Origin of Surname
By some authorities this family is said to come from a French source, but by others, to be identical with that of Gabriel, of England. Given the time that the family has been established in Jersey, we prefer the former, which suggests a derivation from the old French verb gaber, meaning to joke or mock oneself.
The ancestor of the existing branch, represented by John Gabourel, of La Colomberie, is supposed to have been a seventh son, who, absent on a voyage, escaped the fate of his six elder brothers, who fell victims to the plague which ravaged the island about the year 1536. These brothers were buried in the graveyard of the now demolished feudal chapel of St George, at Vinchelez de Bas, where the tomb erected to their memory is still remembered by some of the patriarchs of St Ouen.
The first recorded baptisms are in St Ouen in the 1650s.
As borne by John Gabourel,: Argent, an anchor erect, azure; on a chief or the last, three roses of the field. Quartering : Argent, a chevron between two roses slipped in chief, and a heart in base, all gules, for Benest.
Crest : A greyhound's head, couped, argent, collared and chained, or.
The Gabourel's of Jersey may have engaged in privateering and were definitely involved in the slave trade. The family appears to have been fairly wealthy during the 1700s and early 1800s, owning land in Jersey and in North Carolina. John Joshua Gabourel went into private banking in Jersey in the early 1800s until his partner embezzled funds from the bank. He made good on the debts out of his personal fortune, but only led a modest life after that.
These are two trees of the same family from different sources. The second goes back a generation further, but the first has much more detail
The history of the Gabourel family of Jersey is discussed in John Richard Gabourel's book, The House of Gabourel - A Four Century History of the Gabourels of Jersey from 1500 to 1900, an in-depth study of C Langton's Gabourel Heraldry.