Recorded as Gabel, Gabler, and in England Gable, as well as ornamental compounds such as Gabelmacher or Gabelsberger, this is almost always a surname of Germanic origins, of which there are three. The first is an occupational name for a maker of agricultural implements specifically forks. As such the derivation is from the pre 7th century Olde German word 'gabel'. The second possible origin is residential for a person who lived at a 'gabel', in this case meaning a fork in a road or river. The English word 'gable' meaning the wall at the end of a building, also derives from this source. Thirdly it is habitational from a place called Gabel. There are several examples in Germany, although the town of Gabel in Bohemia seems to have provided most examples. There is also a possibility that when the name is found in English speaking countires it could originate from a French word 'gabelier', and as such described a medieval tax collector. The surname, perhaps not surprisingly given all the possibly origins, is a very early recording in German speaking countries. The first example is believed to be that of Gumbert Gabiler of Wimpfen, Germany, in the year 1265, with Petrus Gabler of Basel in Switzerland being recorded there ten years later in 1275. Henrich Gabel of Baden appears in the charter of that city in 1322, whilst Franz Gabelsburger is recorded in Mindheim in 1772.
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