Odoms settled in Antioch community in 1854

Published 1:14 am Saturday, January 2, 2016


Ancestors of the Odom descendants of Covington County arrived during the mid-1850s and established themselves in the Antioch community. In more recent years some of the descendants have organized and continues an annual reunion on the Saturday before Labor Day in the area near the original homestead. Near the site is an old cemetery which they have named the Odom Cemetery since the few visible headstones are predominantly for members of the Odom and Worley families. Each year the local descendants clean and maintain the cemetery in reasonable condition.

The earliest ancestor to be identified in local records is Isaac Wilson Odom who was born circa 1804 in South Carolina. He was first married in Georgia in 1837 to Lucy Ann Blocker who was born in 1820 in Georgia. That year he enlisted in the militia unit formed in Dale County, Ala., to engage in the Second Seminole Indian War. Isaac served for three months in 1837 in Captain Ledbetter’s Company of Wellborn’s Alabama Mounted Volunteers. Upon being released, he returned to his home in Dale County to begin a family. His first child was born there in 1838.

Sometime between 1840 and 1850 the Isaac moved his family from Dale County to Coffee County. He had received a land grant of 40 acres in Coffee for his military service in the Indian War. The second child was born in 1840, and they had five additional children born in Coffee County. The Odom family arrived in Covington County in 1854, a time when land was being sold at a very low price. Isaac acquired a tract of 161.90 acres in the Antioch Township. Although their relationship is not known, a Benjamin C. Odom purchased 39.93 acres two years later in 1856 located in the Rawls Township. Isaac and Benjamin could well have been brothers as Isaac named his second son Benjamin F. Odom.

Isaac Wilson and Lucy Ann (Blocker) Odom had the following nine children: Nancy L., b. 1838, m. Grey Jerkins Worley (1836-1911); George Washington, b. 1840, d. 1862 during war; Benjamin Franklin, b. 1841, m. Nancy Caroline Boyett; Sarah Caroline, b. 1844, m. Daniel T. Chism; Mary Jane, b. 1846, d. 1917, m. William Harrelson; William Allen, b. 1849, d. 1895, m. Amanda Luvenia Ann Adams (1845-1869); Isaac Wilson Jr., b. ca 1851, m. Jane Elizabeth ”Jencie” Taylor; Martha Tilda, b. 1854, m. Thomas Raley; and Elizabeth Lavenia, b. 1857, m. Stephen William Etheridge (1856-1938).

After Lucy Ann’s death in 1863, Isaac Wilson was married to Seala A. (English) Brooks, widow of a Confederate soldier who died during the war. Seala was born circa 1835 in Georgia as well. She brought her two children, Sarah and M. Evans Brooks, to the marriage with Isaac. They then had the following six children to add to the large family: James Henry, b. ca 1865, m. Ann “Annie” Taylor; Frances Missouri Gillespie, b. ca 1869, m. Andrew Jacob Etheridge; Adeline, b. 1869; Malissa, b. 1872, m. George Washington Taylor; John Newman, b. 1877, m. Ellie Lee Smith; and Joshua, b. ca 1878. Adeline and Joshua are not listed in some records.

The two oldest sons, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin Odom, enlisted together at Andalusia on July 26, 1861, for service in the Confederate Army. They were assigned to Company B, 18th Alabama Infantry Regiment, which fought in several major battles. George W. was killed in Tennessee in 1862 on the first day of the Battle of Shiloh. When the Home Guard was formed in Covington County on August 10, 1864, their father, Isaac Wilson Odom, volunteered. At 60 years of age, Isaac was one of the oldest in Company A, Covington County Reserves.

When Isaac died in 1885, he was buried in the Odom family cemetery located in his home community of Antioch. The cemetery is the one mentioned earlier, which is located a short distance southeast of the Antioch Highway on property owned currently by Hollis Adams. It is also about one half mile east of the Antioch Congregational Church and Cemetery. The site is only about one mile from the property purchased in 1854.

Isaac’s oldest daughter, Nancy L. Odom, was married to Grey Jerkins Worley, son of Gillispie and Margaret Worley. He was a Confederate Veteran who served as a private in Company B, 18th Alabama Infantry Regiment. On May 25, 1997, the Covington Rifles Camp #1586 assisted Compatriot Horace Worley, a great grandson, in dedicating a marker at the grave of Grey Jerkins in the Odom Cemetery.

Nancy L. and Grey J. Worley reared the following children: Elisha Simeon, b. 1859; Lucy Ann Margaret, b. 1866; William, b. 1874; Arrie, b. 1878, m. Hillary Saurs; Orphal, b. 1878, m. Green Worley; Isaac G., b. 1881; and Henry L., b. 1884.

The second oldest son, Benjamin Franklin Worley, Confederate veteran, was married to Nancy Caroline Boyett, and they reared the following children: Elizabeth, m. ? Mancill; Savannah, m. ? Ramer; W.A.; W. Math; Tempie, b. 1866; George Washington, b. 1870; Jason H., b. 1879; Jessie Monroe William Austin, b. 1883; Lonnie S., b. 1888; Levi A., b. 1893; and another child. Benjamin homesteaded 161.44 acres of land in 1894 in the Antioch Township.

Second daughter, Sarah Caroline Odom, was married to Daniel Chism, and they reared the following children: Enoch, b. 1879, m. Mary Beth Moore; Isaac Harrison, b. 1882; and Donnie, b. 1884, m. Roach Aughtman.

The next daughter, Mary Jane Odom, was married to William Harrelson, and they reared the following children: Charity, b. 1861; G. W., b.&d. 1874; Luretha Estelle, b. 1877; Mary F., b. 1880; Sanford, b. 1882, m. L.L. Kirkland; and Isaac, b. 1884.

The next son, William Allen Odom, was married to Amanda Luvenia Ann Adams (1845-1869), daughter of Alfred and Sarah Adams. They had the following children: Martha Ellen, b. 1871, d. 1974; William Jesse, b. 1875, d. 1960, m. Dollie Mae Greathouse (1907-1994); Jonathan Wesley, b. 1878; S.E., b.&d. 1882; and E.F., b.&d. 1884. A William Odom homesteaded 79.86 acres of land in 1868 in the Rawls Township. In 1886, he homesteaded 154.11 acres in the same area.

The next son, Isaac Wilson Odom Jr., was married to Jane Elizabeth “Jencie” Taylor, daughter of B. Wash and Olivia (Donaldson) Taylor. They reared the following children: George Washington, b. 1879; Tempie Lavinia “Lula,” b. 1882; James H., b. 1887, d. 1951; Willie L., b. 1889; and Anne.

The next daughter, Martha Tilda Odom, was married to Thomas Raley, and they reared the following children: Roxie R., b. 1884; James O., b. 1886; Elizabeth, b. 1888, m. ? Mulkey; Zula T., b. 1890, m. ? Blackmon; and Wiley Clayton, b. 1892, m. Cordie Bell Franklin.

The youngest child by Isaac and Lucy, Elizabeth Lavinia Odom, married Stephen William Etheridge, and they reared the following children: Daniel Webster, b. 1882; Jasper W., b. 1884; Benjamin Franklin, b. 1886; Leeanna, b. 1889; Mary Jane, b. 1890; George Washington, b. 1897; and Bertha Aletha, b. 1899.

Isaac and Seala Odom’s oldest child, James Henry Odom, married Annie Taylor, and they had the following children: Addie O., b. 1888; Beuna Mae, b. 1890; Benjamin W., b. 1891, m. ? Worley; Columbus J., b. 1894, m. ? Taylor; and Green Daniel, b. 1896.

The next child, Francis M. G. Odom, was married to Andrew J. Etheridge, and they reared three children: Willie H., b. 1890; Lemmie G., b. 1894, m. Fannie Lou Smith; and John H., b. 1895.

The next daughter, Malissa Odom, married George Washington Taylor, and they resided in the Andalusia area. They reared the following children: Effie Leona, b. 1889, d. 1974, m. William Thomas Jackson; Joseph Hezekiah, b. 1891, d. 1971, m. Nora Hamm; Fannie, b. 1893, d. 1991, m. Cicero Howell; Lillie M., b. 1896, d. 1994, m. Dewey Theophilous Howell; Lula Odom “Pinkie,” b. 1899, d. 1998, m. James S. Howell; John Henry, b. 1901, d. 1999, m. Pearl Moore; Jessie, b. 1904, d. 2000, m. Leroy Hamm; Bertha M., b. 1907, d. 1996, m. Hillary Hubert Dubose (1908-1998); George Washington Jr., b. 1910, d. 1995, m. Veanie R. ?; Una Vae, b. 1913, d. 1997, m. Rufus Hill Ziglar; and Otis, b. 1918, d. 1995.

The next son, John Newman Odom, was married to Ellie Lee Smith, and they had the following children: Columbus, m. Ethel Sisson; James Jackson, m. Virginia Detwyler; John Henry, m. Thelma Smith; Eunice Rosalyn, b. 1912, m. Vaden Hughes; Myrtice Maureen, b. 1914; William Marvin, b. 1916, m. Martha Mae Stuckey; Gaston Wilson, b. 1918; Sarah Olga, b. 1923; Fannie Lee, b. 1924; and Daniel Ray, b. 1931.

Obviously this family has a large number of descendants and several have worked on their family genealogy. Many still live in the area and have a strong appreciation for their heritage.

The sources for this writing were family stories in The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama written by Bill Odom of Melbourne, Fla. ; Wyley D. Ward’s Original Land Sales and Grants in Covington County, Alabama; and interviews with two descendants, Peggy Chesteen Caylor and Brenda Bailey of Andalusia.

Anyone who might find an error in the above or who has additional genealogy on the Odom family is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357, Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL, 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.