Gabala

Gabala - what does Gabala surname mean?

This very interesting surname is recorded in various spellings including Gaballa, Gaballo, Gabalda, Gaballino and others. It is found all along the north coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and therefore can be described a name of South European origins, and probably Romano-Greek. However this may not necessarily be the case because the name may have Germanic origins from the pre 5th century a.d. In German the word `gabala` means a fork or at least an implement for digging, the same word being found in Latin as `gabalus`, and as such was probably job descriptive for a farmer. What we do know is that after the fall of the Roman Empire in 410 a.d., the region including most of Spain, parts of Greece and Italy, was occupied by the Huns and the Goths, and it may be that this name is a reminder of those ancient warriors. Unfortunately early record keeping before the 18th century, was in most areas surrounding the Mediterranean at best erratic and at worst non existent. We have however been able to find some authentic records taken from surviving European church registers. These include Jeane Gabalda, of Becastel-et-Bec, France, on April 9th 1756, Christopherus Gaballo of Heidelberg, Baden, Germany, on November 17th 1789, and Guiseppi Gallino, of San Severo, Foggia, Italy, on April 1st 1830.

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