DNA Tests

Odom / Odum DNA Project

 

As many of you may know there is a project underway started by Helen Odum Harrell 
with the aim of conducting genealogical research using the latest scientific method. This 
project is the Odom/Odum/Oldham DNA project. Since many NOA members have 
expressed an interest in joining the project. I will try to provide some information in this 
part one of two articles I plan to write on the subject.
Many members of the project have derived various degrees of results from the DNA 
testing. Members have been connected with others they never knew were researching the 
same lines. Just importantly they have found lines that they are not descended from. Just 
about all have stated they had hit the proverbial brick wall in their research. Several have 
furthered their ancestry by generations.
“Just over a year ago, I had heard of family DNA projects, but had no idea what was 
involved. I simply knew that I wanted desperately to gain some info about my ancestor 
that was not based on family lore and tradition — I had tried for years to prove the 
tradition, but could not document what I had heard.” Helen Odum Harrell, based on her 
extensive research that just about every member of the NOA has benefited from, found 
she was ‘not even remotely related’ to certain lineages but instead was connected to 
another. This narrowing down of her target area allows her to refocus her efforts in a new 
better defined direction. 
Jimmy Ray has proven through DNA testing his connection with two others and the three 
now are hiring a researcher to assist in establishing the links through the traditional paper 
trail.
I was fortunate enough to have a perfect match with someone I did not know who had a 
documented lineage far beyond my great-grandfather where I had ran into the wall. 
Further testing has indicated that we share a common ancestor before we connect with 
Helen’s line. 
And as one member stated, “The information I obtained through the DNA project verified 
the information that I had gathered. Now, I can move forward with confidence that I 
have been on "the right track" in my research”.
“My cousin's DNA was evidence my paper evidence was pointing to the right Odom 
clan.”
Others have become part of a group of independent lineages that we as of now have not 
connected to the four distinct lines. As more people join the project, more connections 
with be found and other distinct groups of ODOM/ODUM/OLDHAM will be delineated.
 Currently, the Odom DNA project has 40/120 total participants. Testing results have been 
produced for 85. The remains six should have their results posted shortly. These 34 have resulted in the defining of four distinct groups with 14 sub-groups.