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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish O'Dell family come from? What is the Irish O'Dell family crest and coat of arms? When did the O'Dell family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the O'Dell family history?

The O'Dell surname, has been found in Ireland since the 17th century. Before that, it was of English origins. Interestingly, in Ireland, the name has been altered to appear as if it had Irish Gaelic origins. It is also thought that some Irish Gaelic families adopted the O'Dell name during the seventeenth century. Extensive research into some of the most ancient documents has revealed the O'Dell surname to be of Anglo-Saxon origin, taken on as a surname from a place named Odell in Bedfordshire. The place name is in turn derived from the Old English words "wad," and "hyll," meaning "woad" (a plant collected for the blue dye produced by its leaves), and "hill."


Spelling variations of this family name include: Odell, O'Dell and others.

First found in Bedfordshire, where their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Dell research. Another 308 words(22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Dell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early O'Dell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the O'Dell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 104 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

O'Dell Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • William Odell, who came to New England in 1630
  • William Odell, who arrived in New England in 1639
  • Henry Odell, who arrived in Virginia in 1654

O'Dell Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Tho Odell, who landed in Virginia in 1706

O'Dell Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Elizabeth Odell and her husband, who settled in Boston in 1820

O'Dell Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Dora C. O'Dell, aged 50, who emigrated to the United States from Queenstown, in 1905
  • F. Edith O'Dell, aged 23, who emigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1907
  • Agnes O'Dell, aged 25, who landed in America, in 1909
  • Frank O'Dell, aged 32, who landed in America, in 1923


  • John O'Dell (1898-1989), award-winning American children's author
  • Matthew Odell (b. 1979), American pianist
  • Benjamin Barker Odell (1854-1926), American political figure
  • George Clinton Densmore Odell (1866-1949), American historian
  • Nancy Humphries O'Dell (b. 1966), American television host and entertainment journalist
  • Jennifer O'Dell (b. 1974), American film and television actress
  • Scott O'Dell (1898-1989), American multiple Newbery Medal winning author of 26 novels for young people
  • Kenny O'Dell (b. 1946), born Kenneth Gist Jr, an American country music singer and songwriter
  • Jack O'Dell (b. 1924), African-American member of the U.S. Civil Rights movement who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
  • Walden "Wally" O'Dell, American former chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Diebold



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  1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  3. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  6. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  11. ...

The O'Dell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The O'Dell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 January 2014 at 13:47.

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