The established family history and genealogy of life long batchelor Major-General Charles "Chinese" George Gordon (1833-1885) who died at the siege of Khartoum, who was born in Kent in England and whose father was Major-General William Henry Gordon, goes back to David Gordon who died in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1752. There is no evidence David Gordon had a son or grandson named John Gordon, let alone of there having been a family branch in Ireland in the time frame in which Robert Gordon was born. This relationship claim was apparently based soley on a grandson of Letitia Garmonsway of New Zealand having claimed when an old man that as a very young boy he had addressed the envelopes for letters she wrote to the legendary General Gordon. Clearly his recollection of her corresponding with the famous General was in error.Sources:
Likely similarly astray is a belief sourced to this compiler's Henry Gordon line grandfather that the family was related to that of the Australian poet Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833-1870). Lindsay Gordon's earliest known ancestor, traced through legal documents, was his great great grandfather Robert Gordon who went to France in the early 1700s where he was a successful wine and spirit merchant in Bordeaux later purchasing two estates in Scotland which he entailed to his eldest son George Gordon 1.
While Adam Lindsay and General Charles Gordon were from the same Scottish clan, shared the same birth year of 1833, and attended the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich together, similary to General Gordon he does not appear to have had any family branch in Ireland in the 1700s! The clan Gordon was not only ancient but widespread. A suggestion there may have been grander days is found in a 1885 letter written by Robert Gordon's granddaughter Ada Gordon to his step daughter Letitia Garmonsway - quote "I once heard that your father's family (Gordon) were a good family, but that his father or grandfather had married beneath him and was not recognized by his relations in consequence. Also that there was some property in the West Indies belonging to them in Chancery." 2.
It is possible the original source of the claim of a family relationship to Adam Lindsay Gordon was the same Ada Gordon, who as evidenced by her surviving letters was a person much given to unfounded genealogical speculations. The father of Lindsay's mother Robert Gordon had been Governor of Berbice and Demerara located south of the West Indies on the South American mainland. Lindsay's father Adam Durnford Gordon likely met Lindsay's mother in Barbados in the West Indies where he had been sent in 1814 as an Ensign in the West India Regiment 1. In this latter case of Ada Gordon's purported "grander days" family legend there at least exists a weak given name and surname geographical coincidence.