William Jordan was born circa 1772 probably in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia and died in late 1845 in (probably Jasper County) Indiana. His gravesite has not been located, but he was probably buried on or near his farm in Jasper County. He married Blanche Fullerton, daughter of William Fullerton in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia, on February 20, 1794, in a ceremony performed by the Rev. John Alderson.

Blanche Fullerton was born circa 1772 in Ireland and probably died in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, between 1830 and 1832. Her gravesite is unknown, but she was probably buried in Tippecanoe County.[1]

Before he could wed Miss Fullerton, William Jordan had to post a Marriage Bond with the state of Virginia (in this case for £50) to defray any costs to the state should the marriage be nullified. In this case, the bride’s father, William Fullerton, shared the risk and also signed the bond. The marriage ceremony took place the next day, on the 20th of February. Afterwards the presiding official, Rev. John Alderson, added the couple’s names to a list of marriages he had performed, later presenting this list to the Greenbrier County Clerk for entry into the Greenbrier County Record of Marriages. It is rare to find all three documents together for an 18th century marriage, but thanks to our friends at the Greenbrier Historical Society, I have been able to obtain copies for display on this web site.

West Virginia

Documentation referring to William in Greenbrier County is scarce. He first appeared on the tax roles on May 14, 1794 (shortly after getting married); and in April of 1796 he recorded a survey made for him on a 220-acre property near Buffalo Mountain. William probably moved his family from Greenbrier County to Kanawha County shortly after March 21, 1798, when he appeared in the Greenbrier tax list for the last time. The final reference to William in Greenbrier Court records was on April 29, 1798, when he and his brother, James Jr., were paid for old wolf heads they had brought in. The first reference to William in Kanawha County is an entry in the court record on June 11, 1799, stating that he had received nine (dollars?) bounty for a wolf scalp.

In September 1800, “William Jurdin, Thomas Alsbery, & Jeremiah Ward” were ordered to “view a way for a road from Rock Camp on Mud River to the mouth of the said Mud river & from thence to the mouth of Grate Sandy.” A Kanawha Court meeting on October 14, 1800 appointed William, his father James Jordan, and Allen Reece “to view a way from Joseph Climers to the rock camp on Mud river.” The next month the Kanawha court ordered “the male labouring tithables from William Jurdins to Joseph Climers both included & do attend & assist the said surveyor [James Jordan] in clearing & repairing the said Road when required.” This entry indicates that William Jordan was living at Rock Camp on Mud River (east of present-day Milton, WV) at the time (November 1800).[2]

William continued living (and probably farming) in Kanawha (later Cabell) County throughout the first quarter of the nineteenth century. In the autumn of 1827, William and Blanche, along with most of their children and grandchildren, moved from Cabell County into the rich farmlands that had recently been open for settlement in northwestern Indiana, in Tippecanoe County.


The move to Indiana appears to have been a mixed blessing for William and Blanche. Although William was able to register 80 acres in Tippecanoe County in 1829, it didn’t appear to meet his needs. By 1838 William had left his Tippecanoe homestead and was squatting on land to the north in Jasper County, where he registered another 80 acres. William’s wife Blanche probably died shortly after arriving in Indiana (see note 1 below), as William is found living with his bachelor son John in the 1840 census of Jasper County.

On the other hand, William’s sons fared much better in their new digs. By the time of their deaths in the mid-to-late 1800’s, William’s three sons, James, John and William were well-to-do farmers and leading citizens in Tippecanoe, Jasper and White counties, respectively. Three of William and Blanche’s daughters continued west with their husbands. Eleanor (Burns) and Margaret (Coon) moved to Hickory County, Missouri, while Mary (Murphy) went to Dickinson County, Kansas. A fourth daughter, Sarah (Blue) moved to Sauk County, Wisconsin, after her second husband, Isaac Blue, died in Jasper County, Indiana. The remaining three daughters lived and died in Tippecanoe County, Indiana: Nancy (Erwin), Elizabeth (Courtney), and Jane (Erwin).

Before leaving Cabell County, William sold his home and 300 acres to Joseph Malcomb for $2100. Malcomb paid $895 cash at the time and agreed to two further payments, one in 1829 for $580 and the final payment in 1832 of $625. We know that William returned to Cabell County in October of 1831 to try to rectify problems that had cropped up with the deed. Eighty five of the original 300 acres, including 80 acres that he had purchased from Leroy Newman, was being claimed by the heirs of John Morris as theirs. William eventually sued in Cabell Chancery court and was awarded the land, which was finally signed over to Joseph Malcomb in September of 1833.

William and his family kept in touch with their friends and relatives in Cabell County for many years after their departure. Besides William’s trip back to Virginia in 1831, his son John returned in 1833 to sign legal papers regarding the land. We also know from old letters that William’s son William and wife Catherine (Sexton) returned to Cabell more than once in the 1840s to visit.[3]

William Jordan died in late 1845 probably in Jordan township, Jasper County, Indiana, where he lived with his son John. (Jordan township was named after John). No one has been able to locate William’s grave, but he was probably buried in Jasper County, where he last lived.  It’s possible that he may have been one of the first people buried in Welsh Cemetery, Jordan township’s only cemetery.

Evidence that William Jordan was the son of James and Sarah Jordan

  1. ✅ The 1806 Tax List of Kanawha County, identifies William in parentheses as the Son of James.
  2. 🔗 A descendant of William Jordan (through his son William) matched a descendant of Andrew Jordan (through his son Jonathan) to a genetic distance of one after taking the 25-marker Y-DNA test, supporting the conclusion that William and Andrew were brothers.
  3. 🌳 The 1793 Greenbrier County Tax list shows James Jordan as having 3 tithes (white males 21 and over); in 1794, James loses one tithe and William Jordan appears on the tax lists for the first time, implying that William was one of the tithes on James’ list in 1793.
  4. 🌳 Both James Jordan Senr. and William Jordan were listed in the Greenbrier tax lists up to 1798, then picked up again in the Kanawha tax lists in 1801, indicating that they moved from Greenbrier to Kanawha counties at the same time.
  5. 🌳 The 1801 Tax list of Kanawha County identifies James Senr., James Junr, William, and John as all living together in the area of the Mud River.

Land Records

  • April 20, 1796 – Survey for William Jordan of 220 acres in Greenbrier County on the Buffaloe Lick Mountain in the fork of Little Clear Creek and Laurel Run adjoining the northwest of a survey made for Stephen Barker and the land of William H. Cavendish and James Jordan. >Warrant: #158 issued July 24, 1783. William Jordan assigns (sells) this land to John Huggins sometime after the survey is made and before the patent is signed on January 21, 1800, by James Monroe, Governor of Virginia.
  • October 1810William Jorden buys for $300 from Archibald Bennett and Patsy his wife (of Clermont County, Ohio, 280 acres on the Mud River.
  • April 25, 1812William Jordan and Blenchy his wife sell for $478 to the heirs of John Guin, dec’d, 89½ acres in Cabell County lying on the northeast side of the Mud River.
  • April 25, 1812William Jordan and Blench his wife sell for $200 to Lawrence Briant 70 acres in Cabell County on the north side of Mud River. Deed of Sale recorded February 24, 1818.
  •  April 2, 1821William Jordan Senr. and Blanche his wife sell for $10 to their son, James Jordan, 100 acres in Cabell County on the Mud River where William was living adjoining (Martha) Sanders’ line.
  •  October 16, 1827William Jordan Senr. buys for $1 from his son and daughter-in-law James Jordan and Nancy his wife 100 acres in Cabell County on the Mud River where William was living adjoining (Martha) Sanders’ line.
  •  October 17, 1827William Jorden Senr. and wife Blanche sell for $2100 to Joseph Malcom 300 acres in Cabell County where William Jorden was living on the north side of Mud River.
  • November 21, 1829William Jordan Sr. buys 80 acres in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, in township T24N-R5W located E½ NEq of Section 35.
    President Jackson signed this land patent on February 1, 1831.
  • September 7, 1833William Jordan (through his son John Jordan) of Tippecanoe County, Indiana sells for $1 to Joseph Malcombe 85 acres in Cabell County purchased from Leroy Newman and recovered by suit from heirs of John Morris, Senr.
  •  November 26, 1838William Jorden Senior buys 80 acres in Jasper County, Indiana, in township T27N-R7W, the west half of the north east quarter of section 24 where William was squatting.
    President Tyler signed this land patent on June 25, 1841.

Censuses in which William Jordan appeared

  • 1820 Cabell County, Virginia – William Jordan
    1 white male 16-18 (possibly William Jordan)
    2 white males 16-26 (possibly James Jordan and John Jordan)
    1 white male 45 and above (William Jordan)
    2 white females under 10 (possibly Mary Jordan and Margaret Jordan)
    1 white female 10-16 (possibly Nancy Jordan)
    3 white females 16-26 (possibly Sarah Jordan, Elizabeth Jordan and Jane Jordan)
    1 white female 45 and above (probably Blanche Fullerton Jordan)
    4 engaged in agriculture
  • 1830 Wabash Township, Tippecanoe County, Indiana – William Jourden
    1 white male 20-30 (possibly John Jordan)
    1 white male 50-60 (William Jordan)
    1 white female 50-60 (probably Blanche Fullerton Jordan)
  • 1840 Jasper County, Indiana – Possibly listed in the household of unmarried son John Jorden
    1 white male 15-20 (possibly William Blake)
    1 white male 30-40 (John Jordan)
    1 white male 60-70 (possibly William Jordan)
    2 engaged in agriculture

Personal Property Tax Lists in which William Jordan appeared

Children of William Jordan and Blanche Fullerton

  1. Eleanor Jordan (c1794-c1872) married John Burns
  2. Sarah Jordan (c1796-aft1870) married (1) James Blake and (2) Isaac Blue
  3. James Jordan (c1796-1873) married Nancy Adcock
  4. Elizabeth Jordan (c1800-betw1841/1844) married Andrew Courtney
  5. John Jordan (c1802-1865) married Sarah Thomas
  6. William Jordan (1803-1876) married Catherine Sexton
  7. Jane Jordan (c1806-bef1847) married Francis Erwin
  8. Nancy Jordan (1808-1867) married Andrew Erwin
  9. Mary Jordan (1812-c1889) married Thomas Murphy
  10. Margaret Jordan (1814-1898) married William Coon


1 William Jordan‘s year of birth can be inferred from the Greenbrier County Personal Property Tax list of 1793 and the 1820-1840 censuses, but no record of his birth date has been found. He died in the latter part of 1845, according to Tippecanoe County court papers filed in November, 1847. William Jordan’s burial location is unknown. Blanche Fullerton Jordan‘s year of birth can only be surmised from the 1820 and 1830 censuses. She was most probably born in Ireland, since two daughters living in different states gave that as her location of birth in the 1880 census. Blanche probably died sometime after the 1830 census was taken and before March 1832, when the will of William Fullerton, her brother, was recorded. In his will he listed all of his living brothers and (one) sister, but Blanche was not among them. William Jordan and Blanche Fullerton’s marriage is recorded mistakenly under the name “William Turden” in the Greenbrier County Record of Marriage, 1780-1849, West Virginia State Archives, Charleston, WV. The Greenbrier Historical Society, Inc. holds their original marriage bond.
2 Kanawha County court records: Family History Library, Kanawha Co. West Virginia births, marriages, deaths, land court and probate records, 1750-1931, Microfilm number 464951.
3 These letters have been published in the book We Take This Opportunity to Write: Sexton, Coon, and Porter Letters to the Jordans of White County, Indiana, 1844-1862 by Jerry Jordan, published by Willow Bend Books in 2005.