This unusual surname, recorded in English Church Registers from the late 17th Century nder the variant spellings Ably, Ablee, Abiley and Aubley, is ultimately believed to be of Anglo-Welsh origin, and a patronymic form of the male given name Ley. This name, appearing in medieval Welsh Records as "Leia, Lia" and "Leya", derives from the Old Welsh personal byname "Lleia(f)", "littlest", the superlative of "bach", little, and was originally applied as a distinguishing nickname to the grandson who had the same name as his father and grandfather. Hywel Leia ap Hywel ap Hywel was noted in "Welsh Genealogies", dated 1215 - 1350, and a Res Leya in Records of Glamorgan, dated 1448. The form Abley, widely recorded in Shropshire Church Registers, results from the fusion of the Welsh patronymic prefix "ap, ab", with the personal name. Katheryn Abley and Davyd Taylor were married at Condover, Shropshire, on August 3rd 1578, and in 1731, Llewellin Abley, an infant, was christened at Ludlow. It is also possible that Abley may be an Anglicized form of either of two French surnames, the first, Abeilhe, being an occupational name for a bee-keeper, and the second, Aubailly, a patronymic, "au bailly", son of the bailiff. Anne, daughter of William Aubley, was christened at Alderminster, Worcestershire, on December 25th 1726, and on January 21st 1755, the marriage of Ann Abiley to James Goodchild took place at Ashwell, Hertfordshire.Margarett Abley,July 14th 1572, marriage to Hugh Baugh, at Condover, Shropshire,Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Abel which was dated T during the reign of his most interesting and unusual surname can be described as 'universal', as it is recorded in all European countries, and most unusually, in the same spellings. It was apparently introduced by returning Crusaders and pilgrims from the Holy Land in the 12th century, and as such derives from the Hebrew given name 'Hevel' meaning 'breath or vigour'. This was originally either 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. The early surname was widely 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.recorded in Germany, Eastern England and Southern Scotland, and even today is well represented in its various forms in the registers of those areas. The surname is now recorded in the modern spellings of Abel, Able, Abele, Abelle, and the patronymic Abels, Abelsen, Abelson, and Ableson. Early examples of the surname recordings include Master Abel of Kelso Abbey, Scotland, in 1235, Richard Abel of Buckinghamshire in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of the county, Thomas Abelle in the Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire for the year 1301, and Hans Abel zu Niederstotzingen, Germany, in the 1355 charters of that country. The coat of arms is very distinctive, having the blazon of a silver field, charged with twelve gold fleur-de-lis on a saltire of blue.William Abel,1197, in the pipe rolls of the county of Essex,King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199.
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