Odden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Odden is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Odden family once lived in Oldham, in Lancashire. This was a town near the city of Manchester; it has since been absorbed by that city. The place-name Oldham is derived from the Old English elements old, which means old, and ham, which means farm. The place-name therefore translates as "the old farm." Alternatively, Oldham could have meant "dweller by the long-cultivate river flat." 
Early Origins of the Odden family
The surname Odden was first found in Lancashire at Oldham, an enfranchised borough, a parochial chapelry, and the head of a union, in the parish of Prestwich, hundred of Salford. Now part of Greater Manchester, the first record of the placename was found in 1226-1228 when it was listed as Aldholm.  "Oldham was for a long period celebrated for the manufacture of hats, which was established so early as the fifteenth century." 
Another possible origin of the name was found. "This place [(Werneth, Lancashire) which adjoins to the town of Oldham], anciently Fernet, was held in the reign of Henry III. by Alwardus de Aldholme, founder of the family of Oldham. His daughter and co-heiress conveyed the manor to the Cudworths, a branch of a Yorkshire family; and from them the estate passed by sale to Sir Ralph Assheton, of Middleton." 
We can only assume that both sources are referring to that same family at different times. Early rolls list the first record of the name not in Lancashire but as Achard de Aldeham in the Feet of Fines for Kent. Richard de Oldham was listed in Lancashire in 1384.  The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Agnes de Oldom and Robertus de Oldom. 
Further to the north, Hoddam is parish in the county of Dumfries, Scotland. "This parish comprehends the ancient parishes of Hoddam, Luce, and Ecclesfechan, which were united in 1609. Hoddam, in ancient charters, is spelt Hodholm and Hodolm, signifying 'the head of the holm,' and is supposed to have derived that appellation from its situation on the bank of the river Annan, where the ground is flat and rich, and what is usually called holm land." 
Early History of the Odden family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Odden research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1486, 1480, 1505, 1486, 1480, 1452, 1519, 1653 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Odden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Odden Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Odden family name include Oldham, Oldum, Oldan, Oldhams and others.
Early Notables of the Odden family (pre 1700)
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Odden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Odden family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Odden surname or a spelling variation of the name include: John Oldham (c.1600-1636) who emigrated to Plymouth in 1623, was involved in establishing the unsuccessful settlement on Cape Ann (1626), and was murdered by the Pequot in an event leading to the Pequot War (1637). Thomas Oldham settled in New England in 1635.
|Contemporary Notables of the name Odden (post 1700) ||+|
- Allan R. Odden, American Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- David Arnold Odden (b. 1954), American professor of Linguistics at Ohio State University
- Olav Odden (1914-1969), Norwegian skier in cross-country skiing and Nordic combined at the 1948 Winter Olympics
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.