Abels History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Abels is one of the names carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is based on the given name Hevel, which means evanescence. It is also possibly derived from an Old German word which means noble one. The surname Abels was also a baptismal name meaning the son of Abel, and became a popular 13th century name meaning son.
There may be a Norman connection of the family too, as there in the Mémoires de la Society des Antiquaires de la Normandie, John de Aubeale was security in Normandy, 1200, for Roger de Plomes. 
Early Origins of the Abels family
The surname Abels was first found in the counties of Kent, Derbyshire and Essex.
"N. Abel held lands from Lanfranc in Kent 1086 ; and 'Joh' Abel et Consorti Sue' were among the Kentish gentry summoned by a writ of Edward I. in the first year of his reign 'to be present at his and the Queen's coronation at Westminster on the Sunday next after the feast of St. Valentine the Martyr.' " 
"Abell was also an Essex family, although branches spread into the counties of Kent and Derby." 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 elude to the scattered influence of the family at that time, both as a surname and a forename: Richard Abel, Buckinghamshire; Abel le Specer. Derbyshire; Henry Abel, Nottinghamshire; and Allan Abel, Cambridgeshire. 
Early records of the name mention Abel de Etton, 1221, Wales and William Abell was documented in County Essex in the year of 1197. Richard Abell was documented in the County Somerset, 1300. 
Scotland was a familiar home to the family too. Abel (d. 764), Archbishop of Rheims, "was a native of Scotland and Benedictine monk. In the early part of the eighth century he left England in company with Boniface, to aid him in his missionary work in Germany, and he did not again return to this country. " 
Still in Scotland, we found "Master Abell, Clericus Regis, was one of the members of a mission sent to England to ask restoration of the earldom of Huntingdon in 1237. He also appears in documents concerning the Abbey of Kelso in 1235, and in 1253 'valuing his own promotion more than the honour of the king or kingdom caused himself to be consecrated bishop by the pope.' " 
Early History of the Abels family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Abels research. Another 223 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1540, 1578, 1623, 1714, 1388, 1387, 1413, 1413, 1512, 1696, 1697, 1430, 1635, 1540, 1516, 1528, 1540, 1660, 1716, 1679, 1681, 1578, 1675, 1861, 1858, 1633, 1584, 1655, 1667 and 1711 are included under the topic Early Abels History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Abels Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Abell, Abel, Able, Habel, Abeel, Abelson, Abelle, Abele, Ablson, Ebelson, Abill, Abilson, Aball, Abeal, Eblson and many more.
Early Notables of the Abels family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Abell (d. 1540), Catholic martyr who studied at Oxford and took the degree of M.A. in 1516. "Nothing else is known of his early life, nor when it was that he entered the service of Katharine of Aragon; but it was certainly before the year 1528, when he received a New Year's gift from the King as her chaplain. Abell was of course deprived of his benefice of Bradwell; but as the offence charged against him in the act was only misprision, he seems to have remained in the Tower for six...
Another 244 words (17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Abels Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Abels is the 11,755th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 
| Abels migration to the United States ||+|
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Abels or a variant listed above:
Abels Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Chas. Abels, aged 34, arrived in New York in 1893 aboard the ship "Paris" from Southampton, England 
- Johann Abels, aged 76, arrived in New York in 1893 aboard the ship "Lahn" from Bremen, Germany 
- Alwine Abels, aged 18, arrived in New York in 1896 aboard the ship "Lahn" from Bremen, Germany 
Abels Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- W.R. Abels, arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Lake St. Regis" from Havana, Cuba 
- Walter Abels, arrived in New York City, New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Fort Wright" from Azores 
|Contemporary Notables of the name Abels (post 1700) ||+|
- Paul Abels (1937-1992), American Methodist minister
- Michael Abels (b. 1962), American classical composer
- David Abels, English founder of Abels Shipbuilders Ltd, a ship and boat builder in Bristol, England in 1980
- Jacobus Theodorus "Jacob" Abels (1803-1866), Dutch painter
- Erika Abels (1896-1975), born Erika Abels d'Albert, an Austrian painter and graphic artist
- Otto Abels Harbach (1873-1963), American lyricist and librettist of about 50 musical comedies and is in the Songwriter's Hall of Fame
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Vive le Roi
Motto Translation: Long life to the King.
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- 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)
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 1 of 3
- Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
- "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6BD-J2W : 6 December 2014), Chas. Abels, 24 Jun 1893; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Paris, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J61C-NPR : 6 December 2014), Johann Abels, 12 Oct 1893; citing departure port Bremen, arrival port New York, ship name Lahn, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JX3Y-7XM : 6 December 2014), Alwine Abels, 22 Oct 1896; citing departure port Bremen, arrival port New York, ship name Lahn, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6WX-4P1 : 6 December 2014), W.R. Abels, 20 Oct 1919; citing departure port Havana, arrival port New York, ship name Lake St. Regis, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6H2-2QS : 6 December 2014), Walter Abels, 11 Jan 1920; citing departure port Azores, arrival port New York City, New York, New York, ship name Fort Wright, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).