Show ContentsColbey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Colbey name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided in Colby, a parish in the county of Norfolk.

Early Origins of the Colbey family

The surname Colbey was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Colbey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Colbey research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Colbey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Colbey Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Colbey include Colby, Colbey, Coalby and others.

Early Notables of the Colbey family (pre 1700)

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

United States Colbey migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Colbey or a variant listed above:

Colbey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Colbey, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840 [1]

Australia Colbey migration to Australia +

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

Colbey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Colbey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John Cooper" in 1841 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Colbey (post 1700) +

  • Brian Colbey, contemporary former Australian rules footballer, active from 1966 to 1976

HMAS Sydney II

  1. 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)
  2. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOHN COOPER 1841 - Captain Salmon. Retrieved from
  3. HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from on Facebook