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i think that both my maternal and paternal sides of the family have been in Sikhi for quite a while. but i believe that some distant relations are hindu and muslim as well, especially those people who remained in Pakistan. not sure about that though.

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I think my family has been sikh for a couple of generations for sure, however if one was to do a search on my last name, and try to follow up on it, then I've kinda figured out that my ancestors may have been muslims as they have a last name that mine could've been derived from...

sooooo yeah, not sure, but it's interesting

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My maternal grandfather was in a Hindu family that made every first born son a Sikh...

This is interesting. Although there is a great made of the roti-beti relationship between Sikhs and Hindus as well as the oft repeated statement that some Hindu families made their first born son a Sikh out of respect for Sikhism, the truth is quite different.

Roti-Beti relationship between Sikhs and Hindus never existed amongst the majority of Sikhs. The common Sikh Jats never married into Hindu Jat families. The only ones that occurred between Sikh Jats and Hindu Jats were between royal families. If a match was found between a Sikh Jat male or female with a Jat Hindu then the Jat Sikhs always insisted on the Hindu Jat family converting to Sikhism. There are many instances of this in Panjab during the british period.

Raising the first born son of a Hindu family into a Sikh was due to a number of factors. If a Hindu woman was unable to have a child or more importantly a son, then it was common for such women to go and pray at important Sikh gurdwaras and to make a vow ( sukh ) that if a son was born then they would raise him as a Sikh. During the british period in Sikh majority areas only Sikh Jats were enlisted into the army. If a Hindu Jats wished to join the army then they would have to take the Pahul at the recruitment office. This was also the case with Lobana and Mazhibi and Ramdasia Sikhs. During the 1920s there was a Hindu-Muslim riot in Multan and although the Hindu population was quite large in the city, the Hindus took a bad beating from the Muslims. A few weeks after there was a Sikh-Muslim riot in central Panjab in which the Sikhs worsted the Muslims. A Hindu politician Madan Mohan malvaiya gave a call to the Hindus to raise their eldest son as a Sikhs so that that Sikh could protect the rest of the family from possible Muslim attacks. This call was largely ignored by the Hindus.

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My father found that we have a 'gotra' (from his fathers side) and managed to trace it back to 1773 when the first entry seems to have been made.

Family is a Punjabi Khatri background, religious wise mixed between Sikhs and Hindus. I dont think most of them were either Sikh or Hindu but practising traditions of both.

As the tree moves down more Sikh names appear but whether they were actual Sikhs by faith i dont know. 'Singhs' in my family appear mid-way. Before that i cant comment because we have come across Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs who share our family name and since the line cant be traced back further it is unlikely they were Hindus or religious... (All practising Hindus keep gotras going back centuries, non-Hindus do not as far as i know). Also, my family until my grandfathers death is bi-lingual (Punjabi & Persian). Only fluent Persian speaker left is my Dads eldest brother, altho i intend to learn the language and teach it to my kids if i have any...

'sikh princess' - What 'Maha_Pavitar' described was a tradition among Khatris of Punjab. Probably not those who became 'Singhs' but Sehajdhari Sikhs and Hindus of Punjabi Khatri background freely interrmarried and many brought up one of their sons to be an Amritdhari Sikh.

After British annexation of Punjab many of the Sehajdhari Sikhs of Khatri background were assimilated into Hinduism due to the British classifying only Khalsa Sikhs as Sikhs. This could be another reason why they made a point to have at least one 'Singh' in the family...

You are right about the enlistment in the army. Non Jatt Sikhs (Mainly Mazabhi Sikhs) were given a position in Sikh Light Infantry which was seen as second-rate compared to Sikh regiment (Dominated by Jatt Sikhs). Only Khalsa Sikhs could join the Sikh regiments...

'Akali Sodhi' If your name is "Sodhi" than that is a Khatri name. In Punjab, the only real way to tell someones "caste" is by their family name since caste in Punjab is based on tribal/clan system. Probably why Guru Gobind Singh wanted Sikhs to replace their family name with the suffix 'Singh' or 'Kaur'.

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Guest Maha_Pavitar

Family is a Punjabi Khatri background, religious wise mixed between Sikhs and Hindus. I dont think most of them were either Sikh or Hindu but practising traditions of both.

That is the best description of my family roots too...

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where did ramgarias originate from?

and what religion would they most likely 2 be from?

If you are speaking of 'Ramgarhia' as being a 'caste' then let me just say that this is something which is an invention of Sikhs.

From what i understand, 'Ramgarhia' was a Sikh misl started by Jassa Singh Ramgarhia. Now, im not sure why some Sikhs say they are of 'Ramgarhia caste' when it is not a 'caste' at all...

It is the same story with this caste called 'Tharkan' which is an invention of Punjabi Sikh society. 'Tharkan' is (or was) a trade (carpenter). Many people involved in this trade belong to 'Chamar' caste. 'Chamar' is of the lower streams of Hindu society (Dalits).

Religious wise, people have argued that 'Dalits' were not considered as 'Hindus' (By Hindus themselves) until the later stages of the British Raj when all this "Hindu nationalism" BS started. In an attempt to subvert the subcontinent Hindus began to claim that Dalits and tribals were infact Hindus themselves even though traditionally they were seen as outcasts (or those without a 'caste')..

Problem with the thread you started is that there is no real or concrete way of knowing what your ancestors religion was before embracing Sikhism. It is all too common to think of there only being Muslims and Hindus around ignoring the example 'sikh princess' gave of minor sects and cults which existed throughout Punjab.

No doubt, all the solar, fire, ancestor etc worshipping cults are now claimed to be Hindu sects (by Hindus) but were they really? No.

Also, first you will need to trace your ancestry to get an idea what religion they possibly belonged to. Probably your family has belonged to more than just one faith throughout their history...

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