Are you curious about the origins and meaning of the last name Patel? As one of the world's most common family names or surnames, you will probably meet someone with this name during your lifetime. It might even be your last name! Researching a common family name like Patel has its challenges, but the good thing is that there is a wealth of information about this name in online genealogical records. We will examine the origins and history of the name. We will also discover what this surname means. Finally, we will review some of the most notable Patels in history.
Patel: Name meaning, origin, and region
The surname Patel is a prevalent last name for people of Indian descent. The Patel surname is the last name of twenty to twenty-five percent of the Indian population worldwide, making it one of the most common family names in the world. This surname originated in the Indian state of Gujarat. Moreover, Patel is the most common family name for Indian immigrants in the United States.
Many family names are occupational names, meaning they describe the kind of work the family did for a living. Ancestors of people named Patel often oversaw the farming activities in their villages and managed landholdings. In the Hindu language, the family name translates as “village chief”; in Gujarati, an Indo-Aryan language spoken by forty-six million people, the surname means “farmer” or “little chief.”
Many Patel family members migrated to Africa, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom to pursue economic opportunities. While the Patel community has roots in agriculture, they now work in fields such as business, medicine, engineering, politics, and more, both in India and the Indian diaspora around the world. At least eighteen Patels became famous cricketers.
Patel: Family history and records
According to the website Ancestry, there are over seven thousand census records for the family name Patel. Census records can tell you what people named Patel did in the past. Between 1880 and 1920, the Patel family name was found in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The most Patels were recorded in the US census in 1920. In the 1940 American census, the top occupations for this surname were “proprietor” and “salesman” for men and “housewife” and “saleslady” for women.
In addition to the census records, there are over fourteen thousand immigration records for this family name, including naturalization records, passenger lists, and passports. Moreover, there are 430 military records for this surname. Dating back to 1791 and digitized through 1992, these records contain information for thousands of people with the Patel family name.
To sift through this volume of information, you will need as much data as you can gather about your ancestors and family tree. Birth, marriage, death, and divorce dates will help narrow your search. Moreover, information on city, county, and state can also help you find direct ancestors. As you compile data, organize it systematically, cross-reference sources, and verify information for accuracy. Genealogy forums and social media groups dedicated to researching family history are also great resources. For instance, the Patel Surname Project wants to connect people with this surname who are researching family histories.
Patel: Famous people with this name
Many famous people with this last name have succeeded in a variety of fields. Here are a few notable Patels.
- Dev Patel, a British actor known for the TV drama Skins and the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire.
- Kevin Patel, American climate change activist.
- Neil Patel, author, entrepreneur, and digital marketer.
- Neil Patel, set designer for film, theater, and television.
- Raj Patel, academic and author, nicknamed the “rock star of social justice writing.”
- Ravi Patel, writer and actor known for his autobiographical documentary Meet the Patels.
- Sangita Patel, Canadian TV personality known for hosting Entertainment Tonight Canada.
- Shailja Patel, Kenyan writer known for her novel Migritude.
- Sujata Patel, author, professor, and sociologist.
- Viraf Patel, actor, model, and screenwriter.
The Patel surname is one of the most common family names in the world. The name originates in the Indian state of Gujarat. As an occupational last name, it originally denoted families involved in farming. As a result, the surname Patel translates to “farmer” or “little chief.” The Patel family name is famous in many fields and is now prevalent worldwide. Patels now commonly live both in India and outside of India in America, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
The family history of Patel is well-documented, with thousands of census and immigration records. Researchers interested in uncovering the Patel family history should collect detailed information about their ancestors. This information should include important dates and geographical locations. The more information you have, the easier it will be to sift through online genealogy material. Utilizing genealogy forums and social media groups for additional resources and support is also a great way to connect with other researchers.
Researching genealogy is a great family activity and inspires storytelling and sharing. One of the many joys of genealogy is uncovering hidden family stories. Despite the amount of family history available online, many Patel stories are still waiting to be discovered and told by family researchers.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©CJK CREATIVE/Shutterstock.com.