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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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."

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The surname Odell was 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.

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


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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.

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

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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.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Odell Settlers in 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 United States in the 18th Century


  • Tho Odell, who landed in Virginia in 1706

Odell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


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

Odell Settlers in 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

Odell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. John Odell U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 173 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA
  • Mrs. Mary Odell U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 292 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA
  • Mr. Jonathan Odell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784
  • Rev. Jonathan Odell U.E. (b. 1737) born in Newark, New Jersey, USA who settled in Fredericton, New Brunswick c. 1784 he served in the Pennsylvania Loyalists as a Chaplain, he was the First Province Secretary in New Brunswick, he was a Loyalist Poet who served as an administrator and satiric Poet-propagandist for the British, he died in 1818
  • Mr. Daniel Odell Jr., U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784

Odell Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century


  • Eric O'Dell, aged 7, who emigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1915

Odell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • G. O'Dell arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British King" in 1883

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  • William Hamilton "Billy" O'Dell (1938-2016), American businessman and politician, Member of the South Carolina Senate (1989-2016)
  • Walden "Wally" O'Dell, American former chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Diebold
  • Jack O'Dell (b. 1924), African-American member of the U.S. Civil Rights movement who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
  • Kenny O'Dell (b. 1946), born Kenneth Gist Jr, an American country music singer and songwriter
  • Scott O'Dell (1898-1989), American multiple Newbery Medal winning author of 26 novels for young people
  • Benjamin Barker Odell (1854-1926), American political figure
  • John O'Dell (1898-1989), award-winning American children's author
  • Matthew Odell (b. 1979), American pianist
  • Jennifer O'Dell (b. 1974), American film and television actress
  • Nancy Humphries O'Dell (b. 1966), American television host and entertainment journalist

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  • 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.
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  1. 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).
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  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 2 March 2016 at 14:44.

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