parents of Dr. Alfred. WHY?  The short answer is Alfred’s parents’ line of JORDANS has not established their branch of JORDANS by submitting a FTDNA DNA kit and anchoring it.  The branch in question may be in VA, NC, SC, FL, GA, or AL!  Remember Ymarker DNA work is similar to setting dominos in a row.  This TX family set their domino.  The family of Alfred’s father have not!  This TX man waits for that elusive kit providing the information to learn who his Great Great Grandpa Jordan is!  We know Alfred was born in NC.  We know when – the exact date –  June 20, 1820. We don’t know exactly WHERE in NC though.  This is quite the problem!  Below is a map for 1820 NC showing all of the possible places Alfred’s mom was when Alfred was born in 1820.  Can you imagine the enormity of the task? Someone reading this may have key information which will solve this mystery. DNA can and will solve this.   The mystery may be solved if each JORDAN who know their line was in North Carolina in the early 1800s properly establishes their branch of Jordans by submitting a FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) DNA kit and include both the Ymarker 37 or greater test and the Family Finder test.  Keep in mind this TX family’s connection to NC might have been a temporary one.  It could be Dr Alfred’s dad was from VA or SC or TN and he or his wife were visiting NC when Alfred was born.  Alfred could have been raised in a different state.  Clearly by 1850 he was living in DeSoto MS with a wife who was born in TN and four sons!

built using my Animap software

I helped to solve a similar problem for an UNDERWOOD family years ago.  And the specifics for that family may actually be in play where Dr. Alfred’s work goes, to a point.  The Underwoods had a more difficult mystery because they were looking for their Great Grandma Margaret Underwood Gorrell’s  North Carolina Underwood parents.  There was no Ymarker information possible from these descendants.  The plight of the TX Jordans should and could be solved more quickly.  WHY does the mystery continue? My efforts to DNA map the early Caswell and Guilford UNDERWOODS included me submitting kits for Underwood branches and anchoring each kit. This meant including the Ymarker37 or greater and the Famil y Finder test.  The MISSISSIPPI GORRELLS submitted a kit and anchored it.  The Ymarker information would track back to provide GORRELL information – passed from father to son. However their Family Finder test including specific information inherited from Margaret!  We used the Family Finder test to connect and confirm the relationship to a specific line of UNDERWOODS of CASWELL!   An account of Margaret Underwood Gorrell staying in her father’s home in NC while her husband George Washington Gorrell was in MS emerged.  WHY?  She was about to have a baby!  So it is possible the same could be true for Dr. Alfred. It is one of a multiple of possibilities.

When it came to Underwoods there were very few branches in few counties in North Carolina in the 1700s so isolating them was easier.  Also everyone, and I do mean EVERY SINGLE BOY UNDERWOOD I asked to help was thrilled to participate so the work went quickly.  When it comes to the JORDANS, we have lost years waiting for kits to be done.  There has been a continuing erroneous notion genealogical DNA is not necessary to one’s family history work.

Look at the Ancestry.com graphic. It shows by the 1840s just where JORDANS called home. The graphic was developed based on Federal Census work.  Keep in mind Ancestry has many transcription errors involving Jordans.  So this graphic’s claimed numbers  can’t be considered complete but they do offer some terrific reference points to use.  

snapshot from Ancestry.com – a must site for anyone doing Classic genealogy work.

When it comes to Dr. Alfred, he was by 1850 living in DeSoto MS with a wife who was born in TN and four sons!  All of his sons were claimed to have been born in Mississippi and the eldest, Andrew, was 7 years old so the couple lived somewhere in MS since 1843.  Just three years after this graphic’s chronological stamp. Alfred would have been 19/20 years old in 1840. So if you look at this graphic it claims there were less than 39 Jordans living in MS.  An obvious option and goal is to get all of these JORDANS properly isolated and established. I can tell you this has not happened.  There are two known MS lines – one very close to the Gulf are JG3.  And then there is Dr. Alfred’s line who are JG8.

By DNA mapping your line of JORDANS if your line called Mississippi home in or before 1840 we will learn more about how the various lines relate to one another and what branch and location they connect before the line made its way to Mississippi.  There may be information for a particular line of Jordans of MS who can help Dr. Alfred’s descendants find answers they have sought for at least 40 years!

Look at NC in the 1840 graphic  – it says between 117-232 JORDANS were in NC in 1840.   This is where my work is focused.  I am actually using the 1780 Head of Household census as a reference for my nc1700sJordans reference work.   I am trying to DNA map each unique branch of Jordans who called NC home during or before the 1700s.  The Ancestry graphic shows along with Maine and Virginia NC was one of the most densely populated with JORDAN families in 1840.  So another way to look at Dr. Alfred work and how you may be able to help is if you track back to the 1700s in either VA or NC or MS you may also hold critical information that can be used to help solve this mystery.  Why do I include both and not just NC?  Because the boundary between NC and Virginia was not firm until the 1880s. And there were/are many JORDAN families whose lines lived on either side and ideally any JORDAN on either side should isolate and establish their line and MS is the resident state as well as where Dr. Alfred’s children from his first marriage were born.

So pay attention to locations and make sure you are working to get all JORDANS who lived close to yours established too. IF you know (or think you know your particular line of Jordans, there is either a break in your branch or a point where you are stuck in or before the 1700s.  And DNA makes it possible to repair the break and allow you to reach back farther than the 1700s!  But you have to first establish your line and then work to make sure other JORDANS in the places your JORDANs called home are also established.

We  know the published classic genealogy work for the 1700s Jordans of NC is wrong. DNA has blown up most of the classic work published about the early lines of JORDANS.  What we now know is JG4 Jordans were mistakenly connected to JG8 Jordans and JG 3 Jordans were mistaken as JG8 Jordans and JG1 and JG2 Jordans were both in regions of NC where they were not supposed to be!  How this extends to the VA, TN, MS, AL, and GA family history is yet to be fully understood.  What is clear is if you come through a line of Jordans who pushed off from VA or NC or SC you must include DNA to make sure the classic work you have is correct. Every moment that work is not done the JORDAN work is harmed. Until the specific lines of JG8 who track back to Thomas the Quaker properly delineate their connection and DNA map their line back to Thomas the Quaker,  this TX JORDAN family contends with a great level of difficulty when it comes to finding Dr. Alfred’s parents!

There are two realities we face today as we do our family history work.

#1 – Early NC JORDAN Genealogy work is flawed.

It doesn’t matter which JGtree you belong, the classic work we have used for generations is not complete or accurate.  Anyone who has relied on any published work needs to realize their work is not sound.  It doesn’t matter if you have a relative who joined the DAR or SAR or COLONIAL DAMES!  Enough DNA has been done for early NC Jordans (and several VA Jordans) to throw many folks’ long held pedigree work into question.

copyright Canstockphoto image

The reason I submitted what turned out to be my first JG8 kit was a conflict and lack of DNA confirmation for CORNELIUS JORDAN of Edgecombe (now Wilson).  At the time, I had found only notes by a professional genealogist who worked at the State Archives which included “CORNELIUS and GRAY cousins?”.  From there someone(s) decided to disregard basic research protocols and simply removed the question mark and the mistake became fact.  (the exact mistake took place for a set of JG3 MS kits.  The testers used a researcher’s notes incorrectly claiming they hailed from Gray of Edgecombe’s direct line.  The researcher had used a question mark. The testers decided to just ignore it or float a working hypotheses when declaring their line’s earliest known ancestor.)  I actually found the Cornelius of Edgecombe mistake extended all the way to Janet Burke’s Rootsweb site about Richard Jordan who died in Surry VA in 1620.  The claim was made Cornelius of Edgecombe (now Wilson) and Gray Jordan of Edgecombe (Rocky Mount) were DNA cousins!  The natural conclusion to draw was they each were part of the same JG subclade (aka Clan tree) based on what I saw after submitting my Matthew JORDAN line. However, I didn’t take what I found as fact, as a researcher I needed to follow basic research protocols and for me I could apply science to the work.  There were no kits submitted at the time to properly plot/establish either of these lines!  I was able to use DNA to determine if the question the professional genealogist posed was true or false.  And I was only able to do it because the JORDAN men I asked agreed to do a FTDNA DNA kits!  That mistake had life for over 40 years!  It was very discouraging for me to see it had actually found its way to the “DNA COUSINS” page of a website created by the administrator of the JORDAN Surname Project’s copyrighted Rootsweb site.  Reality stepped in when North Carolina Jordan men from each line submitted DNA kits through FTDNA and their results could be applied to the pedigree work. That is precisely what is needed to solve Dr. Alfred’s dad’s identity!

Many, many early southern Jordans be they in VA, NC, SC, GA, MS, AL, or TX have families who stayed on the same land or in the same region since before the Revolutionary War, others have resided in particulars counties since just before or after the Civil War.  By getting men who come through these lines to establish their lines we are cleaning up the old flawed genealogy work.  Efforts provided us scientific proof Cornelius belongs to the JG8 tree and Gray (and our Matthew) belong to the JG3 tree.  They may be related via marriage but not along their direct paternal lines! In this digital age it is even more critical to make sure you are doing your family history work correctly.

Now, can you imagine how difficult it is for someone like this TX family of Jordans whose line moved away from the Coastal Plains region of the USA at some point and bounced from MS to TX? Wait you say!  You just said you didn’t know where Alfred’s dad was born or lived!  How can you now claim a connection to the Coastal Plains?  JG8 Jordans track back to Thomas the Quaker.  Some of his sons reported lived in the RICH SQUARE region of NC.   This is part of Northampton NC.  We also have another DNA kit done by a NC fella to show us there also is a connection to early BERTIE (WINTON, now Hertford County) for the JG8 line, or in other words, a line that tracks back to Thomas the Quaker!  DNA has proven Cornelius’ line and the Winton kit are all JG8.  And other DNA kits done by VA Jordans shows the line can go back to Thomas the Quaker.  So we know Alfred’s branch is a broken branch which will track back to one of the sons of Thomas the Quaker.  So if you belong to a line who claims a connection to Thomas the Quaker and Lucy Corker or his son Thomas Jordan and Margaret Brasseur and your line is on either side- VA or NC doing your work correctly will help any and all of us properly find each of the sons of Thomas JR as well as provide you the results necessary to confirm your own classic work!  By 1820 Thomas the Quaker’s descendants could have make their way anywhere!  The names of those sons included MATTHEW, THOMAS, JOHN, JAMES, BENJAMIN, JOSEPH, SAMUEL, JOSHUA.  Very common names.  And the JG3,JG4, and JG8 lines are all living in the Albermarle region of NC by the time places gained county names.  The JG3 and JG8 were in the same Isle of Wight region of VA too!  The TX researcher is stuck trying to wade through a lot of mistakes to finally get a clear answer to who was his Great Grandpa’s dad!

Clearly this single case study should make it obvious why every Jordan must use genealogical DNA to properly do their family history work.  The field of genealogy has changed!  I have been working along for nine years now and what began as a suggestion became part of the guidance or finding tools and today is now considered part of what every legitimate family history should include.  All researchers working early NC, SC, VA, and FL lines can count genealogical DNA and the ability to apply science to family history work a blessing!  With the classic work being filled with mistakes and so many paper records missing we all need to ask our ancestors for help.  Think about it.  Classic genealogists were trying to sort men carrying the same surname who named their children the same names for generation after generation.  JG3 Jordans and JG8 Jordans married into some of the same families both in VA and the Carolinas.  So the names could not easily be connected to the right generation node of Jordans!  This task can be accomplished though using DNA!  It is easly to understand how and why some mistakes occurred when we only had classic genealogy tools?  Those genealogists/family historians used things like how close folks lived to one another and how they named their children as enough to draw conclusions.  We have found this is just not enough! The Ymarker information allows us to know what tree and branch a family belongs!  The JG8 Jordans have all passed down that critical Ymarker information from father to son.  Alfred received this information from his dad.  And the TX fella established the line.  Now we are waiting to learn if Alfred was an only son or had brothers who also received this same information.  Could it be his dad had brothers and the answer rests with their lines being established?  We know Alfred tracks back to that famous line of Quaker Jordans who started with Thomas the Quaker who married a Maryland gal. At least that is what the classic work tells us.  The story for these JG8 Jordans tells of almost a dozen different sons along this tree.  Yet if we look at the JG8 tree, there are no where near this many lines established.  How far back do the mistakes go with this JG8 tree?  Were there 12 sons of Thomas JR?  Who exactly were they?  In the 1600s and 1700s the Jordans who occupied early VA and NC and SC carried similar if not exactly the same names and lived in close proximity to one another.  The only way we are going to know our own work is right is to include genetic genealogy tools, i.e the Ymarker and family finder test.  We are all walking repositories and as we make sure our own lines are properly worked we have the potential to help others find answers they have longed to find for decades, in some cases, like our Matthew, the effort dates back over 100 years!  For this TX family it goes back over 40 years!

#2  Ancestry.com has crippled the JORDAN work

The company does not offer the Ymarker test and without a line being properly identified it is quite possible for folks to think they are confirming their pedigree work but they are actually just doing primrose pedigree work.  If there was only one database we would all be able to do our best work in the most efficient manner. I could offer you multiple examples of primrose work. So, while the TX Jordan did his work correctly, his success depends on others doing their work correctly. And this can only be done via FamilyTreeDNA.com.  It is fine for anyone to continue their work via Ancestry AFTER properly establishing your lines via FTDNA to confirm your pedigree work.

Companies like Ancestry.com and 23andme.com and more recently MyHeritage simply splinter or fracture our efforts.  So,the reality for the TX family historian is he now must extend his work beyond the safest and most efficient method and wade through Ancestry.com’s messy DNA and pedigree offerings to try and find clues to whose line is missing! And even if he happens to find a kit there that is promising, the match kit would have to transfer their raw data to FTDNA, if possible, to do their work correctly.   It is horribly time consuming and more costly than any of the work need be.  But it is where we are right now.  The best solution is anyone working JORDANS is to start your genealogical DNA work at the right lab, FamilytreeDNA.com.  The irony for Dr. Alfred is autosomal answers needed may be walking the streets of Houston, the very place where FTDNA is located!  You see, the descendants of one of Dr. Alfred’s daughters who married a TULLEY settled in the greater Houston region!

It is very important we all realize we are the first generation of family researchers to actually have science to help us.  How past generations of early VA and CAROLINA JORDAN researchers would have loved to have this set of tools!  The efforts we make will have a profound effect on future family historians for our lines. One only needs to look at the some published works or the communications -on or offline- where there is a suspicion or mystery and you will find ” well, we may never know if so and so are related”.  That comment or sentiment is now obsolete.  Hypotheses can be tested using DNA making our work superior and richer than any prior generation’s efforts!  Provided current researchers are using the tools!  Genetic genealogy has changed the field of genealogy. Our success is measured by the participation received AND everyone needs to understand our window to do our best work will close when the 70+ folks in our families leave this world. So time is of great concern and should not be wasted or ignored by anyone doing their family history work today. This closing window is precisely why I am doing this case study!

When it comes to Dr. Alfred work, time has taken its toll on what is possible now using DNA. Descendants have died.  Many possible kits are no longer possible.  When some folks have died their line went extinct.  Extinct means there are no more male  so the information inherited is no longer available.  Where Dr Alfred’s descendants go there are still mysteries surrounding Dr. Alfred’s first family which has caused delays.

TIME is an enemy to genetic genealogists when it comes to JORDAN work and in particular a broken branch’s work.

I learned of Dr. Alfred in 2013, six years ago.  I was relatively new to DNA and definitely new to the JG8 Tree. I had just completed a nine month task of getting the JG3 tree kits out to at least 37 markers.  After our Matthew kit completed over a third in the JG3 tree had kits with less than 37 markers.  I found the same to be true after my first CORNELIUS JORDAN completed!  Circumstances beyond my control prevented me from correcting the JG8 tree as I did with the JG3. If you are a JG8 and your kit is not out to at least 37 markers, please upgrade your kit and make sure it is anchored!

On the plus side FTDNA has re-designed their on-line pedigree builder feature called FAMILY TREE.  They developed an algorithm which will allow you to phase your work. Phasing your family finder matches is separating kits by which side of the tester’s family the match’s shared ancestor will be found. FTDNA will place an icon – BLUE for paternal side match, PINK for maternal side match or PURPLE for both sides.  Ancestry.com only can only do this (and not as in such a sophisticated method) if you submit kits for your father and mother.  NOTE: Ancestry did add the “IN-COMMON” filter (a feature FTDNA had long before) which can often help one see which side of one’s family a match belongs.  BUT when it comes to NC work there’s a lot of PURPLE shading and the IN-COMMON filter of Ancestry can lead to mistaken conclusions.  FTDNA’s system is more sophisticated and since many of us don’t have parents who can submit kits and honestly the best candidates are over the age of 70+ this is another reason to start with FTDNA for your work if you are a boy or a girl!  Also FTDNA’s FAMILY TREE feature is more precise and interactive with your DNA work. Ancestry uses the old pedigree work as the fundamental work and offers you ranges of relationships.  FTDNA uses the pedigree work submitted in association with the DNA.  Their FAMILY TREE feature allows you to actually plug into your pedigree exactly where the match fits and FTDNA will return an answer to you if that is right based on your DNA on your Family Finder match page.   At one point FTDNA allowed folks to just claim a “known relationship”.  What became clear was the DNA was returning different answers and so they developed tools to help all of us stay on the right track when it comes to our family history work.

canstockphoto copyright protected

Remember many NC families of the 1700s and before lived in what I call closed communities for the most part. They married over and over folks who lived very close to them. And the autosomal DNA passed to us for the 1700s, is tiny.  The autosomal DNA we inherit is a cocktail of different information. Each of us gets an unique one.  One brother or sister may have received more JORDAN line autosomal information than another.  The Ymarker information for each boy will be the same or so close (within 1 different marker) . It is reliable.  And the reach for the Ymarker information is greater than the Family Finder test’s reach.  The autosomal DNA passed along can only reach back to the 5-7 generation. The segments get smaller with each new generation’s addition to that cocktail.

The earlier generations’ information is diluted.  For some NC families who have never left NC we have very rich autosomal DNA because of the closed communities who have intermarried over and over.  This has begun to change for some lines because their children have attended college or joined the military or taken a job away and found a mate who is not from the closed community.  This brings a 50 percent loss of information at their children’s generation.

For the TX family his line pushed off and began to marry other families so his autosomal dna is not as rich with other early NC lines to help him isolate NC geographic locations.  NC and TN and ARK and MS researchers can help so much not only by establishing their JORDANS but by establishing their maternal lines too.  Being able to phase one’s kit and set about to work along one’s paternal or maternal line where autosomal DNA goes is huge!

Let’s look at the autosomal information for Dr. Alfred passed to his descendants.

Here is a chart showing four generations of descendants.

Created via Charting Companion.



Now let’s look at the autosomal information provided by the TX family who submitted a kit- below.

Only the purple shaded area has been done for Dr. Alfred so far!  The TX man who submitted a kit to establish Dr Alfred’s line comes through his second family. This means the autosomal test, the Family Finder test includes information passed from Dr. Alfred and his second wife Eliza who was born in Mississippi.  The kit did not have any information about Dr. Alfred’s first wife, Martha Hudson.  So if we look chronologically the only DNA kit submitted stops too early. There is no kit for his first family.

Because there are missing DNA submissions by Dr. Alfred’s first family’s descendants, it is limiting the effort by this TX family. There is still work to be done by Dr. Alfred’s first family – be they female or male!  Ideally it should include as many as possible fro the first family.

Whenever you come through a line where there is more than one family it is critically important to get DNA submissions for the FIRST FAMILY!  WHY?  Because chronologically the first family will help you geo tag those families who in turn will help you find the parents!  The autosomal information does not include any X information for either JORDAN or HUDSON.  And that is yet another missing piece of information to use by Dr. Alfred’s descendants.  So getting Family Finder kits done by girls who track back to Dr. Alfred and Martha Hudson is very important for this particular line’s work.

The TX researcher has a mountain to climb to isolate his JORDANS.  He could and should reach out to any JORDAN who called DESOTO COUNTY (or nearby counties) home.  This is especially important since Martha Hudson and he were wed in Marshall County, MS.  When you hit a brick wall like this, you need to understand if and how neighboring JORDANs relate to Alfred.  I am DNA mapping all of the early Jordans of NC and there most probably is a kit which should be submitted by an early NC line which will help. But it is not the only research tract.  No direct Ymarker test yet submitted by Alfred’s father’s line is of course the fastest tract but the autosomal DNA should include BOTH of Dr. Alfred’s families. .

Let’s get back to Alfred and look at all we know.  First, there are census reports which help us build him and his two wives and his children from his first and second families. He can be found in DeSoto, MS with his first wife and some children in the 1850 federal census.  Desoto, MS is very close to the Mississippi River and not that far from Memphis TN.  It is now part of the Greater Memphis Metro region and is one of the most populous places in Mississippi!   The region until the 1830s belonged to the Chickasaw people.  These indigenous people had much to do with the the development along the Mississippi during the 1700s. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830 and the Chickasaw were pressed into surrendering their land. They signed the Pontotoc Treaty in 1832 (if you click on the date you will be directed to a map of the region).  Desoto County was unique in that some of the land was deeded to Indians (according to one of the officers of the Desoto Co Genealogical Society these Indians were Chickasaw or Cherokee). These Indians chose to sell their land to white men.  White settlers suddenly were the majority.  Exactly when Alfred arrived is not known to this researcher. He would have been only 12 when the effort to remove the Indians began.  Had his dad moved the family from NC after Alfred was born?  Could his family be one which left NC for hopes of GA lottery land and then moved on to MS? There were land offices in Columbia, Hinds, Meridian, and Jackson MS.  Or did Alfred grow up in this Tr-State region? The answer may rest with some JORDANS who have called any side of this tri-state region home since the early 1800s. This would include Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

Tanner, Henry Schenck, Cartographer, and Millard Fillmore. Louisiana and Mississippi. New York: H.S. Tanner, 1851. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/2018588060/.


You can’t look at this region without looking at Tennessee. Tennessee was part of North Carolina until 1790.  This was where many NC Revolutionary War soldiers received land grants for their service.  The connection to NC included the famous Glasgow Land Fraud.  For the first ten years the State of TN could not offer their own land grants.  That rested with NC.  There were Land Grant offices in Nashville and Knoxville.   I am not sure if there was a land grant office in Memphis or not.  We have the date 1820 for Alfred’s birth  (note: his tombstone gives us his complete birth date and the 1850 census was taken in November after his birthday in June).  Per the census reports we have the location North Carolina.  His wife Martha was born in TN!  The record seems to show Alford may have been working land belonging to a FORT family, specifically Robert D. Fort.  Mr Fort is listed on the other side of Sarah Echol, an elderly lady of VA, who is listed as next door to Alfred Jordan. And Mr. Fort was born in North Carolina too!  So it may help to use DNA from Mr. Fort’s line.  WHY?  If Alfred was working for Mr. Fort, there may be a family connection and if nothing else isolating the NC county where Mr. Fort was born may help filter the effort to isolate Alfred.

There is no record of any Jordan living in Desoto in the 1840 census.  However, in neighboring MARSHALL county there is a J. Jordan who was born between 1801 -1810 listed.  This man seemed to own a group of 9 slaves working land there.  Did he actually live there?  In some instances before the Civil War, I have seen where a census record may include a white man who owned the land and the slaves actually lived on the land and the owner’s residence was in a different county.  The question exists, does this J Jordan relate to Alfred who by 1850 was settled in near by Desoto?  There appear to be some JORDANS of Marshall Co MS to this day.  How they relate to J. Jordan or Alfred remains a mystery because their lines are not yet established.  There is one Jordan line of  Desoto, John Sharp Jordan who was born in 1880 and died in 1957. His death certificate says his dad was a Granville Jordan.  I found two things of interest regarding John Sharp Jordan’s line – first there was an early Granville Jordan who can be found in the Lynchburg region of Virginia.   I have wondered if the J. Jordan record in the 1840s could have possibly been an error and the initial used should have been a “G”.   I have found repeatedly a census or some other paper record where the name Jordan is spelled with a G making it an entirely different phonetic name and thereby confusing matters.  There was a collection of records in early Franklin County, NC which were recorded as GORDON and the name was actually JORDAN!  It took years to figure out what had happened.

public domain

Interesting tidbit from John Sharp Jordan’s death certificate – he listed his place of birth as Kosicusko, Attala, MS.  This town was named after a Polish Revolutionary Soldier and good friend of Thomas Jefferson. Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko.  This fellow migrated back and forth from Europe to the North American Continent several times. He was a military engineer and architect. Fought on the side of Patriots during the Revolutionary War. This man wrote a will in 1789 asking his USA assets to be used for education and freedom of slaves. This apparently didn’t happen.  It is ironic a town was named for him in the heartland of Mississippi.  Could it be that region had been populated by Quakers or Quaker descendants?  The man who lived two doors from Alfred and family (as far as the 1850 census goes was a Robert D Fort – of North Carolina birth.  Mr, Fort was close to 60 years of age in 1850 and his name can be found in book about Loyalists during the Civil War written by Gary Mills.   As with all things JORDAN I believe our chapters of Early American History will be enriched and possibly even corrected if all Jordans will simply establish their lines!  If you are a JORDAN who either still lives in this part of MS, TN, or ARK – you need to establish your lines.  By so doing you not only will help your own research you may help this TX family too.

Let’s continue to look at Alfred.  Alfred was born after TN was a State and after TN was able to grant land.  Up until 1809 TN had to include NC when it came to land grants/deeds.  But Alfred didn’t settle in TN.  He settled just across the state line in MISSISSIPPI.  It is a tristate region – he could have landed in MS but his relatives might live in any of the three.  I hate to keep interjecting the UNDERWOOD work here but the UNDERWOOD work tracked immediately to a Bartlett Yancey Underwood who wound up in Missouri and his brother wound up in Arkansas.  They both left the greater Guilford County, NC region and told folks they were bound for “DALLAS”.  This was what had been passed to descendants.  We think immediately of TX when we hear DALLAS but for this Underwood family it was Dallas, Arkansas.  But along the way, Bartlett Yancey Underwood decided to settle in Missouri instead and Margaret their niece wound up in Webster, Mississippi because they traveled there to visit relatives in the Kerr family and a daughter died while in MS and Margaret refused to push on to Dallas!  Life happened to each of these lines.  And while the classic work was stalled at various point, it was the DNA submitted that helped to clarify and define the migration ribbons for each.

What brought Alfred there? Did he arrive first to visit or reside near a brother, uncle, or cousin who possibly served during the Revolutionary war and pushed west.  Let’s remember his line of Jordans track back to Thomas the Quaker so it is possible his line may have pushed west to AVOID conflict.  There also is an account of some white settlers joining with some Indians during and after the Revolutionary War along the TN River.  This band of people were said to have bounced from western NC to GA during the early 1800s.  Could Dr Alfred’s direct line be part of this band?

The looming questions continue about Dr. Alfred’s dad.  Did his dad come out of NC at all? And where was “Father Jordan” born?  This requires examining and understanding any relationship for any line of Jordan who lived in or nearby any of the places Alfred lived.  The answer to the question of Alfred’s father can be determined by DNA.  However, success depends on both Dr. Alfred’s immediate line being established AND Dr. Alfred’s parental line also being established.  That second is ongoing by me for North Carolina Jordans and my work depends on men submitting kits on their own or when I ask.  Alfred was born during a time of great migration out of Virginia and North Carolina.  Much of the land of the Coastal Plains was tired.  Families were large.  There were only so many swamps to drain and land to go around. Some men decided to try other regions.  Just as folks crossed the Atlantic for better prospects so many pushed out of the Coastal Plains. With so much migration during this period, all we know for sure was a Jordan family lived in North Carolina in June 1820 when Alfred was born!  Finding his connection to his dad’s Jordan generation of his JG branch means looking at all of the lines who pushed through NC during the 1700s or early 1800s and settled somewhere else paying attention to any who lived near where Alfred E Jordan lived.  Could be his family had initially tried the Georgia Land Lottery and then migrated toward Memphis with the opening of lands after 1830.  There are so many possibilities!

The TX fella who established Dr. Alfred’s line was able to identify his JORDAN JG Tree.  Dr. Alfred belongs to the JG8 tree. Please see my JG8 review for more information about specifics of this clan of Jordans.  There also is an Alabama fella who is looking for his earliest ancestor’s parents too. And his line’s earliest geo point is Lynchburg, VA. And interestingly there is a Granville Jordan of this same location.  Could it be that Lynchburg was a hub for JG 8 Thomas the Quaker’s descendants?  Could there be confusion surrounding the Granville Jordans as has been found with the Benjamin and James Jordans?  There were families of Jordans whose lines have been in this region before the Revolutionary  War.  Their descendants bounced back and forth across the VA/NC border over and over.  If you are in this region of VA please establish our line!

One of the hardships for families who push off from NC and marry someone not from NC too is the autosomal cocktail is diluted by 50 percent AT THAT GENERATION and it just gets tinier and tinier from there. And sometimes just submitting a boy kit to establish one’s line is not enough. You can find a variety of paper records for marriages.  There are indexes, bonds or licenses, church records possibly, newspaper announcements, etc.  As a researcher you want to find as many as possible to fully understand the two people and their families right?  The same holds true for DNA work. The effort to DNA establish a line takes a boy’s kit.  Look at the graphic below – a boy inherits X information from his mom only.  And this information is diluted in strength with each new generation between the research target and the submitter/tester.  The graphic shows exactly what sort of information was available from the TX fella’s kit.  No X information was passed to Alfred from his DAD!  Which might offer some clues.  That information was passed to Alfred’s daughters!



Think about it this way – in a dish the ingredients can be identified more easily when a main ingredient. There may be one or so spices which defy this and can be easily isolated but for the most – the more the ingredient used, the easier to identify.  When it comes to autosomal DNA it is similar.  The most information shared is going to be from one of your parents. The information passed along from your 5-7th grandpa or grandma along either your paternal or maternal side may be very very tiny.  Now when it comes to NC work – you have a difference of folks marrying cousins and one or more of their lines is filled with double and quadruple cousins! Where some families who push off have heavily diluted and weak information the good folks of NC have been blessed with party sized dishes of autosomal DNA!  The results may appear a bit skewed at times where the lab goes because of the double or more dose of DNA following along a particular ancestral line.  But when it comes to helping the lines who pushed off, NC researchers (and South Carolina researchers and Virginia and some Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York reserachers) bring terrific amounts of DNA to help the efforts!   One of the wonderful things for families who stay put in NC is we have rich DNA. Our usual problem is filtering it correctly generationally.  For us, it is making sure the right parents from the right parents apply along our pedigree. For some NC lines in some regions of NC there were many surname switches which the classic genealogy do not recognize. This opens the door for some who pushed off to be the actual ancestral line belonging to paper trails. And at the same time there are others who pushed off who claim particular ancestral lines and their lines involve a surname switch and it is the NC line which belongs to the paper trails.  That is one of the consequential reasons why my work has morphed to including various other surnames so the pedigree work is accurate at every generation.  In the case of Dr. Alfred, it is important to understand and work both his father’s and mother’s lines.  And again, it is the girls of the first family who can bring some information into the light!

Dr Alfred’s DNA work needs to be focused on his first family! 

And that is not for the faint of heart!  Thank heaven we have not only DNA but also the internet and some digital records. As I go through the children, consider what this TX family had to do using the old classic tools of genealogy. If you are a hobby genealogist or a family historian working lines 10 years ago or earlier, you know the amount of time and effort it took to try and work a person who moved away from where you lived!  I truly feel the descendants of Dr Alfred’s have had it tough for too long. It is time for us all to roll up our sleeves and get this mystery solved.

ONCE MORE – if you are JORDAN and don’t know your JG tree, do a FTDNA kit and order the Ymarker and the Family Finder test.

If you have Alfred in your pedigree work, get your autosomal DNA to FTDNA.  Ideally that would be ordering a Family Finder test directly from FTDNA.  Their test is a swab kit and it produces the best sample and for this line – you need it!

The work to solve this mystery rests at FTDNA, not Ancestry.

Here are the 1850 and 1860 and 1870 census entries for Alfred and Martha and family:



Alfred and Martha Jordan moved at some time between the 1850 and 1860 census from Desoto to Tunica, Mississippi.  Interesting  Alfred changed professions from farming to medicine. To date, this researcher has not found any records explaining where or how this change occurred.  Clearly it happened in Mississippi.  No child has left the nest by the 1860 census.  Eldest Andrew A was 17 years old. Thomas S(utherland) Jordan was 14 yrs old.  Sons James and Joseph appeared to have died before the census taker made his record on June 26, 1860. There were some new additions to the family, a son H.C. 7 years old and two daughter S.A. (Sarah Sallie Agnes) 3 yeras old, and R. S. born in March 1860.

The 1870 census shows Dr. Alfred had a new wife, Eliza who is half his age.  Sarah Sallie Agnes was the only child of Dr. Alfred and Martha still in the home.  Andrew, Thomas, H.C. and R.S. are missing.  R S would only have been ten years old so it is likely she too died.  As to the boys, Andrew, Thomas were adults by the 1870 census.

We learn via a combination of marriage and death records Dr. Alfred and Eliza wed by 1862 when Charles Jordan was born.  So all children after Charles would share parents Dr. Alfred and Eliza Watson.

What we learn is 1861 proved to be especially difficult for the Dr. Alfred’s first family. Wife  and mother Martha Hudson Jordan died. The turmoil in the Jordan house coincided with Mississippi seceding from the US.

Let’s look at each child of his first marriage with Martha –

Andrew A Jordan appears to have joined the Mississippi militia on March 28, 1861 in Senatobia, MS. Senatobia was next door to Tunica County.  Were they not recruiting in Tunica directly?  Did Andrew make a special trip there to enlist?  WHY? What was he doing there?  Remember his mother died that year.   Today Senatobia is the county seat of Tate County and part of the Memphis metro.  Senatobia had only received its charter in 1860.  I won’t detail his entire military record here.  Any descendant is welcomed to reach out to me via my CONTACT page.  Sufficed to say, Andrew was placed in the 9th Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, Company I.  His service records show he was wounded at Shiloh, furloughed to recover, and then discharged via the Medical Board.  So he made it through the war!  But where did he go?

The 1870 census for Andrew A Jordan is missing.  And the 1880 census is odd. He is listed as HENRY H JORDAN operating a livery business. (click on the link and you will find a terrific site which speaks of Blackfoot. Henry or Andrew Jordan’s business is mentioned, he is not.  Such is the case throughout history. It is interesting a QUAKER was involved in Blackfoot.  Could Mr. Turner wind up being family to Andrew? DNA can give us the answer).   The only way I found the 1880 census information was to backtrack after I learned what I could from 1900 onward.  And it was then I discovered Minnie’s parents information and interesting her dad John Montgomery was a stage coach agent. Not hard to see how Andrew may have met Minnie, is it?  I knew he was in Blackfoot Idaho and Pocatello,Bannock, Idaho by 1887 when his daughter Edith Florence Jordan was born. In fact all of his children by wife Minnie appear to have been born in Idaho. Maybe someone out west can help me fill in the gaps?  By the 1900 census Andrew is 57 years old,  divorced and living in Silver Lake, Cowlitz, Washington with his son Harold Edward JORDAN– who appears to prefer his middle name over his first – and a servant named Benjamin Wilson who was born in Washington State. Ben’s  dad was born in “Dakota” and his mom Missouri. At this time not sure of any other relationship.  It is common in NC to see someone noted as “servant” in a census and he or she may be a brother, father, sister, or…

Andrew A Jordan at some point wed a Maria Minnie Montgomery, born in Pennsylvania, had two sons and a daughter, divorced and moved to live away from his ex-wife. His ex-wife, Minnie, wed a William L Cooper and they had a son named Linn Richard Cooper born September 23, 1900.  So the divorce between Minnie and Andrew occurred between 1887 when their last child was born and 1892 when she wed William L Cooper. Interesting, Mr. Cooper was born in Pennsylvania too and came west to visit a brother.  In 1900 one son of Andrew’s appears to be in Minnie now Cooper’s home in Portland, Oregon. and the other with Andrew in Silver Lake, Washington.

The daughter, Edith Florence/Florentine Jordan wed Curtis Winfield Walker in Multnomah, Oregon in 1906 and the family moved to Cordova, Alaska and then Alemeda, California. Edith Florence Walker and Curtis Winfield Walker named their first son Waldo JORDAN Walker, born.   * PLEASE please pay attention if you have the name JORDAN occurring as a middle name.  Likewise while working JORDANs pay attention to the middle names used in your lines.  By using DNA to clarify and confirm in association with middle names, the JORDAN work is getting better!

Andrew’s eldest son Clarence Alfred/Alford Jordan by 1916 had made it to Alemeda, CA too.  He married twice – first to a May Christina (I don’t know her maiden name yet). That wedding took place in either 1917 or 1918. May Christina was born in Oregon and her father was born in Germany. Her mom was born in Sweden.  I honestly know very little about her. 

Clarence Alfred next married a Beatrice Alice Morley on May 17, 1925.  Beatrice was born in England.  Her parents were William Morley and Bertha Camross both English.  Beatrice was previously married to a man named DEAN.  Maybe a war bride?  I find this so interesting because the DEANs of NC are also Quakers!  I have lost Clarence at this point and do not know if he had any children by either wife. The line could be extinct – no more males to carry Thomas the Quaker’s and Dr. Alfred’s paternal information forward.  


This brings me to Harold Edward Jordan.  He was born in Idaho. June 4, 1884.  He moved with his dad to Washington State as of the 1900 census but by the 1910 census he was with his mom in the Cooper home in Portland, Oregon.  He stayed put in Oregon marrying four times.  His first two marriages are a mystery to me. I am hoping there are children somewhere! Again maybe someone in Oregon or Washington State who is working JORDANS can help fill in the gaps.  There are JORDANS from the Portland area today whose lines include the name Andrew Jordan.  The PORTLAND OREGON JORDANS have not established their line as far as this researcher can see.  Edward went to Vancover, Washington to marry his third bride. His bride was Elizabeth G “Maud” Mosier, born in Maine, the daughter of a W. Mosier and Ella Abbott.  This was Maud’s second marriage.  Her first husband was a WITTSELL.  The JORDAN-MOSIER marriage date was May 17, 1919.

His fourth marriage was to a Hulda Guntz., daughter of Gephard Guntz/Gunz and Katharina “Katie” Hasherberger. This marriage took place in Clark County, Washington on Christmas Eve, 1921.  Hulda had previously been married to a an Edward E Ansel (who married as many times as Harold Edward Jordan. maybe more!)

This completes the work I have for Andrew A, aka Henry H, Jordan, first son of Dr. Alfred and Martha Hudson. I have not identified clearly any DNA candidate from this direct line to help us isolate Dr. Alfred’s dad.

The second son to Dr. Alfred and Martha Hudson Joran was Thomas Sutherland Jordan. *note I have not confirmed the middle name for Thomas.  That SUTHERLAND name alone along with DNA from Thomas Sutherland Jordan’s many children’s lines will tremendously aid the effort to find Dr. Alfred’s dad!  Thomas S.  was born Oct 2, 1845.  He too served during the Civil War.  His wife applied for a pension in 1912.  He married Katherine Richert on Aug 22, 1866 in DeSoto County, MS.  Listed in Tunica, MS in 1870. He and Katherine had a large family and eventually settled in Johnson County TX.  They had a total of eight children, five boys and three girls. NOTE: many many Jordans wound up in TX!  By the 1840 census there were many lines with Coastal Plains roots in TX!  So if you come through a TX line of JORDANs you  may hold answers for early North Carolina JORDAN work.

IF YOU COME THROUGH THIS FAMILY please use my contact page to reach me by email.  Your help is needed!  

Here are the children: 

1 -Walter E Jordan, born cc186 in Mississippi  – I have no idea what happened to him?

2 -Andrew Alexander (Andy) married Mary O’Keefe. I know of only a daughter Bertha Lee who married Wesley Elijah Beard.

3 -Henry Clay Jordan (1872-1925)– married Martha “Mattie” Dunegin. Five sons, one daughter:

Carl Edward Jordan (1894-1977) married Mary Fultz. One Son one daughter

Harold Edmond Jordan (1916-1997)  –  No idea if any children.

Wesley Boyd Jordan (1896-1985) –married Leona Waechter. No idea if any children

Thomas Lester Jordan (1898-1938) married Blanche Stockberger. She remarried a George Funk.  No idea of children.

Ray O Jordan (born Sept 25, 1901 in TX) – no idea if any children

Conrad Hayes Jordan (1908-1940) never married. Extinct line.

Ola Jordan (1904-1953) married Hugh Milton King.

4- Lena Hulda Jordan (1874-1973) married William Leonard Brown.  two sons, one daughters.

John Thomas Brown (1901-1980) died in Carlsbad, CA. No idea if children

William Royce Brown (1904-1964) Never married. Extinct line.

Catherine Merle Brown (1906-1992) Never married. Extinct line.

5- Edgar Clinton Jordan (1877-1939) married Aldora Stubbs. Five sons.

Chester Ross Jordan  SGT MAJOR (1897-1953) no idea if married or had children

Thomas or Tommy Elmo Jordan (Aug 5, 1900) married Dorothy Maye Rodgers.  No idea if children.

Eddie Edwin Jordan (1903-1981) married Nancy Delilah Yeary. One Daughter, Gloria. No idea if other children.

Arthur Jordan (1913-1979) married Tommy Lou McComas . One Daughter, Barbara Ann. Adopted by Edgar A Barr, mom’s second husband.  Barbara first married a Higdon. Divorced.  And married John Otto Rauen.   No idea after that for father or daughter about descendants.

Woodrow Wilson Jordan ( 1915-2013)  married Gladys Lorene Brown.  One son.

Donald Ross Jordan (1953-2009) married Constance C Quintero, her second marriage. No idea if any children

6-John Thomas Jordan (1879-1960) married Ethel G Bass.  No known children. Extinct line.

7-Minnie Loretta Jordan (1884-1938) married Vivian Vaughn Hutton. One son. Six daughters.

Lois Lola Hutton (1902-1987) married Floyd Burton Sampson. One daughter. Lora Lee.

Alexander Vaughn Hutton ( 1904- 1966) married Janie George Alderman. One daughter. Virginia.

**** This line is of particular interest.  The Alderman work has opened the door to a connection occurring between a JORDAN and an ALDERMAN during Henry II’ reign in London.

BERTHA Louise Hutton (1909-1978) married twice. Byron Erwin Neve and someone named Graves.

THELMA Wilson Hutton (1918-1998)married Charles Russell Archer.

BETTY Marie Hutton (1921-1997) married twice. Solomon Wilson Johnson and someone named Taylor.

ANNA Katherine Hutton (1924-1991) married Harold Emmett Schultz Jr.

LORETTA Jean Hutton (1926-1994) Never married. Extinct line.

8-MARY FRANCES JORDAN (April 17, 1887)

The next son was  H.C. (born 1853 in Tunica, MS).  It appears he may have died at some time after the 1860 and before the 1870 census. But it could also be he was 17 years old, may have joined the Civil War and survived the War years. Because we only know his initials, the details for H.C. may rest with the descendants of his siblings.

Next was daughter Sarah Sallie Agnes Jordan (1854-1929).  She was the last child of Martha and Dr. Alfred to leave the home.  She married Andrew Britton Tully on March 7, 1871 in DeSoto, MS.  They relocated to Texas settling in Dewitt County region.  The couple had nine children.

** Ordinarily my interest is only with the boys lines who carry the JORDAN surname. Dr. Alfred’s work is a great example why it is necessary to reach out and make contact with the daughters in particular families.  Because Sarah Sally Agnes Jordan was the last daughter to leave the home and the only daughter to survive to adulthood from his marriage to Martha, she was the logical person to inherit her mom Martha’s Bible.  She would have passed stories, possibly photos, correspondences from her brothers or other family to her descendants.

Here are Sarah Sallie Agnes Jordan and Andrew Britton Tully’s children.  They settled in the

Martha Lucinda “Mattie” Tully (1872-1926) married Henry J Morris.  Seven sons. Two daughters.

Roscoe Waymon Morris (Jan 29,1890) ??

Leo Lafayette Morris (1891-1952) married Dottie Idela Murray.  One son. Two daughters.

Robert Henry Morris (1892-1956) married Lula Mae Craven. One daughter.

William Elmore “Elmo” Morris (1895-1956) married Louise Lena Moreau.  One daughter.

Andrew Britton Morris (1896-1961) married Annie Lee Isbell. Three sons.

Joseph Alfred Morris (1900-1966) married Divey Myers. One son. Four daughters.

August J Morris (1903-1974) married Willie Mae Mann.  No idea about children.

Mary Louise Morris (1905-1981) married Burgess Dee Shoun SR. Two sons. Two daughters.

Agnes L Morris (1909 -1982) married William Lytle. One son.


SO – to recap – Dr. Alfred’s genealogy work has stalled because descendants of his first family have not submitted their test to the proper lab – FTDNA.com and because there are branches of JORDANS and JORDAN descendants whose lines are still not properly established and anchored via FamilyTreeDNA.com.

There is only so much a single line can do when it comes to either classic or genetic genealogy. None of us are an island unto ourselves. We need to be able to work with cousins.  And sometimes those cousins may have been stuck like you at the same place or may not have even reached the generation where your relationship can be found!  That is why DNA is so important.

And you have to do it correctly – if you belong to any of Dr. Alfred E Jordan and Martha Hudson Jordan’s children’s line. YOUR DNA is needed immediately.  And Dr. Alfred E Jordan’s second family’s descendants want to hear every story, see every photo or portrait, letter, or record, including Martha’s Bible – and today we can share all so much easier.

It is my hope to hear from you or see your kits pop up very soon.

Remember  SUCCESS will be equal to the participation and cooperation received.