Family connections with Baroda, Bhavnagar and Vadnagar
STORY OF NAGAR surnames
According to well-known Nagar (pronounced 'Naagar') writer, Shri Shambuprasad Desai, Nagar surnames became popular during the British rule. In the past, most Nagars were either known by their Gotra or common surname as Mehta or Pandya. Development of social structure in the last couple of centuries influenced the usage of a variety of surnames in the community.
It is believed that there were more than 160 Nagar surnames in existence. Presently, about 80 are in use. They can be classified in following way:
1. Derived from Geographical (Village or City) Names:
There are eighteen surnames derived from village names. Those are Anjaria from Anjar, Avasia from Avasgadh, Chhaya from Chhaya, Dhebar from Dhebarwada, Ghoda from Ghodadra, Hathi from Hathap, Joshipura from Joshipur, Kharod from Kharod, Kukasia (now Vaishnav) from Kakasia, Mahudhia from Mahudha, Mankad or Mankar from Mankadvada, Mankodi from Mankodivada, Pattani from Patan, Rana from Ranavav, Unakar from Una, Vasavada from Vasavad and Veravala (also known as Vaishnav) from Veraval.
Major Nagar groups (Naati) also derived in such a way like Vadnagara from Vadnagar, Visnagara from Visnagar, Sathodra from Sathod and Chitroda from Chitod.
2. Derived from Family Ancestry:
About ten surnames based on ancestry are Antani & Anantani, Bavani, Bhayani, Kikani, Maknani, Premapuri, Rindani, Savani and Vachhchharajani. Some people also include Vaishnav in this category.
3. Derived from Titles Awarded by Rajput and Muslim Rulers:
These rulers ruled Gujarat for about eight centuries. Nagars were in prominent positions and were awarded many titles. These twenty surnames include names like Baxi, Bhagat, Desai, Divan, Durkal, Hazrat, Janita, Jathhal, Jha, Kazi, Majmudar, Mazumdar, Medh, Munshi, Parghi, Pota, Saiyad and Swadia.
4. Derived from Professional Titles:
Most of Nagars are professionals. Many surnames were derived from the profession they were engaged in. These names include Acharya, Buch, Druv, Jikar, Mehta, Nanavati, Pandit, Purohit and Vaidya.
5. Other Names:
There are several surnames used in various regions in Gujarat. From Kachchh, these are Kachchhi, Maru, Oza and Jhala while from Kathiawad are Dholakia, Pancholi and Jha. Bhatt, Dave, Divetia, Dwivedi, Dixit, Joshi, Maharaja, Pathakji, Raval, Shukla, Tripathi, Trivedi, Vora and Vyas are usually from Gujarat.
Please let us know if you have more information on how these surnames evolved.