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

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

The Odle name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in Odell, or Woodhill, which were in Bedsfordshire. The surname Odle comes from the Old English words wad, and hyll, which mean woad (a plant collected for the blue dye produced by its leaves), and hill.

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Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Odle has undergone many spelling variations, including Odell, O'Dell, Odehull, Wodehull, Wodhull and others.

First found in Bedfordshire (Old English: Bedanfordscir), located in Southeast-central England, formerly part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, where they held a family seat from early times and 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.


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

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

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Some of the Odle family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 109 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Odle were among those contributors:

Odle Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Peter Odle, who arrived in Virginia in 1657

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  • Robert C. Odle Jr., American lawyer, former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy
  • Lou Odle, American football coach for the Sterling Warriors 1940 to 1941
  • Alan Odle (1888-1948), English illustrator, husband of the English novelist Dorothy Richardson


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  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  5. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  6. 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.
  7. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  8. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The Odle Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Odle 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 21 October 2013 at 08:56.

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