The Odell Family


Oct 15, 2004
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I am a child of adoption who is researching my biological father's family, the Odells, (thanks to a typo at Ellis Island, the name is incorrectly spelled "O'Dell" here in the states), and it was suggested I address my questions to this forum regarding my family's cabin aboard from South Hampton to Queenstown.

I am interested in any new info that I can glean the wealth of knowledge here.
 
Dec 31, 2005
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I have a picture of a boy on a deck, im not sure if it's a boy or a man,his name is Jan Odell, or so the picture's name is.
I haven't seen his name before, and I don't seem to find anything about him.
Has anyone heard or read about him?
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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The boy spinning the top was Douglas Spedden.

Jack Odell is the lad with the camera in a photo that I recall. I think it's in Titanic: An Illustrated History. He's also on page 99 of Father Browne's Titanic Album.
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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Here's a query. While googling for photos of Jack Odell, I found plenty of an older man of the same name. He was the technical expert behind Matchbox toy cars. Could he be the the lad from Titanic? His age would be about right for him to be an expert in making model cars in the 1950s.

I do know Odell lived to a great age but I don't have details.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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The Jack Odell connected with Matchbox Toys (and the founder in the 1980s of his own company Lledo Toys) was certainly active within the last couple of years, and not looking like the oldest man in the world! :) Jack Odell the toymaker was in fact born in 1920.
 
Apr 22, 2007
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Hi, I just checked my copy of 'The Last Days of Titanic' which has the Odell photos and photo credit is only given to "The Father Browne SJ Collection." Perhaps check with the Irish Jesuits?

HTH,
Kathleen
 
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Zack Wyatt

Guest
Jack Dudley Odell looks cute in the picture of him and his family on the boat deck!
 
B

Brian O'Dell

Guest
I am trying to dig into my family's past and find out about the Odell family. My name is actually John Atkinson, yet my original surname was Odell but after my mother divorced her old husband and remarried into the Atkinson family, my name was changed to Atkinson.

I know when the Odell's arrived at Ellis Island, there was a mix up and the name was spelt O'Dell instead of the right way.

I was told about Lily Odell who was a wife of a fish merchant from London. Her brothers Richard and Stanley accompanied her on the voyage as well as her sister-in-law, Kate. Jack Odell told relatively little about the voyage as he could not remember but I would love to know more about the family and if anyone knows which cabin they occupied.

Thanks!
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 12, 1999
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I would go through the back issues of THS and I believe there is a story on them

[Moderator's note: This message and the one above it, originally a separate thread, have been moved to this pre-existing thread about the Odells. MAB]
 
Dec 29, 2006
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I have been talking to a relative of the Odells, who is very interested in her family history. She says that the family were related to the Mays by marriage - hence the presence of Stanley May and Richard May as travelling companions. There could also be a link to the Conynghams (spellings vary), who were from Donegal; all of these people were apparently travelling on the same ticket. It is believed that most branches of these inter-related families were Protestants, and it is unlikely that they would have adopted the O’dell spelling. I can probably find out much more about their backgrounds.
 
Dec 29, 2006
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Witney
Just a thought, but "the the Odells who arrived at Ellis Island", cannot have been the Odells who got off the Titanic at Queenstown, unless they subsequently travelled to America on another vessel (which I think is unlikely). In any case, would First Class passengers have been sent to Ellis Island? I had always thought that they were, in some way, "excused" - unless there was an immigration problem, as happened in the case of the music hall/vaudville star Marie Lloyd, whose act was considered to be too immoral for American audiences.
 
Jun 16, 2003
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Hello folks - I am writing an account of some of the children on board the Titanic. May I enquire if anyone knows if Jack Odell ever wrote some memories of his cross channel voyage?
 

Encyclopedia Titanica

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Sep 1, 1996
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According to someone who claimed to be a family member, Lily Odell kept notes on the voyage in a small notebook. In it she wrote that her cabin was panelled in brown wood and her brothers' cabin was panelled in oak and white wood with a dado. There was "tilting[?] drinks" at lunch, dinner and breakfast on both days.

Lily was a light sleeper and recorded that her cabin rattled and vibrated a lot and she could not sleep for the tinkling of the glasses and tumblers on the washstand.

"Without the comfortable sheets, I would [?not] sleep properly."
Lily left behind in her Titanic cabin a small box of hatpins in the cupboard under the washstand and her book "The Hollow Needle".

Her final notes state that the journey was

"...adequate, but I prefer smaller vessels. Far too tiring to trail around."
After disembarking from the Titanic on 11 April, the group stayed overnight in Cork and then obtained a hire car from Johnson & Perrott to continue their Irish holiday.

"Have the hire from J&P and had a pleasant stay in Cork." — 12 April 1912

This contributor was outed for posting pictures he said were by Jack Odell but were in fact photoshopped interiors, so it could well be these quotes are all made up too. But I put them here for completeness rather than add them to the bio while there is a question mark over their authenticity.
 

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