Coombe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Coombe is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when a family lived in a small valley; the surname Coombe is often derived from the Old English word cumb, which means valley. In this case, it belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees. Alternately, the surname Coombe may be derived from residence in one of the many places called Comb, Combe, or Coombe. In this case, it belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Coombe family

The surname Coombe was first found in Devon where Richard de la Coombe held estates in that county in the year 1194. The name also found in the Feet of Fines of Somerset in 1269 where the entry Alan in la Cumbe was found.

Robert atte Cumbe was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296, and Thomas de Combe was listed in the Assize Rolls of Kent in the year 1317. [1] Today Combs is a small village in Derbyshire and a parish, in the union and hundred of Stow, Suffolk. [2]

Early History of the Coombe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coombe research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1460, 1651, 1586, 1667, 1616 and 1640 are included under the topic Early Coombe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Coombe Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Coombe family name include Coombe, Combs, Coombs, Comes, Combes, Combe, Coombes, Cumbe, Coumbes, Coames, Coambes, Cumbes, Cumes, Cummes, Cume, Coomes, Coames, Cooms, Coumes, Coume, Cooms, Coom, Coomb, Comb and many more.

Early Notables of the Coombe family (pre 1700)

Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coombe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Coombe migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Coombe surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Coombe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Coombe, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1740 [3]
  • Thomas Coombe, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1771 [3]

Australia Coombe migration to Australia +

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

Coombe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Frances Coombe, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "John Renwick" in 1837 [4]
  • Mr. Isaac Coombe, (b. 1815), aged 29 born in North Hill, Cornwall, UK convicted in Devon on 16th March 1844, sentenced for 14 year for breaking in chapel, transported aboard the ship "Barossa" in 1844 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Isaac Coombe, English convict who was convicted in Devon, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 9th May 1844, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Jane Coombe, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Success" in 1848 [7]
  • Richard Coombe, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Himalaya" in 1849 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Coombe 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:

Coombe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Coombe, (b. 1858), aged 21, Cornish agricultural labourer departing on 30th May 1879 aboard the ship "Rakaia" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 9th September 1874 [9]
  • John Coombe, aged 24, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waipa" in 1876
  • Elizabeth Coombe, aged 30, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waipa" in 1876
  • Frederick Coombe, aged 6 months, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waipa" in 1876
  • John Coombe, aged 21, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1879

Contemporary Notables of the name Coombe (post 1700) +

  • Robert Coombe, American chemist and academic, a faculty member at the University of Denver since 1981, Chancellor of the University of Denver (2005-2014)
  • Patrick Coombe (b. 1950), English cricketer
  • Mark Andrew Coombe (b. 1968), English former professional football goalkeeper who played from 1987 to 1989
  • Mr. Nicholas David Coombe M.B.E. (b. 1962), British Principal Management Technical Adviser for London Fire Brigade, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Fire Safety [10]
  • Guy Coombe, South African rugby league player who represented South Africa in the 1995 World Cup
  • Ephraim Henry Coombe (1858-1917), Australian newspaper editor and politician, MHA for Barossa, South Australia
  • Eldon Coombe (b. 1941), Canadian curler from Ottawa, active in the 1960s
  • Sir Thomas Melrose Coombe (1873-1959), Australian cricketer, businessman and philanthropist

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOHN RENWICK 1837. Retrieved from
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SUCCESS 1848. Retrieved from
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The HIMALAYA 1849. Retrieved from
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Wellington 1872-1880 [PDF]. Retrieved from    
  10. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook
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