August 18, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Robert Herman Odom

Robert Herman Odom headstone

Robert Herman Odom (a nephew of my 2nd great-grandfather) was born 2 February 1888 in Arkansas (probably Johnson County), and died 27 March 1909 in Checotah, McIntosh County, Oklahoma.

Burial: Indian Territory (original) Cemetery, Checotah, McIntosh County, Oklahoma

Herman was the son of the first sheriff of McIntosh County, OK (William "Doc" Odom) and was a resident deputy at Checotah. Herman was killed in the "Crazy Snake War/Smoked Meat Rebellion" during an exchange of gunfire that lasted 10 minutes as officers attempted to arrest Crazy Snake. Herman's name is also inscribed on a Washington, D.C. memorial to fallen law enforcement officers.

Another Update

After updating the look of my blog last month, I kept returning to the site to find myself not happy with the cleanliness of it. So, I started over again tonight and am very pleased! It's simple, easy-to-read, and not cluttered.

Now I have to find a good way to post using the Mac. Windows Live Writer was so nice so I'm on the hunt for a good replacement.

July 23, 2009


Well, I think I've just about finished the new layout for the blog. I wish the body were a bit wider, so I may still tinker with that, but I'm quite please so far! Even modified my own header.

Now...if I can just figure out a good piece of blogging software for a Mac...

July 22, 2009

Layout Update

Well, after getting some good shut-eye last night, I came at the layout problem from a different route and am making good progress! Now ... to tinker with the header image later tonight.

July 21, 2009

New Layout

Well I'm trying out a new layout for the site. I like it better, but for some reason the background image keeps "disappearing" so you don't see the yellow/tan image you should.

I've been fighting with it for nearly an hour and a half and I think maybe it's time to call it quits for the day...

July 09, 2009

Posting lapse and new laptop

Well, it's been a very long time since I've posted. Lots of things going on between work, home, and rental houses!!

BUT...the cool news is that I have made the leap into the Mac pool. I am the proud owner of a new MacBook Pro laptop and a 24" cinema display! Think of the genealogy work I can do now! I still have some more work to get all my files transferred from the old PC to the new one, but after that, I'm hoping to post much more frequently. Any Mac users out there that have blogging software they'd recommend? I used to use Windows Live Writer, but alas it doesn't work on Mac.

I'm also trying to decide if I should attend parts of the FGS conference being held in Little Rock this September. I probably won't ever have another chance to attend a major genealogy conference so close to me! Any thoughts?

May 26, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday – Ray V. Odom

Ray and Ruth Cohenour Odom headstone

Ray Vance Odom (my grandfather) was born 27 February 1908 in Checotah, McIntosh County, Oklahoma, and died 24 June 1988 in Muskogee, Muskogee County, Oklahoma.

Burial: Greenlawn Cemetery, Muskogee, Muskogee County, Oklahoma

Ray was an optometrist, amateur photographer, and an excellent vegetable gardener.

May 19, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday – George W. Odom

George W Odom headstone

George Washington Odom (my great grandfather) was born 13 April 1875 in Harmony, Johnson County, Arkansas, and died 09 January 1923 in Vinita, Craig County, Oklahoma.

Burial: Greenlawn Cemetery, Checotah, McIntosh County, Oklahoma

Cause of Death: General paralysis

Military Service:  Philippine Insurrection (05 August 1899 - 27 February 1901)

Served as City Marshall for Checotah, McIntosh County, Indian Territory & Oklahoma

April 14, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday – John D. Odom


John Dean Odom (my 2nd great grandfather) was born 22 Mar 1850 in Harmony, Johnson County, Arkansas, and died 18 Oct 1926 in Harmony, Johnson County, Arkansas.

Burial: Harmony Cemetery, Harmony, Johnson County, Arkansas

Cause of Death: Typhoid fever and old age

April 11, 2009

My 3rd Great Grandfather: Robert Odom (1822 - 1881)

Robert Odom was born on August 2, 1822, in Wayne County, Tennessee.  It has been assumed by many of us that he was born during a family move from the east coast to Arkansas, perhaps in a “wagon train.”  Robert’s name first showed up on a census in 1840 for Johnson County, Arkansas where he was listed as head of the household with no other males living in the house.  There was, however, an older woman, presumably his mother, and a few other women about his age, presumably his sisters.  So, we have come to the conclusion that his father was dead or had left the family by 1840.  A few of my fellow researchers have also come to the conclusion that his mother’s name was perhaps Charity, although we have no hard evidence to support this hunch.

On August 22, 1844, Robert married Zerelda Angeline Swift in Harmony, Johnson County, Arkansas.  Zerelda was the daughter of John Dean Swift and Hardenia Burnley Haybatley Siota Clough.  Zerelda was born on February 18, 1828, in Henry County, Tennessee.  Her family was also part of a “wagon train” moving from Louisa County, Virginia, to Johnson County, Arkansas.

In 1846, the United States entered the Mexican War and on June 10th, Robert enlisted with the U.S. Army in Clarksville, Arkansas.  Robert is listed on the Muster Roll of Captain P.B. Collins.  He served as a Private in Capt. Collins’ Company A in the Battalion of Arkansas Volunteers and was commanded by Captain William Gray.  Robert served at the Fort Gibson Stockade in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma—which, ironically is only 10 miles from where I grew up!  On October 23, 1846, he deserted his post and returned to his family in Johnson County, Arkansas.  Because of his desertion, Robert received a dishonorable discharge.

On May 6, 1861, Arkansas seceded from the Union following the lead of several other Southern states on the heels of the fighting at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.  On April 19, 1864, Robert enlisted in the 2nd Arkansas Infantry.  This was a Union outfit, even though Arkansas was part of the Confederate States of America.  He served in Company G as a Private.  Robert served the Union at Lewisburg, Arkansas, which was located near present-day Morrilton, Arkansas.  Robert deserted once again from the Army on August 10, 1864.  The following is a transcription of a notation in Robert’s service record file from the Adjutant General’s Office in the War Department:

“The charge of desertion … against this man is removed as erroneous. He was tried before a Gen. C.M. which convened at Fort Smith, Ark., May 13, 1865 for Desertion.  [Robert] did at Lewisburg, Arkansas about the 10th day of August 1864 desert his Company and Regiment and remained away ever since until arrested in Johnson Co., Ark.  About the 1st of May 1865 was found guilty & sentenced to forfeit to the U.S. six months pay & allowance and be confined at hard labor for the term of six months … Fort Smith Ark. Was designated as the place of confinement … He was released from confinement July 31, 1865.”

Because the charge of desertion was removed from his record, Zerelda was later able to collect a pension from the U.S. Government.

Robert and Zerelda produced a total of 8 children that lived into adulthood.  Here is a list of each child and his/her dates:

  1. Charity H. Odom (1846-unknown)

  2. Jacob K. Odom (1848-1923)

  3. John Dean Odom (1850-1926)

  4. Jesse E. Odom (1851-1894)

  5. Richard Brown Odom (1854-prior to 1900)

  6. George Washington Odom (1860-1952)

  7. Edward Lee Odom (1863-1946)

  8. William "Doc" Lenthicum Odom (1866-1946) 

Robert died in Harmony, Johnson County, Arkansas, on March 11, 1881, and was buried in the Harmony Cemetery.  Zerelda lived until July 9, 1908, when she was buried next to Robert.  In 1906, she composed a short letter describing her life in which she stated that she was currently living with her daughter.  Eventually, many of their children moved to Oklahoma around the time of the land rush right before statehood in 1906.

Robert & Zerelda Odom's Headstone
Robert & Zerelda Odom’s headstone
Harmony Cemetery, Harmony, Johnson Co., AR
© Chris Odom 2009

March 15, 2009

Genealogy Prompt #9 - Lincoln-Douglas Debates Lecture

Lincoln And Douglas Debate, IL, 1858.

This past week I attended a lecture at our local library on the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. No, this wasn't a genealogical event in the strictest of sense, but it WAS held in the genealogy section of the library!

The speaker was the Hon. Steele Hays whom I know from church. I've heard him speak on more than one occasion and he's always quick to point out that he's not a Lincoln scholar, but rather a Lincoln student. Judge Hays speaks with such passion and true interest in his subject that it's hard not to sit and listen for hours. And even though his voice may not have the strength it once did, the wit, wisdom, and rhythm of his speech makes you easily think you are indeed listening to a live version of the 16th president.

Besides the subject matter, I found it very interesting to look at the crowd. The lecture took place at 7:00 pm on a Thursday evening; the room was filled with about 30 - 40 people who ranged in age from a 5 week-old baby to folks in their 90s. Even more impressive was the fact that all these people braved the cold, dreary weather that had descended upon Conway. It's apparent our library is doing a great job by "booking" such volunteer lecturers as Judge Hays. And obviously there is a demand for it based upon the turnout!

As Judge Hays was speaking, I did notice a sign over his right shoulder. It mentioned that a volunteer was available to answer genealogy questions in the "Arkansas Room" during a 3 hour period on Wednesdays. I found myself thinking, "You know...when I'm retired in the distant future, I'll definitely have to do that!" I've relied on volunteers many times over the years and have always been amazed at how helpful and friendly fellow genealogists were. The sign reminded me just how great a hobby this is!

March 14, 2009

My New Genealogy Blog

Welcome to my new genealogy blog! I've maintained a web page for genealogy ( for many years and have blogged in the past, but this is my first attempt at a blog specifically about genealogy.

I hope to use this blog to share some of the stories I encounter during my research and maybe even some tips I come across. I still plan to maintain the web site, but use the blog will be more dynamic. We'll see how this goes! Hopefully time will allow me opportunities to update often!

I'm looking forward to this new branch of my genealogy research!

Thanks for stopping by!

Creative Commons License This work by Chris Odom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.