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Last update Jan. 2013



In these pages, I will try to trace the origins and expansion of the Odlum family from its origins from what is assumed to be Oldham in Lancashire in England in the mid 1600's at the time of the Cromwell's rule in England to the current day.

This information is based primarily on the work of 3 individuals.

W.H. Odlum (1862-1934) was the first to start the research in the early years of of the 20th. century. This work was continued by his son, Captain Julian Odlum (1886- 1973) who started his research in the 1920's and the main proponent, Rev. Douglas Graham (1909-1991), who worked on the project for more than 25 years from 1960 to the mid 1980's.


The work has been carried on by myself, Stephen Odlum, in a rather desultory fashion for a decade but in particular, by Brenda Dailey in the US who has compiled a database of Odlums around the world and is the current expert on matters relating to Odlum genealogy.

This account is based on the research by my forebears and is as accurate as the information that they were able to extract from the records available to them. Fortunately this work commenced before that great event that has been the scourge of research into family records in Ireland - the attack and subsequent burning of the Four Courts building in Dublin in 1922 during the Irish Civil War.

I am sure that there are some errors (and any corrections that you might have would be more than welcome) and there is a less than complete record of many of the females, some of who were not recorded by name - sadly often just referred to the list of offspring as "and two daughters".

It is interesting to note that despite being originally immigrants to Ireland, there is a remarkable diaspora of
Odlums around the world who can trace their origin to the original Thomas Odlum and his 3 sons, Richard, Henry and Edward.

There are thriving branches of the Odlum family in Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

As far as we can ascertain, 1662 is the first occurrence of the name Odlum. The name, either for a place or a family
has not been found in any other European country prior to that date.

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