The Abell name has no doubt evolved from an original occupation or trade. Although the origin is unclear, and to whom it was attributed, it would appear to be connected to a bell maker as opposed to Abel, the most common adaptation. The earliest record we have is that of Thomas Abell, who was Chaplain to Katherine of Aragon, divorced Queen of King Henry VIII who imprisoned him in the Beauchamp Tower in 1534. As the Abell family are still farming in the County of Hereford, reliable records kept are accessible and citations are in the early part of this book. The story tells of Thomas Richard who, as a 10-year-old lad, emigrated from England with his father Thomas and three siblings to take up land near Boonah, in the Fassifern district. Thomas (Dick) moved in 1904 with his wife and 10 children to Jubilee Pocket in north Queensland to become the first settlers of seven blocks of land (approx. 1100 acres) what is now known as Airlie Beach. Arthur the eldest logged hoop pine from the slopes of Hook Island; bought Hayman Island with the intention of running sheep and traded along the coast with his cutter Mascot. Edward, Arthur s son was the first European born in the area in 1908, worked on the Molle Island Group, a working sheep property, as shed hand and mustering sheep and later he became the owner of Dent Island. The family moved in 1930 when it was realised the land they owned could not support them.
Colin Lindsay Abell, a direct descendant of the first settlers of Jubilee Pocket, (now Airlie Beach) in the Whitsundays, was born in Mackay, grew up, and schooled in the region. He presents this simple story covering the ensuing years after his forebears left the Whitsundays, now a world-renowned tourism destination, to select and develop land in the Mackay hinterland in 1930. Colin, following the example of his forebears eventually settled into farming sugar, beef cattle and irrigated cropping. After leaving the land, he followed varied pursuits in many areas, travelling across the globe for business and pleasure. The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family. (quoted by) Thomas Jefferson