I posted the following on the National Odom Association web forum last year but thus far have received no replies. Therefore I am posting it on several related Genforum sites including the Oden site for comment:
"I am a participant in the Odom DNA study and find myself, along with four others, in a very distinct subgroup compared to the remaining 60 participants. As I am a proven descendent of William Odeon I whose will was proven in Norfolk Co.,VA in 1662, through his son William II, this would seem to place the individuals who claim descent from Richard Odeon, the younger son of William I, in a real quandry. I would like to offer a possible explanation in this issue.
Those of you who claim descent from Richard usually cite the 1728/29 will in Chowan County, NC which lists Richard Odeon/Odom/Odium with a wife Anne and children (sons)Richard, John,Jacob,Aaron,Abraham (daughters)Ann,Sarah,Elizabeth,Jane and granddaughter Ann Vann.
Numerous genealogies trace back to this Richard Odeon. Even Mrs. Hollowell's listings wherein she had the original wills of William Odeon and my line state the same. However, I maintain that there are some basic incongruities in this assumption.
First, there were four adult Richard Odeons/Odoms living concurrently prior to 1708 in the rivers of "Olde Albemarle" or early North Carolina. Two were fathers named Richard and two were sons of these fathers and all were adults.
Secondly, the often cited and farfetched age figures given for the 1728/1729 Richard are not believable for that time and place.
Third, and most poignant. most of the early records of lower Virginia perished in a courthouse fire in 1734 so there will never be "proof" for some of these questions.
The "other" Richard first shows up on a will proven in Bath County (later Beaufort County) NC in 1708/09. Richard Odeon also appears as Oden in the will. Bath was originally part of Pamlico Precinct and was the "newest" of the four precincts of Albemarle, being formed as a county in 1696. It was settled primarily by settlers of lower Virginia. This Richard listed a wife Elenor and sons William, Richard, John, Asa, and Charles. Charles was apparently the eldest as he received his father's plantation there in Bath county. However, William received (and this is significant) "my land in Virginia whereon I formerly lived".
The wife "Elinor Oden" was still living in 1715 as she appears on a corn tax list as "widow Oden". Her will is listed in the Will Book 2 (1712-1722) of Beaufort County although I have not actually seen it.
I submit that this may more likely be the "real" Richard, son of William I.
Let's look at the age issue. There are some incredible claims in various genealogies for the Richard of 1728/1729. Some, and there are many who slavishly copy these dates, claim he was born 1625. This would of course, place him at age 103 on his deathbed. This sort of advanced age is rare even now and in a region of rivers and swamps at that time, where malaria was rampant and the cause unknown, it is not believable. Real longevity in those regions and at the time was not usual.In fact, almost an impossibility. We know that William I's will listed Richard a minor, either age 17 or under age 17 in 1662. Therefore, he could not have been born before 1645. Even that date would make him 83 in 1728. Very unlikely.On the other hand, the Richard Odeon of Bath (Beaufort) County would have been 63 or under at the time of his death in 1708. This is more realistic and probable for the sone of William Odeon I. I would also point out the fact that this Richard named a son William whereas the 1728 Richard did not. (though an early death for a William in that family is not impossible) .
I don't expect that this will solve the quandry, especially since the early records are gone for lower Virginia and I have not spelled out all the entries that I have in the interest of brevity. But I am putting my money on the Richard of 1708 as the true son of William I.