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Whilst undoubtedly an old Maltese surname, dating back to at least the fourteenth century, there is evidence that Abela was confined to Gozo until at least the 1700s.

Most likely from the Jewish name Abel, which in turn may derive from the Hebrew hevel, meaning "zeal or breath". These roots impressively hark back to the ancient Sumerian and Akkadian word for "son", a term also used for the human race more widely.

The three mullets (five-pointed stars) signify the holy trinity, whilst the chevron represents a roof, shelter, and protection.

An image linked to a dedicated page about the Maltese surname Abela.
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