Dobby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Dobby comes from Robert. Dobb was a diminutive of the name Robert in the Middle Ages; is has changed since then to the modern form Bob. [1]

Early Origins of the Dobby family

The surname Dobby was first found in Lincolnshire where Dobbe filius Iuonis was listed there in the Assize Rolls of 1202. Dobbe le Deneby was listed in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire in 1219 and later, Reginald, William Dobbe was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire in 1275. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed William Dobbe in Norfolka and Robert Dobes in Oxfordshire. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists Johanna Dobbewf (the wife of Dob), Isabella Dobson and more. [3]

In the early years, the name was interchangeable with the name Robert and was very common in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire and Staffordshire. By example, "Dobbe de Witemore (1307 - Assize Rolls for Staffordshire) is identical with Robert de Whitemore (1318.) Richardus filius Dobbe was the same man as Richard Dobbe (1297.)" [2]

Early History of the Dobby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dobby research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1202, 1450, 1694, 1689, 1765, 1754 and 1765 are included under the topic Early Dobby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dobby Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Dobby were recorded, including Dobbs, Dobb, Dobbe, Dobbes and others.

Early Notables of the Dobby family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Dobby family to Ireland

Some of the Dobby family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Dobby migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Dobby family emigrate to North America:

Dobby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Dobby, who arrived in Virginia in 1640 [4]

New Zealand Dobby 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:

Dobby Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Dobby, (b. 1851), aged 23, English joiner from Yorkshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Tweed" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1874 [5]


The Dobby 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: Proximi summa
Motto Translation: Nearest summit.


  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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