Parsi Surnames

I Have Made an Extant list of PARSI IRANI SURNAMES, about 2482 & Counting, ALPHABETICAL as Well as GROUPWISE, To make it more interesting, now  I have
made it along with some Comments on their ORIGIN.

Surnames ending in ‘WALA’ (mainly – OF) could be either of Place or  Of that Trade. The same way, ‘GAR’/’GARA’ too could be ‘A MAKER’, or it could show ‘OF A PLACE’ {Actually it is GAR / GARA – To Make} & {GHAR / GHARA – Stayer} It shows that the Parsis were everywhere,From Zaiwala to Madraswala to Adenwala To Mombassawala, adopted from the place they lived. They Were Masters at the Trade done, from Roowala, to Workingboxwala to Wadiwala , to Ghaaswala etc. Some surnames were dropped & only father’s name adopted. Dadabhai Naoroji (DORDI) & Jamshedji Jeejjeebhoy (BATLIWALA) are famous instances.

Certain TITLES have adorned the Parsis like Desai, From Navsari. A Changa Asha of Navsari was first made ‘Desai’ (District Officer In Charge); Similarly Talati (Village Accountant), Munshi (Secreatary), Daftari (RecordKeeper), Etc. Certain Traits also became surnames Like Mari NI Goon, Bhoot, Waugh, Rupala Etc.

First printed in PARSIANA of March-1997 & in 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003 & 2005 Online Published On 23rd February 2008 @ Zoroastrians.net, in category ~ NAMES SURNAMES & MORE ~ Copy the Link Given to View the Surnames.

http://zoroastrians.net/2008/02/23/parsi-irani-surnames/

~ OR To The Alternate Site
Below: ~

http://parsiiranisurnames.tripod.com/

Parsees have Generally adopted Surnames From:~
1) TRADE / PROFFESSION ~ Vakil, Doctor, Wadia, Ghaaswala, Pithawala,  Engineer, Major, Subedar etc
2) PLACES Or GEOGRAPHICAL ~ SANJAN-Sanjana, SURAT-Surti, KHAMBHAT-Khambata, etc.
3) POSITION & TITLES ~ Desai, Munshi, Munsaf, Khansaheb, Davar, Patel, etc.
4) CHARACTERISTICS / DISCRIPTIVE NAMES ~ Bhoot, Waghmar, GhooKhaoo, Batki, Motigaanwala etc.
5) RELIGIOUS TERMS ~ (Many No longer used) Daadaar, Yatha-Ahu-Vairyo, Dregubyo, Khodayji. etc.
6) GENEOLOGY: (Name+Father’s Name as surname) ~ Dadabhai-NAOROJI, Sam-MANEKSHAH, Homi -DINSHAJI, etc. {Some Double Barrled}:- Meherji+Rana,
Dada+Chanji, Jamasp+Asa, Dady+Seth, etc.
7) EUROPEAN NAMES ~ Devitre, Boyce, Grant, Noble, Forbes, Polson, Nicholson, Morris, Wykes, etc.
8) IRANI ~ Mondegari, Yegatabadi, Yazadi, Felfeli, Khobiyaar, Khodavandi, Yaganegi Most common being, Irani itself.

SOME INTERSTING ORIGINS : –

CHICHGAR :- Maker of Special Wooden Toys. CHICH =Wooden Toy. GAR = To make.
PAAJNIGARA :- One Who Makes a Very Fine Silk Cloth. PAAJ = Very Fine Silk Cloth, GARA = maker.
RAO :- A TITLE. Meant for an Honourable person, A local king type, specially in Maharashtra
TATA :- Inherited By Jamshedji , whose ancestor was Very Hot Tempered, Like a Tartar. A more appropriate Coinage – could be from Gujarati RAATA -TAATA, Originally RAATAD = Red faced (with Anger like a Tartar).
DOKAWALA :- Originally Taken From DOKA-WADI-WALA Shortened to DOKAWALA. Named from a Maidan near the GOTI ADRAN In Surat,- originally Known as DOKA-WADI, as There was a fierce Battle between the Marathas & the Moghuls & as many Heads had rolled there, – so it was Known as DOKA = HEADS. WADI = Place, Area. The Palia Family who owned the land Adopted the Surname DOKA WADI WALA..
PANDEY / PANDAY:- One who is a Learned Man. From Sanskrit PANDITYA=Learned Man. Bhikhaji Behramji (Of Bhikha Behram Well) -while coming to Mumbai from Bharuch, was arrested on suspicion of being a spy. He was kept in a ‘PANDERGADH’ Fort Near ‘Valsad.- Popularly known as ‘PANDAY’ Fort. Thus This Surname stuck as PANDAY.

Your Comments and Criticism is welcome.
Burjor M. Daboo
Ahmedabad
burkhurdar@gmail.com

15 comments

  • Anita (Todman) Paynter

    i have an ancestor from the Parsee community
    Sorabji Hormasji Todiwala or Tadiwala i am not sure.. his son was possibly Pestonji (?) and was born in in 1878 or thereabouts.. he also may have had twin daughters.. they resided in Poona. is it the norm for the son to adopt part or whole of the father’s name?
    Is there a historical/genealogical society which maintains birth records?

    Thank you

    • There is no known historical record. But we are attempting to create a grand parsi family tree – this is a self-service initiative and you can build your own tree. Over a period of time, the relatives could get connected from anywhere in the world. Please visit http://www.theparsifamily.com and register yourself and your family and create your own family tree.

      • What is the last name BURJOR meant in Farsi?
        Example is, BURJORJEE from Burma (Myanmar), Canada, US. Scotland, Australia, Pakistan etc
        Note: Only the very few elders are still in Zoroastrian faith. They can speak Farsi, Gujarati, Hindi, Although the young generation especially in the West,want to return their own root, religion, the Zoroastrian faith. They have no idea.
        I ,myself was into the Zoroastrian faith when I was 7 in Farsi Temple ( It was combination with Farsi cemetery, now demolished) in Rangoon by my grandfather and some Farsi elders, I had never learnt the Zoroastrian faith. Because of Political issues (being nationalized, deported or migrated/fleeing to other land/ countries) and the elders were too old , inadequate in teaching faith.
        Note:( Mother side Last name) Jemshed Jee Hirjee Hirjee.,
        (Father side last name) Maneck Dinswaw Borjurjee
        Cheers.

    • Its Tadiwala.

  • Hello,
    My Name is Siddhartha and I’m from Indore M.P.
    I want to ask something but not publicly. May I please have eMail ID of chair person of your community? My mail ID is (siddhartha0148@gmail.com) please send me an eMail.

    Regards,
    Siddhartha
    9039-065-331
    9806-065-331

  • interesting…

  • TATA’s are Zoroastrian priestly class. Priests in Avesta language are called taat तात्. From which Tata was derived.

    Ancestors of Tata were revered Zoroastrian priests.

    • no they aren’t! the tata name is not a priestly caste’s name. an eg. of a priestly cast’s name is jaboolee

  • I was looking for one surname “Ghandy” which few claim is a Parsi surname and I found this interesting and informative article. Thanks for sharing the information.

  • What about Daboo & Burjor..
    Kashed,
    Kaavas,
    Kutaar
    Kamdeen

    I worked with all these guys while I was working with Taj Hotel as contractor
    All the best

  • How Ghandi becomes Parsi surname (what type of trade is it associated with) and is Shah a Parsi name? (like Amit Shah) – I know you may smell little bit of politics in these questions. Yesterday’s news show that someone has claimed Shah as Parsi surname and has advised to change it before changing the name of a certain place. Can you please enlighten me about this issue?

    • the surname is “Gandhy,” named after the gandhy family. the politically-affiliated family, “Gandhi” are from the same line. the name came from Firoze Gandhy, and upon marriage, in a political stunt to be affiliated with MK Gandhi, the surname’s spelling was changed to “Gandhi.” Quite a disrespectful change if you ask me. Disrespect not only towards the Gandhy family, but also towards Gandhi.

  • I am ” MITHUJI”
    Known for our sweetness. I cannot excess the Surname list. Please help

  • My Surname is “Elavia” which is not present in this list

  • My ancestors surname is HILLOO! What’s the meaning of it?

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