Oby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Oby comes from the family having resided 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 Oby family

The surname Oby 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 Oby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oby 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 Oby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Oby Spelling Variations

Oby has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Hobby, Hoby, Hobi, Hobbie, Hobie, Hobbey, Hobey and others.

Early Notables of the Oby 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 Oby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Oby family

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Obys to arrive on North American shores: 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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