This week's blog topic was suggested a while back by reader Christine. She asked for more information on King Odato of Spain and also any Coat of Arms that I could find. Thank you for the suggestion, Christine. I would like to encourage others to let me know about any genealogical or historical topics they want me to write about in the future. Now, for the King...
King Odato of Spain
I decided to start out with a simple Google search, which did not bring up any useful information. I followed up by checking Wikipedia for any information about the Spanish royalty: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarchy_of_Spain. There was no Odato mentioned there. Of course, Google and Wikipedia are not comprehensive resources. From there, I dove a little deeper checking out. Funny enough, I found that there is a polymer production company known as King Plastic Corporation that works with a company Odato Marketing to sell their products (http://odatomarketing.com/case-studies/king-plastic-corp/), but this seems to be a coincidence at this time and not a true connection.
My next stop was Ancestry.com to check out the last name Odato. There were 515 Documents related to someone with the last name Odato, but none of them referred to a King from Spain.
Okay, so maybe King Odato was just shorthand for another member of royalty. I performed the searches again looking for other related titles: Prince, Duke, Marquess, Count, Earl, and Baron. With the exception of locating a couple of unrelated students with the last name Odato that attended Duke University, I had no hits on that line of attack. I found a family tree for the Monarchs of Spain dating back to King Ferdinand II in 1479 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarchs_of_Spain_family_tree). Nobody that looks like an Odato on there. Back to square one.
I thought that maybe I could search out the etymology of the name Odato. Etymology is the study on the origin of a word and it meaning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymology). There are a number of fine places online to find the etymology of a name, but all of those sites had no information on the name Odato. Checking the public family trees over on Ancestry showed that the oldest sourced trees dated back to Italy and not Spain. I also followed up with a search of several websites seeking out an Odato Family Crest and Coat of Arms, but this search also came up empty.
The next phase of my search led me to check for alternative spellings. I searched for royalty and name crests under the names O'Dato, Odata, O'Data, Odada, and O'dada. There was nothing there. I checked for royalty in both Spain and Italy.
During my research, I stumbled across the term Datu. According to Wikipedia, Datu is the title for tribal chiefs, sovereign princes, and monarches in some areas of the Philippines. During the late 16th century, the Spanish Empire acquired the Philippines for King Phillip II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datu#Datu_during_the_Spanish_period). Under the rule of Spain, the Datus became a group of powerful ruling families across the Philippines. The remains of the Datus still exist today as an influential group in some Catholic parts of the Philippines. However, no connection was found in my immediate research; these Datus may not have any relation to the Odato name in the United States.
What I would ask my reader, Christine, is for more information. It would be helpful if she has any documentation that might provide some guidance in locating a King Odato. I can return to this topic at a later date; I would love to learn more about that connection to royalty. Thank you again, Christine, for suggesting this topic. I just wish I had more information to provide to you.