PATEL - Surname Meaning and Family History

The Patel surname has several possible meanings, from village chief to farmer.
Roberto A Sanchez / Getty Images

The Patel surname is most commonly of Indian (Gujarati) origin. The Hindu surname translates originally as "headman" or "village chief." It can also mean "farmer" from the Gujarati word pat or patlikh, for the owner/tenant of a piece of land. Patel is one of the most common surnames in India, and is also a very popular surname in Great Britain, the United States and Canada. The surname Patel has also been modified to "Patil," found more commonly in the Portuguese regions of India.

Patel can also be a nickname meaning "little head," from the word "pate" (head) + "-el" (little).

Surname Origin: Indian (Hindu)

Alternate Surname Spellings: PATELL, PUTEL, PUTELL, PATIL, PATILL
 

Genealogy Resources for the Surname PATEL

Patel DNA Surname Project
The Patel DNA surname project is open to all individuals with the Patel surname and variations interested in combining traditional document-based genealogy research with DNA testing to help learn more about Patel origins.

Patel Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Patel family crest or coat of arms for the Patel surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted. 

Patel Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Patel surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Patel query.

FamilySearch - PATEL Genealogy
Access over 870,000 free historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Patel surname and its variations on this free genealogy website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

PATEL Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Patel surname.

In addition to joining a list, you can also browse or search the archives to explore over a decade of postings for the Patel surname.

DistantCousin.com - PATEL Genealogy & Family History
Explore free databases and genealogy links for the last name Patel.

GeneaNet - Patel Records
GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Patel surname, with a concentration on records and families from France and other European countries.

The Patel Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Patel surname from the website of Genealogy Today.

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References: Surname Meanings & Origins

Cottle, Basil. "Penguin Dictionary of Surnames." Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1967.

Menk, Lars. "A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames." Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2005.

Beider, Alexander. "A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia." Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2004.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. "A Dictionary of Surnames." New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. "Dictionary of American Family Names." New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Hoffman, William F.

"Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings." Chicago: Polish Genealogical Society, 1993.

Rymut, Kazimierz. "Nazwiska Polakow." Wroclaw: Zaklad Narodowy im. Ossolinskich - Wydawnictwo, 1991.

Smith, Elsdon C. "American Surnames." Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.
 

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