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 Donald, USA
Clan Donnachaidh Society
Clan Dunbar, Inc.
Clan Fergusson of North America
Clan Forrester Society, Inc.
The Clan Henderson in the US and Canada
The Innes Clan Society
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 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
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
The Odom Library is contributing
material from its growing genealogical archive, for publication in
quarter, the journal will feature extracts from the collection, giving
readers a taste of Scottish literature of old.