An American Family History


The Odell Family

  also spelled as Odle, Oddlel, O'Dell, O'Dale  

Samuel Odell (about 1670).

Samuel Odell (about 1690, married Abigail Barton)

Mary Odell (about 1710, married Abraham Denton)
John Odell (1711, married his cousin, Sarah Odell Denton)
Caleb Odell

Isaac Odell (about 1690, married Sarah Hoyt)

Sarah Odell Denton (about 1712, married John Denton) and her cousin John Odell

East Tennessee is part of Appalachia. At the end of the French and Indian War, colonists began drifting into the area. In 1769, they first settled along the Watauga River. During the Revolution, the Overmountain Men defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The State of Franklin was formed in the 1780s, but never admitted to the Union.

Samuel Odell was born about 1690 in New York

He married Abigail Barton in New York.

His children included:
Caleb Odell (about 1725)
John Odell
Mary Odell

Abigail died about 1735.

In 1744, the Samuel Odell family settled in the Shenandoah Valley on Passage Creek near Powell's Fort. They lived below Riverton among the Mackays, Jobes, and Whitsons on the south bank of the Shenandoah River. He deposed in a sworn statement along with others, that

they removed from Pennsylvania and the Jerseys to this Colony [Virginia] and settled their land at great expense and trouble and considerably improved them, and hope to be quited.

In 1749 Samuel was one of the first justices of Frederick County.

In 1753 he was on the Lord Fairfax tract of land in Dunsmore County, now Shenandoah County, but previously Augusta and Frederick Counties.

He was a captain of the Militia in the French and Indian War under Lt. Col. Lord Fairfax and Major John Hite.

On September 2, 1755, Samuel Odell was Captain of Foot and in September he was one of the officers present at a court martial in Fairfax County.

Samuel Odel appeared on July 24, 1758 poll taken for Colonel George Washington.

In 1767 Samuel Odell was an executor of John Denton's will.

A 1771 court decree enumerated Frederick County landholders in the following sequence: . . . Jonathan Denton, John Denton, Caleb O'ODell, William Wood, Francis McFell, Robert Combs and Job Combs.

In 1774, Samuel Odell and his wife second wife, Elizabeth, transferred a tract of land.

On September 2, 1775 Samuel Odell was made captain in Frederick County. He was on the Romney and Winchester County payrolls in 1775.

Samuel Odell's will was dated 1780. He named his wife Elizabeth and their children: James, Samuel, Caleb, Elijah, Jeremiah, Benjamin, and Jonathan.

In 1783 tax list of Shenandoah County listed Samuel Odell's widow and her sons James and Jonathan.

Shenandoah County, Virginia was established in 1772. It was originally Dunmore County.

The French and Indian War lasted from 1754 to 1763 and was the North American phase of the Seven Years' War.

George Washington ( 1731/32  – 1799) was the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and first president of the United States (1789–1797).

Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virgina, Book 24,

page 294
Calvert Anderson vs. Samuel O'dale (Odell).
Debt. 23d June, 1746.
Writ dated 12th February, 1745-6.
Letter dated 16th May, 1744, from defendant to plaintiff.

page 433
John Givins petitions that he be relieved as constable and one of three be put in his stead, viz, Thomas Story, James Craig, Joshua Stickleman. John Davis, same, and nominates Barnibee Eagon, or Samuel Odle, or Joshua Job.

A plaintiff (plt, plte, plt) or orator is the person who brings a case against another.
A defendant (def tf) is a person accused of a crime or someone challenged in a civil case.


from Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, Volume II 1742-1775 by Gertrude E. Gray, pages 68 and 170:

Samuel Odell of Frederick Co.
200 acres. in Augusta Co.
Surv. Robert Rutherford 7 April 1752 ,
on Passage Cr. near Powels Fort.
Grant not completed.


John Odell (1711) was born in New York and was the son of Samuel Odell and Abigail Barton.

He married his cousin, Sarah Odell Denton, Captain John Denton's widow.

In 1778, a John Odell took the oath of allegiance in what would become Washington County, Tennesee.

In 1780 Washington County court records:

The State vs. John Odull. Indictment. Not a true Bill.

In 1782 Jonathan Tipton, Joseph Bullard, James Denton and James Ray were securities for the appearance of John Odell to the Washington County Court.

Frederick County, Virginia was formed in 1743 from Orange County. Old Frederick County included all or part of four counties in present-day Virginia: Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, and Frederick, as well as five in present-day West Virginia: Hardy, Hampshire, Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan.

Johnson City, Tennessee is in Washington, Carter and Sullivan Counties. It was known as Brush Creek for the Creek than runs through it.

Caleb Odell, Sr. was born about 1725 in Westchester County, New York. He was the son of Samuel Odell.

He married Alice (possibly Newman, daughter of Samuel Newman).

Caleb and Alice's children included:

Caleb Odell (1753, married Abigail Plumlee),
William Odell (1753),
Catherine M. Odell (1755, married Jonathan Morrell),
Tomkins/Thompkins Odell (1758, married Abigail Combs),
Isaac Odell (married Abigail Maxwell),
Alice Odell,
Elizabeth Odell,
Job Odell,
Nehemiah Odell,
Simon Odell.

They moved to Shenandoah County, Virginia with the Denton family and other families who settled in Sullivan and Washington Counties. It was Frederick County when they lived there.

In 1755, Abraham Denton and Caleb Odell witnessed a land transaction in Frederick County.

In August, 1766 Caleb was granted 380 acres in Frederick County.

On March 2, 1768 in Frederick County, Virginia, Caleb witnessed a deed from Matthew Plumlee to his brother, James Odell.

In 1775 Jonathan, Samuel, Benjamin, James, and Jermiah ODell were in Dunmore County, Virginia.

In August, 1778, Caleb Odell was on the grand jury in what would become Washington County, Tennessee.

In 1778 he sold his land in Frederick County.

On May 23, 1794, Caleb Odell sold Charles Reno/Reneau 91-1/4 acres on a fork of Brush Creek for 150£. The land bordered Joseph Denton, and William Boring/Boran. The deed was witnessed by Reuben Moore and, John Thomas.

In January, 1795 Caleb Odell sold William Boring 76-3/4 acres on Brush Creek, for 55£. The land bordered Charles Reno/Reneau. The deed was witnessed by Thomas Gourley and John Tipton.

Tennessee was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796. It was initially part of North Carolina.

Washington County, Tennessee,was established in 1777 as Washington County, North Carolina. From 1784 to 1788,it was part of the State of Franklin.

  Caleb Odell, Jr. was born about 1753.

Caleb married Abigail Plumlee on October 18, 1772 in Shenandoah, Page County, Virginia.

Caleb and Abigail's children probably included:

Daniel Odell (1773),
Ruth Odell Mulkey (married Philip Mulkey),
Jeremiah Odell (1775),
Isaac Odell (1780),

Caleb purchased 80 acres for 50 schillings in Washington County, Tennessee on November 10, 1784. The land bordered Daniel Odell and Samuel Denton's properties.

Caleb married Peggy Boring on August 6, 1788 in Washington County, North Carolina.

Simon Odell
Gabriel Odell (1788), and
William Odell
Bartlett H. Odell.


  In February, 1790 the Washington County, Tennessee Court ordered Absolom Boring to pay for the maintenance of Jean Odell's child. Mordecai Price was the security.  



Washington County, Tennessee Marriages

Oddle, Caleb — Boring, Peggy on 06 Aug 1788
Oddle, Thompkins — Combs, Abigail – 03 Sep 1788
Odell, Caleb — McDaniel, Jane – 01 Dec 1788
Odeneal, Priscilla–John Blakley, 5 Jan 1802 by Othneil Sands
Odle, Rebecca–John Keener, 27 Jun 1807 by Jesse Viney
Odell, Ruth–William Duncan, 15 Aug 1809 by Jesse Hampton
Odle, Bartlett H - Quillin, Elizabeth on 06 August 1813
Odell, William - Sailor, Margaret on 25-DEC-1819
Odle, Mary - Ferrel, Charles on 21-NOV-1823
Odell, Andrew - Kelsey, Nancy on 15 August 1826
Odell, Samuel - Simpson, Nancy on 22 June 1830
Odle, John - Hale, Nancy on 26-FEB-1831
Odle, Margaret - Jackson, James W on 21 June 1831


from Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1742-1775, Vol 2, p. 172

Caleb Odle of Frederick Co. (Virginia), 380 A(cres) on Passage's Creek in Powell's Fort in said county.
Surv. Robert Rutherford.
Adj. Darby McCarty.
04 Aug 1766.


The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.

from Over the Misty Blue Hills by Ruth Webb O'Dell, pg. 121

Caleb O'Dell and wife Alice (A Newman-Thorne Connection) arrived in Shenandoah County with Abraham Denton and Samuel Newman by 1755 and located on the North Branch of Shenandoah River.

Before 1760, he had purchased land on Passage Creek.

He lived here until 1778, one of the fifteen originial justices of Shenandoah County, justice of the peace for Passage Creek Community and road overseer.

In 1775, Caleb O'Dell was one of the signers for "The First Independant Company of Dunmore" and was one of a committee of eighteen to determine in 1775 war materials on hand.

In 1778, Caleb O'Dell and his son, Isaac, sold their land on Passage Creek and he removed to Brush Creek in Washington, Greene Co., Tennessee, of which Cocke County was then a part.

In 1782, he served on the first Grand Jury of Washington County which met in the log house of Charles Robertson.

He purchased his land from Joseph Denton on Brush Creek and appears to have lived there until 1795, when his old friend, Colonel John Tipton witnessed for him in a sale of land.

Caleb and Alice had 14 children...

Settlers often built log cabins as their first homes.


At the May term 1782, this order was entered:

Jonathan Tipton, Joseph Bullard, James Denton and James Ray, securities for the appearance of John Odell to this Court, have surrendered him up to this Court, and John Odell is ordered into custody.

Later entry on the minutes: John Odell is discharged.


from Virginia's Colonial Soldiers

Capt. Jeremiah Odell served 20 days at different times with 13 privates, He was ordered out on emergent occasion without time to raise a full compement for captain's pay. He ought to be allowed the pay of a captain. 15 Ded. 1766.



Jeremiah Odell


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©Roberta Tuller 2019
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