Colbyn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Colbyn surname lived in Cobham Kent, a village and civil parish in the Gravesham District that dates back to before the Norman Conquest. The first record of the village was in 939 where it was listed as Cobba hammes mearce.

Cobham, Surrey was established later as the first record of the village in the Borough of Elmbridge was in the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Covenham. Both places have the same origin as in "enclosure or homestead of a man called Cobba," having derived from the Old English personal name + hamm or ham. [1]

Early Origins of the Colbyn family

The surname Colbyn was first found in Kent where Henry de Cobham, 1st Baron Cobham (c. 1260-1339) was the oldest Baron of Cobham created in 1313. His father John de Cobham of Cobham, Kent, and of Cowling or Cooling, Kent (died c. 1300) was Sheriff of Kent, Constable of Rochester and Chief Baron of the Exchequer. This line would carry on until 1951 when Robert Disney Leith Alexander, 16th Baron Cobham died. However, there were three other creations of the Barons of Cobham at similar times located in Runham, Sterborough and again in Kent. About the same time, Thomas Cobham was Archbishop of Canterbury-elect in 1313 and later Bishop of Worcester.

Further south and west in Cornwall, "the manor of Whitstone, to the house of which, according to Mr. Whitaker, the parish is indebted for its name, belonged at the time when Doomsday Survey was taken, to the Earl of Moreton, and was one of the 288 manors which he enjoyed from the bounty of the Conqueror. At a subsequent period it belonged to the family of Cobham." [2]

Early History of the Colbyn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Colbyn research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1313, 1260, 1339, 1307, 1408, 1381, 1332, 1398, 1700 and 1760 are included under the topic Early Colbyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Colbyn Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Colbyn are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Colbyn include: Cobham, Cobbam, Cobban and others.

Early Notables of the Colbyn family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Henry de Cobham, 1st Baron Cobham, (1260-1339), Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in 1307, He also held the titles of Sheriff of Kent, Constable of Canterbury, Tonbridge, Dover and Rochester Castles, all in Kent; and John de Cobham, 3rd Baron Cobham (d. 1408), son of John de Cobham, 2nd Baron Cobham and Joan de Beauchamp, given a licence to crenellate by Richard II in 1381 and built...
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Colbyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Colbyn family

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Colbyn or a variant listed above: Mary Cobham who settled in Barbados with servants in 1680; Robert Cobham, who came to Philadelphia in 1774; Thomas Cobham, who settled in New Hampshire in 1718.



The Colbyn 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: Concordia
Motto Translation: Concord.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print


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