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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Cobley family come from? What is the English Cobley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Cobley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Cobley family history?

The ancestry of the name Cobley dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in Coberley, Gloucestershire which dates back to at least the Domesday Book where it was listed as Culberlege and literally meant "wood or clearing of a man called Cuthbeorht." [1]

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Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Cobley have been found, including Cobley, Coblegh, Cobleigh, Cobligh, Coboleche and others.

First found in Devon. The phrase "Uncle Tom Cobley and all" is an English expression of explaining "and all the rest" comes from the Devon folk song "Widecombe Fair" chorus which lists a long list of people "Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke, Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all", and Whether the characters were real or not, it is unknown.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cobley research. Another 147 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cobley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Cobley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Cobley, or a variant listed above:

Cobley Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Barna Cobley, who arrived in Virginia in 1650

Cobley Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Jemmett Cobley, who landed in South Carolina in 1735
  • Sarah Cobley who settled in New England in 1764

Cobley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Cobley, who arrived in New York in 1824

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  • Arthur Cobley (1874-1960), English cricketer who played from 1897 to 1904
  • David Cobley (b. 1954), English portrait and figure painter and founder of Bath Artists' Studios
  • Michael Cobley (b. 1959), Scottish science fiction and fantasy author
  • Donald Cobley (b. 1928), British modern pentathlete at the 1956 and 1960 Summer Olympics


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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  7. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  8. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  11. ...

The Cobley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cobley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 21 October 2013 at 08:48.

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