Obby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Obby is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived in the parish of Hoby, in the union of Melton-Mowbray, hundred of East Goscote in Leicestershire. [1] [2]

The parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was known as Hobie and literally meant "farmstead or village on a spur of land," from the Old English word "hoh" + the Viking word "by." [3]

The name could also be a baptismal name "the son of Robert" from the nickname "Hob," or from the Middle English word "hobi," a small species of hawk, or a small horse. [4]

Early Origins of the Obby family

The surname Obby was first found in Dorset and Somerset, where Richard Hobi was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1175. William Hobey and Ralph Hobay were both listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. Philip of Hoby was listed in the Assize Rolls for Norfolk in 1315. [4]

Early History of the Obby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Obby research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1505, 1574, 1593, 1614, 1690, 1505, 1558, 1535, 1536, 1530, 1566, 1566, 1560, 1617, 1560, 1597, 1601, 1603, 1604, 1614, 1604, 1607, 1617, 1602, 1679, 1640 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Obby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Obby Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Obby has been spelled many different ways, including Hobby, Hoby, Hobi, Hobbie, Hobie, Hobbey, Hobey and others.

Early Notables of the Obby family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Philip Hoby (1505-1558), English diplomatist, son of William Hoby of Leominster, Herefordshire, by his first wife. "His zeal for the Reformation recommended him to Henry VIII. During 1535 and 1536 he was employed in diplomatic service at the courts of Spain and Portugal." [5] Sir Thomas Hoby (1530-1566), was a diplomatist and translator, the second son of William Hoby of Leominster, Herefordshire, by his second wife, Katherine. He was Ambassador to France in 1566 and translated Castiglione's "The Courtier." [5] Sir Edward Hoby, (1560-1617), was diplomatist and controversialist, born at Bisham, Berkshire, in 1560 and...
Another 126 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Obby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Obby family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Obbys to arrive in North America: John Hobby, who sailed to Massachusetts in 1637; Catherine Hobby to Virginia in 1714; John Hobby to Virginia in 1736; Mr. hobby to Newfoundland in 1814.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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