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Origin of the Abell Surname

"The earliest recorded appearance of the family name so far discovered is on the roll of knights and men-at-arms under William the Conquerer in 1066, preserved in Battle Abbey, England, where it is inscribed in the form of ABELL. King William, after he had gained posession of the lands in England by conquest, and in order better to protect his followers in their acquired rights to the soil, sent commissioners into each county for the purpose of accumulating exact statements of the property and revenue of the kingdom wherever rents and services were due to the crown. These inquisitions or surveys were completed in the year 1086, and afterwards arranged in proper order in a record called Domesday. Through the means of this record we learn that estates or manors were managed for the crown by stewards or lords as sub-tenants. Many Normans who had rendered assistance to the Conqueror were rewarded by being made tenants-in-chief to the king. Of these tenants-in-chief there were about fourteen hundred in number. They were considered the most distinguished men of that period, and stood ready at a moment's notice to render any service that the king might require of them, whether of a civil or military nature. We find the name of ABELL inscribed in this Domesday book as an under-tenant living in the county of Kent. This may have been the progenitor of the English families that flourished in various parts of England from the conquest to the Stuart period and to the present time."  Source:  "Abell Family In America"


My Abell ancestors


01. Robert Abell, the first Abell mentioned in the book "Abell Family in America" and "Burke's American Families" was born in 1500 in Stapenhill, Derby, England.  He was named c. 1533-8 as of Stapenhill, in a complaint of Walter Blount (Chancery Proc. Early 725/38, 738/10). He is mentioned in a deed 1547, and in the will of his son George 1596. A Robert Abell, gent., was a servant or tenant to Sir Wm. Gryseley and was at Bryslincote, county Derby, in 9 Henry VIII (1517-8) (Star Cham. Proc. 19/159).  He is shown to have married Helene in 1521 in Derby.


02. Robert Abell, son of Robert was born in 1531 in Derby.  His spouse was unknown.  Robert is Mentioned in the wills of Brother Anthony in 1559, and of his brother George 1596 as then deceased.  He died on May 17, 1588 in Derby.


03. George Abell, son of Robert was born in 1561 in Derby.  He was educated at Brasenose crown.gif (3205 bytes)College, Oxford and admitted to the Inner Temple in 1581.  He was Executor to his father's Will in 1588.  He married Frances Cotton, daughter of Richard Cotton, of Combermere and Mary Mainwaring. It is through Frances that this family connects to royalty through the Mainwaring line.  Click here to see the will of George Abell. 

The 4 children of Frances and George are:

1 George Abell (Born abt. 1587)
2 Robert Abell (See Below)
3 Richard Abell (Born abt. 1591)
4 Mary Abell (Born abt. 1593)

04. Robert Abell , son of George was born in abt. 1605 in Hemington, Leicestershire, England.   He was the immigrant who came to New England with John Winthrop on the Winthrop Fleet, in June 1630 and settled at Rehoboth, MA.   He took the Oath of Freeman May 18, 1631.  In 1638 he married Joanna whose last name is unknown.   Robert removed from Weymouth in 1643, probably following Rev. Samuel Newman, the real founder of Rehoboth. Rev. Newman was minister at Weymouth for four and a half or five years, then with a majority of his congregation, in 1642 removed to a place called by the Indians Seekonk, to which he gave the name of Rehoboth.  There are several records documenting his activity in Rehoboth where he lived until he died on June 20, 1663.  The Winthrop Society was created for ancestors who came over on the Winthrop Fleet. 

The 8 children of Robert and Joanna are:

1 Abraham Abell (Born on Nov 14, 1639 in Weymouth, Norfolk, MA - Died Nov 14, 1639)
2 Mary Abell (Born on Apr 11, 1642 in Weymouth, MA) Married Rev. Samuel Luther
3 Preserved Abell (Born in 1644 in Rehoboth, Bristol, MA - Died Aug 18, 1724 in Rehoboth)
                               Married Martha Redway
4 Caleb Abell (See Below)
5 Joshua Abell (Born in 1649 in Rehoboth, Bristol, MA - Died Mar 1, 1725 in Norwich, CT)
                         Married Mehill Smith
6 Benjamin Abell (Born abt. 1651 in Rehoboth, Bristol, MA - Died Jun 6, 1699 in Norwich, CT)
                             Married Hannah Baldwin in 1678 in Topswich, CT
7 Experience Abell (Born in 1653 in Rehoboth, Bristol, MA - Died in Jan. 1706)
                                Married John Baldwin
8 James Abell (Born abt 1755 in Weymouth, MA) Married Sarah Bowen on Dec 27, 1656

05. Caleb Abell, son of Robert was born in 1646 in Rehoboth, MA.  In 1668 he moved to Norwich, Connecticut where he married Margaret Post on July 1669.  In the original purchase of land when Norwich was settled, six acres having 16 rods front was assigned to Robert Wade, this he sold to Caleb Abell in 1677, and it was afterwards known as the Abell homestead. This property abutted on Town Street 16 rods, on the home lot of Morgan Bowers 72 rods, on the river 18 rods and on John Birchard land 74 rods. The location may be seen in a map on page 67 of "Caulkins' Norwich." On December 18, 1694 Caleb was appointed to keep his house as "an ordinari or of entertayment" for the year, or until another be chosen.

In 1697 Caleb and ten others were allowed to build a seat on the east side of the meeting house on the Leanto beams for their convenient sitting on the Lord's Days. Rev. Huntington's book of "Old Houses of the Ancient Town of Norwich" names 36 men whom he supposes to have been original proprietors; but one of these was Richard Wallis and another was Caleb Abell, who in 1660 was only 14 years of age. On May 2, 1728 Caleb deeded 12 1/4 acres of land to his daughter, Experience Hide. On January 12, 1727-8 Caleb deeded to his son Noah his home lot, dwelling house and barn, all lands adjoining his home lot and lands over the river (Yantic) his pasture land lying northerly and northeasterly of William Hide dwelling house (which house was on the other side of Town Street and a little to the east) lying in two parcels, together with land on both sides of Bradford brook on north side of road leading to Lebanon, except 1 1/2 acres on south east of brook and land near Benjamin Abell's dwelling house which he gave to his son Samuel, reserving to himself and his wife Marey the dwelling house during his life and for hers after his decease, also liberty to his daughter Hannah to dwell in said house so long as she remains unmarried and a passageway across home lot to his son Samuel to Samuel's own land.

Caleb joined the first church of Norwich before 1701. He was Sergeant of the Norwich Train Band in 1701 and Selectman in 1682, Constable in 1684 and 1706 and Townsman in 1689. In the books of Grants in Norwich, there are 38 or more items to Caleb Abell.  Caleb died on August 17, 1731 in Norwich.

Note that there is an interesting connection between the Abell and Hyde lines which helps strengthen the relationship between Caleb and Robert.  "The Vital Records of Rehoboth", page 3 shows the marriage of "Joanna Abell to William Hide" on June 4, 1667 (see link to reference).  Note that Margaret Post's grandfather is William Hyde.  This William married as his 2nd wife Joanna, the widow of Caleb's father Robert. 

The 9 children of Caleb and Margaret are:

1 Samuel Abell (Born Oct, 1672 - Died Nov 26, 1781 in Norwich, CT) Married Elizabeth

     1. Elizabeth Abell (Feb 11, 1697-)  
     2. Margaret Abell
(Feb 27, 1700-)
     3. Samuel Abell
(Oct 9, 1702-)
     4. Capt. Joshua Abell
(Nov 23, 1706-)
     5. Sarah Abell
(Oct 13, 1711-)
2 Experience Abell (Born on Dec 24, 1674 in Norwich, CT - Died Oct 24, 1763 in Norwich)
                                 Married John Hyde

     1. James Hyde (Feb 28, 1706-)  Married Sarah Marshall
     2. John Hyde
(Dec 5, 1698 - Oct 22, 1762)  Married Sarah Haskins on Sep 21, 1721
     3. Experience Hyde 
(Sep 7, 1700-)  Married Samuel Gifford
     4. Margaret Hyde 
(Aug 16, 1702 - Feb 6, 1789)  Married John Tracy III on Jan 21, 1723
     5. Eliezar Hyde
(Dec 12, 1704 - May 11, 1772)  Married Sarah Hewitt on Feb 8, 1733
     6. Ester Hyde
(Feb16, 1708-)
     7. Matthew Hyde
(Apr 28, 1711-)
     8. Luce Hyde
(Apr 16, 1713-)
     9. Deborah Hyde
(Jan 22, 1715-)
3 Caleb Abell (Born on Apr 8, 1677 in Norwich, CT - Died aft. 1646)
                       Married Abigail Sluman (1679-1748) on Feb 10, 1705/6

     1. Daniel Abell (Feb 3, 1705-Bef. Dec 3, 1794)  Married Sarah Crane on Dec 21, 1727
     2. Caleb Abell
(Apr 25, 1709-Nov 23, 1804)  Married Mary Clark on Feb 7, 1738
     3. Abigail Abell
(Apr 11, 1711-Sep 15, 1784)  Married Joseph Sluman on Mar 13, 1739
     4. Mary Abell (Aug 4, 1714 - Feb 26, 1785)
4 John Abell (Born on Dec 1678 - ) 
                     Married Rebecca Sluman (1682-1738)

     1. John Abell (Mar 10, 1703 - Mar 10, 1703)
     2. Sarah Abell
(Mar 2, 1705 - Apr 27, 1781) Married Benjamin Metcalf (1705-1777) 
     3. Solomon Abell
(Jan 7, 1707-)   Married Mary Northum in 1747
     4. Rebecca Abell
(Jan 18, 1710-) Married John West
     5. Hannah Abell
(Sep 26, 1716 - Oct 13, 1746)
     6. Bethiah Abell
(Oct 18, 1718 - )  Married Amos Randall on Feb 19, 1740
     7. David Abell
(Apr 7, 1722-Jun 23, 1781)  Married Alice Roberts on Jul 12, 1742
5 Theophilus Abell (Born on Nov 20, 1680 in Norwich - Died Aug 31, 1724 in Norwich)
                                 Married Anne Calkins (1692-1733)

     1. Anne Abell (Jul 2, 1717-Feb 27, 1744)
Married Hezekiah Edgerton (1706-1776)
     2. Zerviah Abell
(Jan 29, 1722 - Jun 22, 1785) 
Married Elisha Edgerton (1719-1785)
                  1. Zerviah Edgerton Abell (Apr 25, 1746 in Norwich, CT - Dec 29, 1823 in Norwich, CT)
                           Married Hezekiah Abell (1741-1832) 
                  2. Experience Edgerton (Jan 25, 1750 - )
                  3. Elisha Edgerton (Nov 20, 1753 - Jun 9, 1832)
                           Married Eunice Peck (1754-)
                  4. Abell Edgerton  (Sep 16, 1760 - )
                           Married Mehitable Tracy on May 16, 1782
6 Joanna Abell (See Below)
7 Margaret Abell (Born in 1689 in Norwich, CT - Died Apr 18, 1752 in New London, CT)
                             Married Richard Douglas

     1. Jonathan Douglas (Oct 30, 1705-)
     2. William Douglas
(Jan 1, 1708-)
3. Abiah Douglas
(Dec 11, 1710-)
4. Caleb Douglas
(Nov 7, 1714-)
5. Margaret Douglas
(Sep 1, 1717-)
6. Richard Douglas
(May 1, 1720-)
7. Samuel Douglas
(May 10, 1722-)
8. Elizabeth Douglas
(May 27, 1726-)
8 Abigail Abell (Born on Mar 16, 1689 in Norwich, CT - Died Jun 2, 1736 in Norwich, CT)
                         Married Barnabus Lathrop on Jan 12, 1709.
9 Hannah Abell (Born on Oct 12, 1692 in Norwich, CT)

06. Joanna Abell, daughter of Caleb and Margaret was born in November, 1682 in Norwich, New London, CT.  In 1707 she married Zachariah Loomis, son of John Loomis.  They had 10 children.  Joanna died on November 25, 1759 of smallpox in Lebanon, Tolland, CT.  She is buried in the Loomis Cemetery there.  I descend from their daughter Zerviah Loomis who married Ebenezer Jones.


Migration pattern of my Abell family
England -- Massachusetts -- Connecticut


Surnames that married into my Abell family





Abell Coat Of Arms

Here are various coats of arms belonging to the Abell family as found in the book "Abell Family In America".  The first one is the coat of arms used by Robert Abell, Son of George Abell.

Coat of Arms #1

Coat of Arms #2


Winthrop Society

Robert Abell came to America on the Winthrop fleet in 1630.  Descendants of Robert are eligible to join the Winthrop Society which is open to all with proven descent of an ancestor from the Winthrop fleet.

National Society - Magna Charta Dames and Barons
Robert Abell is decended from 12 Surety Baron ancestors.  This society has a webpage for those interested in their organization.  The 12 Surety Baron ancestors are listed below from the Brookfield Publishing Company website with links to more information on them.  I also have a website page that goes into detail on the descents to one of my gateway ancestors. 
01. WILLIAM D'ALBINI: Lord of Belvoir Castle (c1165-1220)
02. ROGER BIGOD: Earl of Norfolk (1150-1221)
03. HUGH BIGOD: The Earl of Norfolk's heir (1186-1224)
04. HENRY DE BOHUN: Earl of Hereford
05. RICHARD DE CLARE: Earl of Hertford (1162-1218)
06. GILBERT DE CLARE: The Earl of Hertford's heir (1182-1230)
07. JOHN DE LACIE: Lord of Halton Castle, Cheshire (1192-1240)
08. WILLIAM MALET: Lord of Curry-Malet, Somersetshire (1166-1216)
09. WILLIAM DE MOWBRAY: Lord of Axholme Castle, Lincolnshire
10. SAIRE DE QUINCEY: Earl of Winchester (1155-1219)
11. ROBERT DE ROOS: Lord of Hamlake Castle, Yorkshire
12. ROBERT DE VERE: Earl of Oxford (1164-1221)


Abell material on the internet
blueball.gif (111 bytes) Robert Abell Wikipedia page


Robert Abell lines to Lady Godiva
blueball.gif (111 bytes) I created a PDF of multiple descents from Lady Godiva here

1  The Abell Family In America - Robert Abell of Rehoboth, Mass. His English Ancestry and His Descendants
by Horace A. Abell and Lewis P. Abell, Tuttle Publishing Company, Inc. (1940) 
2  Medieval English Ancestors of Robert Abell
    by Carl Boyer, 3rd., 1st Edition (2001)  
3  Burkes American Families with British Ancestry
by John Bernard Burke (1939) , p. 2529
 4   Ancestors of American Presidents
by Gary Boyd Roberts (1989), p.  296
5    Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth-Century Colonists
   by David Faris (Unknown edition ), p. 1 
6   Ancestors of Robert Abell 
    by Horace A. Abell (1933)
7   And Then There Was You
by Marjorie Eilene Wells-Cook (1979), p. 4,40 


1  "Abell Family in America" by Horace A. & Lewis P. Abell. (1940) 339p. - A great resource for the Abell surname.  Although dated, it provides a lot of important information on the Abell line and is a must for any Abell descendant.  Amazon provides a deal through Higgenson Books which will make you a copy of the book at a very reasonable price.
2  "Medieval English Ancestors of Robert Abell" by Carl Boyer, 3rd (2001) 344p - Fills in a lot of blanks about Robert's ancestors that extend into royalty.  Full of history and sources.  It is organized by surname for quick reference.  The author has done a lot of research on these lines, some of which there is very little documentation on elsewhere.  It is highly recommended for those interested in how these surnames originated and provides a lot of biographical information. 
3  "Ancestors and Descendants of Robert Abell" by Horace A. Abell (1933) Covers a lot of Abell material, including some that is not mentioned in "Abell Family in America".
4   "One Branch of the Abell Family Showing The Allied Families" by Horace A. Abell (1934)


 This Abell page is dedicated to
Carl Boyer, 3rd.

His book "Medieval English Ancestors of Robert Abell" provides a wealth of
information on this family and its early ancestors.  It has helped to provide
me with the information needed to branch out my website to these earlier lines.


My Descent From The Abell Line

Generation Father Mother
16 Robert Abell (bef. 1496-)  
15 Robert Abell (1500-1597) Helene
14 Robert Abell (1531-1588)  
13 George Abell (1561-1631) Frances Cotton (1565-1630)
12 Robert Abell (1589-1663) Joanna (1610-1672)
11 Caleb Abell (1646-1731) Margaret Post (1653-1700)
10 Zachariah Loomis (1681-1751) Joanna Abell (1682-1759)
9 Ebenezer Jones (1718-1800) Zerviah Loomis (1724-1808)
8 Miles Jones (1764-1812) Mehitable Adams (1771-1812)
7 Miles Jones (1794-1885) Pamelia Turner (1805-1883)
6 Darius Benjamin Jones (1834-1918) Marquerite Cowan (1835-1906)
5 Nathaniel Henry Hawk (1858-1944) Anna Irene Jones (1868-1936)
4 Ernest August Schwiening (1873-1944) Grace Myrtle Hawk (1885-1984)
3 William Edward Marshall (1901-1981) Irene Sophia Schwiening (1908-1992)
2 William Edward Marshall
1 Tod Howard Marshall

This page was last updated on 06/29/17 

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