Oddenino Family History
Delph & Razor

Francis Lawrence Louis Oddenino's wife was Mary Elizabeth Delph who was born on April 2, 1860 in Madison County, Virginia.  

Front Row: Louis Oddenino and wife Mary Elizabeth Delph Oddenino

Second Row: Charles Oddenino, John Oddenino & Mary Oddenino

Louis and Mary lost two children in their infancy, a daughter Rosa who died of a summer virus in 1891 and a boy, Felix, who died in 1894 of whooping cough.

They lost a third child as an adult.  The reason that Lawrence Oddenino is not in the above photo and yet he is in the earlier photo that is on the page featuring Mary Delph's husband, Louis Oddenino, is that Lawrence died in a tragic auto accident in 1913. 

The newspaper account of the accident is luridly graphic and yet almost quaint, but for the subject matter.

Lawrence was reported to be a very congenial young man who was well-liked by his contemporaries.  Here is a postcard he sent to his sister Mary and a photo of young Lawrence.

Some old photos of Mary Elizabeth Delph Oddenino:
Here is a photo of Mary and her husband, Louis, taken not long before she died:

She died on the 26th of March 1928 and is buried at the home site in Aroda, Virginia.  

She is remembered by the older grandchildren as a dainty woman with very blue eyes and a warm face.


Mary Delph's father was Robert Delph who himself was born in Madison County, Virginia in 1821.  The Delph family reaches back to some of the original German settlers who came to Virginia. 

Robert Delph's parents were George Delph and Peggy Razor.  Both the Delph and Razor families were part of the Germanna community in Madison County.  The Delph family is part of the German settlers that came to Virginia as part of the Germanna community that was involved with Virginia's Royal Lt. Governor, Alexander Spotswood

The Germanna community in Madison County, Virginia were primarily Lutherans.   The Hebron Lutheran Church was their primary place of worship.   Ironically, it was Joseph Oddenino who painted the interior of the Church that the Delph family and Razor family worshipped in and Mary Elizabeth Delph then marries Joseph's son Francis Lawrence Louis Oddenino who came to Virginia to be with his father.  

The Germanna community enjoys a rich history and researcher par excellence, John Blankenbaker, shares his research on the German families' history both in the new world and the old world.

Mary Delph is remembered in the paver pictured below which can be found at the Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies of Virginia Visitor Center:

Many years ago when I first started doing some genealogy work, I wrote to the Germanna Foundation to request information on the Delph family. A short time later, I received in the mail, in a large manilla envelope, a number of typewritten pages on the Delph family by B.C. Holtzclaw. At the time, I didn't realize how fortunate I was. Click on this link to view this document in PDF format on the Delph Family.

Mary Elizabeth Delph Oddenino's parents, Robert Delph and Adeline Kennon were married on August 19, 1855 in Madison County, Virginia. Here are some court documents related to their marriage:

Here is a pedigree chart for Mary Elizabeth Delph Oddenino:


Thanks to Suzanne C. Matson for finding this record of a Virginia Chancery lawsuit:


Mary Delph's father, Robert Delph, counts many Germanna colonists in his family tree. In the direct line of ancestors we find Michael Cook (Koch), one of the early German immigrants to Virginia.  For more detail on the Cook family, I am indebted to John Blankenbaker (a Germanna cousin and foremost authority on the Germanna immigrants) for the following information on Michael Cook.

John Blankenbaker is also the authority on the RAZOR family which is closely tied by marriage to the DELPH family and shares the COOK connection as well.

From John Blankenbaker's Germanna Notes on the RAZOR family:

Nr. 215:

In note 204, I mentioned the Garr Genealogy, probably the earliest major Germanna genealogy to be published. In the letters and statements written at the time of the Garr family's emigration, the pastor of Andreas Gar mentioned that three hundred people were leaving. The evidence generally shows that such groups tended to travel together. It would be usual for them, or a large part of them, to have used the same ship. Since we know the ship that the Garrs used, it would seem that we should read the passenger list with an eye to discovering whether other passengers turn up in the Germanna community as Andreas Gar did.

So this past weekend I scanned the passenger list for the ship Loyal Judith which arrived at Philadelphia on 25 Sep 1732. Several names certainly caused me to pause, but the most striking names on the list were Hans Georg Riser and Georg Adam Riser. This sent me to Beyond Germanna, vol. 3, no. 4, where Gene Dear has an article on the George Razor Family.

Gene identifies the originator of the family as George Adam Raüser who came to America from Germany on the ship Mary and Sarah, arriving in Philadelphia on 26 Oct 1754. Consulting Rupp's "Thirty Thousand Names of Immigrants", one can confirm there was indeed a Georg Adam Käiser. That this is a misreading of Raüser is likely when one considers the similarities in the German script between the letters K and R. The K is written with a "knapsack" on its back which looks like the loop of the R. Incidentally, this same ship which brought Georg Adam Käiser also brought Georg Lud. Nonnenmacher, another Germanna name.

Georg Raüser did not move immediately to the Germanna region but lived for a while in Sussex Co., New Jersey. Twenty years after his arrival in America, he bought land in the Germanna community.

I would consider it extremely likely that the Hans Georg Riser and Georg Adam Riser who came on the same ship with the Gaars to be related to the later Georg Adam Käiser/Räiser of the later ship. If I were wanting to research the origins of the Razor/Racer family, I think I would start with the communities in the area where the Gaars originated. We know hundreds of people left with the Gaars and shipmates had often been neighbors. This also furnishes a motivation for the George Adam Raüser who bought land in Culpeper Co., VA, to have moved to Virginia from New Jersey. He probably had friends or relatives there. Also, if I were searching the German records, I would keep a second eye open for Nonnenmachers.

Both the Gaar and Garr spellings appear in America. If I have not used one or the other consistently, it is because I don't want anyone to think that I am showing favoritism. The Gaars/Garrs emphasized in their book that there was no correct spelling of a name. Any way that you choose to spell your name is right.

Nr. 220:

George Razor was introduced here a few notes ago. He arrived on the ship Mary and Sarah in Philadelphia on October 26, 1754, from Amsterdam via Portsmouth, England. No family was apparently with him and, in fact, he married Margaretha Butlinger 6 May 1755 at St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Philadelphia. Witnesses to the marriage were David Dewnlow, Johan Geo. Huber, Martin Schaht, Margareth Barb. Burchard(in), Margretha Kehrer(in) and Anna Maria Reig(in). He settled in Newton township, Sussex Co., New Jersey.

On 14 May 1774, George bought 100 acres in the Robinson River area of Culpeper Co. (now Madison Co.) from Frederick and Sarah Baumgardner. The Razor/Räser family is found in the Hebron Church Register from 1776 to 1788. About 1794, George Razor, Sr., his sons, Peter and Christian, son-in-law George Swindle, several members of the Swindle family and, possibly at the same time, Aaron Clore moved to the Abbeville district of South Carolina. Family legend states that George, Sr. died during the move and was buried along the way. In South Carolina, the family consistently became Rasor whereas the family name in Virginia became Racer.

Counting George Razor, Sr. as individual number 1, then his children are 2. through 7.
Jacob (Racer) Rasor, b. ca 1756 in Sussex Co., NJ, d. ca 1824 in Madison Co., Virginia. He married first, Susanna Snyder, 6 Feb 1786, in Culpeper Co., VA. He married second Elizabeth Delph, 24 Jan 1801 in Madison Co., VA. The issue of Jacob and his first wife, Susanna, is:

Margaret Racer, b. 30 May 1788 in Culpeper Co., VA; m. George Delph, 30 Dec 1810 in Madison Co.

Jacob Racer, b. ca 1790 in Culpeper Co., married Nancy Delph 3 Oct 1816 in Madison Co.

Joseph Racer, b. ca 1792 in Culpeper Co., married Rebecca Delph 8 Feb 1816 in Madison Co. He d. 1828 in Madison Co.

Thomas Racer, b. ca 1793 in Madison Co., m. Frances Delph 17 Jan 1822 in Madison Co.

Elizabeth Racer, b. ca 1795 in Madison Co.

John Racer, b. ca 1797 in Madison Co., no further information.

The issue of Jacob, no. 2, and his second wife, Elizabeth:

Jonas Racer, b. ca 1801 in Madison Co., m. Virinda Weaver 19 Sep 1839 in Madison Co. In 1850 he was living in Jay Co., Indiana.

William Racer, b. ca 1805 in Madison Co., married Julia Snyder 6 Nov 1831 in Madison Co.

Noah Racer, b. ca 1807 in Madison Co., no further information.

Rhoda Racer, b. ca Jan 1810 in Madison Co., married John H. Snyder 24 Sep 1834 in Madison Co.

Sarah Racer, b. ca 1817 in Madison Co., moved with her brother Jonas to Indiana; she remained unmarried and was living with Jonas in 1850.

[This information on the Rasor family comes from Gene Dear.]
(to be continued)


Nr. 221:

Continuing with the Razor family,
Peter Razor, b. 10 Oct 1758 in Sussex Co., NJ, m. Frances Deer, ca Oct 1786 in Culpeper Co., VA, d. 4 Nov 1831 in Spencer Co., Indiana. Peter moved in 1808 from Abbeville Co., South Carolina to Dearborn Co., IN, where he lived until 1818, when he moved to Spencer Co. where he lived until his death. Issue of Peter and Frances:

Simeon Rasor, b. 1 Sep 1787, in Culpeper Co., VA, m. Mary A. Allensworth, 10 Nov 1814 in Dearborn Co., IN, d. 11 Oct 1864 in Spencer Co., IN.

Elizabeth Rasor, b. 10 Apr 1788 in Culpeper Co., VA, m. Samuel Hodges ca 1808 in Abbeville Co., SC; in 1850 living in Shannon Co., Missouri.

George Rasor, b. 15 Apr 1791 in Culpeper Co., VA, m. Jane Rutledge; in 1850 living in Shannon Co., MO.

John Rasor, b. 14 May 1794.

Ann Rasor, m. James Gray.

Christian Rasor, b. 14 Aug 1760 in Sussex Co., NJ, m. Sarah Sims 29 Dec 1780 in Culpeper Co., VA, d. 16 Dec 1848 in Abbeville Co., SC. In 1794 he moved with his father George and his brother Peter to South Carolina. Issue of Christian and his wife Sarah:

James Rasor, married Sally ____, d. ca Feb 1821 in Abbeville Co., SC.

Sarah Rasor, m. Ty Martin.

Nancy Rasor, m.1, James Sims, m.2 Edward Rouey.

Elizabeth Rasor, b. 23Aug 1790 in Culpeper Co., VA, m. Thomas Pharr ca 1809 in Abbeville Co., SC, d. 9 Dec 1882 in Abbeville Co., SC.

Ezekiel Rasor, b. 24 Jul 1797 in Abbeville Co., SC, m. Permelia Barmore ca 1821 in Abbeville Co., SC, d. 2 Dec 1876 in Abbeville Co., SC.

John Rasor, b. 25 Dec 1799 in Abbeville Co., SC, m. ____ ____ , d. 26 Sep 1846 in Columbia Co., Florida. He left a wife and six children.

Nr. 222:

(Continuing with the Razor family,)

Susannah Razor, b. ca 1762 in Sussex Co., NJ, married Andrew Deer ca 1779 in Culpeper Co., VA. Andrew d. in 1798 in Madison Co., VA. Susannah moved with her children to Boone Co., KY in 1811. Issue of Andrew Deer and his wife Susannah:

Andrew Deer, b. 23 Feb 1780 in Culpeper Co., m. Susannah Delph 14 Aug 1799 in Madison Co.

Susannah Deer, b. ca 1781 in Culpeper Co., m. Aaron Delph 30 Apr 1800 in Madison Co.

Frances Deer, b. 3 Dec 1782 in Culpeper Co., m. Israel Clore 17 Feb 1805 Madison Co.

Rosanna Deer, b. 31 Jul 1784 Culpeper Co., never married.

Elizabeth Deer, b. 25 Aug 1787, m. John Ford 22 Jun 1816 in Madison Co.

John Deer, b. 4 Mar 1786 in Culpeper Co., m. Margaret Clore, 28 Nov 1809 in Madison Co.

Joel Deer, b. 7 Feb 1789 in Culpeper Co., m. Sarah Garnet 15 May 1817 in Boone Co., KY.

Barbara Deer, b. 1790 in Culpeper Co., m. Christopher Wendel, 7 Mar 1837 in Boone Co., KY.

Simeon Deer, b. 30 Dec 1792 in Culpeper Co., m. Mary E. Clore, 26 Dec 1819 in Boone Co., KY.

Catherine Rasor, b. ca 1764 in Sussex Co., NJ, m. George Swindle 30 Jul 1786 Culpeper Co. In 1793 George Swindle sold his land in Madison Co. At that time his wife's name was Hannah. When George died 8 Sep 1812 in Laurens Co., SC his widow was called Hannah. The reason for the two different names is not clear [more comment will be made at the end of the series on the Rasor family]. The issue of George and his wife or wives is:

Milly Swindle, m. ____ Drummond.

Lucinda Swindle, m. ____Kendrick.

Timothy Swindle, no further information.

William Swindle, no further information.

Rebecca Swindle, no further information.

George Washington Swindle, no further information.

(to be continued)

Nr. 223:

(Continuing with the Razor family,)
George (Racer) Rasor, b. ca 1766 in Sussex Co., NJ. He first married Frances Major on 8 Feb 1789 in Culpeper Co., VA. Second, he married Mary Brookings 7 Nov 1805 in Madison Co., VA. He died ca 1842 in Madison Co.
Issue of George and his first wife, Franky:
Lucy Racer, m. John Byers 5 Mar 1810 Madison Co.

Laban Racer, m. Harriet Sims 15 Jan 1818 Madison Co.

John Racer, m. Martha Sims 10 Sep 1818 Madison Co.

George M. Racer, m. Lucy Brookings 28 Feb 1826 Madison Co.

Issue of George (#7) and his second wife, Mary:

William B. Racer. No further information.

Frances M. A. H. Racer, m. John B. Thompson, 21 Mar 1842 in Madison Co.

The information that I have presented on the Rasor family was compiled by Gene Dear and published in the vol. 3, no. 4 issue of Beyond Germanna. Gene acknowledges that a major source of information was the pension applications of Peter and Christian Razor. Information from Pauline Bunner and from the notes of B.C. Holtzclaw was also useful.
Since the time that Gene wrote the article (1991), some information on the Swindle family has come to my attention. This is courtesy of the Sutherlands, Thora and William, who wrote about the Timothy Swindle Family in Beyond Germanna, vol. 7, no. 4. There were two George Swindles in the Robinson River community, one being a nephew of the other. On 30 Jan 1786, George Swindle married Catherine Rasor and, on 21 Jan 1790, George Swindle married Hannah Cornelius. It is believed that the marriage to Catherine was by the nephew, the son of Michael Swindle. Thus the family of Catherine (#6) here should be examined carefully.

The geographical distribution of the family in the first few generations is interesting and typical of many early families. The founder, George Razor, was born in Germany, came to America via Philadelphia where he married, settled first in New Jersey, moved to Virginia, and finally was in the process of moving to South Carolina when he died. It is impossible to know all of his motivations for the moves. I speculated earlier that the Raiser family may have known or been connected to the Gaar/Garr family.

The children of George moved about in several directions. Jacob seems to have stayed in Virginia. Peter moved to Indiana and his children were to be found in South Carolina, Indiana, and Missouri. Christian moved to South Carolina and one of his sons died in Florida. Susanna took the initiative and moved to Boone Co., Kentucky at an early date. Until Catherine's husband is clarified, it is not clear where she lived. George and his children seem to have remained in Virginia.

Based on the similar names among immigrants, there may be related branches of the family to the Germanna branch.

Nr. 1203:

I continue with some possible interactions which might have had an influence on how people relocated. According to the research of Gene Dear, George Adam Raüser came to America on the ship Mary and Sarah, which arrived at Philadelphia on 26 Oct 1754. There was another individual on this same ship who also came to the Robinson River area of Virginia. This was George Ludwig Nonnenmacher. Neither of these men came directly to Virginia. George Adam Rieser married Margaretha Butlinger in Philadelphia on 6 May 1755 (at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church). He then settled in Newton township, Sussex Co., New Jersey.

Apparently several years later he moved to Virginia to judge by his first land purchase of 100 acres from Frederick and Sarah Baumgardner in 1774. The family appears in the German Lutheran Church (Hebron) records from 1776 on. (I have been transcribing the communions lists and I have never seen a five or six letter name spelled so many different ways.) The name tended to become Rasor in South Carolina and Racer in Virginia. Most commonly it is a variation of Risser or Reaser.

Is it just a coincidence that the Nonnenmachers also start appearing in the church register in 1776? The two families arrive in 1754 and about twenty years later they both appear at about the same time in Virginia.

Let me add to this set of coincidences by noting that the ship Loyal Judith, which brought Andreas Gaar in 1732, also brought the two men, Georg Adam Riser and Hans Georg Riser. Now Georg Adam Riser in 1732 may not be related to Georg Adam Käiser 1754 (don’t let the K and the R confuse the question; this is just a problem of reading the names from the list.) It strikes me that the 1732 man and the 1754 man are probably related.

So I am inclined to think there is some relationship between Gaar, Riser, and Nunnenmacher. It is not at all obvious from the known records, but it is extremely suspicious.

Again, I make the point that perhaps we have underestimated the relationships that existed outside of Virginia. These relationships were important in influencing who moved to Virginia, and perhaps when.
(06 July 01)

Much more work is needed to be done on the Delph and Razor lines and any input is always welcome.