Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Email from Hansel Rego Cordeiro

Email from Hansel Rego Cordeiro


I figured that I would direct this question to you
since your web page is so knowledgable about GSBs.

Anyway, I come from the Rego family, which has lived
in Codialbail Managlore for a while. My family was
converted by the Portuguese when they invaded India. I
have traced everyone from the Mangalore region with
the Rego surname back to the 1700s. They all originate
from a man called Pedro Naik of Derebail. Later
generations took the name of Nayak, till finally they
adopted Catholic names.

Now my question to you is what sort of a last name is
Naik? I have been getting conflicting viewpoints on
this name.

First, I have read (and heard from my family) that
Naik in Managlore is a Brahmin last name and that we
are Sarasvat Brahmins (originally from U.P. that
gradually moved away when the river dried up), I dont
know if we are GSB's but I did see the Naik name in
one of your posts, as well as with the Sarasvat
Brahmin denomination on many matrimonial posts.

Second I have read that Naik's are Unalvir Brahmins (I
think that is the term) which mean Not Not Bad
Brahmins in Sanskrit or something to that effect.

Essentially, from what I read, after Ram was coming
back from defeating Ravanna he stopped in Mangalore
and was told to make a sacrifice there. There were no
Brahmins around and so he called some Brahmins down
there and they performed the sacrifice for him. But
when he gave them alms they refused it on the basis
that they couldnt take alms for doing their duty as
priests, and to that extent he called them Unalvir

Naik's, in being part of this group never took alms
but rather worked as soldier farmers, and other
governmental posts usually reserved for Kshatriyas.
This story however had Naik and other Unalvir Brahmins
having their original home in Gujarat and then moving
to Mangalore and Maharashtra once the Muslims invaded.

This story ends on the note that since the Naik's
frequently worked in government and military
positions, the last name was then later distributed to
other castes and religions who worked in those
positions, including Muslims (thus there are Naik's in
Pakistan) and also non-Brahmin Naik's. The story also
however referred to the fact that Desai was a Brahmin
last name, with a similar history to Naik, which was
then distributed to other castes and religions.

The third story that I read is that Naik was a sort of
military title and that the name was given to

Sorry for the long email, but I really do hope that
you can assist me on this matter or guide me to
someone or some source that can help me.

Basically, the fact I do know is that my original last
name before conversion was Naik, but I do not know
exactly what caste it falls in, or what specific type
of group within the caste I belong to (i.e. Kanyakubj,
Unalvir, GSB, SB). These questions are important to me
as not only will it help me trace my family history,
but further I also plan on retaking my original Hindu
last name, and would appreciate knowing what caste and
subcaste it fell into.

Thanks for your help in advance,
Hansel Rego Cordeiro


Blogger Praveen said...


I am a GSB. My mother is married into the Pai family, but my maternal uncles are NAIKs. Two of my uncles spell their surname as above, but the third prefers Nayak. My maternal grandfather also spelt it Naik. Now the later generation (my 8 cousins) spells it Nayak, just to distinguish from other communities who use the NAIK spelling.

Hope this helps

4:10 AM  
Blogger ajay said...

Dear Hansel,
I recommend you to read the book "History of the DAKSHINATYA SARASWATS" BY V.N. KUDVA.It's very informative and might help u trace your origins.Hope u find this book.


12:15 AM  
Blogger Shridhar Shanbhag said...

Dear Hansel, My advice would be if you visit anytime to Mangalore you can visit Mulki Venkatraman Devshathan, and I am sure you will get clear picture on the same. This is my personal opinion. It is your wish.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Shridhar Shanbhag said...

Dear Hansel Rego, If you plan to visit to Mangalore, I will advice you to visit Mulki Venkatraman Mandir, I am 100% sure you will come to know in details about your originality. This is my personal opinion, it is your wish.

10:35 PM  

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