This name derives from the Hebrew personal name Gabriel meaning "Strong man of God". In the New Testament, the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to become the Mother of Jesus. During the Middle Ages, it was a particularly popular given name and is first recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Sussex in 1212 - "Gabriel filius (son of) Reginaldi". Modern variants of the name are recorded as Gaber, Gavriel, Gabrieli, Gabriely, etc... In 1296 one, Gabriel Spyg appears in the Subsidy Rolls of that County. The first recording of the surname occurs in 1296, and one, Thomas Gabriell appears in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire, (1379). An interesting name-bearer was Mary Ann Gabriel (1825 - 1877), a musical composer who published songs, operettas and cantatas, including "Evangeline", (1873). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Gabryel. which was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex". during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.
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