I am researching the Abel/Abell family also. The oldest piece of history we have been able to find is John Madison Abel born March 1839 in KY. His father was John Abell. We found this information on a paper signed on John Madison's date of marriage which was guardianship papers giving Robert Hazlett, Rebecca's father, guardianship.John Madison Abel married Rebecca Virginia Hazlett in 1834 in Sangamon County, IL. They had 6 children. Then about the mid 1870 he had 4 children by Una Hammonds in TX. This guardianship paper has really got us.Any light someone could shed on why this might have happened would be great. I thought I would write to you since you too are working on the Abel surname.