Show ContentsHobley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Hobley emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. One of the most common classes of surname is the patronymic surname, which was usually derived from the first name of the person's father. Flemish surnames of this type are often characterized by the diminutive suffix -kin, which became very frequent in England during the 14th century. The surname Hobley is derived from Hobb, a pet form of the personal name Robert. The surname Hobley features a double diminutive formed from the suffixes -el and -in. [1]

The name may have been Norman French as two sources note. The Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Ranulph Hupelin in Normandy in 1198.[2]

Another source claims the name is "from the French, Houblinne, Oblin; a personal name." [3]

Early Origins of the Hobley family

The surname Hobley was first found in Cornwall where they were found principally in Nanswhydden. The Hoblyns of Nanswhydden bought from the Blewett family part of an original estate in the barton of Colon or Cloan. The other moiety passed from Trefusis to the Earl of Radnor as early as the year 1620. This was afterwards purchased of the representatives of the last earl by the Hoblyns, and the whole is now the property of the Reverend Robert Hoblyn. [4]

"Within the church [of St. Columb, Cornwall] are several monuments and grave stones, belonging to the families of Arundell, Hoblyn of Nanswhydden, Hoblyn of Tresaddarne, Pendarves, Vyvyan, and Sir Richard Bealinge." [4]

"The manor of Nanswhydden originally belonged to the family of that name, and continued in their possession until the year 1581, when it was purchased by the Hoblyn family; and from that period until within these few years, it was their principal residence. It is still their property; but the large and elegant mansion exhibits nothing but a scene of desolation. Nanswhydden House, as it lately stood, was begun in the year 1740, at which time the eastern wing was added to the old house that then occupied the site, and was left standing by Robert Hoblyn, Esquire, then member of parliament for Bristol." [4]

In Essex, early Colchester records show Hobelyn Flemyng in 1373 and William Hobelyn in 1374. [5]

Early History of the Hobley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hobley research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1607, 1632, 1660, 1687, 1694, 1695, 1697, 1706, 1710, 1711, 1712 and 1756 are included under the topic Early Hobley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hobley Spelling Variations

Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Hoblyn, Hobblyn, Hobblin, Hoblin, Hobling and others.

Early Notables of the Hobley family

Prominent in the family at this time was John Hoblyn (ca.1660-1706), an English lawyer and Member of Parliament for Bodmin (1695-1706.) Sir John Houblon (1632-1712), was the first Governor of the Bank of England from 1694 to 1697. He was "born in London and was the third son of James Houblon, by his wife Marie Ducane. His father an eminent merchant and the elder...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hobley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Hobley migration to the United States +

A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Hobley:

Hobley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Hobley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1843 [6]
  • Jesse Hobley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1843 [6]
  • Thomas Hobley, who landed in New York, NY in 1843 [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Hobley, (b. 1861), aged 27, Welsh servant traveling from Rio de Janeiro aboard the ship "S.S. Finance" arriving in New York in 1888 [7]
  • Mrs. Annie Hobley, (b. 1864), aged 24, Welsh servant traveling from Rio de Janeiro aboard the ship "S.S. Finance" arriving in New York in 1888 [7]

Canada Hobley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Hobley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Edward Hobley, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749

Australia Hobley migration to Australia +

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

Hobley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Hobley, British convict who was convicted in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Competitor"18th March 1823, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Mr. Andrew Hobley, English convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 20th August 1830, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Hobley (post 1700) +

  • Liffort Wayne Hobley (b. 1962), former professional American NFL football safety for the St. Louis Cardinals (1985) and the Miami Dolphins (1987–1993)
  • Alfred T. Hobley, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1904, 1908, 1912; Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York, 1910 (3rd District), 1914 (5th District) [10]
  • Albert T. Hobley, American Republican politician, Member of New York Republican State Committee, 1930 [10]
  • Hannah Hobley (b. 1988), English actress and classical singer, best known for role as Chantelle "Telle" Garvey in ITV's Benidorm
  • Tina Ellen Hobley (b. 1971), English actress and radio presenter, best known for her role as Chrissie Williams in the BBC One medical drama series Holby City
  • Dennys Jack Valentine McDonald Hobley (1917-1987), Falkland Islands-born, British BBC Television announcer who appeared on screen for 10 years from 1946 to 1956
  • Charles William "C.W." Hobley CMG (1867-1947), British Colonial administrator in Kenya who served the Colonial Service in Kenya from 1894 until his retirement in 1921
  • Peter Hobley Davison OBE, Ph.D., D.Litt., Hon. D. Arts (1926-2022), British academic, President of the Bibliographical Society in 1992, Secretary of the Economic and Social Research Council in London (1991-2005), Honorary Steward of Westminster Abbey (1986-1998), an authority on the life and works of George Orwell

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  4. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. 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)
  7. Barbados archives retrieved 27th October 2021 from
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th March 2021). Retrieved from
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th February 2021). Retrieved from
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook