A friend believes there were people from Jerusalem living in America before The Jaredites? If this is true, what was their name?
I can’t say that it’s impossible, but let’s examine this a bit first. The Jaredites were led to the new world directly from the Tower of Babel. If I’m not mistaken, this is long before Israel left Egypt, much less before they set Jerusalem as their capitol city. Keep in mind, Jerusalem was a city before Israel arrived. This is what makes my answer difficult.
The city of Jerusalem pre-dates the arrival of the nation of Israel by quite a long time. Possibly even dating back to before the Jaredites. However as far as I can study, we don’t seem to have records from that time available now.
So the way I see it is this; There are archaeological evidences of many cultures here in the new world that pre-date the arrival of Lehi and his family according to what is written in the Book of Mormon. At this time, the earliest record we have is of the Jaredites. It is entirely possible God led others to the Promised Land at earlier times. Given that he did so with the Jaredites and Lehi, I’d even say it’s pretty likely. We just don’t seem to have any real record of a specific nature right now.
Would they have come from Jerusalem? Again, it’s possible, however if they did, the city they left was not called Jerusalem then because that name was given to the city once the nation of Israel moved in.