Recorded in over fifty forms including Caban, Cabane, Chaban, Chavanes (France), Cavan, Cavana, Cavanni (Italy), and Cabana, Cabena, Cabanis, Cabanise (Spanish & Portugese), this is a southern European surname, which is ultimately of Provencal origins. It is sometimes locational from various place called Caban or Cavan or similar, or topographical or perhaps even occupational, and describes a person who lived in a cabane, the modern English "cabin". This was usually a primitive building or shelter erected in any area where orginally the cattle and sheep were taken for summer grazing. The derivation is from the Roman (Latin) word "capanna", although curiously it would seem that this word was a "borrowing" from a Celtic word possibly "cappa" meaning summit. The surname is well recorded at least from the 17th century in almost all parts of Europe. These recordings include such examples as from France, Francois Cabannes of Montaut, departement of Bass-Pyrenees, on February 3rd 1673, Louis Cabane at Anduze, departement of Gard, on April 4th 1675, from Italy, Isabella de Cabini at San Benedetto, Mantova, on October 26th 1692, and from Spain, Ferreira Cabana, at Arada de Monterroso, Lugo, on July 5th 1788.
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