I have been researcher the Elbert county Jordan family for years now, and I have seen your name many times on the GenForum website as working on the same family. I am interested in sharing notes and ideas on these individuals in the hope of coming to a reasonably sensible conclusion about their origin.
First off, I'll tell you how I am connected:
James Jordan m. Obedience White
James Nelson Jordan m. Mary Lunsford (see below)
John W. Jordan m. Sophire Brown
Amanda Rebecca Ann Jordan m. Lam Wilmot
John Wilmot (my grandfather)
Also, another line you may be familiar with:
Hannah (Goad?) Burden m. ?
Rachel Matthews Goad m. William Lunsford
James Lunsford m. Honor Eaves
Mary Lunsford m. James Nelson Jordan
For a long time I have struggled to make sense of the different Jordan families in Wilkes, Elbert, Oglethorpe, Franklin & other nearby counties. As you probably know, there seem to be not just two Jordan families in the area, but several, which are all likely distantly related branches of two main Jordan lines (Arthur Jordan descendants & Samuel Jordan descendants).
However, after much checking & cross checking, I believe I have whittled it down to, essentially, the same group that you have in the following genfourm message:
>The early Elbert
>county Jordans were: River,Over River(probably son of River);John who was possibly son of >River;William,Rev War
>soldier;Absalom,who died in 1798,with sons George Walton and Joshua;and,Fountain,Rev War >soldier.
Where we differ, however, is in your belief that "my" James Jordan (who m. Obedience) was the son of John & Rachel Jordan. Though I do not dispute this idea, I am not aware of any specific evidence that points to that couple as the parents. I believe the trouble with the situation in the first place is that there is little that suggests *anyone* as the parents.
My own theory has long been that James was the grandson of Absalom Jordan, through Joshua. I'll go ahead and say now that my "evidence" for that connection is weak:
--Absalom was the only Jordan of an earlier generation than James to reside on lands that eventually became Elbert Co..
--Because George Walton Jordan's children are known, I concluded that he was not the father of James.
--Because James named a son Joshua, it adds weight to the idea that Joshua was his father (or at least an uncle). Joshua's children (if he had any) are unknown, which leaves the possibility open.
As far as siblings for James goes, I tend to think that the William Jordan living in Elbert in the early 1800s was very likely a brother of James, based mainly on the fact that they lived in the same community and were close enough in age to be from the same immediate family. I also tend to think that the Elizabeth Jordan who married Elijah Maxwell was the sister of James, based on the proximity & intermarriages of various family members. Other than those two, though, I don't really know who belonged to whom.
If it is accepted (at least for the sake of argument) that Elizabeth (Jordan) Maxwell was the sister of James, then it does point to a descent for both of them from the Walton family. Elizabeth named a daughter Mary Walton Maxwell, and given that she named two other daughters with surnames names of recent female ancestors (Pemberton & Blake), it seems logical that Walton was also the name of a recent ancestor.
We know that Jeremiah Terrell & Absalom Jordan married Walton sisters. They were brothers-in-law. Terrell married Louisa Walton, and Absalom married Mary Walton, which in itself would suggest that Elizabeth (Jordan) Maxwell descended from Absalom & Mary.
We also know that Jeremiah Terrell left a legacy to a John Jordan, son of James. (It may have been the other way around. I don't have my notes in front of me.) Assuming that the named John Jordan was his descendant (or representative of one), that means that Terrell had Jordan descendants (obviously) and that Elizabeth could have come through that line.
The problem is that I can't tell the exact relationship of James & John Jordan to Jeremiah Terrell. James could have been a son-in-law, and John was grandson to Terrell. On the other hand, John could have been the son-in-law and his father (James) was mentioned solely to distinguish him from another John Jordan. Yet another possibility would be that John Jordan was the husband of Terrell's *granddaughter* by a deceased child. Further, we do not know if the John mentioned had any children, and how many, and what they were named, etc..
I know that there was a John Jordan in the area who married a woman named Rachel and the couple had children. However, this does not seem to be the couple in question from Jeremiah Terrell's will. Terrell's daughter Rachel was married to a man named William Taylor, and I believe (again, not looking at my notes) that he out lived her and was married to her sister at the time of Jeremiah Terrell's decease. Also, Rachel & William Taylor were living as man & wife at the same time as John Jordan & his wife Rachel. Thus, it was another daughter (or granddaughter) of Jeremiah Terrell who married a Jordan, not Rachel.
So what does that mean? Well, if John & Rachel Jordan were the parents of Elizabeth (Jordan) Maxwell, the name of the daughter Mary Walton Maxwell could not be adequately explained, since Rachel was probably not a Terrell (or Walton). Whereas, if Elizabeth were accepted to be the granddaughter of Absalom Jordan (through Joshua), then her daughter's name would have come directly from Elizabeth's grandmother, Mary Walton.
Of course, there is the other possibility that she is a daughter of neither John nor Joshua, but someone else entirely. Fountain, Isham, William, and other Jordans in the area had children the right age to be the ancestor of our James Jordan & Elixabeth (Jordan) Maxwell. With several possible fathers, many with completely unknown first names, the process of elimination is difficult.
What I think might be productive is to try to identify the different possible fathers, where they moved to (if they did move), and their children's names. Also, trying to share documentary information as much as possible would probably be a good idea.
Please let me know if you are interested in coresponding about these individuals and sharing information. I am eager to make some progress on this line.