Did James and Sarah Jordan have a daughter named Elizabeth?

Writing in 1951 about the Jordans, Marjorie Kimball Templeton proffered that when James and Sarah moved to Kanawha (later Cabell) County, they left behind in Greenbrier a daughter who had married Boyd Wallace.[1] Unfortunately Ms. Templeton provided no additional information and didn’t specify the source, so it’s difficult to determine the validity of her information.

It appears, however, that subsequent family historians accepted her statement as fact; and in 1974, two researchers, Ken and Edna Moody, suggested that this daughter was named Elizabeth. They had developed a theory that James and Sarah Jordan of Greenbrier County were actually James Jordan and Sarah Stodghill from Goochland County, Virginia, whose family was partially documented in the Douglas Register. The Goochland County Jordans were known to have had a daughter named Elizabeth, born in 1770, about whom the Moodys wrote, “We believe this to be the daughter referred to in Templeton’s book.” They added that they had not been able to find a record of her marriage to Boyd Wallace.[2]

Although the Moodys’ assertion of a connection to the Goochland County family was wrong (see Greenbrier vs Goochland), it is still common to come across Jordan family trees in print and on the web referring to a daughter Elizabeth, born in 1770, and married to Boyd Wallace. In reality, Robert Boyd Wallace of Greenbrier County (1788-1838) was married to Mary Alexander.[3] Wallace family researchers have no record of him being married to anyone else, nor do Greenbrier Marriage Records contain any reference to a Wallace/Jordan connection. Although Wallace did, indeed, buy the Jordan homestead in Greenbrier County at a bargain price, the reason remains unknown.  Therefore, the fact of Elizabeth’s existence is tenuous.


1 Marjorie Kimball Templeton, “Early Cabell County Cemeteries and Some of Their Occupants,” West Virginia History, (West Virginia Dept. of Archives and History: 1951), 269-270.
2 Ken and Edna Moody, “Jordan Genealogy,” (Pittsburgh, PA: August 1974), 2.
3 Marjorie Priser, Wallace Vandermark Priser Families, “Robert Boyd Wallace,” 2005.