History Podcasts

John Gordon

John Gordon

John Gordon was born in Glasgow in 1863. He worked in the local shipyards and played football for Port Glasgow Athletic.

He was a very good player and in 1888 Major William Sudell signed him to play for Preston North End. He played on the right wing and his crosses created lots of chances for fellow forwards, Jimmy Ross, John Goodall and Fred Dewhurst. Gordon also scored his fair share of goals. For example, he scored five against Hyde in the first round of the FA Cup in 1887-88.

The first season of the Football League began in September, 1888. Gordon scored in the third minute of Preston's first league game against Burnley. That season Preston North End won the championship without losing a single match. John Gordon also played the following season when Preston retained the title. As a result of their great success the team became known as the "Invincibles".

Gordon played his last game for Preston North End at Derby County in November, 1894. During his time at the club he scored 27 goals in 113 games. He played for Loughbrough Town but was forced to retire when he developed congestion of the lungs and pleurisy.


Gordon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Gordon family begins in the Boernician tribes of ancient Scotland. The Gordon family lived on the lands of Gordon, in the former county of Berwickshire, since ancient times. There is little doubt that bearers of Gordon came to Britiain with the Normans, and it is generally thought that they descend from the place named "Gourdon" in Saone-et-Loire, Normandy, but the oldest roots of the bearers of Gordon in Scotland may lie with the Boernician tribe of ancient Scotland. It is entirely possible that the Gordon surname was created from a pre-existing place name Gordon. It has been suggested that this place-name was originally derived from the Welsh (ancient Brithonic) words, gor and din, which mean "spacious" and "fort," and such, Gordon would be a type hereditary surname, known as a habitation name: one that is derived from a pre-exiting name for a town, village, parish, or farmstead.

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Early Origins of the Gordon family

The surname Gordon was first found in Berwickshire an ancient county of Scotland, presently part of the Scottish Borders Council Area, located in the eastern part of the Borders Region of Scotland, where legend has it that they were granted lands by King Malcolm Ceanmore, successor to MacBeth, in 1057, thus placing bearers of the name in lowland Scotland, before the invasion of the Normans.

"The earliest known home of the Scots family was in Berwickshire, and here we find a place name Gordon, from which the surname may have been derived. There was also a distinguished family named Gurdon in Hampshire, England, with whom it has been suggested they were connected. It has been further suggested that the Gordons were cadets of the Swintons as the coats of arms borne by the two families are the same. " [1]

"According to some genealogists this name is derived from Gordonia, a town in Macedonia according to others from a manor in Normandy-origins literally too "far-fetched," since the parish of Gordon, in Berwickshire, where we find the family located at an early date, is its true source. " [2]

"There is a nice little romance to the tune of making the founder of the family a certain Bertrand de Gourdon, who shot Richard the Lion-Hearted at Chaluz. According to history, this Gourdon was a common archer, who having been brought before the dying monarch was forgiven by him, and ordered to be liberated with a handsome present but the Flemish general, who had no notion of such generosity, very coolly ordered him to be flayed alive. How, after such an operation, he could get into Scotland we are not told." [2]

The first Gordon on record was Richer de Gordum, lord of the Barony of Gordon in the Merse, who granted a piece of land and the church of St. Michael between the years 1150-1180, to the monks of Kelso. [1]

Adam Gordon acquired by Royal grant the lands of Coldstream on the River Tweed and his successors held these lands for many centuries.


Gordon The Slave’s Daring Escape

Wikimedia Commons “There has lately come to us, from Baton Rouge, the photograph of a former slave — now, thanks to the Union army, a freeman.” From The Liberator.

Across the picket lines of the Union Army’s XIXth Crops in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, stumbled a man in torn clothes, barefoot and exhausted.

That man was known only as Gordon, or “Whipped Peter,” a slave from St. Landry Parish who had escaped his owners John and Bridget Lyons who held roughly 40 other human beings in bondage.

Gordon reported to the Union soldiers that he had fled the plantation after being whipped so badly that he’d been bed-ridden for two months. As soon as he recovered, Gordon resolved to strike out for the Union lines and the chance of freedom they represented.

He traveled on foot through the muddy terrain of rural Louisiana, rubbing himself with onions he’d had the foresight to stuff into his pockets, in order to throw off the bloodhounds tracking him.

Some ten days and 80 miles later, Gordon had done what so many other enslaved people could not: he’d reached safety.


Rewriting history Clearing John Gordon’s name after 166 years

PROVIDENCE—The cause to clear John Gordon’s name is almost at an end.

The measure to exonerate the last man to be executed in Rhode Island inched closer to a reality on May 11 when the House of Representatives voted 65-0 to endorse a resolution that Gov. Lincoln Chafee formally pardon Gordon, who was hanged in 1845 after being convicted of murdering Amasa Sprague, a wealthy and powerful mill owner.

Historians and other observers have long felt that Gordon, an Irish Catholic immigrant, was the victim of a biased 19th century legal system hostile to Catholics and the Irish community. Critics say Gordon was convicted on circumstantial evidence, and argue that the judge who presided over the murder trial conspired with the prosecution to railroad Gordon.

Now, 166 years later, justice may finally be catching up for “Johnny Gordon,” said Rep. Peter F. Martin, the Newport Democrat who championed the cause in the House of Representatives.

“I thought we would get this through the House, but I never believed I would get an overwhelming, unanimous vote,” Martin said. “Now we need the approval of the governor and the Senate.”

The resolution to formally clear Gordon’s name through a pardon will require Gov. Chafee’s signature. The governor has previously indicated his support for a pardon. The Senate must also give its advice and consent. At press time this week, Martin said it was still unclear whether the Senate would schedule a committee hearing before the pardon resolution advances to the governor’s desk.

Local playwright Ken Dooley, who wrote and produced a play dramatizing the Gordon murder trial, attended the House’s unanimous vote to clear Gordon, and believes it is only a matter of time before it is official.

“I think we’re going to have some real great news in a couple of weeks,” Dooley said.

Audiences who attended Dooley’s play - The Murder Trial of John Gordon - during its run in Cranston earlier this year were invited to sign a petition urging the governor to pardon the young man who was hanged at age 29 near where the Providence Place Mall today is located.

The legislative vote was 65-0 to pass the resolution, with 10 abstentions.

In 1844, Gordon was convicted of murdering Amasa Sprague, the politically-connected owner of the A&W Mill in Cranston who was found shot and beaten to death a few months earlier in Knightsville.

Police suspected Gordon because he and his family had been having a dispute with Sprague over their family store’s liquor license.

The evidence at trial consisted of contradictory witness statements, questionable physical evidence and the judge’s instructions to the jury to give more credibility to the testimony of native-born Americans than Irish Catholic immigrants.

Dooley said he wrote his play after growing up hearing Gordon’s story, and added that he was surprised to see how far the cause has advanced.

“Deep down, I was hoping something like this would happen. I think it’s great,” said Dooley.

Later this month, Dooley said a ceremony will be held at Gordon’s grave, which was recently discovered in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Pawtucket after having been lost for more than a century.

Dooley said a tombstone will be erected, with an epitaph borrowed from a line in one of his play’s final scenes: “Forgiveness is the ultimate revenge.”


Dublin Core

Title

Description

Jerry Franklin has described John Gordon as a statesman for US forestry, based on his communication and social skills, and deep knowledge of forests rooted in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and Northeast. John Gordon begins this oral history recounting his early life in a small Iowa town, where, despite the prairie setting, family life gave him many exposures to plants and forests: his family ran a nursery business, he heard of Northwest forests from a family friend, and family trips took him to Minnesota, including old-growth pine forests. Through summer jobs spraying herbicides on road-side ditches and working for the Forest Service worker, which exposed him to clearcutting in Wisconsin, he observed land management practices that caused concerns.

Gordon describes his academic training of two bachelor degrees (forest management and forest products) and a PhD all at Iowa State University, separated a 1.5-year Fulbright period in Finland, which greatly broadened his perspectives on forests and forestry. He could see what good forestry can do as the Finns used it to maintain national independence from Russia. He gradually adopted a comprehensive view of forests as ecosystems (“changing with the times”) and to see the values of having more than a single tree species in managed forests. He next comments on his five years as a researcher at the Forest Service lab in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, before he moved to Oregon State University in 1976. There he found a crucible of forestry issues with heated debate about old-growth forests, use of herbicides, and clearcutting, even as “intensive plantation forestry was being invented.” As chair of the Department of Forest Science, he found himself in the midst of many political issues, though he maintained his science interests in nitrogen fixation and microbiology. He connected with Jerry Franklin and Jack Ward Thomas through a Society of American Foresters Task Forest on old-growth forests.

Gordon discusses the profound differences between Oregon State University and Yale, where he became dean in 1983, in terms of financing, leadership, education, and links with policy. In retrospect, he saw OSU as strengthened by its links across campus and with federal agencies, and as the college of west-side forests he believes that science ideas flow north-south, not east-west. Many speakers of all sorts visited Yale in the 1980s – it was “on the boil” – giving him a broad view of issues. He speaks of interactions with Jim Lyons, a Yale graduate and Congressional staffer, who put together the Gang of 4 (plus 2) project to advise Congress on Northwest forestry issues. This was part of the shift of federal forestry policy away from simply converting old growth to plantations to treating forests as ecosystems. When the Gang presented their findings to Congress, he played a key role in stating, “We’ve done the science now you make the decision.”

Although he was not part of the Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team (he says he “had a full-time job” and was an “auslander” – German for outsider), he describes many roles he played in communicating with industry leaders, members of Congress, and others about the issues and their implications. He offers reflections on Clinton’s Forest Summit, of which he was part, his colleagues on the Gang of 4, the problems of forest planning for individual National Forests, and his involvement with assessment of forestry on tribal lands across the US.

Gordon closes the interview with thoughts about the challenges of implementing the NWFP, especially the Survey and Manage requirements, Adaptive Management Areas, and the urban-rural divide. He comments on the state of environmentalism, sustainability, climate warming, and wildfire. As a closing anecdote, he says his best time at Yale was addressing the first class to graduate entirely during his term as dean.

John Gordon grew up in Iowa and attended Iowa State University as an undergraduate in forest management, but, despite the paucity of forests in that Great Plains state, got plenty of exposure to forests while hunting and fishing with his father elsewhere in the upper Midwest and Canada. As a summer worker on a forest survey crew, he gained exposure to the forests of western Washington. After study in Finland on a Fulbright fellowship, he returned to Iowa State for a PhD in plant physiology and silviculture, and then worked five years for Forest Service Research in Wisconsin before returning to the Northwest in 1976 to take a position at OSU. That was an exciting, pivotal time rich with controversy about old-growth forests and use of herbicides in the forest, and development of intensive plantation forestry was in full swing at OSU. Gordon learned about leadership and exercised it as Chair of the Department of Forest Science at OSU, while maintaining a research program on topics such as nitrogen-fixation in forest ecosystems. In 1983, he became Dean at Yale. Via connections with Congressional staffer Jim Lyons, Gordon was recruited in 1991 into the Gang of Four (with Franklin, Johnson, and Thomas) to report on alternatives to management of old forests on Federal lands of the Northwest to two committees in the House of Representatives. Gordon brought to this process his science and administrative leadership skills, a knack for guiding discussion of challenging issues, an openness to industrial forestry, and the cache of a prominent position in an Ivy League university.


John B. Gordon

John Brown Gordon would become one of the most successful commanders in General Robert E. Lee ’s army, and would do so without any prior military training. The son of a prominent minister in Upson County, Georgia, Gordon went to school at the University of Georgia, but dropped out before graduating to study law. He invested in coal mines in Georgia and Tennessee before the war but at the outbreak of the war was elected captain of a mountaineer company known as the “Raccoon Roughs.” Gordon's company was eventually incorporated into the 6th Alabama Regiment, and Gordon named as its colonel.

Colonel Gordon led his regiment during the Peninsula Campaign and the subsequent Seven Days Battles. During the Battle of Antietam, he received the order to hold a vital portion of a sunken road, now known as the “Bloody Lane.” When questioned by General Lee whether he could hold his ground, Gordon replied that his men could do so "until the sun goes down or victory is won." Though Gordon managed to hold the line against repeated attacks, victory came at a high personal cost for Gordon who was wounded four times but remained in command until a fifth wound--a minie ball to the face--rendered him unconscious. Falling face first into the road, only a bullet hole in his cap prevented him from drowning in his own blood.

After recuperating from his wound, Gordon was promoted to Brigadier General and given command of a brigade of Georgia regiments. His brigade would play an important roll during the Battle of Gettysburg, during which he and his men attacked Barlow’s Knoll on the first day of the battle.

Gordon commanded his troops with great success during the Overland Campaign. At the Battle of the Wilderness, Gordon’s brigade counterattacked and pushed back a Federal breakthrough at Saunders Field. The next day, although darkness and confusion brought an end to the fighting, Gordon launched a highly successful flank attack in which hundreds of Union soldiers and two Union generals were taken prisoner. On another "bloody" battlefield a few days later at Spotsylvania Court House, the timely arrival of Gordon's men helped to secure the otherwise shattered Confederate line. In 1864, Gordon, now a major general, assumed command of a division and led it through General Jubal Early's Shenandoah Valley Campaign.

In 1865, commanding a portion of the Confederate lines during the Siege of Petersburg, Gordon planned and led the assault on Fort Stedman, General Lee's forlorn hope to break the stalemate south of the Confederate capital. Though initially successful, Yankee counterattacks eventually forced Gordon to withdraw his forces back to their own trenches. Within a week the Confederate lines broke and Gordon, now commanding a corps, took part in critical actions during Lee's retreat toward Appomattox. After the surrender at Appomattox Court House, Gordon led the Army of Northern Virginia to surrender their arms. When Union General Joshua L. Chamberlain ordered his men to salute Gordon's column, the Confederate General, touched by the gesture, ordered his men to return the favor and acknowledge their former adversaries.

After the war, Gordon returned to his home state of Georgia, where he was elected a United States Senator as well as Governor. He was also the first commander-in-chief of the United Confederate Veterans, a remained so until his death at the age of 71. John B. Gordon is buried in Atlanta.


Bovina (NY) History

John L. Gordon was born in 1871, the son of Thomas Gordon and his first wife, Mary Oliver. He grew up in Bovina and at one point was on the town's baseball team. In August 1895, the Andes Recorder reported on a game in which several players were injured. While Gordon was not one of them, he fainted when the physician was sewing up another player’s wounds.

In December 1896, John went to New York City to take an examination as a city police officer. He was successful, being one of only 56 out of the 600 who took the exam to be appointed. Right around the time of his examination, his family suffered a double tragedy in the death of his 18 year old sister, Maggie, in December and the death of his mother only six weeks later.

Gordon assumed his duties in February 1897. About a year later, he was laid up for several weeks with rheumatism. He married Elizabeth Roger and in April 1902 became the father of a son, William. They had another son, John in February 1908. The family came to Bovina about once a year for his vacation. This was regularly reported in the Andes Recorder.

In August 1905, John became seriously ill in New York City. The Andes Recorder reported that “Thomas Gordon was called to New York last week by the illness of his son, John L. Mr. Gordon, who is on the police force, was overcome with the heat. Newspapers have misstated the facts and added much to make a good story out of it.” The Otsego Farmer from Cooperstown appears to have been one of the papers guilty of doing this: “John Gordon of Delhi, a policeman in New York city became mentally unbalanced, having been overcome by the heat and his long and arduous duties among the East Side bread strikers. He attempted suicide twice, first by taking laudanum, and then by stabbing himself with a small pen knife. He is better now, and convalescing in Delhi.”

John continued his duties as a policeman and his vacation visits to Bovina, but three years later, on September 9, 1908, while his wife and children were at her family’s place at Lake Delaware, "the startling intelligence was flashed over the wires to Bovina that Policeman John L. Gordon had died that morning in New York." Reported by the Andes Recorder, the paper noted that "it was learned that he was found dead at his home.” Gordon was 37 years old and had been on the police force about twelve years. The Recorder noted that soon after assuming his duties he had been struck in the head and that a few years later suffered a severe sunstroke. He had been off duty several times in the year prior to his death due to health issues. Two days before he died he had written to his wife stating that he expected to arrive in Lake Delaware on September 20th. John was survived by his wife and two sons as well as his father, stepmother and a half brother and sister. [The half sister was Margaret Gordon, better known as a social studies teacher at Delaware Academy. She was 15 months old when her half brother died.]

The Recorder did not report an important fact about Gordon's death namely that it was by his own hand. The Delaware Republican, in reporting his death noted that “sensational reports vary with reference to the circumstances of Gordon’s death but agree that the means used was self-administered illuminating gas. The reason assigned is ill health.” The New York City Police Department’s annual report for 1908 verified this, noting that “Patrolman John L. Gordon committed suicide by inhaling illuminating gas, September 9, 1908.”

John’s father Thomas went to New York City to arrange for the body to be brought back to Bovina for burial. The September 18, 1908 Andes Recorder reported on John's funeral, with the headline "Largely attended funeral."

The funeral of John L. Gordon was held at 10 o’clock Saturday [September 12] in Bovina and was largely attended. Rev. H.B. Speer officiated. The offerings of flowers was large and probably the most beautiful ever seen here. The sympathy of the entire community goes out to the young wife who is left with two small children. Besides the immediate families those from out of town in attendance were Miss Gerry, of New York Jas Foreman, Margaret Archibald, Chas Gordon and wife, W. B. Yeomans and wife, the Misses Forrest, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Alex Oliver, of Delhi, Leonard Sloan and wife, of Bloomville Thomas Bouton and wife and T.W. Miller of Andes

John's widow Elizabeth continued to come to Lake Delaware with her two sons each summer to stay with her father, William Rogers. She died of cancer in New York City in October 1920. Her father-in-law Thomas had died a few months later in April 1921.

See the January 6, 2012 entry in this blog for another story about John Gordon's half-brother William.


A Brief History of the Gordons

With 157 main branches, the Gordon family traces it’s lineage back to Adam de Gordon who settled in Berwickshire in the time of Malcolm III, known as Malcolm Ceanmor, or his son, David I (1124-53).

Chalmers in Caledonia appears to be giving two versions of the family’s origin first being in the time of Malcolm III or his son David I, with Adam being one of the favorites and ridding the land of a particularly pesky boar (hence the boar’s heads on the arms) and being given land in Berwickshire. The other version put forth has the family coming during the reign of Malcolm IV or his brother William the Lion and settling in the Berwickshire area called Gor dun meaning hill fort hence the name of the family.

There are many suppositions on the origin of the family from the Gorduni tribe located in Flanders during the time of Julius Caesar to the Norman family de Guerdon (later spelled Gourdon) to the possibility of Adam & Richard de Gordon being the sons of Ernulf of Swinton and therefore a cadet branch of the Swinton family whose arms also bear the three boar’s heads. (Sc. Peer.,iv, p.507) Although there seems to be much to support the possibility of the Swinton claim in regards to the early customs of the family, the similarity of the arms and so forth, there has been no documentary proof found to date for this supposition. In addition, it would be more likely that the grandfather of Richard & Adam de Gordon, Adam de Gordun who fought with Malcolm Ceanmor would be the link with the Saxon family of Swinton, if there were indeed a link.

Edward Gordon of Cairnfield in his History of the House of Gordon, XVIII Vols. (1949) states that since the Gourdon name was known in France from at least the time of Charlemagne that the opinion of the Gordon family historians followed that of a French origin for the family. (Vol I, p. 129) He further puts forth the version of Adam de Gordun (Gordon) being among the ten thousand men under Siefried, Earl of Northumberland, (some French and Norman knights then at the English Court) being granted by King Edward Atheling (the Confessor) to his son-in-law Malcolm Ceanmor to regain his throne from Maclbeatha, Maormer of Moray, better known as MacBeth. (Ibid-p. 131) Adam de Gordun (sic) was granted lands near the lower Tweed (the lands then named Gordun for the family in Berwickshire and also land in present day Roxburgh district—see below for references to Kelso and Houm, now called Hume) for his service to Malcolm in regaining his throne. He later died, leaving a son also named Adam, in battle at Alnwick in 1093 when Malcolm Ceanmor invaded England in an attempt to regain lands in Northumbria. This version seems to be the most plausible and the accepted version of the Gordon’s entry into Scotland.

About 1130, according to one William Gordon of Harperfield, Adam ‘Filius Adae de Gordun’ grants lands specially limited, apparently for the site of a church and cemetery for the parish of Gordun, and extensive pasturage to the Abbey of Kelso founded by King David in 1126. In a second charter confirmation to the monks of the Church of St. Mary of Kelso: “the church of St. Michael of Gordun with the whole of its parish namely of Gordun and of Spotheswode (Sottiswode)”, and “so long as the abbot and convent of Kelso are willing, the men of the other Gordon, that is to say of Adam, may take the church sacraments there, and there their bodies shall be buried and again when they please, they shall return to their mother church of Houm.” (Ibid) Adam died in 1138 at the Battle of the Standard leaving two sons, Richard de Gordun and Adam of Huntly & Faunes (Huntly & Faunes presumably being presently known as Fans just west of West Gordon in Berwickshire.) Richer de Gordun, lord of the barony of Gordon in the Merse between 1150-60 gave yet another charter which granted a piece of land and the church of St Michael to the monks of Kelso, a grant confirmed by his son Thomas de Gordun (Kelso, 118, 126). Adam de Gordun, his brother also known as of Huntly & Faunes, along with Richer (or Richard) witnessed the claim of lands of Swinton by Patrick, first earl of Dunbar (Raine, 117). (Another source sited for the claim of the Gordon’s being a cadet branch of the Swinton family.) Adam’s son, Alexander, earned the gratitude of Alexander I by killing or capturing a group of traitors who had tried to murder the King. For this he received the lands of Stitchel in the Merse. (Edward Gordon, pp. 131132)

Thus according to the documents & manuscripts assembled by Edward Gordon of Cairnfield, the descent follows such (Ibid.):

It was this Adam de Gordon who married an English lady by the name of Marjory and held lands in her right for which he paid homage to England’s King Henry III and then his son Edward I (Longshanks of Braveheart fame). On the death of Alexander of Scotland followed by the death of his granddaughter and heiress Margaret the Maid of Norway, Queen of Scotland, the Scottish throne was left vacant. Edward I as the granduncle (King Alexander’s wife was Edward’s sister) of the young queen had assumed the role of protector of Scotland and upon her death assumed the role of arbiter of the dispute for the throne and backed John Balliol’s claim. Adam also backed John Balliol’s claim and joined in his army when Edward reneged in his support and invaded Scotland.

Adam died on the fields of Dunbar. He left a son also called Adam who escaped from Dunbar, but was compelled to surrender at Elgin. His mother was left with no option and was forced to swear fealty to Edward on 3 September in order to protect her son & his holdings. In the spring of 1297 Adam joined William Wallace in his defense of Scotland and her freedom. However, he still owed fealty to Edward and John Balliol – bit tricky to balance.

In 1305, Edward appointed him Justiciar of Lothian. In 1308 Adam was able to negotiate the release of Lamberton, Bishop of St. Andrews and Primate (imprisoned for 2 years for his part in the coronation of Robert the Bruce), and was also able to save the life of Sir Thomas Randolph (also a Bruce follower.)

It was not until 1314 with the death of Balliol that Sir Adam was able to seek out Robert the Bruce and swear his fealty to him. At this point, he entered service under Randolph now the Earl of Moray, and fought under his banner at Bannockburn. In 1320, Robert the Bruce named Sir Adam and Sir Edward Maubisson as his ambassadors to carry the Declaration of Arbroath to the Pope outlining the grievances of the Scottish people against the English and pleading the case for the removal of excommunication of Robert the Bruce by praising his character and rule. Recognition of Scotland as a free and independent nation and her choice of king were accomplished! For his service Robert the Bruce granted him the lands of Strathbogie Peel in Aberdeenshire. Strathbogie was renamed Huntly and upon his death at Halidon Hill in 1333, the Huntly estate was inherited by his elder son Adam. William, the younger son, inherited the lands of Stitchel and his line became the Gordons of Galloway and the Viscounts of Kenmure. (Ibid Vols. 12 & 13.)

Adam’s line branched into the lines of Gordon of Auchleuchries, Tillytermont, Methlic, Buckie, and Ruthven. Ultimately the main Huntly branch ended with Elizabeth Gordon, wife of Alexander de Seton. Their children took the name of Gordon and their eldest son, Alexander, became the first Earl of Huntly. Alexander’s son, George, married Annabella, daughter of King James I of Scotland. George and Annabella’s second son became the progenitor of the earls of Sutherland, their third son was the ancestor of the Gordon’s of Gight and thus of George Gordon, Lord Byron. (More on the line of Elizabeth Gordon Seaton later.)

An important date in the Gordon history came with the charter dated 13 July 1376 in which King Robert II of Scotland reaffirms the grant of the lands of Strathbogie upon the descendant of Adam de Gordun, named in the charter as Joannes de Gordon (also known as Sir John de Gordon). This is the first time the Gordon spelling of the name is recorded in an official document.

In 1377, Sir John Gordon burned Roxburgh to the ground in the border wars in order to keep it from being of use to the English. He overthrew Sir John de Lilburn at Carham, had a hand in the defeat and capture of the English Governor of Berwick, Sir Thomas de Musgrave. He died on the field of Otterbourne in 1388. Sir John married Elizabeth Somervell by whom he had four sons, Adam, John, Alexander and Roger. Alexander and Roger died at Hamildon Hill in 1402 leaving no issue.

Adam the elder son inherited the Huntly titles and John, the younger, a life interest in the Gordun estates. There has been much confusion about the order of birth between these two sons and much ado as to the inheritance of Huntly (Strathbogie) by Adam’s daughter, Elizabeth and her husband Alexander de Seton over the sons of John. Many have supposed that John’s sons, known as Jock & Tam, were illegitimate. However, Edward Gordon in his research successfully defends the position that John was the younger son, and that his sons were not illegitimate. It is noted that Sir Adam is consistently styled as Sir Adam of Huntly, while John is styled in some documents as John de Gourdon, Lord of the same. This would seem to indicate that Adam being the elder inherited the higher title of Huntly while John was given a life interest in the Gordun estates in Berwickshire. It is further pointed out that as the father and elder brother were kept busy defending their interests in the south and defending the eastern March from border raids, the younger son was entrusted with defending the newly acquired northern estates of Strathbogie (Huntly).

In order to win over the pictish peoples of the area, Sir John adopted many of their ways and married one of their own, Elizabeth Cruikshank, the daughter of Cruikshank of Aswanley who was a Toshstirgh, or judiciary of the area (an executive position most like a baron bailie.) Their sons were John and Tomas, commonly known as Jock of Scurdargue and Tam of Ruthven, who were certainly accepted by the heiress Elizabeth and her husband Alexander de Seton as legitimate near relations. Edward Gordon makes much of the document of 1422/3 wherein this line is referred to as natural sons, and seems to be supposing that it is the Church’s attempt to impose it’s determination of legitimate vs. illegitimate due to the newly stated position of marriage as a sacrament. It must be noted that it was not until the Council of Florence (1438-45) that the Church declared marriage one of the seven sacraments. Therefore, contrary to his statement that this document was after the acceptance of marriage as a sacrament, it was in fact recorded prior to the Council of Florence’s convening by sixteen years. However, the accepted laws of the time in Scotland would not have prevented either son from inheritance of lands, titles or chieftainship regardless of a church marriage or not. So the point regarding the confusion over the elder/younger son is well laid out and supported in his arguments.

Elizabeth Gordon and Alexander de Seton, Lord Gordon by right of his wife held the lands of Strathbogie. Their son, Alexander, assumed the name and arms of Gordon, and was created the first Earl of Huntly by James II in 1449, and also in 1451 received the former Cumming lands of Badenoch, as well as grants to land in Inverness and Moray. He accompanied Margaret of Scotland to France on marriage with Dauphin Louis (1436) held command at siege of Roxburgh Castle (1460). His son George Gordon second earl, was Lord High Chancellor of Scotland (1498-1501). He married Annabella, daughter of James I of Scotland from their second son, Adam Gordon of Aboyne, descended the earls of Sutherland. (Adam took title earl of Sutherland in right of his wife Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland, sister and heiress of the 9th earl.) From their third son were descended the Gordons of Gight, maternal ancestors of Lord Byron. Their eldest son, Alexander Gordon (d. 1524), third earl, led the Scots vanguard at Flodden (1513). He was twice a member of the Council of Regency (1517, 1523).

George Gordon (1514-1562), fourth earl, was Regent (1536-37). He supported Cardinal Beaton against Arran (1543) as Lieutenant of North, he crushed the Camerons and MacDonalds (1544). He was Lord Chancellor in 1546. In 1548, he received the earldom of Moray, but when stripped of it through the queen’ s jealousy of his power, he joined the Lords of the Congregation (1560) and died in revolt against royal authority. His second son, George Gordon (d. 1576), fifth earl, was restored to his father’ s lands and dignities (nominally, 1565 actually, 1567). He allied himself with Bothwell and Queen Mary (1566) was made Lord Chancellor aided in the murder of Darnley, the divorce of his sister from Bothwell, and Mary’ s marriage with Bothwell. He conspired for Queen Mary’ s deliverance from Loch Leven Castle (1567), but seceded from her cause (1572).

George Gordon (1562-1636), sixth earl, was head of Roman Catholics of Scotland. He took part in the plot leading to the execution of Morton (1581), and in the conspiracy that delivered King James VI from Ruthven raiders (1583). He raised rebellion in north (1589), but had to submit to the king. He conducted a private war against the earl of Moray and killed him (1592). After the destruction of his Huntly Castle (at Strathbogie) by the king, he had to leave Scotland (1595). He was charged with treason, pardoned, received into kirk, and created the first Marquis of Huntly and joint Lieutenant of the North (1599). His son George Gordon (d. 1649), second marquis, was created (1632) Viscount Aboyne. He refused to subscribe covenant (1638). As Lieutenant of the North, he was driven from Huntly by Montrose. In civil war, he took the king’ s side, and stormed Aberdeen (1645). Excepted from general pardon (1647), he was beheaded by order of Scots Parliament. His grandson George Gordon (1643-1716), fourth marquis, was restored to the family titles and estates in 1661 and created Duke of Gordon (1684). He held Edinburgh Castle for James II in Revolution of 1688. His son Alexander Gordon (16781728), second duke, also a Jacobite, as Marquis of Huntly led 2300 men to Old Pretender at Perth (1715).

Lord George Gordon, the third son of the third Duke of Gordon was a naval lieutenant. From 1774-1781, he served as a Member of Parliament. In 1778, he headed protestant associations organized to secure the repeal of act relieving Roman Catholics of certain disabilities. He headed a mob of 50,000 in a march from St. George’s Fields to the Houses of Parliament to present a repeal petition. The crowd got unruly and the result was the No-Popery (or Gordon) Riots lasting from June 2nd8th, 1780. He was charged with treason and through the skillful defense by Erskine was acquitted. Upon his excommunication from the church, he converted to Judaism in 1786. In 1787, he was convicted of libel of Marie Antoinette. He lived out the rest of his life in ease at Newgate prison where he gave many dinners and dances.

George Gordon (1770-1836), fifth and last duke. In 1794 under the direction of his father, Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon, he raised the Gordon Highlanders regiment, first under the command of General Moore in the Netherlands, and then Gordon commanded it in Spain, Corsica, Ireland, Holland attaining the rank of general in 1819. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Bergen (1799) commanded a division in the Walcheren expedition of 1809 and in 1820 he was presented with the Grand Cross of the Bath. The dukedom became extinct at his death, and most of the Gordon property passed to his nephew, the Duke of Richmond.

The Huntly title was passed to the late Duke of Gordon’s kinsman, George, fifth Earl of Aboyne. This nobleman was descended from Lord Charles Gordon, fourth son of the second Marquis, who, in consideration of his loyalty and service, was created Earl of Aboyne by Charles II at the Restoration in 1660.

The Huntly title has since followed his line to the current chief, Granville Charles Gomer Gordon, 13th Marquis of Huntly, Earl of Huntly, Earl of Enzie, Earl of Aboyne, Lord Gordon of Badenoch, Lord Gordon of Strathavon and Glenlivet, Baron Meldrum of Morven, County Aberdeen, and Chief of the Name and Arms of Gordon.

Author: Lois M. Todd, Webmaster House of Gordon Virginia Division © copyright 2004.


War can make or break a man. The Civil War made John Brown Gordon.

Born in Upson County in 1832, he was managing his father’s coalmines in northwest Georgia when the war began. Although he lacked any military experience, Gordon was elected captain of the Raccoon Roughs, a company of mountain men, and he rose through the ranks to become a lieutenant general at age 33, in command of one-half of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia by 1865.

Gordon fought in many of the war’s pivotal battles, including Antietam, where he was wounded five times, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness, before formally surrendering Lee’s Army at Appomattox.

After the war, Gordon worked for a railroad as a staunch proponent of the New South creed and boosted the "cult of the Lost Cause" as the first commander of the United Confederate Veterans.

Enormously popular, Gordon served as governor and U.S. Senator, and was rumored to have been the head of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia.

The man who became the living embodiment of the Confederacy was sworn in as Georgia’s governor on November 9, 1886, Today in Georgia History.


The Stouts

The Stout family also has a long history in the New Jersey area, and in fact it is in this family line that we find our first known ancestor to arrive on these shores. The first part of the story involves Penelope Van Princis, a woman who set out for the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (now New York City) with her first husband in about 1620 (or 1640). The tale has been told in several different ways. The following is from a Stout family history that was written in the early 1800's:

The origin of this Baptist family is no less remarkable: for they all sprang from one woman, and she as good as dead her history is in the mouths of most of her posterity, and is told as follows: "She was born at Amsterdam, about the year 1602 her father's name was Vanprincis she and her husband (whose name is not known,) sailed for New York, (then New Amsterdam,) about the year 1620, the vessel was stranded at Sandy Hook the crew got ashore and marched toward the said New York but Penelope's (for that was her name) husband being hurt in the wreck, could not march with them therefore, he and the wife tarried in the woods they had not been long in the place before the Indians killed them both (or they thought) and stripped them to the skin however, Penelope came to, though her skull was fractured, and her left shoulder so hacked, that she could never use that arm like the other she was also cut across the abdomen, so that her bowels appeared these she kept in with her hand she continued in this situation for seven days, taking shelter in a hollow tree, and eating the excrescence of it the seventh day she saw a deer passing by with arrows sticking in it, and soon after two Indians appeared, whom she was glad to see, in hope they would put her out of her misery accordingly, one made towards her to knock her on the head but the other, who was an elderly man, prevented him and, throwing his matchcoat about her, carried her to his wigwam, and cured her of her wounds and bruises after that he took her to New York, and made a present of her to her countrymen, viz. an Indian present, expecting ten times the value in return.

It was in New York, that one Richard Stout married her: he was a native of England, and of a good family she was now in her 22d year, and he in his 40th. She bore him seven sons and three daughters, viz: Jonathan, (founder of Hopewell,) John, Richard, James, Peter, David, Benjamin, Mary, Sarah, and Alice the daughters married into the families of Bounds, Pikes, Throckmortons, and Skeltons, and so lost the name Stout the sons married into the families of Bullen, Crawford, Ashton, Traux, &c., and had many children. The mother lived to the age of 110, and saw her offspring multiplied into 502, in about 88 years.

It is thought that the dates of Penelope's arrival (and assumed birth) could be off by about 20 years, making her a more reasonable 90 years old at her death. In any case, we are talking here about a very hardy woman! This story has become a part of the established history of the state of New Jersey, and there is also a historical marker about her located near the farm where she lived.

Her second husband, Richard Stout, also had an interesting origin. He was born to parents John Stout and Elizabeth Bee in Nottinghamshire, England. He served for seven years as a sailor on a British man-o'-war before taking his discharge while the ship was in port at New Amsterdam. At some point he then managed to meet and marry Penelope.

After their marriage, Richard and Penelope moved to the shoreline area of New Jersey, not far from the spot where she had originally been stranded. They were instrumental in establishing the first town in that area (Middletown), and then settled down to having a large family. The Stouts in fact were an extremely prolific family, and between the confusion of repeated first names and the somewhat frequent marriages of cousins, their genealogy can be very complex to describe.

One of their sons, Jonathan Stout, moved westward to what became Hunterdon Co. and helped to establish an early Baptist church in the town of Hopewell. This may have been significant to the way our family history developed, as will be seen later. Some generations later, John Stout and his wife Mabel Sexton had a family of seven children that included a daughter Keziah.


Watch the video: ΟΤΑΝ Ο ΤΖΟΝΙ ΝΙΟΥΜΑΝ ΠΗΡΕ ΤΟ ΟΠΛΟ ΤΟΥ. (December 2021).