What is the origin of the last name Odell?

The last name ODELL is of ancient English origin, deriving from the Old English personal name "Oda," meaning "wealth" or "fortune," combined with the suffix "-ell," indicating descent or association. Over time, this surname has evolved through variations such as Odall, Od(E)le, or Odill, eventually settling on its modern form, ODELL.

Countries of origin for the last name Odell

The last name ODELL has an ancient origin, rooted in English history. It is a patronymic surname, meaning it is derived from the given name of a male ancestor. The name is believed to have originated from the Old Norse name Óðhleifr, which combines the elements Óðr, meaning “inspiration” or “fury,” and Leifr, meaning “heir” or “descendant.”

The ODELL surname first appeared in England in the early 12th century and can be traced back to the county of Bedfordshire. Over time, the name spread to other parts of England, including Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, and Essex. The ODELL family played a prominent role in English history, with several individuals bearing the name achieving notable positions in society.

Throughout history, the spelling of the ODELL name has varied, as is common with many surnames. Variations include Odell, Odle, Odil, and Odall. These alterations in spelling can be attributed to factors such as regional accents, dialects, and the illiteracy of certain individuals when surnames were still in their early stages of formation.

The ODELL surname made its way to the United States during the period of English colonization. Records indicate that the name was present in the American colonies as early as the 17th century, particularly in New England. The exact reasons behind the migration of individuals carrying the ODELL name are not extensively documented, making it difficult to pinpoint the precise motivations.

Today, the ODELL surname continues to be fairly common in the United States, with significant concentrations in states such as Texas, California, New York, and Ohio. It is worth noting that while the name’s prevalence suggests a relatively large number of individuals with ODELL as their last name, it does not necessarily provide insights into the specific familial relationships between these individuals.

As with many surnames, the meaning of ODELL can vary depending on the interpretation. Some resources suggest that the name could be associated with qualities such as inspiration, fury, or heirship. However, it is important to approach such interpretations with caution, as the true meaning of a surname is often difficult to fully ascertain without comprehensive historical context.

In conclusion, the last name ODELL has an extensive history rooted in English origins. From its initial appearance in Bedfordshire to its migration to the United States, the name has proven to be enduring. While the precise meaning of ODELL remains somewhat elusive, its presence in various regions and its continued usage reflect the significance of this surname throughout history.

Considering the complex lineage and the diverse range of individuals who have carried the ODELL name, it is evident that further exploration into this surname would yield additional discoveries about its specific origins and cultural significance. The study of genealogy and name etymology offers a compelling avenue for researchers to delve deeper into the fascinating story behind the ODELL surname.

As long as there are individuals with the ODELL name, the legacy and significance of this surname will persist, providing future generations with an opportunity to continue unraveling its mysteries.

Interesting facts about the last name Odell

  • The surname ODELL is of English origin.
  • It is derived from the medieval male given name Odel, which itself comes from the Old English word “adela,” meaning “noble.”
  • The ODELL surname is primarily found in England, particularly in the counties of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
  • It is also quite prevalent in the United States, particularly in the states of Texas, California, and New York.
  • The earliest recorded instances of the ODELL surname date back to the 12th century in England.
  • The spelling variations of the surname include Odell, O’Dell, Odel, Odella, Odellis, and others.
  • During the Middle Ages, the ODELL family held nobility status, owning vast estates and demonstrating considerable influence.
  • Notable individuals with the surname ODELL include Sir John Odell (c.14th century), an English knight, and Fanny Odell (1909-2004), an American actress.
  • The ODELL surname has been associated with various coats of arms, depicting symbols such as lions, eagles, and crosses.
  • In the United States, the name ODELL gained popularity as a given name for both males and females, likely influenced by the surname.

Name Rank


There are around 31349 people with the last name Odell in the US

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