Last name: Pandya
This is an ancient Hindu surname which can be both job descriptive and (possibly) habitational. It describes one who acted as a lay priest at a place of pilgrimage, or who supervised the religious activities at such a place. However, "the Pandyas" were also a warlike tribe who in the period between circa 600 and 1000 A.D. inhabited a large part of Southern India their province being known as "the Pandya's Empire". This "empire" was destroyed in the 10th Century, when the neighbouring Cholas formed an alliance with the Pallavas, and destroyed the Pandyas. The Chola's then turned on the Pallavas and destroyed them in turn. Indian sub- continent surnames in the style used in the West, are very modern, not pre-dating the British Indian Rule of 1760 - 1947. Furthermore, there are few recordings as such, and then not in the Romanish, but in the Hindi, and not publicly available in print. Since 1900 the Pandya surname has been recorded in many countries including the U.K. (since 1953) and the U.S.A. (since 1957); however, these recordings are too recent to form a realistic historical base for the origin of the name. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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