Oddenino Family History
Alia Oddenino

Alia, or "Ma," or "Granny" as she was more commonly known, was born on October 28, 1895 in Radiant, Madison County, Virginia.  Her parents were Shelton Lee Bazzle and Lucy Ellen Seal.   Alia married John Francis Oddenino on December 2, 1916. 

Her husband John F. Oddenino was the son of Luigi (Louis) Oddenino and grandson of Joseph Oddenino.   Alia has deep roots in Madison County, Virginia and many ties to the Germanna immigrants that came to Virginia in the early 1700s. She passed away at the family home in Aroda on January 25, 1983 at the age of 87.

Alia and John lived together as husband and wife on the farm they bought from John's father Louis Oddenino in Aroda where they raised twelve children.

Girls standing: Ann, Jane, Nancy, Evelyn, Mary Alice and Teresa

Boys kneeling: Louis, Thomas, Charles, Al, John & David

Here is another photo of the whole family:

Top Row: Thomas, Louis, John, David, Charles & Al

Middle Row: Teresa, Evelyn, Jane, Ann, Mary Alice & Nancy

Seated: John Francis Oddenino & Alia Kile Bazzle Oddenino

Here is a four generation photo taken in 1944

From the left is Teresa Oddenino Eaheart holding her daughter Joan Eaheart (now Morse), Lucy Ellen Seal Bazzle (mother of Alia), Alia Kile Bazzle Oddenino, and in front of Alia is her youngest daughter Nancy Oddenino:

The oldest known photograph we have of Granny is this photo taken in 1896 of Alia as a baby, her mother Lucy Ellen Seal Bazzle and her sister Nannie. Alia is the one on her mother's left side:

Here is a school picture taken in 1909 or 1910  which is a great look back in time.  The old school house is a classic and the names of the children represent a great cross-section of Madison County history.   Alia is the third girl from the right in the back row:

Another great photo is this one of  three of Alia's children when they were very young.  The photo is estimated from approximately 1924 and was provided by Barbara Eaheart Merical, one of Alia's many grandchildren:
Thomas Oddenino, Teresa Oddenino (Eaheart) and Louis Oddenino

Here is a photo of Granny with her granddaughter, Jane Carolyn Oddenino, taken in 1948 or 1949:

Granny knitting with her dolls:
Granny and her grandson Michael L. Oddenino (when I had hair):

Granny loved to be outdoors. Her garden and plants were always well attended. According to her daughter Evelyn Oddenino, Alia would leave the housework primarily to the kids as she was so busy outside. Here is a photo of Alia outside where she loved to be:

I remember visiting Granny about a week before she died. I was struck at the time by how sharp her mind was as age didn't seem to affect her mental faculties at all. Physically it was another story.

She told me that she couldn't do the things she loved to do outside in her garden and the like. Her 87 year old legs were not allowing her the mobility that she craved.

She was totally at peace and I will always remember her looking at me and saying, "Mikie (as she never ceased calling me), I'm ready to go." One week later she passed quietly in her sleep. No fear, no worry, no regrets. She was quite the lady.

On February 17, 1977, I was able to sit down with Granny and record some of her memories. Modern technology allows me to convert that recording to an MP3 format and allow you to listen to Granny's voice and thoughts:

Granny Speaks

Here is the second part of that interview:

Granny Speaks II

Alia's funeral card from Preddy Funeral Home in Orange, Virginia:

Alia's family tree is firmly planted in Madison County, Virginia.  The Bazzle family came to Madison County from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where there was a significant German immigrant population (not part of the Germanna immigrants) in the early days of the United States. 

The Utz , Carpenter, Wayman, Weaver, Kaifer, and Christler families all claim strong connections to the Germanna immigrants that ultimately settled in Madison County, Virginia.

On Alia's mother's side we also find a connection with roots back to the British Isles.  Alia's 2X great-grandmother Mary JACKSON married a James REDDISH in approximately December of 1799. 

Below is an interesting writing wherein Mary's parents John and Margret JACKSON give written permission for James to marry their daughter Mary.


On the UTZ family line we again look to John Blankenbaker's excellent research on the Germanna immigrants:


The closing of the last note mentioned that three-quarters of the Garr/Gaars were descendants of Anna Barbara Schön. A quick survey of the Germanna families discloses at least the following families can also trace some lines back to her.

All of the Blankenbakers. (There was a son Henry Schlucter of Anna Barbara, but whether he left descendants is unknown.) All of the Fleshmans. All of the Fishers. Three quarters of the Garrs. Because so many of the Finks family married Garrs, Fishers and Blankenbakers, the Finks family has a good number of Schön descendants. Anyone who has a Michael Kaifer ancestor is a descendant of Anna Barbara. All of the Thomases are descendants. This means that all of the John Michael Smith, Jr., descendants are included also. Many, maybe over half, of the Barlow descendants are Schön descendants.

Hans Jacob Broyles married Mary Catherine Fleshman.
John Clore marrried Dorothy Kaifer.
Adam Cook married Barbara Fleshman.
Nicholas Crigler married Margaret Kaifer.
Peter Fleshman probably married Barbara Tanner.
Jacob Holtzclaw, the son of the immigrant, married Susannah Thomas.

Since the immigrant Railsback married Elizabeth Thomas, all of the Railsbacks are included.
Christian (or Christopher) Reiner married Elizabeth Fleshman.
PERHAPS Mary Tanner married John Thomas.
At least two-thirds of the Utz family married Schön descendants and the other third is an unknown.
The Waylands are extremely well represented. Two lines of the Peter Weaver family come down through Anna Barbara. The line of John Zimmerman includes Ursula Blankenbaker.

These ties are in the early generations. In the later generations there were many ties to other families. Still, the descendants tended to hang together and to remember their common ancestry. We will take a look shortly at an example.


In the last note, we saw how Anna Barbara Schön, through her three husbands, tied together many of the Germanna families. This association among the families continued for many years. Today, I am going to jump forward to Easter Sunday in 1776 when the Lutheran Church (known now as Hebron) recorded a list of people taking communion. Many of us are familiar with passing of the wine and bread among the congregation. In 1776 at Hebron, the people filed out of the pews up to the altar (communion bar?) where they partook of the communion. In the process, a writer wrote down the names. Because they went up in an orderly way, we have a picture of the seating pattern. That is, we can see who was sitting next to whom. Let's see who was sitting in the front pews.

First was Adam Weyland and his wife, Maria. Adam was in the group because his first wife was Elizabeth Blankenbaker, the daughter of Balthasar Blankenbaker. She had died and he married Mary Finks. But he was still a member of the group. Elizabeth was a granddaughter of Anna Barbara.

The next couple was a grandson of Anna Barbara, Christopher Blankenbucher, and his wife, Christina Finks.

Next was Adam Fischer and his wife, Elisabeth Garr. His father, Lewis Fisher, had married a granddaughter of Anna Barbara, another Anna Barbara, the daughter of Balthasar Blankenbaker. Elizabeth Garr was also a descendant of Anna Barbara Schön since her mother was Elizabeth Kaifer and her grandmother was Anna Maria Blankenbaker. So Elizabeth was a greatgranddaughter of Anna Barbara.

Next was Johannes Weyland, Sr. and his wife, Rosina Willheit. John was the son of Adam, above, by his wife, Elizabeth Blankenbaker. Therefore he was a greatgrandson of Anna Barbara. Rosina went along for the ride as she was the daughter of John Willheit and Waldburga Weaver.

The next couple was John Flieschmann and his wife Elisabeth. Again, both were descendants of Anna Barbara. John was a grandson and Elizabeth was a granddaughter through John Nicholas Blankenbaker.

Following them in the communion line were Michael Blankenbucher, a son of John Nicholas Blankenbaker and therefore a brother to Elizabeth, preceeding. Michael's wife was the daughter of the immigrant, Andrew Garr.

Michael's brother, Zacharias (he was born in Germany) with his wife, Els, or Alcy, were the next couple. Zacharias was a grandson of Anna Barbara. Els maiden name is not known definitely, but there is hint that she may have been the widow Finks, perhaps of a brother of the immigrant, Mark Finks, Sr.

Then came George Utz, Sr., and his wife, Mary Kaifer, who was a granddaughter of Anna Barbara through Anna Maria Blankenbaker.

The next couple were not descendants though they were the parents of Rosina Willheit, above, married to a descendant. The couple was John Willheit and Waldburga Weaver.

By now, we have gone through 18 people or about three pews worth.

This sort of analysis is fun just for the insight it gives into our ancestors and, on occasion, one can draw conclusions. In the front of the church, most often, people sat with their relatives, not with friends. But to them, relatives were friends. After marriage, you became one of your spouse's extended family and were treated as such.

(I used the spelling in the church register to introduce people above.)