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ABEL Family HistoryThis most interesting and unusual surname is Anglo-Scottish. It was mainly introduced by returning 12th century Crusaders and pilgrims from the Holy Land. 'Abel' derives from the Hebrew given name 'Hevel' meaning 'breath or vigour', and was presumably a name of endearment or possibly a nickname. As a personal name 'Abel' (Hevel) was borne by the son of Adam, who was murdered by his brother Cain. It was very popular as a given name in Christendom during the Middle Ages, when there was a cult of 'suffering innocence' which Abel represented.
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