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Family History

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          Our Abel family lineage has been traced back to Johan Michael Abel (1639-1723).  His son is Peter Abel (1664-1740), and his grandson Stephan Abel (1700-unk.).  It is quite possible that they may have lived in that area of Germany that currently lies within the state of Hesse. It is probable that this specific locale was in the district of Bergstrasse and the village of Nieder Liebersbach

    It is Stephan (Steffan) Abel who is credited as being the progenitor of this family line in America.  Steffan made the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean along with his wife Anna Margaretha Attig, eldest son George, and probably several children, aboard the ship “John and Elizabeth”.  They arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 7, 1754. 

     Johan George Abel, (our 6th great-grandfather), born 1737 in Germany, was 17 years old when he accompanied his family to the Province of Pennsylvania.  By 1769 George was married to Maria Catherine Boyer, and had settled in a section of York County, Pennsylvania that now lies in Lower Windsor Township.  George was a patriot of the American Revolutionary War having served his country as a soldier in the 1st Battalion, York County Pennsylvania Militia

     Our direct Abel family line carries on through George’s eldest son George Abel (1769-1828) who married Anna Margaretta Jacobs, a native of Lower Windsor Township.  This descendancy continues through their daughter Elisabeth Abel, our 4th great-grandmother.  Elisabeth was born in 1803 and married Johann George Lieberknecht in 1822.  She died 1850 in York County.

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Direct ancestors

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Ancestral Lineage

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Additional information about the persons in our database  as   well  as   a   complete  listing   of

individuals with this surname may be reviewed by clicking on this LINK.

 

 

 

DESCENDANT REGISTER

Generation 1

JOHANN MICHAEL1 ABEL was born about 1639 in Nieder Liebersbach, Bergstrasse, Hessen, Germany. He died on 17 Jul 1723 in Germany. He married ANNA BARBARA BEISSEL. She was born in Apr 1642 in Eberbach, Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. She died on 17 Nov 1674 in Germany.

 

Johann Michael Abel and Anna Barbara Beissel had the following child:

 

                                      I.        JOHANN PETER2 ABEL was born in Jul 1664 in Germany. He died on 18 Apr 1740 in Germany. He married MARGARETHA WAGNER. She was born on 16 Aug 1670 in Germany. She died on 05 May 1736 in Germany.

Generation 2

JOHANN PETER2 ABEL (Johann Michael1) was born in Jul 1664 in Germany. He died on 18 Apr 1740 in Germany. He married MARGARETHA WAGNER. She was born on 16 Aug 1670 in Germany. She died on 05 May 1736 in Germany.

 

Johann Peter Abel and Margaretha Wagner had the following child:

 

i.      JOHAN STEPHAN3 ABEL was born on 08 Feb 1701 in Germany. He died after 1754 in York County, Pennsylvania ?. He married Anna Margaretha Attig in Germany. She was born on 24 Feb 1710 in Germany. She died after 1757 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

Generation 3

JOHAN STEPHAN3 ABEL (Johann Peter2, Johann Michael1) was born on 08 Feb 1701 in Germany. He died after 1754 in York County, Pennsylvania ?. He married Anna Margaretha Attig in Germany. She was born on 24 Feb 1710 in Germany. She died after 1757 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

Johan Stephan Abel and Anna Margaretha Attig had the following children:

 

                                         i.    JOHAN GEORGE4 ABEL was born in 1737 in Germany. He died on 30 Dec 1785 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Maria Catherine Boyer, daughter of First Nm. Unk.? Boyer and Mary Margaret Boyer (Nee ?) on 17 Jul 1765 in York County, Pennsylvania. She was born on 11 May 1734 in Germany. She died on 15 Oct 1829 in Easton, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania.

 

                                       ii.    JOHN ABEL.

 

                                      iii.    ANNA MARGARETHA ABEL was born before 1738 in Germany. She married Johann Nicholas Deh about 1754 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                      iv.    MARIA MARGARETHA ABEL. She married Balthasar Schonberger on 17 Aug 1756 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA (Lower Windsor Twp. est.1838).

 

                                       v.    CATHERINE ELISABETHA ABEL. She married John Melchior Loray on 25 Nov 1757 in Canadochly Church, Lower Windsor Twp., York Co., PA.

 

                                                        vi.      ANNA CHRISTINA ABEL was born after 1725. She died in 1791. She married Christopher Helzel on 24 Feb 1756 in Canadochly Church, Lower Windsor Twp.,

                                                      vii.      York Co., PA. He was born in 1729 in York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 26 Apr 1772 in Franklin, Ohio, USA.

 

                                                      viii.      ANNA BARBARA ABEL.

Generation 4

JOHAN GEORGE4 ABEL (Johan Stephan3, Johann Peter2, Johann Michael1) was born in 1737 in Germany. He died on 30 Dec 1785 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Maria Catherine Boyer, daughter of First Nm. Unk.? Boyer and Mary Margaret Boyer (Nee ?) on 17 Jul 1765 in York County, Pennsylvania. She was born on 11 May 1734 in Germany. She died on 15 Oct 1829 in Easton, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania.

 

Johan George Abel and Maria Catherine Boyer had the following children:

 

                                         i.    GEORGE5 ABEL was born on 16 Nov 1769 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 06 Mar 1828 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Anna Margaretta Jacobs, daughter of Philip Jacobs Sr. and Mary Gartner about 1788 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She was born on 17 Dec 1769 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 04 Apr 1852 in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                       ii.    CATHERINE ABEL was born in 1772 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married Abraham Sharer before 1793 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He was born about 1770.

 

                                      iii.    PETER ABEL was born in 1774 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in 1827 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married MARIA CATHERINE DELLINGER. She was born on 26 Mar 1770 in Hellam, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 30 Jun 1827 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                      iv.    MARY ABEL was born about 1775 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                       v.    ELIZABETH ABEL was born about 1777 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                      vi.    JOHAN STEPHAN ABEL was born on 28 Feb 1778 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                    vii.    NANCY ABEL was born about 1779 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                  viii.    ANNA MARGARETHA ABEL was born about 1780 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married FREDERICK PFAFF. He was born about 1778.

 

                                     ix.    REBECCA ABEL was born about 1781 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                       x.    JOHANNES ABEL was born on 14 Feb 1783 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in 1815 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                       xi.    JACOB ABEL was born in 1785 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 11 Apr 1861 in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, USA.

Generation 5

GEORGE5 ABEL (Johan George4, Johan Stephan3, Johann Peter2, Johann Michael1) was born on 16 Nov 1769 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 06 Mar 1828 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Anna Margaretta Jacobs, daughter of Philip Jacobs Sr. and Mary Gartner about 1788 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She was born on 17 Dec 1769 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 04 Apr 1852 in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

George Abel and Anna Margaretta Jacobs had the following children:

 

                                     I.        HEINRICH6 ABEL was born on 26 Nov 1789 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                                   II.            JOHAN GEORGE ABEL was born on 28 Mar 1791 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA (Lower Windsor Twp. est.1838). He died in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Catherine Imschweiler, daughter of Peter Imschweiler and Catharine Schaffer in Christ Lutheran Church, York, (York Co.), Pennsylvania. She was born on 18 Oct 1790 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                  III.        CATHARINA ABEL was born on 27 May 1793 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 27 Apr 1874 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married Johann Heinrich Dellinger, son of Johannes "John" Dellinger and Maria Barbara Schaffer on 27 Oct 1812 in York, York Co., Pennsylvania, USA (Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church). He was born on 14 Jan 1793 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                 IV.        PETER ABEL was born on 05 Nov 1795 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA (Lower Windsor Twp. est.1838). He died on 21 Oct 1869 in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Elisabeth Keller on 17 Sep 1820 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA (Lower Windsor Twp. est.1838). She was born on 19 Dec 1800 in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 08 Jan 1881 in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                   V.        SARA ABEL was born on 23 Feb 1798 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA (Lower Windsor Twp. est.1838). She died in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married Wilhelm Henry Rupp on 30 Oct 1817 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He was born on 01 Nov 1792 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 16 May 1858 in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                 VI.        JOHANNES ABEL was born on 19 Sep 1800 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 15 Aug 1865 in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Maria Magdalena Keller in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She was born on Aug 1805 in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 31 Jan 1891 in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                               VII.        ELISABETH ABEL was born on 15 Apr 1803 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 07 Dec 1850 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married Johann George Lieberknecht, son of Johann Georg Lieberknecht and Catherine Elizabeth Keller on 18 Apr 1822 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He was born on 02 Nov 1797 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 08 Oct 1863 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                              VIII.        MARY ABEL was born on 29 Dec 1805 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA (Lower Windsor Twp. est.1838). She married Samuel Hamaker in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA (Lower Windsor Twp. est.1838). He was born in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                 IX.        JACOB ABEL was born on 03 Feb 1807 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married (1) NANCY SHARER on Sep 1832 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married (2) SARAH WALCK on 13 Dec 1827 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

                                    X.        ANNA MARIA ABEL was born on 27 Jan 1811 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

Generation 6

ELISABETH6 ABEL (George5, Johan George4, Johan Stephan3, Johann Peter2, Johann Michael1) was born on 15 Apr 1803 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 07 Dec 1850 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married Johann George Lieberknecht, son of Johann Georg Lieberknecht and Catherine Elizabeth Keller on 18 Apr 1822 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He was born on 02 Nov 1797 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 08 Oct 1863 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

Johann George Lieberknecht and Elisabeth Abel had the following children:

 

i.       JOHAN7 LIEBERKNECHT was born on 01 Feb 1823 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in 1824 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married ELIZA LIEBERKNECHT (NEE ?). She was born about 1826 in Pennsylvania, USA.

 

ii.      LYDIA LIEBERKNECHT was born on 27 Feb 1825 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 04 Jan 1899 in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married Johan George Dellinger, son of Jacob Dellinger and Christina Schaffer about 1841 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He was born on 18 Aug 1797 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 25 Nov 1862 in Hellam, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

iii.    CASANDRIA LIEBERKNECHT was born on 14 Nov 1827 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died in 1828 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

iv.    GEORGE LIEBERKNECHT was born on 31 Jul 1830 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in 1831 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

v.      MARY LIEBERKNECHT was born about 1831 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died in 1832 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

vi.    HENRY LIEBERKNECHT was born on 07 Apr 1833 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 05 Dec 1891 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

vii.  SARA LIEBERKNECHT was born on 16 Jul 1836 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died in 1837 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

 

viii. LEAH LIEBERKNECHT was born on 01 Sep 1839 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died in 1840 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

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that will likely improve your results. The different searches will give you many different ways of using Google and the Internet to find ancestry information about this or any other Surname. 

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Resources 22

Source documents

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Source
Documents

 

Resources 22

The documents contained within this “Source Documents Archives” have been located during our research of this family, and used as evidence to prove many of the facts contained within the database of this family’s record.   We have source documents related to the following persons within our database with this surname.

·      Abel - 1776 Muster List

·      Abel - 1781 Muster Roll

·      Abel - John & Elizabeth, 1754 Passenger List

·      Elizabeth Abel - 1803 Baptism Record

·      George Abel - 1765 Land Warrant Application

·      George Abel - 1800 U.S. Census

·      George Abel - 1810 U.S. Census

·      George Abel - Rev. War Militia Records

·      Jacob Abel - 1840 U.S. Census

·      John Abel - 1810 U.S. Census

This Link will take you to our

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archive of source documents.  

You are welcome to download any of the documents contained within this archive that does not cite a copyright.  Should you encounter a problem obtaining a copy you may get in touch with us via the contact information found at the end of this web-page.

     Most of these documents can be considered as primary or secondary evidence.  Primary evidence is usually defined as the best available to prove the fact in question, usually in an original document or record.  Secondary evidence is in essence all that evidence which is inferior in its origin to primary evidence. That does not mean secondary evidence is always in error, but there is a greater chance of error.  Examples of this type of evidence would be a copy of an original record, or oral testimony of a record’s contents.  Published genealogies and family histories are also secondary evidence.

     Classifying evidence as either primary or secondary does not tell anything about its accuracy or ultimate value.  This is especially true of secondary evidence.  Thus it is always a good idea to ask the following questions: (1) How far removed from the original is it, (when it is a copy)?; (2) What was the reason for the creation of the source which contains this evidence?; and (3) Who was responsible for creating this secondary evidence and what interest did they have in its accuracy?

SOURCE: Greenwood, Val D., The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 2nd edition, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD 21202, 1990, pgs. 62-63

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Migration routes

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Migrations of the
American Family

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       Tracing our own family’s paths of migration can prove crucial in identifying previous generations and eventually, figuring out where and how they arrived in the “New World” as well as where they eventually settled.  Knowing the network of trails American pioneers traveled can help you guess where to start looking.  The trail map(s) provided below may assist you in understanding the routes that our direct ancestors of this family may have taken to find new homes and opportunities in the vast area now encompassed by the United States.

      During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Europeans made the perilous ocean voyage to America.  For many it was an escape from economic hardship and religious persecution.  For most it was an opportunity to start over, own their own land, and make a better future for their descendents.

Immigration records show a number of people bearing the name of ABEL, or one of its variants, as arriving in North America between the 17th and 20th centuries.  Some of these immigrants were: Archibald Abel settled in Philadelphia in 1813; Charles Abel settled in Philadelphia in 1854; Christopher Abel, age 36; settled in Philadelphia in 1820.

Use the following links to find more early immigrants with this surname:

$ Search Ancestry.com Immigration Records; or Free Ship’s Passenger lists at OliveTreeGenealogy.com

     Stephan (Steffan) Abel his wife Anna Margaretha Attig and family emigrated from southwestern Germany to the Province of Pennsylvania and arrived at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1754.  They were among the great wave of German immigrants who came to America between 1727 and 1776.

      Soon after their arrival they would move west out of Philadelphia along the route known as the Philadelphia Wagon Road. This route would take them across the Susquehanna River  into York County, Pennsylvania.  Today this route follows U.S. Route 30 in Pennsylvania.  The road passed through the  towns  of  Lancaster and  York  in

Migration Route - Phila. to York Co.TN

click on image to enlarge

southeastern Pennsylvania on its way further west to Pittsburgh.   Eventually the Abel family would settle into the township of Windsor located in the eastern part of York County.   

The Development of an Historical Migration Route

It is understood that in many if not all cases we do not know exactly what routes our ancestors took as they migrated throughout the United States.   As such certain assumptions have been utilized to re-create the migration path presented above.  With regard to 18th and 19th century land routes we assume that they travelled along few trails and roads that were in existence at the time.  Research shows that a great many of these old paths and trails are today designated as U.S. Highway Routes.  For example, a major east-west route of migration known as the National Road is now U.S. Route 40, and a primary north-south migration route of the 18th century followed the Great Indian War and Trading Path is now U.S. Route 11.  In some situations the re-created migration route may travel along state routes that connect or run through the seat of a county as that populated place is probably the oldest settlement in the area. The use of water as a migration route is also likely.  For example, during the late 18th and early 19th centuries many families travelled west on the Ohio River as they moved on the new lands in Missouri or the Old Northwest Territory.  As such when applicable water routes have been included as the possible migration route.   

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Images gallery

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Family Images
Gallery

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During our research we have collected images and photographs that are of general interest to a particular family.  Some of them are presented on this website because we believe they tend to provide the reader with additional information which may aid in the understanding of our ancestors past lives.

 

If you have any photographs or other images relating to 
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searching in the box and click “Search Images”. At the “Images” display page you will see the image, as well as the website of which it is associated.

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Ancestral locations

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Researching the locations where our ancestors lived has provided us with valuable evidence needed to fill in the gaps in our family trees.  It has also led us to many interesting facts that enhance the overall picture of each family group.

Locations of

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Locational Distribution

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Where In the World

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Locatiof Direct Ancestors

Locations of Our Direct Ancestors

 

The names of states and counties on the following list were derived from the known places where the Direct Ancestors in the “Ancestral Lineage” (see above) were born, married, and / or died.

COUNTRY

STATE

COUNTY / SUBDIVISION

GERMANY

HESSEN

BERGSTRASSE: Nieder Liebersbach ?

UNITED STATES

PENNSYLVANIA

York County

 

 

 

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ancestral family and the locations listed above.

Locational distributionstors

Locational Distribution of This Surname

Knowing the geographical areas where the surname you are researching is clustered and distributed is an indispensable tool in deciding where to focus your research.  We believe that the “Public Profiler” website will open up to you a wide range of solutions which implement current research in spatial analysis.  This site provides an array of local spatial information tools useful to the genealogist. 

The information presented herein shows where the ABEL surname is distributed within North America as well as in Germany, the probable country of origin of this family.      Statistics show that there are approximately 158 persons per million of population with this surname, within Germany, and 81 persons per million of population within the United States.  Canada is found to be the country in the world where this surname is the second most highly clustered having approximately 150 persons per million of population.  The top region in Germany where this surname is the most highly clustered is the Saarland with 569 persons per million, and Stuttgart, Baden Württemberg is the top German city where this surname is found.

NORTH AMERICA

GERMANY

Abel - NA copy

Abel - Germany copy

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Resources which enhance our knowledge of the places inhabited by our ancestors are almost as important as their names. The LINK to the right will take you to Maps, Gazetteers,   and  other  helpful    

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resources that will assist in discovering Ancestral Locations.  These web sites comprise only a small portion of what is available for researchers interested in learning more about where their ancestors lived.

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Origins of the surname

abel

Origins of the Surname

An Introduction

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Source/Meaning

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History of

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More About

Surnames

 

An Introduction to the Surname

     The practice of inherited family surnames began in England and France during the late part of the 11th century.   Surnames were first utilized in the Germanic region of central Europe during the second half of the 12th century.  The custom of taking on surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northward during the Middle Ages.  It took about three hundred years for this tradition to apply to most families and become a constant part of one’s identity.        With the passing of generations and the movement of families from place to place many of the original identifying names were altered into some of the versions that we are familiar with today.  Over the centuries, most of our European ancestors accepted their surname as an unchangeable part of their lives.  Thus people rarely changed their surname.  Variations of most surnames were usually the result of an involuntary act such as when a government official wrote a name phonetically or made an error in transcription. 

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Research into the record of this ABEL family line indicates that the variations, meanings and history of this surname are most likely linked to that area of Europe where German linguistic traditions are commonly found. 

 

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Source(s) & Meaning(s) of the Surname

     Most modern German family names are a means conveying lineage.  For the most part, German surnames were developed from four major sources: (1) Patronymic & Matronymic surnames most common in northern Germany are based on a parent’s first name, such as Niklas Albrecht (Niklas son of Albrecht);  (2) occupational surnames are last names based on the person’s job or trade for example Lukas Fischer (Lukas the Fisherman);  (3) descriptive surnames are based on a unique quality or physical feature of the individual like Karl Braun (Karl with brown hair); (4) geographical surnames are derived from the location of the homestead from which the first bearer and his family lived such as Leon Meer (Leon from by the sea), or derived from the state, region, or   village of the first bearer's origin for example Paul Cullen (Paul from Koeln/Cologne).

Abel is a common European surname: from the personal name Abel, which is of Biblical origin and was used as a Christian name in many countries of Europe. In the Book of Genesis Abel is a son of Adam, murdered by his brother Cain (Genesis 4:1–8). In Christian tradition he is regarded as representative of suffering innocence. The Hebrew form of the name is Hevel, from a vocabulary word meaning ‘breath’.  In German the name Abel is sometime a pet form of Albrecht.

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History of the Surname

Most German names have their roots in the Germanic Middle Ages. The process of forming family names in what is present day Germany began early in the 12th Century and extended through the 16th century 

     The German form of the Abel name is a very early Germanic name and is one of the very first recorded in that geographical area.  Due to its popularity and duration this name, and its variant spellings, have traveled widely in many forms throughout Europe.  The German form of the Abel surname was first found in The Duchy of Württemberg, a state in south-west of Germany and member of the Holy Roman Empire from 1495 to 1806.  During this time this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times.  As a result several associated coats of arms for this surname and its close variants are recorded in Rietstap’s Armorial General and registered in Germany.    This widespread name was originally derived from a Germanic personal name ALBRECHET, which was composed of the elements ADAL (noble) and BERHT (bright and famous). This was one of the most common Germanic given names, and was borne by various medieval princes, military leaders and great churchmen, notably St. Albert of Prague (Czech name Vojtech, Latin name Adalbertus), a Bohemian prince who died a martyr in 997 attempting to convert the Prussians to Christianity; and Albert the Bear (1100-70) Margrave of Brandenburg.

    This German surname appeared quite early into the former British colonies of North America, especially William Penn’s Province of Pennsylvania.   One reason for this was that after the prince of the Electorate of Hanover, in Germany also became king of England in 1715, German emigration to America was greatly encouraged.   Thus the German name does tend to be confused with the English versions due to the fact that name from both countries is often in the same spelling, which is perhaps not surprising as they share similar pre 7th century "Anglo-Saxon" roots.   Many of these German immigrants, particularly those with easy English equivalents, were encouraged and in some case required to change to an English spelling.   Also many German surnames were re-spelled in America because of the close relationship between the English and German languages.     This was the case with many sea captains or their agents who, when making up the ships passenger lists, found it easier to use a more familiar English spelling.   Also after the start of World War One, Germans in the United States, in great numbers, Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism.  

 

The English form of the Abel surname was originally widespread in the east of England and Southern Scotland, and is well represented in its various forms in the registers of the area. Early examples of the surname recordings include Richard Abel of Buckinghamshire in the 1273 Hundred rolls of the county, and Thomas Abell in the Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire for the year 1301. The surname is also well recorded in Scotland from an early date, Master Abel being recorded in the rolls of the abbey of Kelso in 1235, as well as Thomas Abel or Abell, who was a burgess of Edinburgh in the year 1387. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Abel, which was dated 1197, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Essex.


Some notable persons with this surname or close variant spellings of it are: Ludwig Abel (1834–1895), German violinist, composer, and conductor;  Sam Abell (born 1945), American photographer; Caspar Abel (1676–1763), German theologian, historian and poet; Thomas Abel (c. 1490–1540), English priest; Niels Henrik Abel (1802–1829), Norwegian mathematician; and Mathias Abel (born 1981), German football (soccer) player.  Additional information about persons with the Abel surname can be found at: Abel (surname).

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More About Surname Meanings & Origins

German Surnames

 Many German names have their roots in the Germanic Middle Ages. The process of forming family names began early in the 12th Century and extended through the 16th century. All social classes and demographic strata aided in the development of names. First Names (Rufnamen) identified specific persons. Over time the first name began to be applied to the bearer's whole family.  At first through verbal usage, family names (Familiennamen) were later fixed through writing.  Until the 17th century, first names played a more important role. The earliest family names derived from the first name of the first bearer (Patronym). Later names derived from the place of dwelling and location of the homestead.  If a person of family migrated from one place to another they were identified by the place they came from.  Of more recent origin are names derived from the vocation of profession of the first bearer. These names comprise the largest group and the most easily recognizable, for they tell what the first bearer did for a living.  Another group are names derived from a physical or other characteristic of the first bearer.  Finally, there are names that tell you the state or region a first bearer and his family came from; the age old division in tribes and regions (Low German, Middle German and Upper German) is often reflected in names.

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Variations of the surname

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Variations of
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Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to unfold and expand often leading to an overwhelming number of variants.  As such one can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames because in early times, spelling in general and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized.  Later on spellings would change with the branching and movement of families. 

Spelling variations of the family name include: Abel, Able, Abels, Abells, Abelson, Abele, Aubeller, Abell, Abelle, Abeles, Abeler and many more.

 

The complexity of researching records is compounded by the fact that in many cases an ancestors surname may also have been misspelled.  This is especially true when searching census documents.   The Soundex Indexing System was developed in an effort to assist with identifying spelling variations for a given surname.  Soundex is a method of indexing names in the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Census, and can aid genealogists in their research. 

The Soundex Code for Abel is A140. Other surnames sharing this Soundex Code are:  ABEL | ABELL | ABLE | APPEL | APPLE | AUVIL | AVILA |.

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Armorial bearings, symbols and mottoes

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Armorial Bearings, Mottoes & Symbols

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In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. The word heraldry is derived from the German word heer, meaning (a host, an army) and held, (champion). Heraldry originated in the devices used to distinguish the armored warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity.  The Germans transmitted the word to the French, and it reached England after the Norman Conquest of 1066As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.  Heraldry spread to the German burgher class in the 13th century, and even some peasants used arms in the 14th century.  A German coat of arms is usually referred to by any of the following terms; Wappen, Familienwappen, Blasonierung, Heraldik, or Wappenschablonen.

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Descriptions of the

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More About Heraldic Bearings

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Abel ou Abl  - Ingolstadt

Figure 1

Abell - Essex

Figure 2

Abell - Kent & London

Figure 3

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ARMORIAL BEARINGS

Descriptions of the Armorial Bearings

The associated armorial bearings for this surname and close variant spellings are recorded in Burke’s General Armoire and Rietstap’s Armorial General.  The additional information, presented below, is offered with regard to the armorial bearings depicted above:

FIGURE 1: These armorial bearings belonged to an Abel of Ingolstadt, Germany. They feature a gold shield containing the head of a black bear.  The crest (not shown) is the head of a black bear.  The bear represents, “strength, cunning, ferocity in the protection of one's kindred.”

FIGURE 2: This coat-of-arms were bestowed upon an Abell of Essex, England.  The arms display a silver shield containing a purple fesse between three red boars’ heads. The crest shows an embowed arm covered in armour holding a sword enfiled on the arm with a white and red wreath.  Motto is of this family is, “Vive le roi.”  The heraldic meaning of the boars’ head is “hospitality”.

FIGURE 3: These arms were granted to an Abell or Abel of Kent and London, England.  The white shield holds a blue engrailed saltire. The crest, (not shown), has  an embowed arm covered in armour holding a sword enfiled on the arm with a white and red wreath.  A saltire is supposed to represent the cross whereon St. Andrew was crucified.  When it incorporates engrailed lines they represent, Earth or land.”  

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MOTTO(ES)  

Motto(es) of this Surname

     A motto is a word or sentence usually written upon a scroll and generally placed below the shield, but sometimes, especially in Scotland, above the crest.    Many ancient mottoes were war-cries such as the Douglas motto of “Forward.”    Many mottoes refer to the name of the bearer, for example “cole regem” for Coleridge.   In general most mottoes convey a sentiment, hope, or determination, such as the Cotter motto “Dum spiro spero” where the meaning is “While I have breath I hope“.     Mottoes are often used by several successive generations, but may be changed at any time by the grantee. The languages most in use are Latin, French, and English.  Exceptions are seen in Scotland where they are often in the old Lowland dialect, and in Wales, often in the language of the principality.   

     There are several mottoes attributed to ABELL or ABEL of England.  They are: “Invicta veritate” = “Invicta veritate”;  Vive le roi” = Long live the king”;  and “Ohne Rast Zum Ziel” = Without rest to the goal.”   

     It is unusual to find a motto associated with a German coat-of-arms.  As in this case no motto has been located that is associated with the German ABEL surname and its close variant spellings.   This does not necessarily mean that the Germanic culture is devoid of mottos.  For example, the national motto of Germany is “Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit”, meaning Unity and Justice and Freedom.  The German word for motto is “Wahlspruch.” 

     Some of the more well known German mottoes are as follows: Alte Wunden bluten leicht – Old wounds readily bleed anew;    Blut und Eisen – Blood and iron;  Das beste is gut genug – The best is good enough;  Ein’ feste Burg is unser Gott – Our God is a strong tower of defense;  Ewigkeit – Eternity;  Für Gott und Iht – All for God and her;  Gott is überall – God is over all;  Gott mit uns – God is with us;  Ich dien – I serve;  Krieg – War;  Mehr Licht! – More light!;  Nichts zoviel – Nothing in excess;  Prosit! – Good luck!;    Vaterland – Fatherland;  Vertrau’ auf Gott – Put your trust in God;  Vorwärts! – Forward!;   Zu dienen – At your service.

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Heraldic bearings

More about Heraldic Bearings

The art of designing, displaying, describing, and recording arms is called heraldry. The use of coats of arms by countries, states, provinces, towns and villages is called civic heraldry.   A Coat of Arms is defined as a group of emblems and figures (heraldic bearings) usually arranged on and around a shield and serving as the special insignia of some person, family, or institution.  Except for a few cases, there is really no such thing as a standard "coat of arms" for a surname.  A coat of arms, more properly called an armorial achievement, armorial bearings or often just arms for short, is a design usually granted only to a single person not to an entire family or to a particular surname.  Coats of arms are inheritable property, and they generally descend to male lineal descendents of the original arms grantee.  The rules and traditions regarding Coats of Arms vary from country to country. Therefore a Coat of Arms for an English family would differ from that of a German family even when the surname is the same. 

Some of the more prominent elements incorporated into a  coat of arms are :

Crest - The word crest is often mistakenly applied to a coat of arms.  The crest was a later development arising from the love of pageantry.  Initially the crest consisted of charges painted onto a ridge on top of the helmet.

Wreath or Torse – The torse is a twist of cloth or wreath underneath and part of a crest. Always shown as six twists, the first tincture being the tincture of the field, the second the tincture of the metal, and so on.

Mantling – The mantling is a drapery tied to the helmet above the shield. It forms a backdrop for the shield.

Helm or Helmet - The helmet or helm is situated above the shield and bears the torse and crest. The style of helmet displayed varies according to rank and social status, and these styles developed over time, in step with the development of actual military helmets.

Shield or Arms - The basis of all coats of arms.  At their simplest, arms consist of a shield with a plain field on which appears a geometrical shape or object.  The items appearing on the shield are known as charges.

Motto - The motto was originally a war cry, but later mottoes often expressed some worthy sentiment. It may appear at the top or bottom of a family coat of arms.

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of a wide variety of arms, crests, and badges.  They may also feature additional heraldry resources as noted in the accompanying descriptions.

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·             Our Surname Locator And Resources web page contains the following: (1) links that will take you to an updated listing of all surnames as posted in our three databases at the Rootsweb WorldConnect Project; (2) the Surname List Finder a tool that finds sound-alike matches for a given surname from among RootsWeb's thousands of surname lists; (3) the Soundex Converter that can be used to find the soundex code for a surname, plus other surnames/spellings sharing the same soundex code;  (4) Surname Message Boards the world's largest online genealogy community with over 17 Million posts on more than 161,000 boards; (5) Surname Mailing Lists of all surnames having mailing lists at RootsWeb, as well as topics that include (6) Surname Heraldry, and  (7) Mapping a Surname. 

·              Your genealogy research of this surname can be facilitated by use of Surname Web. This website links to the majority of the surname data on the web, as well as to individual family trees, origin and surname meaning if known, and many other related genealogy resources. 

·              Surname Finder provides easy access to free and commercial resources for 1,731,359 surnames. On each surname specific "finder" page, you can search a variety of online databases all pre-programmed with your surname.

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