Search billions of records on

"The Jordans of Triune" (contributed by Stuart M. Jordan - comments follow)

John Leland Jordan Papers, Box 2, Manuscript Dept, TN State Archives (Statement \ made \ 1905)

Personal Story of Henry Jordan
Brother of William Jordan
of Triune, 1748-1822

I am 78 years old, my eyes are dim. My grandfather was Henry Jordan, from Halifax Co., Va. He moved to Franklin, Tenn. when there were only a few houses in the place where the city of Nashville now stands.

Only one store and blacksmith shop where the beautiful town of Columbia, the county seat of Maury Co. now is. Henry Jordan, my grandfather, served in the Revolutionary War seven years under George Washington. He was among the detachment of troops that stormed Stony Point under the command of Gen. Anthony Wayne. I have often heard my father relate what his father, (my grandfather, Henry Jordan) often told him about the British. He said, "Wayne disguised himself and went into their lines and acted as an idiot." Some of the officers were in favor of arresting him (he told them he wanted to go home to mama). Others said, "Let him alone, he is nothing but a country clown." He went to Washington then and gave them his intended plans, and requested a certain number of troops. Washington then replied, "Gen. Wayne, it is impossible. I can't see my faithful soldiers so slaughtered." Wayne responded, "Gen. Washington, I will take it, (Stony Point) without the flash of a gun." Washington with tearful eyes finally granted him the order.

The Americans marched up the hill with empty guns and fixed bayonets and captured the formidable fort. History says that Washington planned the attack, but I have heard my father tell this as he heard it from his father. This fort was captured July 16, 1779 between 12 and 2 o'clock A.M. after losing only 60 men. Three years before this, grandfather (Henry Jordan) crossed the frozen Delaware under the direct command of Gen. Washington, on that memorable 13th of Dec. at night when two of their number exhausted fell from their ranks, frozen to death. Still, through sleet and snow their brave comrades pressed on and captured Trenton and turned the tide in favor of America. He finally witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. He had a brother, Robert who was a Loyalist. This brother had several boys and he managed to keep them out of the war, and raised large crops of tobacco and packed it away in old hogsheads. After the war it popped up to $48.00 per 100 and they sold it. Father said the last he heard of him was that he had 80 slaves.

Grandfather (Henry Jordan) was such a patriot, I guess there was not much good feeling between him and his brother. Grandfather (Henry Jordan) married Lydia Stone and six children were born to them, James, William, Henry (my father), Wesley, Sallie and Rachel. William served in the war of 1812 and died a few months after his return home. James died in Tuscumbia, Ala. He left a wife and three or four children.

My father, Henry, was born Nov. 17, 1800 and died June 24, 1889. Came from Va. when a small boy, and married Elizabeth Bird Dec. 24, 1827. They had 13 children all living when the Civil War broke out. Now only 3 of us are living. I had 5 brothers and my husband in that war. Three died, also my husband. Two returned with shattered constitutions and soon sank into an early grave. Only one brother left any children. My father and mother had the following children: George Washington, James, Marion, Benton (these last 3 died in the Civil War) Franklin, Perry, Robert and Alexander. One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Stone, I am sure was related to us. We are related to the Jamestown Jordans.
Signed: Mrs. S.M. Holly
Bryan, Tenn.
Oct. 5, 1905

Note: This Henry Jordan who fought under Washington's command was my great, great uncle.
(Signed) Mai Jordan DICKSON
Mrs. Mai Jordan Dickson

Comments by Stuart M. Jordan (updated August 17, 2003):

The narrator of "The Jordans of Triune" (TJOT) was Mrs. Sarah Martha (Jordan) Holly, a widowed Confederate pensioner and the eldest child of Henry Jordan Jr. (1800-1889). Although much of her testimony concerning Henry Jordan (Sr.) and his older brother, Robert, seems to be accurate, some major errors are:

TJOT has therefore caused, and continues to cause, great confusion among new researchers of these Virginia Jordans. I believe that it also led to similar errors concerning both Jordan families as found in Wirt J. Carrington's "History of Halifax County VA" (1924), Sue Oden's "Hold Us Not Boastful - History of Thompson's Station TN," and Octavia Jordan Perry's "These Jordans Were Here" (1969).

For the record, brothers Henry and Robert Jordan appear to have spent their early lives in the region of Virginia's Middle Peninsula. Further research on my part led to the discovery that, when enlisting for Nathaniel Welch's company of VA troops in 1777, Henry declared his birthplace and residence as being "Gloucester County VA." This was supported when, in April 1779, the presumed patriarch of the family (William Jordan Sr.) turned in $36 of paper money to the VA Continental Loan office and had his name recorded as "William Jerdone" of Gloucester County VA.

Evidence suggests that William Jordan Sr. and his family relocated to neighboring King & Queen County in early 1780. Indeed, William (Sr.) submitted a 1780 King & Queen County "Publick Claim" resulting from his contribution of supplies (brandy) to the patriotic cause.

According to Virginia tax records, Henry Jordan (Sr.) lived in King & Queen County (the 4th One Hundred) until at least 1796. I don't think Robert Jordan Sr. (my ancestor) ever lived in King & Queen County - he probably migrated directly from Gloucester County to Halifax County VA in 1778. Henry joined his older brother in Halifax County the following year, and lived there almost a decade before moving on to Tennessee.

Here is an outline of this family (for three generations) as compiled from various sources.

William Jordan Sr. (d. 1782 or 1795), "the patriarch," had at least three (3)
sons. These were:

A.  Robert Jordan Sr. (1755-1816)   m.(1778) Elizabeth Church
	(Comment: This family settled in Halifax County VA in 1778.) 
	William Jordan (c1779-c1816) 	m.(1804) Susannah Pate
	Mary "Polly" Jordan (c1780-) 	m.(1802) Wyllis "Wiley" Ward
	Robert Jordan Jr. (1782-1849) 	m.(1810) Tabitha Medley
	Elizabeth Jordan (1784-1861)	m.(1808) Isham Wyatt
	Martha Jordan (c1786-b1815)	m.(1804) James Faulkner
	Richard Jordan (c1788-c1824)	m.(1817) Martha Watkins
	Samuel Jordan (c1791-1820)	m.(1816) Nancy Vaughan
	Henry Jordan (c1793-c1832)
	Elam Jordan (c1795-c1816)	
	John Jordan (c1798-c1873)	m1(1823) Tabitha Hughes
	  "				m2(1839) Susan R. (Chambers) Crawley
	Elijah Jordan (1804-1886) 	m.(1825) Martha Faulkner

B.  William Jordan Jr. (d. before 1795) **
    	(Comment: William Jr. probably never left King & Queen County VA.) 

C.  Henry Jordan Sr. (1760-1823)    m.(b1793) Lydia Stone
	(Comment: This family migrated to Williamson County TN in 1807.) 
	James Jordan (1793-aft1822)	m.(1813) Frances "Franky" Spencer
	William Jordan (c1795-)
	Rachel Jordan (c1797-)
	Sarah "Sally" Jordan(1799-b1884)m.(1818) Turner Pinkston
	Henry Jordan Jr. (1800-1889)	m.(1827) Elizabeth "Bird" Winchester
	Wesley Jordan (c1802-)

Various sources seem to indicate that William Jordan Sr. may also have had a brother, or another son, named "Granville." However, proof of this has never been found.

To summarize - Henry's brother, William Jordan (Jr.), did *not* marry Sarah "Sallie" Wood. Neither did his father. In fact, no one in Henry's family ever lived in Triune. Unlike the real William Jordan of Triune (1748-1822), Henry's family does not descend from Samuel Jordan of Amelia. Finally, Henry's family most certainly does not descend from Col. Samuel Jordan of the Seven Isles (Buckingham Co.) and probably not even Samuel Jordan of the Sea Adventurer.

For further information regarding Henry's Jordan genealogy, a copy of "Beneath the Black Walnut" (authored by the contributor) can be found in the DAR library, the state libraries of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee, and the Danville VA public library.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Copies of this file may be made for personal research use by individuals as long as this notice appears on all copied material. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other presentation without the written permission of Stuart M. Jordan.

King and Queen County Records Page

King and Queen County Revolutionary War Records Page

King and Queen County VAGenWeb Page