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PATEL Family HistoryThis popular surname can be either Indian (Gujarati) or French, although the two (national) origins are completely different and have no association. The Indian 'Patel' is one of a group of sub continent surnames such as Khan, Raja, and Singh, which indicate status. The strict translation in this case is the headman, or village chief. In the past this was often a hereditary position, very similar to the Irish "erenagh", where nameholders held the status over many generations and eventually the family became known by the status description.
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