Archibald ODOM: From Scotland To The Ocmulgee By T. LaFontine Odom, sixth generation descendantIn the present day Pulaski County, Georgia, just south of Hawkinsville, near the banks of the Ocmulgee River lies the weathered tombstone over the grave of Archibald ODOM. This is the final resting place for a life that began with his birth in Scotland and spanned eighty-seven years, of adventure, prosperity, and contribution to his posterity. The time-worn epitaph reads: "Sacred to the memory of MAJ. ARCHIBALD ODOM, Soldier of the Revolution and Minister of the Gospel, who died April 1, 1815 [1845*], age 87 years. Patriotic Christian and Mason" Archibaldís life paralleled those of many young men who settled America in the 1700ís. With providential intervention and hard work he prospered, raised a large family, served his adopted country in the revolutionary war, and stands out as a strong forebear of seven succeeding generations. In 1943, at the age of 90, Uncle Melt Odom, the writerís great uncle, wrote a short "History of the Odom Family." The eleven-page, handwritten account is an interesting view of one link in the Odom chain. Much of what follows has been taken from this short history. In 1750, at the age of 10, Archibald Odom landed in Wilmington, NC with his parents, two sisters, and his brother Daniel. The two boys remained with their parents until about 1770 when they decided to head out and see other parts of the "New World." Uncle Melt says they set out on foot through North and South Carolina, crossed the Savannah River near Augusta and continued westward until they reached the Oconee river near Mt. Vernon, GA where they met the Mc Bride family who had preceded them to America. The family convinced the boys to stay with them for a while. Daniel married one of the Mc Bride daughters, and that was the end of his westward trek. Archibald continued westward, but did not get far. When he reached the Ocmulgee River near Hawkinsville in Pulaski County (about 50 miles west of Mt. Vernon), he met another pioneer family, the HARRIS family. They persuaded him to stay with them for a while. In about two years he married on of his benefactorís daughters, Penelope Harris. Archibaldís father-in-law, Mr. Harris, in addition to being a wealthy farmer and stock raiser, operated a fleet of pole boats from Hawkinsville to Darien on the Georgia coast and up the coast to Savannah. Archibald probably assisted in this endeavor and he, too, likely poled boats up and down the Ocmulgee River. A view of a Georgia map will show you that the Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers run through the heartland of Georgia, join each other just north of Hazelhurst to form the Altamaha River, and then it winds its way southeasterly to the Atlantic Ocean. Archibald and Penelope reared a family of three sons and one daughter. James Madison, the oldest, is in the writerís chain. The other two sons, Archibald Jr. and Isaac, reportedly went on westward, "locating in Alabama and from those two originated quite a generation of ODOMs, some going west, some going south." (Uncle Meltís History) Around 1800, James Madison Odom went back to North Carolina to visit his relatives and there met Elizabeth Oden. They married and returned to Pulaski County, Georgia. To their union were born three sons and seven daughters. It is from one of these sons, James Madison Odom, Jr., that the writer is descended. According to Uncle Melt, James Madison Odom, Jr. married the widow Jane HOLLAND and several children were born to them. James Jr. farmed, operated a water mill, and was the first man to build a home in the city of Hazelhurst. He and his wife are buried at the old Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery about 5 miles south of Hazelhurst, GA. Children of this union include James Melton Odom (Uncle Melt), Burrell Walter Odom, and Elbert Washington Odom. When Uncle Melt died at the age of 95 [year 1948], he was the oldest living resident of Jeff Davis County and the oldest living Master Mason in the State of Georgia. In 1981, I stood on the bridge that crosses the Ocmulgee River. Surely Archibald Odom, two hundred years before, passed this same spot with no idea that many years later a concrete highway bridge, a railroad trestle and another Odom would be casting shadows over the very spot where he poled by. The next time you cross the bridges that span the little rivers of Georgia, especially the Ocmulgee, reflect for a moment backward in item to our ancestors who poled these water highways below. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ * There is some discrepancy in DATES of birth and death for Archibald ODOM. Uncle Meltís records indicate that Archibald was age 10 in 1750. The gravestone date of death appears to be 1815, but was no doubt 1845 originally, the engraving having now worn away.
A PARTIAL LIST OF Archibald ODOMís Descendants
NOTE: Information from Revolutionary Pension File #R7766 has been included in some instances, and marked with an asterisk *. A plus + in front of a number indicates that personís lineage continues here. A few dates were deleted here (for privacy of the living) for use on the net and are replaced with ____ as it is currently unknown if they are still living.
Archibald ODOM, Sr. ca 1740 Scotland, died 1 April 1845* Pulaski Co., GA; married #1 on 5 May 1778* Penelope Harris; married #2 on 21 February 1826 Elizabeth Jackson* [Note: Archibald Odom, Sr. out-lived all 5 of his children, according to his widowís pension file.] Children of Archibald Odom and Penelope Harris: + 1. James Madison Odom b 15 Feb 1779* 2. Archibald Odom, Jr. b 17 Feb 1781* 3. Isaac Odom b 5 Feb 1784* 4. Sarah Odom b 17 Sept 1786* 5. name unknown, but mentioned in Pension File* James Madison ODOM b 15 Feb 1779* GA; married ca 1800 Elizabeth ODEN of NC. They lived in Pulaski Co., GA and reared 10 children: 1. Sophy Marie Green Odom ca 1804 2. Douglas Wilkins Odom ca 1805 3. Elizabeth Odom ca 1808 + 4. James Madison Odom, Jr. ca 1811; d 1893 5. Susannah Odom ca 1813 6. Harriet Odom ca 1816 7. Sarah Odom ca 1818 8. Archibald Harris Odom ca 1822 9. Penelope H. Odom ca 1822 10. Antinette Odom ca 1825 James Madison Odom, Jr. b 1811, d 1893; married widow Jane (ADAMS) HOLLAND b 1816, d 1893. They had 3 children: 1. James Melton Odom b 1853, d 1948 at age 95 + 2. Burrell Walton Odom b 1855, d 1946 3. Elbert Washington Odom b 1857 Burrell Walton ODOM b 1855, d 1946; married Lucretia HERRINGTON b 1866, d 1928. They had 10 children: 1. Mary Jane Odom b 1880 2. James Madison Odom b 1881 3. Georgia Odom b 1882 + 4. Thomas Quitman Odom b 1884, d 1969 5. Mattie Odom b 1885 6. Milton LaFayette (Bud) Odom b 1887 7. Minnie Viola Odom b 1889 8. Rowan Elbert Odom b 1891 9. Lula Belle Odom b 1893 10. Joseph Sidney Odom b 1896 Thomas Quitman ODOM b 1884, d 1969; married Ella Bertie STRICKLAND b 1890, d 1957. They had eleven children: 1. Mattie Viola Odom b ____ 2. Dillon Harvey Odom b ____ 3. Francis Lucretia Odom b ____ 4. Mary Bernece Odom b ____ + 5. Thomas Quitman Odom, Jr. b ____ 6. Lula Evelyn Odom b ____ 7. Wilmateen Lovie Odom b ____ 8. Minnie Helen Odom b ____ 9. Irma Bertie Odom b ____ 10. Sidney Sloan Odom b ____ 11. Myrtle Elizabeth Odom b ____ Thomas Quitman ODOM, Jr. b ____; married Laura Pearl CARTER b ____. They are the parents of T. LaFontine ODOM. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Printed in NOA NEWS Vol. 1, No. 3, Apr. 1982, pp 2-4. Submitted by T. LaFontine Odom, of Charlotte, NC.