Show ContentsCobley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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]

Early Origins of the Cobley family

The surname Cobley was 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.

Early History of the Cobley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cobley research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cobley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cobley 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 Cobley have been found, including Cobley, Coblegh, Cobleigh, Cobligh, Coboleche and others.

Early Notables of the Cobley family (pre 1700)

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

United States Cobley 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 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 [2]
Cobley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jemmett Cobley, who landed in South Carolina in 1735 [2]
  • 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 [2]

Australia Cobley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

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 [3]
  • Miss Hannah Cobley who was convicted in Leicester, Leicestershire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Emma Eugenia" on 16th November 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • John Cobley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Psyche" in 1849 [5]

New Zealand Cobley migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cobley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J. S. Cobley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Santiago" in 1870
  • Mary Ann Cobley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Santiago" in 1870

Contemporary Notables of the name Cobley (post 1700) +

  • 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

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. 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)
  3. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Amphitrite voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1833 with 99 passengers. Retrieved from
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 31st March 2022). Retrieved from
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PSYCHE 1849. Retrieved from on Facebook