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

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

The Odell 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 Odell name during the seventeenth century. Extensive research into some of the most ancient documents has revealed the Odell 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 Odell research. Another 308 words(22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Odell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Odell 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:

Odell 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

Odell Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Tho Odell, who landed in Virginia in 1706

Odell Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

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

Odell 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



  • Through the Hourglass: A History of the Families of Russell Turner Odell and Florence Turner Odell by R.T. Odell.
  • Twelve Families, an American Experience by William F. O'Dell.


  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  5. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  8. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  11. ...

The Odell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Odell 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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