William David Tatum presents the photograph of Edward Orval Gourdin

William David Tatum presents the photograph of Edward Orval Gourdin establishing the World Record in the long jump on July 23, l92l - Harvard University. It is the oldest track and field record at Harvard.

First presentation to the St. Philips Episcopal Church - Felecia Mary Garvin Gourdin married Walter Holmes Gourdin in l887 at this Church.  Felecia Gourdin was the organist.

Second presentation to the Stanton College Preparatory School that succeeded the Stanton High School established in l868.  Stanton was the first high school established in the State of Florida for Negro Education.  Edward Orval Gourdin was Class Valedictorian in l9lA. Philip Randolph & James Weldon Johnson (Author of the Negro National Anthem was the School Principal) graduated from this school.

Third presentation to a representative of The Ritz Theatre La Villa Museum in Jacksonville, Florida.  The BUST of Edward Orval Gourdin will be unveiled at this repository of African-American History in Jacksonville, Fla.

Amelia Ponce Gourdin gave William David Tatum the original photograph of the world record long jump with these words:  "William you are like your Grandfathers; you will find a way to honor my Ned!"  I am keeping that promise.

Edward Orval Gourdin was a Great Harvard Scholar, Athlete, Soldier & Judge.

One of the first achievements of Edward Orval Gourdin was to graduate from The Stanton High School in Jacksonville, Fla. in l9l6 as Class Valedictorian.  This was the first school established in the State of Florida for Negro Education in l868 after the civil war.

Harvard scholar

His parents recognized his abilities as a scholar and athlete and decided to move to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he completed one year of college preparatory work at Cambridge High and Latin before entering Harvard in the fall of 1917.

Gourdin's freshman diary reveals an organized and responsible young man. On September 24 he notes the posting of a security bond for $400 and payment of $50--the first installment of his tuition fee. A few days later, he lists the schedule for the first day of classes and reminds himself: "Take 1st wks reading and map study for Monday."


He also distinguished himself in track. He became the National Amateur Athletic Union's junior 100-yard dash champion in 1920 and the national pentathlon champion in 1921 and 1922. At the revival of the Harvard-Yale versus Oxford-Cambridge track meet, in 1921, Gourdin won the 100-yard dash and set a new world record (25 feet, 3 inches) in the broad jump. In 1924, having completed his law school exams, he traveled to Paris for the Olympics and won a silver medal in the broad jump.

Judge Portrait


No law firm offered him a position, and increasingly his attention turned to the public sector. He became active in politics, first as a Republican; his conversion to the Democratic party in the early 1930s led to many relationships with political figures and attorneys in Boston, including Francis J. W. Ford '04, LL.B. '06, an influential lawyer whose classmate, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had named him U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts in 1933. In 1936, with Ford's backing, Roosevelt appointed Gourdin assistant U.S. attorney, a position he would occupy, save for the war years, until 1951.In Boston, he resumed his duties as assistant U.S. attorney and had been promoted to chief of the civil division before his elevation to the bench in 1951.

Origins of Gourdin(e)


The surname name GOURDIN originated in France at least as early as mid-1600s among French Huguenots. Huguenot is a name given to Protestants of France during the 1500s and1600s who opposed the established religion of Catholicism. During the later part of the 1500s, hostility between Roman Catholics and Protestants led to several religious wars. As a consequence, during the 1600s Huguenots were persecuted mercilessly.

Finding life in France intolerable, several hundred-thousand Huguenots fled to several European countries and to the English colonies of North America -- primarily Massachusetts, New York, and South Carolina. Among the first Huguenots to settle in America was Louis (Gourdain) Gourdin, who arrived about 1695, and settled near the city of Jamestown in an area called the French/Orange Quarters -- now the counties of Berkeley and Charleston, South Carolina.

The surname GOURDINE appears to have emerged from the surname Gourdin during the mid-1800s. In America, the surname Gourdine is almost uniquely associated with African Americans; while the surname Gourdin is closely aligned with European-Americans, however, the surname Gourdin usually identify both African- and European-American families.

credit: Gourdin-Gourdine Family Association ggfa

Gourdin Genealogy



William David Tatum (b. l934-) Maternal Line Afro-American


James Tatum (b. l900 – l989)

Virginia M. Thelma Gourdin (b. l909 – l999) Jacksonville, Florida     

Issue: six (6) children (William David)



Walter Gourdin (b. l860 – l933 - Jacksonville, Fla.)

Felecia Mary Garvin (b. l866 – l938) Florida

Father – William S. Gourdin (b. Charleston, S.C. l8l9)

Mother – Narcissius Selby – (Seminole Native - American)

Issue: nine (9) children – Thelma Gourdin (b.l909 – l999) Florida Mother


Great Grandparents:

William Garvin (b. l82l – l900) married l846

Elizabeth Darley (b. l826 - l9l5) Jacksonville, Florida

Issue: ten (l0) children – Felecia Mary Garvin (b. l866 – l938) Florida


Great, Great Grandparents:

William Garvin (b. l780 – l830) Scotland married l8l6

Felecia Clarke (l792 – l890) St. Augustine, Florida

Issue: four (4) children – William Garvin


Great, Great, Great Grandparent:

George J. F. Clarke (l774 - l836) St. Augustine, Florida

Flora Clarke (b. l77l – l825) St. Augustine, Fla.

Flora Leslie – African parents - ****** (see below)

Issue: eight (8) children – 7 boys – 1 girl – Felecia


Great, Great, Great, Great, Grandparents:

Thomas Clarke (l742 – l780) Worcester, England

Honora Cummings (l746 – l805) b. Ireland

Issue: six (6) children – George J. F. Clarke


Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandparents:

Montague Cummings (b. l722 –) Ireland married

Margarita Magden (b.l724 -) Ireland

Issue: one (1) child – Honora Cummings


Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandparents:

Richard Clarke (b. Holt l716 –) Worchester, England

Sarah Clarke (b. Holt l714 –) Worchester, England

DNA Sampling to take place to ascertain location of African Tribal Origins of William David Tatum.


****** Leslie, Paton Trading Company established in l0l8 out of Scotland. – Honora Clarke apprenticed George J. F. Clarke, age l2 to serve Leslie Brothers In their home.  Home-contained slaves of Leslie Family, the slaves were given names of their owners.  We do not know if Flora Leslie who gave George J. F. Clarke one girl and seven boys was the product of a Leslie or was purchased by the family.  Apprenticeship in the l8th century meant living in the homes of the business.

Given the birth date of l792 for Felecia Clarke and George J.F. Clarke entering the home at the age of l2 – l786 – the age of l6 begins his relationship with Flora.  Without a proper grasp of the age – l774 – l786 & the Father & Mother of George J. F. Clarke i.e. Thomas & Honora –

Tendency to apply 20th or 2lst Century morality to that time would not be applicable. We must remember that no trains, planes, roads as we know them existed in the l8th Century.  All youth were raised amongst hardships largely unknown to our present generation.

Thomas & Honora Clarke arrived in the New World (Florida) around l765 ie the Treaty of Paris opened Florida to colonists from Britain giving l00 acres of land to new settlers and 50 acres for each child. 

The book in my possession First Families of Florida i.e. Census of l786 shows Honora Clarke as a Widow living with her daughter Margarita.  Margarita married a Spanish man and moved to Spain.  It was in this year that she placed George J. F. Clarke, ie her youngest son with the Leslie, Paton Trading Company.

A Catholic Church in St. Augustine, Florida contains the baptismal certificates of two children of Thomas & Honora Clarke -- dated l775. I am securing the name of the Church affording me the opportunity to visit when I travel to St. Augustine.

Submitted by:  William David Tatum (Facts In This Document Secured Between l970-2006) 6/5/06