How the Old and Distinguished Zabel Family Got its Name and What the Zabel Name Means
The surname Zabel appears to be from certain locations and occupational in origin. Our research indicates that it can be associated with the Poles and Czechs, meaning, "dweller at, or near the sign of the sable; one who trapped or sold sables." Although this interpretation is the result of onomastic research, you may find other meanings for the Zabel family name. Many surnames have more than one origin. For instance, the English surname "Bell" may designate one who lived or worked at the sign of the hell, or it may refer to a bell ringer, or bell maker. It may he a nickname for "the handsome one," from the Old French word "bel" which means beautiful. It could also indicate the descendant of "Bel," or pet form of Isabel.
When you begin to do more extensive research on the Zabel name you may have difficulty finding it with the exact spelling which you use today. It, in fact, may very well have been spelled differently hundreds of years ago, or you may even know of someone in your families past who actually changed his name. The more research you do, the more likely you'll find several different spellings. Language changes, carelessness and a high degree of illiteracy (sometimes the man himself did not know how to spell his own name) compounded the number of ways a name might have been spelled. Often the town clerk spelled the name the way it sounded to him.
Spelling Variations of the Family Name
Knowing that different spellings of the same original surname are a common occurrence, it is not surprising that dictionaries of surnames indicate probable spelling variations of the Zabel surname to be Zabelle, Zabelles, Zabele, Zabeles and Zabels. Although bearers of the old and distinguished Zabel name comprise a small percentage of individuals living in the world today, there may be a large number of your direct relatives who are using one of the Zabel name variations. We have mentioned the most common sources from which surnames are derived.
... We pronounce our name as the previous mentioned ZAYBULL.