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THE ODOM LIBRARY: MECCA FOR SCOTTISH RESEARCH

Flags of America, Georgia, and Scotland mark the entrance of the new wing housing the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library at the Moultrie/Colquitt County Library, in Moultrie, Georgia. Located in a town with a population of 15,000, the facility is quickly being recognized for its impressive genealogical collection, seminars, and the research trips it sponsors.

What makes the Odom Library so unique? A record number of Scottish clans have declared the Odom Library as the depository of their genealogical archives since the library's opening in 1990. The library was named in honor of a former member of the Moultrie/Colquitt County Library's board of directors, Ellen Ashby Payne Odom. Mrs. Odom, whose lifelong interest in genealogy was encouraged by her parents, was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, The United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Huguenot Society. When Ellen Odom died in 1987, it was revealed that her will directed that the proceeds from the sale of her estate be used to build a genealogical library in Moultrie. Proceeds from the estate sale, nearing one million dollars, were matched with state funds to construct the Ellen Payne Odom Library wing at the Moultrie/Colquitt County Library. Investments were made to earn operating expenses and for the purchase of the Rev. Emmet Lucas Collection.

Elizabeth Palmer Gay played a pivotal role in establishing the Odom Library as a center for Scottish research when she learned Clan Donald, USA, of which Mrs. Odom had been a member, decided to move its genealogical collection from Winthrop College Archives, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, to another facility. After two years of negotiations and visits by Clan Donald officials, the clan archives was relocated to the Odom Library. Soon after, other Scottish clans began naming Odom as the depository of their archives. The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library is now the archival and genealogical repository for the following:

The Clan Anderson Society
Clan Armstrong Society
Bell Family Association
The Clan Blair Society
Clan Campbell
Clan Donald, USA
Clan Donnachaidh Society
Clan Dunbar, Inc.
Clan Farquharson
Clan Fergusson of North America
Clan Forrester Society, Inc.
The Clan Henderson in the US and Canada
Clan Hume
The Innes Clan Society
Clan Johnston/e
The American Clan Lesley Society
Clan Little Society in the US
The Clan MacAlister Society
The Clan McDougall Society of the US and Canada
Clan McDuff Society of America, Inc.
Clan McFarlane Society
Clan McKinnon Society of North America, Inc.
The Clan McLaren Society
Clan McLeod Society of USA, Inc.
Clan Napier
Clan Ramsay of North America
Clan Ross Association of the US and Canada
The Clan Stewart Society in America

Space limits the listing of all clans, which now number 115! Other clans and associations are expected to announce removal of their archives to Odom soon. Researchers interested in more information about these collections may contact Beth Gay, c/o Ellen Payne Odom Library, P.O. Box 2828. An inquiry should be as specific as possible about the ancestor being researched. Beth Gay, an award-winning journalist, is editor of the Odom Library's bimonthly newspaper, FAMILY TREE. Free subscriptions are offered, but donations to cover postal charges would be appreciated. To request a free subscription, write to the library at the above address.

The Odom Library also houses nearly 85,000 family histories and extensive collections relating to Georgia, the Confederacy, and American Indians (particularly Cherokee and Creek). The Lucas Collection, which provides basic research references for 32 states, is helpful to genealogists because of its special emphasis on the east coast.


The Odom Library is located at 204 Fifth Street, S.E., Moultrie, GA 31768; telephone (229) 985-6540. The wing is open during regular hours of the Moultrie/Colquitt County Library, Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Tuesday 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.


The Odom Library is contributing material from its growing genealogical archive, for publication in ATAVUS.  Each quarter, the journal will feature extracts from the collection, giving readers a taste of Scottish literature of old.

Subscribe to ATAVUS


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