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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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]


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.


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.


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


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 United States in the 17th Century

  • Barna Cobley, who arrived in Virginia in 1650

Cobley Settlers in 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 United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Cobley, who arrived in New York in 1824

Cobley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Elizabeth Cobley, English convict from Bristol, who was transported aboard the "Amphitrite" on August 21, 1833, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Cobley arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Psyche" in 1849

Cobley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • J. S. Cobley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Santiago" in 1870
  • Mary Ann Cobley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Santiago" in 1870


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


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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. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  2. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. 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 26 November 2014 at 10:48.

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