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Thread: The South Asian Institute of Regional Surname, Gotra, Clan, and Tribal Analysis.

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    I will also add my two cents. Basically, the biggest problem one faces when studying British records is the way Jatts in many regions identified themselves. Jatt self-identification even confused the British record keepers. Very often, a portion of the same tribe would return themselves as Rajputs and other Jatts. Now what the British sometimes did to kind of verify the claims was to observe their marriage patterns. For example in one of the first census in Shahpur (Sargodha plus Khushab of today), both the Gondals and the Ranjhas returned themselves as Rajputs. But in the following years, the British themselves put the two tribes in the Jatt category after observing their marriage patterns which were mostly among the Jatt tribes.

    When Punjabi people claim Rajput descent, the mostly trace descent from Bhattis, Punwar or Chauhans. But if all claims made in front of the British are accepted on face-value, the numbers would be just too high to be biologically possible.

    Regarding the Bhattis, as per my knowledge, they are a very well established Rajput clan with origins in and around Jaisalmer, Rajasthan where they still reside. And their main branch in Punjab are the Manj-Alpials, Bhattis of Pindi Bhattian (Dulla Bhatti fame), the descendants of Guru Nanak Dev's friend Rai Bhullar Bhatti and also the lords of Patiala state who were overthrown by the Sidhu Jatt led Misl. The people I mention all claim to be Rajputs and are considered as such. Do we have any famous non-Rajput Bhattis because I do not think I have ever met one? Bhatti is the most common pretend identity assumed by a range of different peoples in Punjab probably because it is the most numerous/significant Rajput tribe in Punjab.

    Now I have never met a Jatt who has ever claimed Rajput ancestry in real life. But if British records are anything to go by then the Sidhus of Patiala are one such people who tried claiming Bhatti origins to justify their claim to the estate; but they were not accepted as such by any real Rajputs in the region. However, since I am not very well versed in Bhatti history in Punjab so I cannot say exactly on what grounds their claims may have been rubbished.

    But! My knowledge of my own tribe, post-conversion, is fairly decent so I will try to show how claims could be refuted. Some people belonging to the Ghumman Jatt clan claimed Janjua descent in front of the British and this is recorded in a Sialkot District Gazetteer. They claimed that they descend from one Raja Jodh who founded Makhiala in Jhelum. Now, so far their claim is plausible because they got the name of the founder and the town he founded both right. But after Jodh, they claim to have descended from a son whose name cannot be found in any Janjua family tree. And also they claimed that Raja Jodh's father was Raja Dalip, the founder of Delhi and this too is incorrect.

    IMO if Jatt-Rajput confusion arises in West Punjab, we should first see what the clan self-identifies as. Then what their neighbors say about them. And finally, their marriage patterns. Between these three I think identification can become easier.

    Do Jatts keep genealogical records, clan bards, Brahmin or Syed record keepers or any such things? What could be possible reasons for people making such claims? Could it be the controversial Martial Race Theory the British had in place? Apparently, people belonging to the 'martial races' were preferred even for non-military government jobs.

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heir of Gandhara View Post
    I will also add my two cents. Basically, the biggest problem one faces when studying British records is the way Jatts in many regions identified themselves. Jatt self-identification even confused the British record keepers. Very often, a portion of the same tribe would return themselves as Rajputs and other Jatts. Now what the British sometimes did to kind of verify the claims was to observe their marriage patterns. For example in one of the first census in Shahpur (Sargodha plus Khushab of today), both the Gondals and the Ranjhas returned themselves as Rajputs. But in the following years, the British themselves put the two tribes in the Jatt category after observing their marriage patterns which were mostly among the Jatt tribes.

    When Punjabi people claim Rajput descent, the mostly trace descent from Bhattis, Punwar or Chauhans. But if all claims made in front of the British are accepted on face-value, the numbers would be just too high to be biologically possible.

    Regarding the Bhattis, as per my knowledge, they are a very well established Rajput clan with origins in and around Jaisalmer, Rajasthan where they still reside. And their main branch in Punjab are the Manj-Alpials, Bhattis of Pindi Bhattian (Dulla Bhatti fame), the descendants of Guru Nanak Dev's friend Rai Bhullar Bhatti and also the lords of Patiala state who were overthrown by the Sidhu Jatt led Misl. The people I mention all claim to be Rajputs and are considered as such. Do we have any famous non-Rajput Bhattis because I do not think I have ever met one? Bhatti is the most common pretend identity assumed by a range of different peoples in Punjab probably because it is the most numerous/significant Rajput tribe in Punjab.

    Now I have never met a Jatt who has ever claimed Rajput ancestry in real life. But if British records are anything to go by then the Sidhus of Patiala are one such people who tried claiming Bhatti origins to justify their claim to the estate; but they were not accepted as such by any real Rajputs in the region. However, since I am not very well versed in Bhatti history in Punjab so I cannot say exactly on what grounds their claims may have been rubbished.

    But! My knowledge of my own tribe, post-conversion, is fairly decent so I will try to show how claims could be refuted. Some people belonging to the Ghumman Jatt clan claimed Janjua descent in front of the British and this is recorded in a Sialkot District Gazetteer. They claimed that they descend from one Raja Jodh who founded Makhiala in Jhelum. Now, so far their claim is plausible because they got the name of the founder and the town he founded both right. But after Jodh, they claim to have descended from a son whose name cannot be found in any Janjua family tree. And also they claimed that Raja Jodh's father was Raja Dalip, the founder of Delhi and this too is incorrect.

    IMO if Jatt-Rajput confusion arises in West Punjab, we should first see what the clan self-identifies as. Then what their neighbors say about them. And finally, their marriage patterns. Between these three I think identification can become easier.

    Do Jatts keep genealogical records, clan bards, Brahmin or Syed record keepers or any such things? What could be possible reasons for people making such claims? Could it be the controversial Martial Race Theory the British had in place? Apparently, people belonging to the 'martial races' were preferred even for non-military government jobs.
    Have never met a single jatt in my life who claims rajput ancestry, although have a Haryana jat who claims maratha background for some reason. There are indeed some clan names shared by jatts and Rajputs (Tomar comes to my mind). I have met both Jat tomar and rajput tomar. In my opinion their genetic profile is different, Jatts are probably from Sindh, who moved North via kutch, rajasthan, haryana and punjab. Heck even Lohanas claim connection to rajputs, but have no connection genetically to them. The closest Punjabi group that Lohanas from sindh get are Khatris.

    Lets be honest, in rajasthan Rajputs had power, so all other tribes liked to claim rajput connection, be it gujjars or ahirs or jats. Rajput dominated as kings majority of NW, hence locals would claim connection to them. Even in society Rajputs are still seen as forward caste while jats were avarna or shudra. You'll meet a Gill claiming certain ancestry, then you meet another Gill who does not. Different people claimed certain ancestries for better status in the society. Of course a group like jats which is not part of varna system, would more identify connection with Rajputs who are warfare like people, than Brahmins who are not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyDLuffy View Post
    See how Gondals and Ranjhas returned themselves as Rajputs?

    Okay maybe some backward Jatt tribe may have wanted to take Rajput identity to seek upward mobility, but why would the Sidhus of Patiala or the relatively well-established Ghummans? And why the preference for militaristic origins but not for artisinal or academic classes?

    Martial Race theory could be a possible suspect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heir of Gandhara View Post
    See how Gondals and Ranjhas returned themselves as Rajputs?

    Okay maybe some backward Jatt tribe may have wanted to take Rajput identity to seek upward mobility, but why would the Sidhus of Patiala or the relatively well-established Ghummans? And why the preference for militaristic origins but not for artisinal or academic classes?

    Martial Race theory could be a possible suspect.
    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyDLuffy View Post
    I looked at the 1901 list and Bosan stood out to me. Pretty famous family in Multan. Now I knew 2 Bosans and they identified as Rajput ... but other lists that mention them say they are Jatt.

    This becomes confusing in lower Indus, especially if you are talking Bahwalpur or near it ... many of those areas were firmly Rajput for a long time. Derawar fort doesn't let anyone forget hahah. So you have people that are in the geographic region to be either/or, and many of them have surnames that are unique to the region. They claim such-and-such names are sub-clans of more well-known clan names, but it's hard to know. It's not like the surnames Kanju, Bosan, Uttera, Langah, etc.. are prevalent beyond certain regions, so it becomes a toss-up. For many of them, the desire to associate with Rajputs is not necessarily a factor, because they are already living in historically Rajput territories. I mean if you walk east from Lodhran, you'll find yourself in Rajasthan, not Punjab.

    My view currently regarding these "tehsil-specific" surnames is it could plausibly go any direction. There isn't enough to really say this is Jatt or that is Rajput. I for one, am curious to explore this whole Jatt+Rajput dynamic that seemingly exists as well. Even the user Noman who is Chauhan first thought he was Rajput and then corrected saying he is Jatt according to his family -- and that's far north in Kashmir. In my opinion, a Chauhan has got to be a Rajput, most likely. Nonetheless, the fact that this opinion of mine is not something "established" or "accepted" by his family or locale, only serves to magnify that the ambiguity/confusion/contradictions of smaller clans residing in both Rajput and Jatt regional folds, regarding their background, as entirely understandable.

    tl;dr - I'm suggesting it's entirely plausible for some people of the same clan to think they are Rajput and others Jatt, without any societal pressure/motivation or colonial influence. I mean, in some ways we could be comparing apples and oranges here. Jatt is definitely an ethnic grouping, but are the Rajputs in question, as well? Rajput /= a person of Rajputana whose ancestor spoke Rajasthani necessarily. Perhaps some of these people are ethnically originally Jatt, but became Rajput by the caste/social-order of long ago? Who knows?
    “Chahar chez est tohfay Multan, Gard-o- Garma, Gada-o- Goristan”.

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    Rajputs, as far as I understand, are a community who can trace their lineage to a King in the past. If this claim is accepted by most, well they are Rajputs. This identity was solidified around the time of Akbar and more people have not been accepted into the Rajput fold since then.

    In short, if your ancestors could trace their lineage back to King by the 16th Century, you are a Rajput. The ambiguous clans, however, do not trace descent directly to a King but instead to an already established Rajput tribe.

    What could be the reason for this? Well, many Rajput tribes had their own tribal traditions. I know in some detail about what the Chib, Janjua and the Gakhar(Rajput status but possibly not descent) laws were. Basically, if a member married a woman from outside his 'class' then he or his offspring would become what they called 'pata-daars.' With the Janjuas, such 'pata-daars' could stay back and cultivate 1/4th of the land they had previously held; but the family would be pushed out or made tenants after the original Janjua died. With Gakhars and the Chibs, the land was taken back immediately with the 'violaters' becoming tenants or pushed out at once. Now some of these 'pata-daars' may have left and found new identities somewhere else. But this cannot explain the sheer number of people the British encountered who claimed contradictory origins. So there must be more reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by khanabadoshi View Post
    So perhaps from a genetic perspective, it is not useful to distinguish the different subgroups of Brahmins in South India, as these divisions are more theological/ideological and are less likely to manifest in any kind of observable pattern?
    However, if the Brahmins of the North have clans, and some clans are more associated with particular ideologies, perhaps the Brahmins of the South may originally be from some of them. This may be mirrored by similar theological backgrounds. Maybe in that sense we may find genetic relationships?
    As a starting point, it may be easier to start with distribution of haplogroups based on one's 23andme match list, and compare people who have known ancestry from same groups . If a pattern emerges, we can look at whether the subdivisions matter or don't. For example, I have about 230 "relatives" on 23andme, and their yDNA distribution is shown in the figure.
    I don't know any of these relatives and cant trace even the closest matches to known genealogy and so I am going to say these matches are older than 6 generations. (ignore the haplogroup I, I should have removed them because of non-Indian paternal ancestry)

    My ancestry on all 4 sides is from the Vadadesha Vadama Iyer group from Tamil Nadu/Kerala and the yDNA haplogroup distribution is shown in the chart below. Haplogroups of 4 grandparents are in my signature.


    Paternal-Distrib.jpg
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    Last edited by soulblighter; 02-18-2018 at 04:31 PM.
    Paternal YDNA: G-P303+ -> G-Z30522+
    Paternal mtDNA: U7a3b1
    Maternal YDNA: R-Z2123+ -> R-YP526+
    Maternal mtDNA: C4a1 (T195C!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heir of Gandhara View Post
    I will also add my two cents. Basically, the biggest problem one faces when studying British records is the way Jatts in many regions identified themselves. Jatt self-identification even confused the British record keepers. Very often, a portion of the same tribe would return themselves as Rajputs and other Jatts. Now what the British sometimes did to kind of verify the claims was to observe their marriage patterns. For example in one of the first census in Shahpur (Sargodha plus Khushab of today), both the Gondals and the Ranjhas returned themselves as Rajputs. But in the following years, the British themselves put the two tribes in the Jatt category after observing their marriage patterns which were mostly among the Jatt tribes.

    When Punjabi people claim Rajput descent, the mostly trace descent from Bhattis, Punwar or Chauhans. But if all claims made in front of the British are accepted on face-value, the numbers would be just too high to be biologically possible.

    Regarding the Bhattis, as per my knowledge, they are a very well established Rajput clan with origins in and around Jaisalmer, Rajasthan where they still reside. And their main branch in Punjab are the Manj-Alpials, Bhattis of Pindi Bhattian (Dulla Bhatti fame), the descendants of Guru Nanak Dev's friend Rai Bhullar Bhatti and also the lords of Patiala state who were overthrown by the Sidhu Jatt led Misl. The people I mention all claim to be Rajputs and are considered as such. Do we have any famous non-Rajput Bhattis because I do not think I have ever met one? Bhatti is the most common pretend identity assumed by a range of different peoples in Punjab probably because it is the most numerous/significant Rajput tribe in Punjab.

    Now I have never met a Jatt who has ever claimed Rajput ancestry in real life. But if British records are anything to go by then the Sidhus of Patiala are one such people who tried claiming Bhatti origins to justify their claim to the estate; but they were not accepted as such by any real Rajputs in the region. However, since I am not very well versed in Bhatti history in Punjab so I cannot say exactly on what grounds their claims may have been rubbished.

    But! My knowledge of my own tribe, post-conversion, is fairly decent so I will try to show how claims could be refuted. Some people belonging to the Ghumman Jatt clan claimed Janjua descent in front of the British and this is recorded in a Sialkot District Gazetteer. They claimed that they descend from one Raja Jodh who founded Makhiala in Jhelum. Now, so far their claim is plausible because they got the name of the founder and the town he founded both right. But after Jodh, they claim to have descended from a son whose name cannot be found in any Janjua family tree. And also they claimed that Raja Jodh's father was Raja Dalip, the founder of Delhi and this too is incorrect.

    IMO if Jatt-Rajput confusion arises in West Punjab, we should first see what the clan self-identifies as. Then what their neighbors say about them. And finally, their marriage patterns. Between these three I think identification can become easier.

    Do Jatts keep genealogical records, clan bards, Brahmin or Syed record keepers or any such things? What could be possible reasons for people making such claims? Could it be the controversial Martial Race Theory the British had in place? Apparently, people belonging to the 'martial races' were preferred even for non-military government jobs.
    Gondals and Ranjhas has been known as jatts for long time historically, even in Mughal records. In 15th century Heer Ranjha story as well. They are mustly concentrated in Gondal bar between Chenab and Jhelum. British records of tribes shouldn't be taken at face value. They don't claim rajput ancestry. Remember for same British offcials Sher Shah was of rajput origin. This again have to do with British rule of hindi belt which was dominated by rajput kingdoms historically. British officials already had their mind made up about rajput origin theories before coming to punjab.
    Last edited by bol_nat; 02-18-2018 at 05:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bol_nat View Post
    Gondals and Ranjhas has been known as jatts for long time historically, even in Mughal records. In 15th century Heer Ranjha story as well. They are mustly concentrated in Gondal bar between Chenab and Jhelum. British records of tribes shouldn't be taken at face value. They don't claim rajput ancestry. Remember for same British offcials Sher Shah was of rajput origin. This again have to do with British rule of hindi belt which was dominated by rajput kingdoms historically. British officials already had their mind made up about rajput origin theories before coming to punjab.
    Bol_Nat this was how the Ranjhas and the Gondals returned themselves as. In fact British force-changed their classification to Jatt. In the Shahpur Gazetteer, they even discuss this at lenght. I can share that with you if you want. I know my Ranjhas and Gondals bro. =]. I was brought up in Islamabad before making a move abroad for college.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heir of Gandhara View Post
    Bol_Nat this was how the Ranjhas and the Gondals returned themselves as. In fact British force-changed their classification to Jatt. In the Shahpur Gazetteer, they even discuss this at lenght. I can share that with you if you want. I know my Ranjhas and Gondals bro. =]. I was brought up in Islamabad before making a move abroad for college.
    Yes they claim as per British sources but have we seen any gondal claiming to be rajput? There are some tribes who some times claim to be jatt or rajput but that's not the case with gondals who all claim to be jatts. Almost every tribe in British sources claim to be rajput origin.


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