- This ancient surname could be of Spanish-Catalan, Italian, or Hebrew origins. It may derive from the Catalan "abella" translatins as "the bee" and therefore a nickname for a small and active person, or a metonymic occupational name for a bee-keeper. The Catalan word itself is probably a development from the Roman (Latin) "apis". However the surname may also be locational from various places so called in the Spanish provinces of Lerida and Barcelona, and in Sicily. These place names may have referred to centres of bee-keeping or possibly areas famed for their wild bees. Some researches believe that it is also possible that the locational name is associated with the Latin "Avella", which is generally considered to be of Etruscan origin, and probably describes a burial place. The Catalan name "Abello", from the Roman "Abellia", also overlaps. This was the name of a god worshipped in the Pyrenean region. Lastly the name could occasionally be a patronymic form of the ancient Hebrew "Hevel", generally recorded in Europe as "Abel", and introduced by Crusaders returning from the Holy Land in the 13th century. Examples of the surname recording include Bernardo de Abela, who married Antonia Vazquez at Santa Maria Magdalena, Valladolid, on July 26th 1738, and Sebastean Abella, who married Lorenz Diaz at San Vicente, Lugo, Spain on February 10th 1823. The registers of Malta include the marriage of Maria Abela and Michaelis Fenech on February 27th 1724 at Zeftun, and the coat of arms has the blazon of a blue field, charged with a chevron, and in chief three spurs, all gold . The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Eularia Abella, which was dated August 24th 1675, married at Santa Maria La Bisbal, Gerona, Spain, during the reign of King Charles 11 of Spain, reigned 1665 - 1700. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.