Odgers History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Odgers is an ancient Anglo-Saxon surname that came from the baptismal name for the son of Edgar. Baptismal names are a form of patronymic surnames, which come from the vernacular and religious naming traditions. In this case, the bearer of the surname Odgers took his name from his father's given name, Edgar. Another source claims the name literally means "happy spear" or "blessed spear." "Eádgár was one of the commonest of Anglo-Saxon personal names." [1]

Early Origins of the Odgers family

The surname Odgers was first found in Berwickshire. "Eadgar, a well-known and royal personal name among the A- Saxons. There are probably several distinct families of this designation. The Scottish family deduce themselves from Gospatrick, earl of Northumberland, temp. William I., who was a kinsman of Eadgar Atheling, and a descendant of king Eadgar, great grandson of Alfred the Great. The Edgars of Suffolk claim from a John Edgar of Dunwich, living in 1237." [2]

Edgar or Eadger (944-975), was the King of the English, the younger son of Eadmund the Magnificent and the sainted Ælfgifu. "He was twenty-nine at the time of his coronation in 973 ( Anglo-Saxon Chron. sub ann. 972; Flor. Wig. sub ann. 973). He was probably brought up at the court of his uncle Eadred for his name, coupled with that of his brother Eadwig [see Edwy], is appended to a charter of Eadred dated 955." [3]

Edgar (1072-1107), King of Scotland was the eldest surviving son of Malcolm Canmore and Margaret, sister of Edgar Atheling, named after his Saxon uncle, was the first king who united Scottish and Saxon blood. "Canmore was slain by an ambush near Alnwick on 13 Nov. 1093, when engaged in a raid on northern England; his eldest son, Edward, fell at the same time or a day or two after. Edgar brought the fatal news to his mother, then in the castle of Edinburgh. Already enfeebled with illness she saw it in his face before he spoke, and adjured him to tell the truth. When told that both her husband and first-born were slain, she prayed to Christ." [3]

Scotland records for the family were extensive and quite old. "The Edgars of Nithsdale, notwithstanding their Old English name are of Gaelic origin. Other Edgars held lands in Berwickshire of the earls of Dunbar. Edgar, son of Duvenald, son of Dunegal of Stranid (Strath Nith), held extensive lands in Nithsdale during the reign of William the Lion, and his descendants assumed the surname of Edgar." [4]

Early History of the Odgers family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Odgers research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1860 and are included under the topic Early Odgers History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Odgers Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Odgers has been recorded under many different variations, including Edgar, Edgair, Eger, Eager, Edzer and others.

Early Notables of the Odgers family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Odgers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Odgers family to Ireland

Some of the Odgers family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Odgers migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Odgers Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Odgers, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Morley" in 1840 [5]
  • Mr. Joseph Odgers, (b. 1814), aged 34, Cornish carpenter from Falmouth, Cornwall, UK departing from Plymouth on 1st May 1848 aboard the ship "Cheapside" arriving in Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia on 18th August 1848 [6]
  • Mrs. Catherine Odgers, (b. 1818), aged 30, Cornish house keeper from Falmouth, Cornwall, UK departing from Plymouth on 1st May 1848 aboard the ship "Cheapside" arriving in Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia on 18th August 1848 [6]
  • Mr. John Odgers, (b. 1810), aged 39, Cornish agricultural labourer departing on 29th January 1849 aboard the ship "Sir George Seymouth" arriving in Port Henry, Geelong, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 14th May 1849 [6]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Odgers, (b. 1813), aged 36, Cornish housekeeper departing on 29th January 1849 aboard the ship "Sir George Seymouth" arriving in Port Henry, Geelong, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 14th May 1849 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Odgers migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Odgers Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Odgers, (b. 1829), aged 34, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [7]
  • Mr. James Odgers, (b. 1835), aged 28, British carpenter travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [7]
  • Miss Emma Odgers, (b. 1861), aged 2, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [7]
  • Miss Caroline Odgers, (b. 1860), aged 17, Cornish servant departing on 25th November 1877 aboard the ship "Wanganui" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 13th February 1878 [8]
  • Miss Clara Odgers, (b. 1866), aged 8, Cornish settler departing on 3rd November 1874 aboard the ship "Lady Jocelyn" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 21st January 1875 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Odgers (post 1700) +

  • Merle Middleton Odgers, American educator, President of Bucknell University from 1954 to 1964
  • Jayme Odgers (b. 1939), American artist and graphic designer, best known for his new wave design and experimental collage photography, multiple Gold Medal recipient from the Art Directors Clubs of New York and Los Angeles
  • William J. Odgers, American Republican politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Waterford, 1902 [9]
  • George James Odgers (1916-2008), Australian soldier, journalist and military historian, co-authored the official history of Australia in World War II, " Australia in the War of 1939–1945"
  • Jeffrey J. Odgers (b. 1969), Canadian retired professional NHL ice hockey player
  • William Odgers VC (1834-1873), British recipient of the Victoria Cross


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MORLEY 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Morley.htm
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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