The Xibe, sent to garrison the area by the Qing Dynasty, were divided into eight niru (companies); each niru established a settlement. The settlements are thus simply referred to as "First Niru" through "Eighth Niru", with the exception of the settlement established by the Sixth, which came to be known as Qapqal, thus giving the county its name.
A ca. 1809 map of the Ili Region (the map is drawn "upside down": the south is on top) showing the XiboEight Banners (锡伯八旗) stationed across the Ili River from the Manchu Fort Huiyuan (惠远城), exactly where Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County is nowadays. There is a place - or perhaps a river - named 察布察儿 (Chabucha'er; 察布查爾 in traditional characters) in that area as well
^ abcdefStary, Giovanni (2003), "Sibe: An endangered language", in Janse, Mark; Tol, Sijmen; Hendriks, Vincent, Language death and language maintenance, John Benjamins, pp. 81–89, ISBN978-90-272-4752-0