Family Papers : 1766-1919.

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LFR .O3F3P3
Category: Family
Creator: Odell, Jonathan, 1737-1818.
Description: 2 microfilm textual records () ; 35 mm
            Jonathan Odell was descended from a Massachusetts family who had come to America circa 1635. He attended the College of New Jersey (Princeton University) from which he received an AM degree (Master of Arts), and later studied medicine before serving in a medical capacity with the British forces in the West Indies.    Following a period of time in London, he decided to take holy orders and was ordained a deacon in 1766 and a priest in 1767 by the Bishop of London. He was then licensed by the Bishop as a missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and inducted by Governor William Franklin into the pastorate of St. Ann's (later St. Mary's) Church, Burlington, New Jersey, in July of 1767.

Because of his Loyalist sentiments, which he made no attempt to hide, he was at first restricted in his movements by being put on parole and limited to the east side of the Delaware River within a circle of eight miles from the Burlington court house. Later, he was hunted by the rebels, but managed to flee to the British lines in New York. Confiscation of his property soon followed, and in order to support himself, he supplemented his SPG allowance with the pay from his appointment as Chaplain of the Pennsylvania Loyalists, and later the King's American Dragoons. While in New York he became involved, quite by chance, as a confidential agent in the Arnold-Andre affair. He excelled as a satirist through compositions in both prose and verse, satire being one of the principal literary weapons on both sides of the conflict. Odell excelled above all others in this medium as he attacked the Whig leaders with his pen.

With the end of the Revolution, the exodus of thousands of Loyalist refugees from New York began. They were bound for the western part of Nova Scotia, and in 1784 this territory became the new colony of New Brunswick. Odell came to New Brunswick in November of 1784, having been appointed provincial secretary, registrar and clerk of the council in the new administration of Lieutenant Governor Thomas Carleton. He settled in the capital named Frederickstown (Fredericton) in honour of a son of King George III, and remained there for the rest of his life. Very quickly he obtained grants of land for a glebe, and for the land on which Christ Church would be built. In addition, he secured extensive personal holdings for his family.

With his retirement in 1812, his son, William Franklin Odell (1774-1844) succeeded to the office of provincial secretary, and father and son held that office for a period of 60 years. Until the end of his life he continued to write both prose and verse for public occasions and as personal tributes.

            The Odell Family Papers relate mainly to Jonathan Odell and to his son, William Franklin Odell. Much of the material pertains to property in Fredericton, for example, the Academy Reserve Lands, Carleton Farm (Rookwood) and the Hermitage, and includes an extensive collection of surveyors' plans. Jonathan Odell's papers include correspondence, business and personal; documents and deeds; sermons, poetry; items relating to his life in New England, and to early politics and events in Fredericton and the province. William Franklin Odell's papers consist of deeds; personal correspondence; appointments; boundary survey notes taken in Maine in 1820; correspondence relating to office of provincial secretary.

Some of the main subject matters include religion, literature, New Brunswick government and public servants, local history and settlement - New Brunswick, international relations - New Brunswick and Maine, higher education, and family history or genealogy. Arrangement and Detailed Content Reel 1 Deed, town lots, plan of Fredericton, 1788. Deed and plan of the Hanwell Settlement, 1826. Grants to Isaac Hedden. Plans of Saint Mary’s Parish, 1790, and Phillis’s Creek (later Hermitage), 1799. Correspondence and documents. Jonathan Odell’s heirs, 1822-1825. Deeds and receipts of Carleton Farm (Rookwood), 1824-1825: deed, Carleton heirs to Shore properties in Fredericton, 12 August 1824; deed, Shore to Odell of Rookwood property, Fredericton, 12 August 1824; deed, College of New Brunswick of College lands in Fredericton in pursuance of College Tenant Bill, 30 November 1825; receipt of sums paid by W.F. Odell to redeem College lands; deed, E.C. Strode et al. to Odell, part of Rookwood, Fredericton, 9 March 1847; deed, King’s College to Odell, part of Rookwood, Fredericton, 24 July 1848; deed, Estey et al. to Odell, part of Rookwood, Fredericton, 9 November 1848; deed, Botsford et al. to Odell, part of Rookwood, Fredericton, 6 May 1862. Documents concerning College (now called the University of New Brunswick) lands and tenants, 1820. Surveyors’ notebook, 1791-1794: Academy lands, Fredericton, 18 September 1792; Bell & Co. on Nashwaak; Shadrach Stephen, 22 Aug. 1792; Thos. [Weade’s] Clearing, 22 Aug. 1792; Jacob [Horn], 1794; Jacob [Knox]; Capt. Clowes & Samuel Nevers; Nathaniel Adams and Robt. Bates, 28 May 1794; W. Bates & Peter Connors; David Fanning & Jas. Brittain; David Fanning & Jas. Clark, 29 May, 1794; David Fanning & Danl. Urquhart; David Fanning & John Jarvis; Jas. Britain & Wm. Harding; G. Sproule & Allen Price; Capt. Swift; Pond & Weade, 20 March 1794; Gilmore, 22 March 1794; Anderson’s grant; Wm. Bean; Gov. Carleton’s clearing, 29 April 1793; Chas. Morris, Jr., 25 May 1791; S.W. Branch of Miramichi. Probate, William H. Odell, 1887. Plans showing subdivisions of Odell property, Fredericton, 1892-1919. Rookwood Cottage Plans on Odell property, Fredericton. Correspondence, Genealogy, Miscellaneous Literary Correspondence, and Documents, 1776-1825. A few items include: letter to Jonathan Odell from Benjamin Moore, rector of Trinity Church, New York, 15 November 1784; letter from C.C. Moore, son of Benjamin, and author of, A Visit from St. Nicholas, 12 May 1810; poem by C.C. Moore; manuscript copy of, A Visit from St. Nicholas; letter from G.S. Smyth, 1816, to Jonathan Odell, thanking him for, elegant verses, sent in condolence. Jonathan Odell, poetry, 1759-1818. (5 notebooks). Some contain recipes and remedies. Correspondence, 1791-1796, of Jonathan Bliss, Ward Chipman, Gabriel Ludlow and others, regarding real estate, including Hayte vs. Lyman and General Benedict Arnold. Sermons preached by Odell (3 sections), 1767-1810. Reel 2 Sermons, continued. Odell Estate; miscellaneous letters; notebook with sonnets, recipes, etc. Index of material on Odell in History of the Church in Burlington by G.M. Hill. Correspondence with Jonathan Bliss and S.S. Blowers, 1808-1816. Odell Estate; Appointments, 1766-1784; will, 1814; appointment as curate, 21 Dec. 1766; appointment as priest, 4 Jan. 1767; acknowledgement, 18 Jan. 1767; appointment to church in New Jersey, 18 Jan. 1767; incorporation of the Society for the Relief of Widows and Orphans of Clergymen, 29 March 1769; Indictment for high treason of Odell, 3 Nov. 1778; appointment as chaplain, 1778; address by Rev. Jonathan Odell to the King’s American Dragoons, 1782; appointment as secretary, etc. of New Brunswick, 1784. Genealogical material. Correspondence, addresses, accounts with Governor Carleton, 1810-1811, 1813; letters re family genealogy, 1784; letter from Mrs. Parr to Odell, 9 Oct. 1785; letter from Odell to Chipman re duties, etc., 26 March 1801; invoice of goods, 15 April 1801; accounts with Gov. Carleton, 1810-1811; miscellaneous letters; letters re son taking over post, 1811; accounts with Gov. Carleton, 1813; miscellaneous letters; funeral notice, 27 Nov. 1818; probate of will, Jonathan Odell, 1814; copy of tablet over grave; genealogical material; book plates. William F. Odell. Appointments, 1804-1841; appointment as Clerk of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, 3 Nov. 1804; appointment as Clerk of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, 30 June 1809; authorization to administer oaths, New Brunswick, 6 April 1814; appointment as Secretary & Registrar of Deeds, New Brunswick, 31 March 1815; authorization to administer oaths, 27 November 1824; appointment as Secretary and Register of Records, New Brunswick, 22 Nov. 1838; authorization to administer oaths, New Brunswick, 27 June 1837; authorization to administer oaths, New Brunswick, 12 May 1841. William F. Odell. Letters from and to W.F. Odell, chronologically arranged, 1817-1844; boundary Disputes, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 21, 30, 31, 16; Bainbridge & Brown, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17; J. Bliss 8, 9, 17, 23; appointments 8, 9; Rev. J. Odell estate, 10; College Bill Petition, 11; pension and retirement, W.F. Odell, 15, 24, 25, 26; trip to Quebec, 1822 or 1824; lease of stone quarry, 27; James Scott, 28, 29; obituary, W.F. Odell, 32, 33; returns of office, 34, 35; letter, 1843, Col. Escourt, Woodstock, re boundary line, 36. William F. Odell. Appointments, 1793-1802; appointment as Clerk of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, 16 March 1793; appointment as Clerk of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, 19 July, 1796; appointment as Clerk of the Council, New Brunswick, 2 February, 1802; appointment as Notary Public, 20 February, 1802.
Originals: The original records are held by the New Brunswick Museum Archives.
Archival Ref. No.:


Finding Aids:

Online: New Brunswick Museum Archives catalogue has more detail on each of the documents in the larger collection available there, listed under the title, Odell Family Collection.

A brief inventory description, which contains incorrect inclusive dates for the Papers, is found at the beginning of each reel and as a PDF in the electronic finding aid section.

A detailed table of contents of the Odell Family Papers is available in print. This finding aid, which was prepared by the staff of the New Brunswick Museum Archives, is a work in progress. The Archives has graciously provided the latest edition (1998) of the finding aid so it can be used in conjunction with the Papers.

Electronic Finding Aid Record: Shelf-List_Jonathan-Odell-Family_Papers.pdf
Notes: As the finding aid to the Odell Family Papers was prepared many years after the Papers were microfilmed, the arrangement of the Papers, as represented in the New Brunswick Museum finding aid, may be somewhat different from the arrangement of the material in the microfilm.

Another series of Odell Papers is available in the Loyalist Collection and is shelved at MIC-Loyalist FC LFR .O3J6P3.

Part Of: The Odell Family Papers on microfilm in the Loyalist Collection form part of the Odell Family Collection in the New Brunswick Museum Archives. Reference for the whole collection is NBM S 29B - S 29C
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