Samuel Jordan, 1575-1623
When I think ‘First‘, as it relates to genealogy, I think of my first ancestor to arrive in North America. Those of you who know my genealogy journey may assume this first ancestor is on my paternal grandmother’s line since hers is well documented going back to Puritan America. But, you would be wrong… When I finally got around to researching my maternal grandfather’s lineage, I discovered his line goes deep in Colonial Virginia, namely to Samuel Jordan of Colonial Jamestown, my 11th great grandfather.
Samuel Jordan was born in England in 1575 and married his first wife Frances Baker in 1590, they had four children. After Frances died in 1608, Samuel chose to travel to the ‘New World’, presumably in 1609 with the Virginia Company’s ‘Third Supply’ fleet. It’s unclear which ship Samuel sailed on (there were nine in the fleet), some think he was on the flagship ‘Sea Venture‘, but the passenger list for that ship is well documented due to their misadventure of being ship wrecked for 10 months. From his land patent in 1620 it can be surmised Samuel Jordan arrived in 1610 . So, either he was among the ship wrecked who eventually arrived in May 1610, or he was with a ‘Fourth Supply’ fleet of three ships that arrived in June 1610.
By 1618, Samuel had remarried to a woman named Cecily Reynolds Bailey  and the next year he was a representative to the Virginia House of Burgess’s , the forerunner of a state legislature. Samuel Jordan established his plantation on 450 acres granted to him in 1620 , at first called Beggar’s Bush, then later Jordan’s Journey, it abutted the James River. It has, in recent years, been the site of archaeological research . Jordan’s Journey was on Jordan’s Point where the southern foot of the Benjamin Harrison Memorial Bridge near Hopewell, VA is now located.
On 22 March 1622, the local confederation of Powhatan natives attacked the many plantations around the Jamestown settlement. Samuel Jordan and his family, and workers, took shelter in their main house and successfully defended themselves from the attack . However, Samuel’s son Robert, not living on the plantation, was killed .
Despite surviving the 1622 attacks, Samuel Jordan died 4 June 1623 . Samuel Jordan had a brief life, but he married twice and had at least six children, his descendants in America are fairly well documented. I descend from his son Thomas (1600-1688) who arrived on ship ‘Diana’ the year his father died. Thomas went on to marry Lucy Corker, have several children, served in the House of Burgess’s and was a land owner. His son Thomas (1634-1699) is my 9th great grandfather, he married Margaret Brasseur (she also came from a family with roots in Colonial VA) and had NINE sons. My ‘back of the napkin’ math indicates Samuel Jordan has 1 to 4 million descendants alive today, possibly more.
I feel I know very little about my ‘First‘ immigrant ancestor, but it’s amazing I know anything at all! The fact these records have survived 400 years, and I can find them from the comfort of my couch, would be unimaginable to Samuel Jordan.
The Jordan family were Puritans and the Brasseur family were Huguenots. When Thomas Jordan (1634-1699) married Margaret Brasseur (1642-1708) they became Quakers . Both Thomas and Margaret were persecuted for their choice of religion. At one time being imprisoned for six weeks for ‘having a meeting at his own house’. Another time imprisoned for 10 months for the same ‘crime’. Additionally, they had personal possessions, crops and even servants, confiscated for ‘priests dues and church rates’ .
 Cavaliers and Pioneers; Abstracts of Virginia land patents and grants, 1623-1800, Nell Marion Nugent, Virginia State Library, 1934, pXXX of Introduction.
 Adventurers of Purse and Person, 4th ed., ed. John Frederick Dorman, v. 2, 2005, p363
 Colonial Records of Virginia, Virginia General Assembly, 1874, p9
 William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, College of William and Mary, January 1920, p121
 Colonial Records of Virginia, Virginia General Assembly, 1874, p63
 Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Vol 1: 1574-1660, 1860, p46
 Seventeenth century Isle of Wight County, Virginia , Boddie, John Bennett, Chicago Law Print, 1938, p117
Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.
While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.
Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.
A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 2: Challenge
So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one, in particular, I found very informative.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 11: Large Family
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 16: Out of Place
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.
I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.