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Surname Abel - Meaning and Origin

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Rediscovering the Abel Lineage: Unraveling the Threads of my iGENEA DNA Test

Unearthing DNA threads with my iGENEA test has reshaped the significance of my surname, Abel, and has considerably impacted my perception of my family’s identity. The results have unveiled an intriguing past, empowered me with health awareness and has embedded a sense of unity within my kin.

A. Abel

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Abel: What does the surname Abel mean?

The last name Abel is of multiple origins. It primarily derives from the Hebrew personal name Hebel or Abel, meaning "breath" or "vanity". This name was borne by the son of Adam and Eve in the Bible, who was killed by his brother Cain. Thus, the surname is a patronymic one, relating to the name of a father or ancestor.

In German language and culture, it is also a short form of the personal name Albrecht, a compound of 'ala', which means "all" and 'beraht', meaning "bright". Therefore, Abel began to be used as a familial name in Germany, denoting "shining with fame"; it's still utilized in numerous regions around the country.

Furthermore, Abel is a French surname deriving from the personal name Abelard, particularly given in the north of the country. Abelard is originated from German elements 'adal', meaning "noble", and 'hardu', meaning "hardy" or "brave". Therefore, the Abel surname identifies a person as both "noble" and "brave".

Despite these varying origins, the surname Abel is widespread across Europe and North America.

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Abel: Where does the name Abel come from?

The last name Abel has multiple origins, reflecting its use across diverse cultures. It is derived from the Hebrew personal name "Hebel" or "Abel", used in the Old Testament of the Bible. As a Jewish surname, Abel was likely used as an anglicized form of similar Ashkenazic names. It may pinpoint an ancestor as a breeder of cattle or keeper of an apiary since "abel" means bee in Yiddish. There is also the possibility of Abel originating from Germanic or Nordic countries, where Abel (or Aapeli in Finnish) is commonly used as a first name.

Today, the surname Abel is found most commonly in the United States, Germany, and France based on frequency per million inhabitants. However, it's widely dispersed across many countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, and others. Some notable individuals with the last name Abel are American actor Jake Abel and retired Canadian hockey player Sid Abel.

Variations of the surname Abel

The surname Abel has numerous variants and spellings derived from different cultures and languages. These include Abele, Abell, Abelsson, Able, Aebli, and Abeles. It can also be found as Abeln, Abels, Abelé, Abé, Abela, Abelle, Aabel, and Aabels in different regions.

The surname Abel could also be associated with Jewish surnames like Abelesz or Abelski. In regions like Scandinavia, it could be patronymic, such as Abelsson, meaning Abel's son. Also, in some areas of Germany and Netherlands, the 'n' or 's' suffix indicates 'son of,' resulting in Abeln or Abels.

In relation to the origin of the name, these varied surnames might not signify a common origin, as Abel is a biblical name, and its use might have spread independently across regions with Christian influence. Hence, someone named Abel could have been given the name due to his Christian faith, not necessarily because his ancestors carried it. However, it's worth noting that, any derivative or variant forms of the surname could imply a common locale or linguistic origin.

It is also worth noting that the understanding of the surname's variants can significantly aid in genealogical research.

Famous people with the name Abel

  • Alan Abel: A well-known American prankster and writer.
  • Clamor Heinrich Abel: A German Baroque composer.
  • Arthur Abel: A prominent New Zealand lawyer and politician in the early 20th century.
  • Annie Heloise Abel: A notable British historian who specialized in Native American history.
  • David Abel: An American cinematographer known for movies like "King Kong."
  • Friedrich Gottfried Abel: A German medical doctor and physicist.
  • Niels Henrik Abel: A famous Norwegian mathematician.
  • Robert Abel: A popular American pioneer in visual effects.
  • Karl Friedrich Abel: An eminent German composer of the Classical era.
  • Morton Abel: An American former professional tennis player.
  • Olga de Alaketu: Also known as Olga do Alaketu or Mãe Olga, a Candomblé priestess in Brazil, born Olga Francisca Maria Abel.
  • Othenio Abel: An Austrian paleontologist and evolutionary biologist.
  • Leighton Abel: A popular singer and songwriter from Antigua and Barbuda.
  • Alfred Abel: A famous German film actor, director, and producer.
  • Walter Abel: An American stage and film character actor.
  • Sheldon Abel: A retired Canadian professional ice hockey player.
  • Iorwith Wilbur Abel: An American labor leader.
  • Jake Abel: An American model and actor famous for roles in films like "Percy Jackson" and "Supernatural".
  • Jennifer Abel: A Canadian diver and Olympic medalist.
  • Arnold Abel: A British production designer and art director.

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