Names are names or rather names are words, all the same to a researcher.
Zabel in German originates in the Latin tabula and means 'board' or 'boardplay'. Schachzabel is a game of chess and zabel was the old German term for the board itself.
Zabel is also of Slavic origin a variant of zobel, from sobol meaning 'fur'.
As a surname, it's particularly found in the Mecklenburg/Brandenburg areas. You'll have to do further research into your family tree to determine if your roots lie in the German meaning or from the Slavic.
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