Samuel Jordan, of Jordan's Journey
|Also Known As:||"Samuel "Gentleman" Jordan", "Samuel Silas Jordan", "Samuel Jordan of Jordan's Journey"|
|Birthplace:||Lynn or Melcome, Devon, England|
|Death:||Died in James Towne, Charles City, Virginia|
|Cause of death:||Unknown|
|Place of Burial:||Virginia, USA|
Son of Robert Jordan and Sarah Jordan Unknown
|Managed by:||Beverly Patterson|
Historical records matching Samuel Jordan, of Jordan's Journey
About Samuel Jordan, of Jordan's Journey
Please see the site that Erica Howton discovered on the excavation of Jordan's Point and Jordan's Journey. It is fascinating and shows relics recovered (including possibly Samuel Jordan's bones) related to the Jordan family as well as Richard Bland (neighbor). Site is unbelievable!
Samuel Jordan, born in England, arrived in America in 1610 after a 14-month journey. The ship had been wrecked on an island in the Bermudas where nine months of hard labor were spent building a new vessel before sailing on to Jamestown. As one of the most educated men on the company, Jordan was selected to keep a journal of the proceedings, published in London under the title A Discovery of Bermudas. The new governor, Lord De La Ware, and John Rolfe arrived in Virginia on the same ship. This reinforcement of men and supplies saved the Jamestown settlement whose survivors were about to return to England.
In Virginia, Samuel was granted 450 acres of land in his own right and 250 acres more for transporting his five servants. His estate was known as Jordan's Journey and was located on the James River, just south of the mouth of the Appomattox. He was a Member of the first Assembly at Jamestown in 1619 and was listed as a gentleman planter at Charles City. He was also a member of the committee to review the first four books into which the Great Charter of Virginia was divided. He fortified his house, Beggar's Bush, during an Indian ambush of 1622, and lived in despight of the enemy. The governor, Francis Wyatt wrote to the Council in London, in April of 1622, that he thought it fit to hold a few outlying places including the Jamestown. Samuel, a widower with three sons (Samuel, Robert and Thomas) still in England, married Cecily (Bailey?) who had arrived in Virginia on the Swann in 1611. They had three daughters before he died in 1623.
Samuel Jordan was born probably in Dorsetshire, England ca. 1578 and died in 1623 at the plantation he built on the James River near the Jamestown Colony of Virginia called Jordan's Journey.   
Sylvester Jourdain was a different person, perhaps a cousin. He returned to England.
Parents: William Jourdain and ? / Robert Jordan and ??  
- at around age 18 and bef. 1596 in England to Frances ?? She died before 1609.  
- about 1619 to Cicely Reynolds Bayley (ca. 1602-1662), widow of Thomas Bayley (or Bailey).   Cecily was pregnant with Margaret when Samuel died; she married William Ferrar following a flirtation with the minister of the parish, Greville Pooley, that was taken notice of by the council in a solemn proclamation. 
Children of Samuel Jordan and his first wife
All born in England, and all followed their father to the New World:
- Anne Marie (Jordan) Hulet, born England 1596, married Laurence Hulet.
- Robert Jordan, born England 1598, immigrated in 1619 (as a Bridewell immigrant), died 22 Mar 1622 in the Great Indian Massacre of 1622.
- Thomas Jordan, born England 1600, immigrated to the Virginia Colony aboard the Diana in 1620, married Lucy (Corker) Jordan (born 1605), and died 1644.
- Samuel Jordan, born in England 1608.
Children of Samuel Jordan and Cecily Bailey
Born in Jordan's Journey, Virginia:
- Mary Jordan, born 1621 or 1622.
- Margaret Jordan, born Jordan's Journey in 1623, after her father's death
Samuel Jordan at age 31, was a member of the Virginia Company of London. He embarked on the journey to the New World under the "Second Charter" on the "Seaventure" commanded by Captain Christopher Newport, who was previously commander of the Susan Constant in 1607, the John & Francis in 1607-1608, and the Mary & Margaret in 1608. True to its name, those aboard the Seaventure set sail for a truly memorable Sea Adventure.
The new governor, Lord De La Ware, and John Rolfe were also on the ship. They were shipwrecked on an island in the Bermudas and spent nine months of hard labor building a new vessel before sailing on to Jamestown. Jordan, one of the most educated on the ship, was chosen to keep a journal of the proceedings, published in London under the title A Discovery of Bermudas. 
According to tradition, the voyage of the Sea Venture to the New World became the basis for William Shakespeare's play "The Tempest" which was based on the account written by passenger Sir William Strachey: A True Repertory of the Wreck and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates, Knight, 1610.
The Jamestown settlers were about to return to England when Jordan's ship brought a reinforcement of men and supplies and saved the Jamestown settlement. Samuel was granted 450 acres of land in his own right and 250 acres more for transporting his five servants.
He first settled at "Jordan's Journey" near the confluence of the Appomattox and James Rivers - on the James just south of the mouth of the Appomattox. Samuel Jordon later added large holdings on the south bank of the James at Jordon's Point, where he built a house called "Beggars Bush." The neighbor to the north of the Jordans was Captain John Woodlief who had already held the first American Thanksgiving in 1619 at Berkeley Plantation. John Rolfe (II) their neighbor to the south, had won and lost Pocahontas. 
He was a Member of the first Assembly at Jamestown in 1619 and was listed as a gentleman planter at Charles City. The land patent officially signed in 1619 by Colonial Governor Sir George Yardley named him "Ancient Planter",  a title granted in recognition of only those very few early settlers who survived a decade. The grant also referred to Captain Jordan as "Gentleman" in honor of his position as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, the first legislative body in the New World.
He was a member of the committee to review the first four books into which the Great Charter of Virginia was divided and represented Charles City at the first representative legislative assembly in the New World which convened at Jamestown, 30 July 1619. A marker at Jamestown, Virginia, lists the names of the Burgesses who represented the different areas of the Jamestown Colony; he represented Charles City.
The Powhattan Indians tried to destroy the entire English Colony on Good Friday, 1622. Fortunately for the Jordons, they received a forewarning in time to protect "Beggar's Bush" against attack and save their buildings and most of the livestock.  Jordan's Journey was a stronghold of the colony to which settlers fled for safety when attacked by Indians. 
After the Massacre, "Master Samuel Jordan gathered together but a few of the stragglers about him at 'Beggar's Bush' where he fortified himself and lived in despight of the enemy." Governor Wyatt wrote to the Virginia Company, April 1622, "that he thought fit to hold a few outlying places, including the plantation of Mr. Samuel Jordan; but to abandon others and concentrate the colonists at Jamestown." 
Samuel Jordan is known to have died prior to the February 16, 1623 census of Virginia colonists because his name is conspicuously missing from the list of inhabitants at Jordan's Journey.  It is not known where he is buried. A team of archaeologists began excavating Jordan’s Journey in 1990 and finished in 1992. Hinges that may have been from a document box were found in one grave containing a male 35 to 39 years old and its theorized that this might have been the grave of Samuel Jordan. 
- A New Look at Early Chesapeake Sites: Jordan’s Journey
- Jack Jordan Book
- From Virginia Through the Southwest: Information about Samuel Jordan by Lyndall J. Mayes
- Samuel Jordan
- Jordan's Journey, A website about the Jordan family
- Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Tyler, p. 269
- Margaret V. Woodrough, Compiler
- Report of Herbert Wade Doyle Jr.
- Jourdain, Silvester, and Joseph Q. Adams. A Discovery of the Barmudas (1610). New York, N. Y: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1940.
-  Before telling the Jordan story, we should say something about the pronunciation of the surname. Jordan in many cases was and is spoken as to rhyme with burden. Reports tell of many Jordan families in Virginia and elsewhere today who use this traditional pronunciation: Jurden. And they are among the descendants of Samuel Jordan. (Woodrough)
-  The Jordans were related to Phippin family in Dorsetshire, and Samuel is said to have been Cecily Phippin's first cousin, one generation removed. (Woodrough)
-  According to one account, as related in the book THESE JORDANS WERE HERE by Octavia Jordan Perry, the Jordans originally bore the name Deandon. The first of the Deandons came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066 and settled in Devon. Later a William Deandon went to Palestine with the Crusaders around 1200, and upon his return to England he was knighted as Sir William de Jordan. During the reign of James I, part of the large family of Ignatius Jordan, a descendent of Sir William, migrated to the New World. Other Jordans went to Ireland, and some remained in England. (Doyle)
- Historical records tell us the following: Silvester Jourdain (Jourdan) was a son of William Jourdain (Jourdan) of Lume Regis, Dorsetshire, brother of Ignatius, and cousin of John. Silvester accompanied Sir George Summers and Sir Thomas Gates, deputy governors of Virginia, on their trip to that colony in 1609-1610, and he experienced shipwreck on Bermuda (Samuel Jordan was on the same ship and the two are sometimes confused by researchers). On his return to England, Silvester wrote "A Discovery of the Barmudas, otherwise called the Ile of Divils". It is believed that Shakespeare used this and other shipwreck survivor accounts as background for "The Tempest". (Doyle)
-  His first wife may have been either of English or French descent. (Jordan's Journey)
-  Samuel Jordan was in Virginia about a decade before any of his children. Reports show that he was a widower when he arrived in Jamestown. There is no clue as to how the children were cared for during his absence in the New World. (Woodrough)
-  Legend says that she was spoken of as a "a notorious flirt" and "the Glamour Girl" in the colony. (Jordan's Journey)
-  After being a widower 10 to 15 years, Samuel married Cecily Phippin Reynolds Baley about 10 years after he arrived in Jamestown. Most Jordan researchers have reported that Cecily was a lot younger than Samuel. Just how younger is a big question. Most sources say Cecily was beautiful, enchanting and mysterious. There are no descriptions of Samuel Jordan, but he no doubt had a command presence and would be attractive for that reason if none other. ... By all accounts, Cecily was an enchanting enigma – quite a beauty and exhibiting tenderness, toughness and mystery. She was highly favored by men and befriended by women. She was reported, for example, to have been good friends with Temperance West Lady Yardley, wife of Sir George Yardley, who was then governor. (Woodrough)
-  After Jordan’s death in March 1623, a year after the Powhatan assault, his plantation manager William Farrar, Cecily Jordan’s husband-to-be, was issued a warrant to bring in the account of the Jordan estate. A separate warrant was issued to Cecily Jordan, ordering that Farrar put in security for the performance of her husband’s will. We could not locate a copy of the will. (Woodrough)
- Cecily always seemed to be up to something, or the people around her were up to something. Samuel Jordan’s body was hardly in the ground before suitors started competing for her attention. Among the suitors was the man who preached Samuel’s funeral, the very amorous Grivell Pooley.
- From all accounts, Preacher Pooley worked himself into a frenzy over Cecily, and although she did not discourage his efforts she eventually spurned him, and that hurt. We have no reports on the quality of his preaching during this period, but we all can imagine. Actually, Cecily didn’t exactly spurn the parson. She revealed to him that she was pregnant and did not want to marry for that reason, and also because Samuel had been dead only three days.
- Directly, Cecily became engaged to Captain William Farrar, manager of Jordan’s Journey and member of the Virginia Council, but Preacher Pooley was not the sort to go softly into the night. He filed a formal complaint in the House of Burgesses. In testimony in connection with his legal challenge, Preacher Pooley claimed that he had betrothed Cecily to himself three days after he preached Samuel Jordan’s funeral.
- Witnesses testified that the idea of marriage seemed to be the preacher’s, not Cecily’s. She was reported as saying that the preacher was about as good as any other man around but noted that she was not interested in marriage at the time. But the preacher was on a roll by now and proceeded to recite her marriage vows for her, kiss her, and share a glass of wine with her. Witnesses testified that she had not said “I do” at any point during the parson’s performance.
- The dispute became perhaps the most controversial case to reach the House of Burgesses, and the burgesses promptly dropped it like a hot potato and sent it to London where the case eventually was decided in Cecily’s favor. The House of Burgesses, meanwhile, passed a law forbidding any woman in the future from promising to marry more than one man. It is not clear what that meant, although we probably know what the burgesses intended.
- Anyway, Cecily went ahead with her marriage to William Farrar, but the strangeness of all this does not end here. Cecily then revealed to listeners a vision she had one night at Jordan’s Journey. She said she saw two hands, one pointing at her and one pointing at her youngest daughter, while she heard a voice repeat the word judgment several times. Certain colonists more attuned to spiritual matters told her that she must have been dreaming, but she insisted that she was wide awake when she had the vision. No one came forward with a suggestion as to what it all meant.
-  His log survived to become a valuable part of the early history of voyages to the New World. Reportedly the description he provided of the terrible Bermuda storm suggested to Shakespeare the setting for his play "The Tempest". An excerpt follows:
I being in ship called "Seaventure" ... we were taken with a most sharpe and cruell storme, which did not only separate vs from the residue of our fleete but with the violent working of the sea, our ship became so shaken, torne, and leaked, that shee received so much water, as covered two tir of hogsheads above the ballast, that our men stood vp to the middles, with buckets, horicos and kettles to baile out the water, and continually pumped for three days and three nights together, without any intermission ... (Jordan's Journey)
-  Jordan named his plantation Diggs His Hundred, which is an oddity excelling all other oddities in colonial history. The name gives us a hint that Samuel Jordan had a sense of humor. The second hint may be more than a hint. After building his home in what would later become Charles City, he named the home Beggar’s Bush. (Woodbrough)
- Beggar’s bush may have been a common expression in 17th Century England, a reference to vagabonds and where they spent the night. Vagabonds were wandering ne’er-do-wells and often beggars, and their realm was bush. Think of bush as being an outback to get a clearer meaning. Jordan perhaps was humorously calling himself a vagabond reduced to begging and living on uncleared land – the bush. Despite the gloom around him, it seems, Jordan chose to live on the brighter side as he developed his plantation. (Woodbrough)
-  The title ancient planter seems rather odd to the modern ear, but it no doubt carried a different connotation in the 17th Century. Check the dictionary and find that ancient and venerable are synonyms. Then look up planter and find that its second definition is settler. Therefore, ancient planter in those days could mean the same as venerable settler does today. (Woodrough}
-  Robert Jordan, Samuel's son with Frances, was killed during the Powhatan Massacre of 1622 at Berkeley Town and Hundred, which was on the north side of the James River across from Jordan’s Journey. (Woodrough)
-  Baby Mary Jordan probably had no memory of that fateful day of the vernal equinox, 22 March 1622, when the Great Indian Massacre fell on the colony like a thunderbolt from the sky.
- Early that morning Richard Pace had rowed with might and main three miles across the river from Paces Paines to Beggar's Bush to warn Samuel Jordan of the impending blow. Without losing an instant, Samuel Jordan summoned his neighbours from far and near and gathered them all, men, women and children, within his fortified home at Beggar's Bush. So resolutely was the place defended, that not a single life was lost there on that bloody day. The agony and terror of the women and children huddled together in the farthest corner of the little stronghold can only be imagined.
- The next day Mr. William Farrar reached Beggar's Bush a few miles journey from his plantation on the Appomattox River. Ten victims had been slaughtered at his home and he himself had barely escaped to safety at the Jordan's where circumstances would force him to remain for some time.
- About one third of Virginia colonists died in the Indian Massacre including Samuel's son Robert Jordan at Berkley Hundred in Charles City while trying to warn neighbors across the water of the impending Indian attack. In those days most people got around by boat and freely went from one side of the river to the other. The Berkleys were also killed. (Mayes)
-  Believing the English intended to seize his domains, his [Opechancanough, brother of Powhatan, "King of Pamunkey "] patriotism impelled him to strike a blow. In an affray with a settler, an Indian leader was shot, and the wily emperor made it the occasion for inflaming the resentment of his people against the English. He visited the governor in war costume, bearing in his belt a glittering hatchet, and demanded some concessions for his incensed people. It was refused, and, forgetting himself for a moment, he snatched the hatchet from his belt and struck its keen blade into a log of the cabin, uttering a curse upon the English. Instantly recovering himself, he ,smiled, and said: " Pardon me, governor; I was thinking of that wicked Englishman (see ARGALL, SAMUEL) who stole my niece and struck me with his sword. I love the English who are the friends of Powhatan. Sooner will the skies fall than that my bond of friendship with the English shall be dissolved." Sir Francis warned the people that treachery was abroad. They did not believe it. They so trusted the Indians that they had taught them to hunt with fire-arms.
- A tempest suddenly burst upon them. On April 1, 1622, the Indians rushed from the forests upon all the remote settlements, at a preconcerted time, and in the space of an hour 350 men, women, and children were slain. At Henrico, the devoted Thorpe, who had been like a father to the children and the sick of the natives, was slain. Six members of the council and several of the wealthier inhabitants were made victims of the treachery.
- On the very morning of the massacre the Indians ate at the tables of those whom they intended to murder at noon. The people of Jamestown were saved by Chanco, a Christian Indian, who gave them timely warning, and enabled them to prepare for the attack. Those on remote plantations who survived beat back the Indians and fled to Jamestown. In the course of a few days eighty of the inhabited plantations were reduced to eight. A large part of the colony were saved, and these waged an exterminating war. They struck such fearful retaliating blows that the Indians were beaten back into the forest, and death and desolation were spread over the peninsula between the York and James rivers. The emperor fled to the land of the Pamunkeys, and by a show of cowardice lost much of his influence. The power of the confederacy was broken. Before the war there were 6,000 Indians within 60 miles of Jamestown; at its close there were, probably, not 1,000 within the territory of 8,000 square miles. The colony, too, was sadly injured in number and strength. A deadly hostility between the races continued for more than twenty years. Opechancanough lived, and had been nursing his wrath all that time, prudence alone restraining him from war. His malice remained keen, and his thirst for vengeance was terrible. (Sons of the South Website)
-  The record is not clear as to possible casualties at Jordan’s Journey. We could find none reported. The following report could be interpreted as implying that all survived: “Master Samuel Jordan gathered together but a few of the stragglers about him at Beggar’s Bush, where he fortified and lived in despite of the enemy.” (Woodrough)
- Following Jordan’s noteworthy accomplishment, Governor Francis Wyatt decided that Jordan’s Journey could remain in operation while most of the other plantations were abandoned indefinitely – as much as a year or more. This was a defensive move in which colonists were told to cluster around Jamestown in the event of another massive attack by the Powhatan alliance. (Woodrough)
- Opechancanough was shot in the back and killed in 1644 at the approximate age of 100. Some reports say a colonist did this on the streets of Jamestown. Others say a jailer did it after Opechancanough was captured. No matter which version is correct, the cowardly deed was by no means a proud moment in American history. (Woodrough)
-  From Hotten's From Persons of Quality:
"A List of Names; of the Living in Virginia, February the 16, 1623 - "Living At Jordan's Jorney"
- Sislye Jordan
- Temperance Baylife
- Mary Jordan
- Margery Jordan
- William Farrar
- (37 more names follow the above listed.)
-  The excavation report notes that the area where Jordan’s Journey was situated was first occupied by the Weyanokes, part of the Powhatan alliance and one of the many relatively small Native American kingdoms throughout the region. (Woodrough)
-  Cecily Jordan and William Farrar continued to live at Jordan's Journey for several years until he patented the neck of land at the former site of the city of Henricus known as Farrar's Island. (Mayes)
-------------------- This Branch of the Jordan family probably originated in France and become associated with the reform movement (huguenots). They went to England and eventually came to the New World.
King James I of England granted a charter for settling two plantations in America; one in the Massachusetts area and the other in the Virginia area. The charter for the southern area was granted in 1606.
In December, 1606, three small ships and 104 colonists left England and arrived in Viriginia, May 14, 1607. This colony at Jamestown, VA, became the first permanent English Colony, notwithstanding the fact that it almost collapsed a time or two.
Samuel Jordan (1578-1623), the first of the Jordans to come to America, left Plymouth, England on June 18, 1609, and sailed for James Towne with the interim governor, Sir Thomas West. They sailed on the Seaventure with Sixe hundred land men in a fleet of eight good ships and one pinnance under the command of Sir George Somers, Somers flotilla encountered a severe storm near the Bermudas, which left the Seaventure unseaworthy. The other ships continued on their way to Jamestown. The passengers of the Seaventure, including Governor West, Samuel Jordan, and the Flotilla Commander, Sir George Somers, decided to stay in Bermuda and build two new ships, instead of attempting to repair the Seaventure, in order to carry additional food and supplies the island provided. Samuel Jordan was elected to keep the day-to-day journal because he was well educated.
Samuel's log serves as the basis of much of our information today. The shipwrecked persons built two new ships, the Patience and the Deliverer partly out of the wreckage of the Seaventure. They set sail again for James Towne, May 10, 1610, and arrived on July 25, 1610.
His first wife, whom he married in England, probably died before he departed for America. She was dead by 1620 as he was considered a special catch for any eligible woman at that time.
Samuel Jordan was a member of the first House of Burgesses, the first legislative body in the Western World, a representative of James City, convened at James City, July 30, 1619, by Sir George Yardley, Knight, governor and Captaine General of Virginia.
A land grant of 450 acres was conveyed by Gov. Yardley, December 10,. 1620, to Samuel and Cecily Jordan, which lay on the south side of the James river just below the confluence of the Appomattox with the James, and he called his plantation "Jordan's Journey". He built a manor house on it which he spoke of as "Beggars' Bush". Both Samuel and Cicely have been accored the title of "Ancient Planter, by Virginia. When an Indian uprising occured in that vicinty on March 22, 1622, Samuel gathered his family and neighbors into his home, fortified it, and survived. But his son, Robert, was killed by the Indians.
From: http://www.familytreemaker.com/users/s/t/a/Larry-R-Stanley/GENE9-0001.html Thanks are also due to Jordan researchers Barbara Hamman (( email@example.com )) and Claudia Cox Welton (( firstname.lastname@example.org )).
Samuel Jordan was aboard the Seaventure, as were Sir Thomas Gates, the Governor, and Sir George Somers. A sever storm was encountered off the coast of Bermuda in the latter part of July 1609. The Seaventure was wrecked beyond repair. The other ships outrode the storm and proceeded to Jamestown with the Seaventure's cargo, but none of her passengers.
The officers and crew of the Seaventure remained on the coast of Bermuda for nine months building two ships, aptly named Patience and Deliverer. The ships arrived at Jamestown in May 1610. Samuel Jordan, an educated man, was assigned the task of keeping a record of events which are found in Hakluytls "Voyages, Travels and Discoveries.
In 1618 Samuel married Cicely a widow with a young daughter, Temperance Bailey. Cicely was born in England in 1600 and arrived in America in 1610 aboard the Swan. I have also read that she was his cousin through William Phippen and Joan Jordaine.
Samuel Jordan was a member of the first House of Burgesses, a representative of St. James City, which was convened in 1619 by George Yeardley, Governor and Captain general of Virginia. This was the first legislative body to convene in America.
A land grant of four hundred and fifty acres was made at St. James City in 1620 to Samuel and Cicely. He patented the land, which lay on the south side of the James River just below the confluence of the Appomattox with the James. He called his plantation "Jordan's Journey" or "Jordan's Point." Both Samuel and Cicely were accorded the title of Ancient Planters.
Samuel Jordan and Cicely received land grants for being "Ancient Planters". On one of these grants on the south side of James River, Samuel built a very large plantation called "Jordan's Journey", where he and his family survived the Indian Massacre. However, Samuel died the following year in March 1623 at his home, called "Beggars Bush" (present locationis Prince George Co., Virginia). When the Indian Massacre-occurred in March 1622, Samuel gathered his family and neighbors into his home and fortified it. His son, Robert, was killed by the Indians "at Berkley-Hundred some five miles from Charles City." Although it would seem that Thomas Jordan had several children, only one is on record.
Thomas Jordan II was born in Virginia in 1634; died 1700. He married Margaret Brashere in 1659, the daughter of Robert Brashere of Huguenot decent.
He was the first Quaker of his family and became very prominent in that faith. He had ten sons, some of whom became Quaker ministers, and two daughters. All his children were born in Nansemond County, Virginia.
Samuel's name is inscribed on the monument erected on the site of Jamestown Virginia. In 1619 he was a member of the first House of Burgesses, from Charles City. Samual Jordan came to america on June 10, 1610 -------------------- Children of Samuel Jordan and ??, all born England, and all followed their father to the New World:
Anne Marie (Jordan) Hulet, born England 1596, married Laurence Hulet. Robert Jordan, born England 1598, immigrated 1619 (as a Bridewell immigrant), died 22 Mar 1622 in the Great Indian Massacre of 1622. Thomas Jordan, born England 1600, immigrated to the Virginia Colony aboard the Diana in 1620, married Lucy (Corker) Jordan (born 1605), and died 1644. Samuel Jordan, born England 1608.
Later married Cicely ? Bailey -------------------- Story of Silas Samuel Jordan
A website about the Jordan family
On 2 Jun 1609 London a young man prepared to make a drastic change in his life. He boarded His Majesty's barque, the Sea Venture, and set sail for the first surviving English settlement in America. Among the 150 or so Adventurers and Planters aboard were Sir Thomas Gates (newly appointed Governor of the fledgling Jamestown Colony), Sir George Somers, John Rolfe (soon to be wedded to the Indian Princess, Pocahontas), Rolfe's ill-fated wife, and our young man, Silas Samuel Jordan.
En route to the fledgling colony of Jamestown, the flotilla of 9 ships encountered a "terrific tropical storm" near the Bermuda Islands and for several days struggled unsuccessfully to ride out the pounding waves. Despite the intensity of the storm, all passengers were saved and the Sea Venture was the only ship found unseaworthy.
It was decided to send the remaining ships on to Virginia while the Sea Venture was repaired. Sir George Somers (one of the Bermuda Islands carries his name), his passengers, and crew were left on an uncharted, uninhabited island to fend for themselves. This was only the second time in history anyone had found the tiny Bermudas. The Sea Venture proved irreparable. Over the next nine months, not only did the passengers and crew survive a harsh winter but they built two new ships, the Patience and the Deliverer from timbers and planks salvaged from the wrecked ship and fresh cut cedars from the island.
The following spring, with the two ships completed, the stranded colonists resumed the voyage to Jamestown. The Patience and the Deliverer arrived 23 May 1610 carrying 140 surviving passengers and crew. It had been a near miracle that only 10 were lost. Losing half the passengers during these crossings was not unheard of.
Life in the Jamestown colony was tenuous at best. Virginia colonists suffered terrible weather the previous fall and winter. First a drought struck the area which was then followed by "severe storms with 9-inch hailstones". The corn and tobacco crops were damaged. In early 1610 the Virginia colonists had been attacked by the Powhatan Indians under Chief Wahunsonacook.
Only 150 of the 900 colonists landed in Virginia in the first 3 years survived. The others succumbed to attacks by the Native Americans (usually in retaliation), starvation, or disease. In the "starving times" of the winter months, the colonists had even turned to cannibalism, raiding the graves of their recent dead. The Jamestown colonists prepared to abandon the colony on more than one occasion.
Very soon after arrival, Samuel Jordan carved out a place on land up the River from Jamestown and very near the present town of Hopewell VA. His land jutted out into a great James River curl he named "Jordan's Point". On this plantation he called "Jordan's Journey" he built his manor house, "Beggar's Bush". The fact that he started quickly was probably a major reason he was prepared for the harsh winter that followed and was able to build a very substantial plantation.
In June 1610, shortly after Samuel's arrival, another ship, the Swann, set anchor at Jamestown. An eleven-year-old young lady by the name of Miss Cicely Reynolds disembarked to begin her life in this harsh New World. Despite her young age, legend says that she was spoken of as a "a notorious flirt" and "the Glamour Girl" in the colony. Within a few years she married her first husband Arthur Baley andapparently before she was 17bore their only child, Temperance.
Silas Samuel Jordan (1578-1623) Samuel was born in England. The records there are sketchy at best. We don’t know his first wife’s name but he fathered 4 children by her, 1 girl and 3 boys, the first when he was about age 18. His first wife may have been either of English or French descent. All of his children by her eventually followed their father to the New World.
Samuel’s children by his first wife were:
1. Anne Marie (Jordan) Hulet, born England 1596, married Laurence Hulet.
2. Robert Jordan, born England 1598, immigrated 1619 (as a Bridewell immigrant), died 22 Mar 1622 in the Great Indian Massacre of 1622.
3. Thomas Jordan, born England 1600, immigrated to the Virginia Colony aboard the Diana in 1620, married Lucy (Corker) Jordan (born 1605), and died 1644.
4. Samuel Jordan, born England 1608.
As mentioned previously, Samuel sailed from England in 1609 and was shipwrecked in the Bermuda Islands. During the voyage, Samuel was responsible for maintaining a day-to-day journal or log of their activities. His log survived to become a valuable part of the early history of voyages to the New World. Reportedly the description he provided of the terrible Bermuda storm suggested to Shakespeare the setting for his play "The Tempest". An excerpt follows:
I being in ship called "Seaventure", with Sir Thomas Gates, our Gouernour; Sir George Somers; and Captain Newport, three most worthy honoured Gentlemen (Whose Valour and fortitude the world must need take notice of), and that in an honourable designs bound for Virginia, in the height of 30 degrees of northerly lattitude, or thereabouts; we were taken with a most sharpe and cruell storme vpon the five and twentieth day of Jul Annno Domini 1609, which did not only separate vs from the residue of our fleete (which was eight in number) buth with the violent working of the sea, our ship became so shaken, torne, and leaked, that shee received so much water, as covered two tire of hogsheads above the ballast, that our men stood vp to the middles, with buckets, horicos and kettles to baile out the water, and continually pumped for three days and three nights together, without any intermission; and yet the water seemed rather to increase than to diminish; in so much that all our men being vutterly spent, tyred and disabled from longer labor were even resolved, without any hope of their lives, to shut vp the hatches and to have committed themselves to the mercy of the sea (which is said to be merciless) or rather to the mercy of their Mighty God and Redeemer (Whose mercies exceed all His works) seeing no help, nor hope, in the apprehension of man’s reason, that any mother’s child could excape that inevitable danger, which every man had proposed and digested to himself, of present sinking. So that some of them having some and comfortable waters in the ship, fetched them and drunk one to the other, taking their last leave one of the other, vntil their more joyful and happy meeting is a more blessed world. When it pleased God out of His most gracious and merciful province, so to direct and guide our ship (being left to the mercy of the sea) for her most advantage: that Sir George Somers (sitting upon the poops of the ship) where he sat three days and three nights together without mealsmeat, and little or no sleepe, coursing the ship to keep her as upright as he could (for other wise shee must needs instantly have floundreed) most wishidly happily dixenyed land; whereupon he most comfortably encouraged the company to follow their pumping, and by no means to cease bayling out of the water with their buckets, horicos, and kettles whereby they were so over wearied and their spirits so spent with long fasting and continuous of their labor that for the most part they were fallen asleep in corners and wheresoever they chanced first to sit or lie; but having news of land, wherewith they grew to bee somewhat revived, being carried with wil and desire beyond their strength and feeble spirits together, to perform as much as their weak force would permit him.
Also as previously mentioned, Samuel built a James River plantation he called "Jordan’s Journey". The land patent officially signed in 1619 by Colonial Governor Sir George Yardley named him "Ancient Planter", a title granted in recognition of only those very few early settlers who survived a decade. The grant also referred to Captain Jordan as "Gentleman" in honor of his position as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, the first legislative body in the New World.
It was also about 1619 (the exact date is not known) that Samuel married his second wife, Cicely Reynolds Jordan. Samuel had already fathered at least 2 and possibly 3 children that were older than his new wife. By Samuel, Cicely bore two more daughters:
- . Mary Jordan, born Jordan’s Journey 1621 or 1622.
- . Margaret Jordan, born Jordan’s Journey 1623, after her father’s death. Cicely was also named an Ancient Planter in her own right by the Governor. Only five females are known to have held that distinguished title which she had received while still in her teens.
Following Samuel's death, Cicely was the center of what became known as the colony’s "juiciest" scandal. It is said that not only are the details of this story true but in fact are recorded in detailed court transcripts dated 4 Jun 1623 on file at the National Archives in Washington DC. The widow Jordan was carrying Samuel’s last child. Considering the time and circumstances of frontier life, it was a normal and acceptable custom of the period that courtship of a widow could be started almost immediately following the funeral. Rev. Grivell (or Greville) Pooley was a minister of the nearby Flowerdew Hundred plantation church. In conversation several days after Samuel’s death, Cicely reportedly said words to the effect that "I would as soon marry Pooley as anyone else" but she would marry no one until she had delivered her child. Pooley took this as an acceptance of his suit and called personally on the widow. The minister, it was testified, suggested a "dram" [a toast of spirits?]. Cicely called a servant to fetch him one. The Rev. said, "I will have of your fetching or not at all". Cicely apparently acquiesced.
After drinking a toast, the parson is said to have taken the widow’s hand and declared words to the effect, "I, Grivell Pooley, take thee, Cicely, as my wedded wife, to have and to hold until death do us part . . . ." Still holding her hand, the preacher is said to have repeated the same vow again but substituting Cicely’s name as if she were saying the words. Cicely apparently did not protest. Witnesses testified they were uncertain that Cicely actually repeated the vows herself nor verbally acknowledged them in any way.
Reportedly additional toasts were proposed and, as "tittering" women servants later stated under oath, the couple did kiss after drinking from a single cup. Later Pooley could not resist boasting of his conquest over spirits at the local tavern, whereupon the angry lady is reported to have said that he would have "fared better if he had talked less". In time, Cicely let it be known that she had instead accepted the hand of another more worthy gentleman. The Rev. protested. The "tongues of gossip" wagged from one end of the colony to the other.
The Rev. instituted a lawsuit for Breach of Promise the first such for the new colonies. The Court and Council of State could not decide the case and referred it to London. During the interminable delay in reaching a settlement, the Rev. found solace elsewhere (he married another) and the matter ceased to be a sensation. Eventually London officially decreed that it was contrary to the ecclesiastical law for a woman to contract herself to "two several men" at the same time "whereby much trouble doth grow between parties of the government and cause Council of State much disquiet." For a third offense, the culprit was to undergo corporal punishment, or punishment by a fine. As Mrs. Jordan had not committed a third offense, the decree did not affect her directly in any way.
Thomas Jordan (1600-1644) + Lucy (Corker) Jordan (born 1605)
Thomas Jordan (1600-1644) was the second son of Silas Samuel Jordan (1578-1623) by his first wife in England. Thomas was born in 1600 in England and immigrated to the Virginia Colony aboard the Diana in 1620. In 1623 he was reported as living in James City. He is listed in the census of 1624 and again in 1625 where his name headed the list of a dozen of the Governor Sir George Yardley’s men. Being in this list indicated that Thomas was one of the Governor’s Guards, a position of honor and respect. In 1624, he took up a land grant due to his father but never used. In 1624-1625 he was living in Pashebaighty (or Pasbyhayes or Pasbehays or Pasbehaighs) in "The Maine", James Cittie.
He "followed the Puritan trek to Nansemond"--which may or may not indicate he followed the Puritan religious faith. He was the first of his family in or near the town of Isle of Wight, Warresquioake County, VA. He was a member of the House of Burgesses from 1628 until 1632. During this same period he was also made a Commissioner of Warresquioake (or Wariscoyack) County (the two titles may have gone hand in hand). By 1637, Warresquioake County became a part of Isle of Wight County.
In 1632 he personally paid for the transport of 18 new colonists to Virginia. On 2 Jul 1635 he was rewarded by a land grant of 900 acres near Isle of Wight in Warresquioake County. In the same year he also acquired an additional 200 acres from a Benjamine Harrison. By 1637 Thomas had "taken up his abode in the Upper County of New Norfolk (Nansemond)". A patent issued to one Thomas Davis on 10 Aug 1644 for 300 acres in Nasemond County notes that it ajoined the "land of Thomas Jordan dec'd". This Thomas Davis was the father of James Thomas Davis who married Thomas' daughter, Margaret (Jordan) Davis (1643-1688).
Thomas Jordan (1600-1644) married Lucy (Corker) Jordan (born 1605). Lucy was born about 1605 in Jamestown VA the daughter of William Corker and Lucy (White) Corker. Their children were:
1. Richard Jordan Sr. (1624-1687), born 1624, died 3 May 1687, married Elizabeth (Reynolds) Jordan in 1654.
2. Thomas Jordan II (1634-1699) born 1634, died 8 Oct 1699, married Margaret (Brashere) Jordan (1642-1708) in 1659, lived in Chuckatuck, Nansemond County, VA, and had 10 sons and 2 daughters.
3. Margaret (Jordan) Davis (1643-1688), married James Thomas Davis.
4. Matthew Jordan, married Susannah (Bresy) Jordan.
5. Joseph Jordan moved to North Carolina. He married someone whose maiden name was Akehurst. Samuel Jordan (born 1608)
Samuel Jordan (born 1608), third son of Silas Samuel Jordan (1578-1623) by his first wife in England, had immigrated to Virginia some years prior to 1626. By that date he had also returned home to England for an "educational sojourn" at All Souls College, Oxford England. Records disagree as to the dates. One indicates that he was in England for the years 1623-1624 he would have been 15 to 16 years old having left shortly following his father’s death. Another record indicates he matriculated at the age of 18, that would have been in 1626, 3 years after the death of his father.
It is probable that Samuel was granted as many as 10,000 acres on the north side of the James River land that had originally been reserved for a university. In all likelihood, he also inherited at least some of the original Jordan’s Journey plantation though the major portion remained with Cicely and Captain Farrar. If these facts are true, Samuel, the third son, was indeed a wealthy man for the period.
It is believed that he eventually moved to the Lunenburg County area of Virginia. He had children but the records do not provide details. It is also believed he had a grandson likewise named Samuel Jordan and whose wife was named Mary Jordan. This later Samuel was also a planter and The Virginia Journal of the House of Delegates indicates he was wealthy and "owned many slaves".
The lines begin to blur a bit at this point since the Jordan’s, like many of the period, heard the call to the north, west, and south. They often followed paths laid out first by animals then later traveled by Indians. At least five paths were well known. One in particular led through the Carolina’s and ended in the area of present day Augusta GA. The move from Virginia could not be described as easy (but then the trips over from England were no picnic either). A lone rider on horseback required more than 5 hours to go from Westover to Jamestown by the best and fastest routes. Traveling by wagon was much worse. Regarding the following section, note that there are several conflicting pieces of information regarding the lineage from Richard Jordan Sr. (1624-1687) to Richard Jordan Jr. (1643-1699) to John Jordan (1663-1687) and then to John Jordan (born 1682). Several documents that involved the passing of land from father to son or grandson (and one from a son to a grandfather) seem to say that this is not the correct lineage. There are even conflicting evidence as to who were the wives of each of these gentlemen. After examining all of the evidence the following seems to fit the facts better than other possibilities. But since the evidence is quite scanty and conflicting there will always be some reason to question this lineage to some degree or another.
Source: Taken from the Website "Jordan's Journey" 1600s. http://kahuna.clayton.edu/~csu11647/finalproject/1600s.html
Note that there are several conflicting pieces of information regarding the lineage from Richard Jordan Sr. (1624-1687) to Richard Jordan Jr. (1643-1699) to John Jordan (1663-1687) and then to John Jordan (born 1682). Several documents that involved the passing of land from father to son or grandson (and one from a son to a grandfather) seem to say that this is not the correct lineage. There are even conflicting evidence as to who were the wives of each of these gentlemen. After examining all of the evidence the following seems to fit the facts better than other possibilities. But since the evidence is quite scanty and conflicting there will always be some reason to question this lineage to some degree or another.
Transcription: Samuel Jordan's Original 1620 Land Patent: Lands 3 different places
VA Patents 8, p. 125 Library of Virginia Digital Collection: Land Office Patents and Grants
Jourdan [land?] 850 ---------- By ye Governour and Capt Generall of Virginia ~ To all to whom these presents shall come Greeting in our Lord God Everlasting Know yee that I George Yardley Knight Governour and Capt Generall of Virginia by vertue of ye great Charter of orders and lawes concluded on in a great and generall Quarter Court by the Treasure Councill and Company of Adventurers and planters for this first Southern Colony of Virginia (according to ye authority granted them by his Majestie under ye great seal) and by them dated at London the sixteenth of November 1618, and directed to my self and ye Councill of State here resident do with the approbation and Consent of ye same Councill who are Joyned in Comicon with me give and grant to Samuel Jourdan of Charles Citty in Virga gent an ancient planter who hath above ten years Compleat in this Colony and performed all services to ye Colony that might any way [---?] him and to his heirs and assignes for ever for part of his first Generall divident to be augmented and doubled to him by ye Company, when he shall once throughly have planted and peopled the same, four hundred and fifty acres of Land, one hundred acres in his own personall right, and out of ye rules of Justices, equity, and reason, and because ye Company themselves have given us presidents in ye like [land?] in ye personall [---?] of Cecily his wife an ancient planter also, of nine years [---?] one hundred acres more and the other two hundred and fifty acres in recompence of his transportacon out of England at his own charges of five servants namely John [Daires?] who arrived in ye year 1617 for whose passage the said Samuel hath paid to ye Cape mercts. Thomas [---erd?] ye bound [apprentice] to ye said Samuel by Indenture bearing date in England 8th: of October 1617. Robert Marshall brought out of England by Capt George Bargrave in May 1619. at ye Costs of the said Saml Jordan Alice Wad that came over ye same year in the George for whose transportacon he paid ye Cape merchants Likewise, and Thomas Sted that arrived out of ye faukcon in July 1620. which four hundred and fifty acres of Land Samuel Jordan maketh choice of in three severall places, first of one howse and fifty acres of Land called ___illes Point scituate in Charles hundred aforesaid bordering East upon ye great River west upon ye main Land south upon John Rolfes Ground and North upon ye Land of Capt John Wardeef, secondly in ye hundred last mencon'd one tenement containing twelve acres which abuts north upon the great River, East upon a swamp and south and west is incompassed by Martins hope, now in ye tenure of Capt. John Martin master of ye ordinance, and thirdly, three hundred eighty and eight acres being the remainder of ye said four hundred and fifty acres in or near upon Sandys his hundred bordering towards ye East upon ye land of Temperance Baley west upon Capt John Woodliefs Land south upon ye great River, and north upon ye main Land To have and to hold ye said four hundred and fifty acres of Land with the appurtenances and with his due share of all mines and mineralls therin contained and with all rights and priveledges of hunting hawking fishing and fowling and others within ye precincts, and upon ye borders of ye said three severall parcells of ground To ye sole and proper use benefitt and behalf of ye said Samuel Jordan his heirs and assignes for ever in as large and ample manner to all intents and purposes, as is exprest in the said Great Charter or by consequence may Justly be collected out of ye same or out of his Majesties Letters patents whereon It is grounded yeilding and paying to ye said Treasurer and Company and to their successors for ever yearly at ye feast of St Michael the Archangell for every fifty acres of all ye Land abovemencon'd the fee Rent of one shilling provided that his foresaid three hundred Eighty and eight acres in or near Sandis hundred aforesd do extend in a right line upon ye bank of ye same great River, not above _______ pole, at sixteen foot and half the pole In witness whereof I have to these presents sett my hand and the great seal of ye Colony. Given at James Citty ye tenth day of December in ye years of ye Reign of our Sovereign Lord James by ye Grace of God King of England Scotland ffrance and Ireland defender of ye faith &c. vist of England ye eighteenth, and of Scotland the four and fiftieth In ye year of our Lord God 1620. and _______ of this plantacon George Yardley [Ts -o-y? secr?] This patent is Certified [to?] the Treasurey me [Lawr?] Hulett --------- At a Generall Court held at James City October 1690 Present The Right Honorable ffrancis Nicholson Esqr their [Majesties?] Lieut Governor and Councill The foregoing patent was admitted to Record at ye request of mr Richard ..... ; ye patent being for four hundred and fifty acres of Land in Charles Citty County granted to mr Samuel Jordan in anno 1620: which is Truely recorded Test [?] Beverley & [W?] [--ward?] [---?]
Surnames: JOURDAN, JORDAN, BEVERLEY, NICHOLSON, HULETT, YARDLEY, DAIRES, ROLFE, MARSHALL, BARGRAVE, WAD, STED, WARDEEF, MARTIN, SANDYS, SANDIS, WOODLIEF, BALEY. NOTE: Transcriber's comments are in brackets [ ]. For clarity, some contractions have been spelled out. Dotted lines (.....) indicate unreadable text.
Samuel Jordan, of Jordan's Journey's Timeline
Lynn or Melcome, Devon, England
January 6, 1600
December 1, 1620
Jamestown, James City, Virginia