Show ContentsCobbs History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Cobbs is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was name for a large man. This surname originally derived from the Old English word Cobba recorded in 1201 which described a man of particularly large or impressive features and had great strength. [1]

However, the name could have also have originated from a multitude of other origins as the word "cobb" has many different meanings as a noun and as a verb. [2]

Early Origins of the Cobbs family

The surname Cobbs was first found in Suffolk where Leuricus Cobbe, a Saxon was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. [3] [2] [1]

Later, Walter Cobbe was listed in the Feet of Fines for Essex for 1234-1235 and John Cobbe was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Somerset in 1327. [1]

The family quickly scattered throughout ancient England. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 give evidence: Richard Cobbe in Cambridgeshire; and Robert Cobbe in Oxfordshire. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Thomas Cobson as holding lands there at that time. [4]

Further to the north in Scotland, the name was first listed in 1479 when John Cob in Ardoch appears as witness. A few years later, in 1508 there is mention of land of Malcolm Cob in Brechin. John Cobb was citiner of Brechin in 1629 and thirteen more of the name appear in the Brechin Commissariot Record. Some individuals of this name gave name to Cobbisland in Brechin, in record in 1528, and a family of the name contributed to the expense of building the bellhouse at Novar in 1773. [5]

The famous Cobbe family in Ireland were originally from Steventon, Swarraton, Hampshire with Charles Cobbe (1686-1795), Archbishop of Dublin (1743-1765), and Primate of Ireland being the progenitor. In 2006, the Cobbe portrait held by Charles Cobbe was identified as an early Jacobean panel painting of a gentleman which has been argued to be a life portrait of William Shakespeare. This painting was presented in March 2009, but is still surrounded by controversy.

Early History of the Cobbs family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cobbs research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1234, 1235, 1500, 1478, 1595, 1655, 1675, 1713, 1683, 1687, 1765, 1717, 1718 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Cobbs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cobbs Spelling Variations

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 Cobbs have been found, including Cobb, Cobbe and others.

Early Notables of the Cobbs family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Ambrose Cobbs (1595-c.1655), an early Virginia colonist and planter who established the long lasting social and political Cobb dynasty in the Southern States; and Samuel Cobb (1675-1713), an English poet, critic and school master from London. He "was connected nearly all his life with Christ's Hospital, London. His father, Samuel Cobb, citizen and cooper of London, died before April 1683, in which month the boy was admitted into the hospital on...
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cobbs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cobbs Ranking

In the United States, the name Cobbs is the 3,379th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Cobbs family to Ireland

Some of the Cobbs family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Cobbs migration to the United States +

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 powerful new nations. Among early immigrants of the Cobbs surname to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were:

Cobbs Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joseph Cobbs, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 [7]
  • Ambrose Cobbs, who arrived in Virginia in 1639 [7]
  • Elizabeth Cobbs, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [7]
Cobbs Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Susan Cobbs, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [7]
  • Susannah Cobbs, who arrived in Virginia in 1716 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cobbs (post 1700) +

  • Willie C. Cobbs (1932-2021), American blues singer, harmonica player and songwriter, best known for his song "You Don't Love Me"
  • Patrick Cobbs (b. 1983), American NFL football running back
  • Brigadier-General Nicholas Hamner Cobbs (1896-1968), American Fiscal Director of the Army (1942-1946) [8]

The Cobbs Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtutis stemmata
Motto Translation: Virtue is Valuable.

Suggested Readings for the name Cobbs +

  • Cobb and Cobbs, Early Virginians by John E. Cobb.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, November 3) Nicholas Cobbs. Retrieved from on Facebook