Jordan Name Meaning and Origin

The Jordan river in Israel is a possible origin of the Jordan surname

 Lior Filshteiner/Getty Images

The common surname Jordan derived from the common Christian baptismal name Jordan, taken from the river by that name flowing between the countries of Jordan and Israel. Jordan derives from the Hebrew ירדן (Yarden), meaning "to descend" or "to flow down.

Jordan is the 106th most common last name in America according to data from the 2000 U.S. census.

Surname Origin: English, French, German, Spanish, Hungarian

Alternate Surname Spellings: Giordano (Italian), Jordann (Dutch), Jordán (Spanish), JORDÃO (Portuguese), JOURDAIN (French), GEORDAN, GERDAN, Giordan, Jordain, Jordaine, Jordanis, Jorden, Jordens, Jordin, Jourdaine, Jourdan, Jourdane, Jourden, Jurden, Jurdin, Jurdon, Siurdain, Yordan

Famous People With the Surname JORDAN

  • Michael Jordan - NBA basketball star.
  • Barbara Jordan - civil rights activist and U.S. Representative.
  • Louis Jordan - saxophonist and singer.

Genealogy Resources for the Surname JORDAN

The Jordan family DNA project consists of members with the Jordan surname from the USA, Canada, and Europe dedicated to "discovering matches between participants that enable them to achieve their goals in genealogical research." 

Explore the Jordan family genealogy forum at for the Jordan surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or ask your own question about your Jordan ancestors.

At you can find records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Jordan surname and its variations.
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Jordan surname available through their website. is a great place to access free databases and genealogy links for the last name Jordan.


Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.

Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

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Powell, Kimberly. "Jordan Name Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, Powell, Kimberly. (2021, February 16). Jordan Name Meaning and Origin. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "Jordan Name Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 7, 2023).