Apparently recorded as Yan, Yann, Yanne (English) Yane, diminutives Yanel, Yanele, and Yansse (France), this is a surname of medieval origins. We believe that it is a variant form of the popular personal name and surnames Johannes or John, from the ancient Hebrew 'Yochan' meaning 'God has provided me with a son'. This name was introduced into Europe by Crusader knights, otherwise known as the Knight Templars on their return from the many attempts to free the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 12th century. It spread rapidly and today it is estimated that over one thousand variations have been created around the original forms. There is no obvious reason why this surname should be any different. It may however be a female form which manifests itself in such personal names as Jan, Jana, Jane and Joan. An example of the surname recordings taken from an early surviving church register, most were destroyed in the Revolution of 1792, is that of Jean Baptist Yanel. He was the son of Claude and Francoise Yanel, and was christened at the village of Allichamps in the departement of Haute-Marne, France, on December 16th 1698.
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