Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A to Z April Challenge: J is for Jordan

This is day 10 of the A to Z April Challenge.  

is for Jordan.  Susan Jordan, that is.  She was my 3G grandmother, my maternal grandmother’s great-grandmother, wife of Isaac Shiflett, the subject of yesterday’s entry.  She was born to William and Mary Jordan in 1814 and died February 28, 1882.  Other than the names of her children, I know nothing of her life.  But she has entered my life in that spooky Twilight Zone theme song kind of way.

When we were expecting our first child and scouring the baby name books, my mother suggested I pick a family name.  Honor the past.  Yeah, do that.  Did she do that for me?  No.  Now, Momma did name my sister for her favorite grandmother, so evidently that was a new wave of thought as she herself matured.  I wasn’t into genealogy back then.  But of the names of our ancestors I was familiar with, I knew only those frumpy “old” names. 

Instead of honoring the past, I decided to honor The Great Gatsby.  Jordan – girlfriend to Nick Carraway, the narrator of the world’s greatest book.  A strong unisex name.  Yeah, that’s it.  Jordan it would be.

I don’t know how nicknames and pet names come about.  Sometimes they just do.   My Jordan as a baby was tiny and squeaky.  For whatever reason, I started calling her Susie.  Certainly that had no resemblance to her actual name.  Susie seemed to fit her. 

So imagine my surprise when I started researching my family and discovered my 3G grandmother Susan Jordan. 

Wuddayaknow – I selected a family name after all.

For a Jolly good time, Jump on over to the A to Z April Challenge.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Wow! Great story. Really enjoyed this post. :)

  2. Who said it was just a coincidence? Susan Jordan insisted on being remembered.

  3. So fun was this name that child after an 'Older Than Dirt' ancestor! Funny how each generation decides to choose a 'Trendy' name or an OTD name. I always wished I'd been named after a grandmother or aunt until I found out their real names. I'd be Effie Sue, Minnie Sue, Beulah Sue or Jezebel Sue. I kinda like Sandra Sue...thanks Mom and Dad.

    Thanks for stopping by CITexas Gal for my J Gang names. I'm really enjoying this Challenge.

  4. I got a little chill when you revealed the connection. We have some doozies for names in my family - especially the southern branch. Of course I shamelessly steal them for my writing.

  5. Isn't that funny, how things work out like that? When I had my daughters (4 of them), I thought the 'old' names were frumpy, too. Isabelle was one of those...hated it!! Now we have a grandchild called Isabella (Bella for short) Her parents didn't know about my old aunts name either. We love her and her name, now!!
    Thanks for stopping by to play jigsaw puzzles with me.
    Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

  6. Jordan is the name of my grandson, but as far as I know it has no family connection at all.

  7. A really interesting post. I've researched into my own family history and find stuff like this fascinating.

    All the best,

  8. She is still tiny, but no longer squeaks =)

    Her Christening gown is the prettiest!