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


The name Odom has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family 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." [1]

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The surname Odom 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. [2] "Oldham was for a long period celebrated for the manufacture of hats, which was established so early as the fifteenth century." [3] 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." [3] 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. [1] The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Agnes de Oldom and Robertus de Oldom. [4]

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Odom have been found, including Oldham, Oldum, Oldan, Oldhams and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Odom research. Another 207 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1486, 1480, 1505, 1486, 1480, 1452, 1519, 1653 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Odom History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Odom Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Odom, or a variant listed above:

Odom Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John Odom, who landed in Mississippi in 1798

Odom Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Aida Odom, aged 21, who landed in America from Paris, in 1903
  • Sandy Odom, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1910
  • Thomas D Odom, aged 28, who emigrated to America, in 1919
  • Frank Odom, aged 28, who landed in America, in 1920
  • Gardner Odom, aged 18, who emigrated to the United States, in 1920


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  • Charles B. Odom, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Louisiana, 1960
  • Bob Odom, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Louisiana, 2000, 2004
  • Ben Odom, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Oklahoma 4th District, 1998
  • Frank M. Odom, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Louisiana, 1936, 1956
  • Fred M. Odom, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Louisiana, 1920
  • Gary R. Odom, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California, 1990, 1992
  • John Fred Odom, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Louisiana, 1940, 1944; Louisiana Democratic State Chair, 1945
  • Lanhon Odom, American Democrat politician, Nominated in primary for Texas State House of Representatives 68th District 2012, but withdrew before election
  • Lucian Astor Odom, American politician, Member of South Carolina State Senate from Spartanburg County, 1927-28
  • Mary Horne Odom, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Carolina, 1996

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  • My Mother Nancy and Her Oldhams by Jessye Ann High.
  • A Genealogy of the Little-Odom Family of Georgia and North Carolina by Lawrence L. Little.
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  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Odom Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Odom 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 29 February 2016 at 15:33.

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