Ancestry.com's new database of Quaker records has been a great source of information about my Jordan family line in Virginia. Thomas Jordan, born 1634 in Isle of Wight, Virginia, is the first Jordan to become a Quaker. His wife, Margaret Brashare (or Brasseur), was a French Huguenot Protestant who joined the Society of Friends when she was 16. When she married Thomas two years later, in 1658, he joined her as a Quaker.
Quakers often suffered for their beliefs in largely Puritan Virginia. Thomas was imprisoned in 1661 for six months for holding a meeting in his house, and again later that year for attending a meeting in another house and "refusing to swear according to their wills and against the commands of Christ." He was sent to Jamestown for ten months, leaving his wife "in a distressed condition, with a young child at her breast. . . which servant was kept nine weeks and released by order of the Governor." Upon his return, the sheriff took two feather beds, two feather bolsters, and furniture, as well as over 3,000 pounds of tobacco, ten head of cattle and an indentured servant with three years left on his indenture.
Thomas and Margaret settled in Nansemond County and had ten sons and two daughters between 1660 - 1685. All of their names appear frequently in the U.S. Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, (a great source for finding names, dates, marriages, etc. ) as well as the other Quaker records on Ancestry.com. The Jordans attended the Chuckatuck Monthly Meeting in Nansemond County. The children (with the exception of one son who joined the Episcopal Church later in life, and another who left slaves among his property when he died, indicating he must have left the Society of Friends, who were staunch abolitionists) continued to worship as Quakers, and two sons became ministers. Thomas's memorial in 1699 is recorded in the Chuckatuck Monthly Meeting :
1699, 10, 8.
Thomas Jordan of Chuckatuck in Nanesemond Co. in Virginia was in ye yr 1634 and in ye yr 1660 hee received ye truth & abode faithfull in it & in constant unity with ye faithful friends thereof & stood in opposition against all wrong & deseatful spirits having suffered ye spoiling of his goods & ye imprisonment of his body for ye truth sake & continued in ye truth unto ye end of his dayes is ye beleefe of us his dear w & ch above written He departed this life ye eight day of ye tenth mo on ye sixth of ye weeke about ye second hour of ye afternoon & was bur ye twelfe day of ye said mo on ye third of ye week in ye yr 1699.
Margaret continued to be persecuted by the local authorities, who seized 120 pounds of tobacco for "priests dues and Church Rates" in 1701. She died in 1708 in Nansemond, and her memorial, written by her son Samuel, appeared in the Chuckatuck Monthly Meeting:
Margaret Jordan, the daughter of Robert Brasseur, was born the 7th month in the year 1642 and was convinced of the Truth about 16 years of age, from which time she served an exemplary life in all her conversation until the day of her death and was a sufferer with my father both by confinement and the spoiling of their goods by the Adversaries of the Truth. She was a good wife and also a kind neighbor. About 63 years of age she was taken witha disposition of the body which continued near three years in which time she was much weakened. A little before her death some friends came to see her to whom she signified her content and spake much of the goodness of God to her. At 6 o'clock at night she died in remarkable quietness the seventh day of the tenth month in the year 1708 having lived about 66 years and survived my father about 9 years lacking 18 hours and was buried the 11th day of the aforesaid month.
Thomas and Margaret's burial places are not known; it could have been at the Chuckatuck Meeting House or on their own land. Quakers marked their graves with fieldstones, if they marked them at all. Later in the 1700's, many Quakers (including two of the Jordan sons) moved to North Carolina to escape the persecution they experienced in Virginia. The Chuckatuck Meeting House appears to have disbanded about 1769.