Recorded in many spelling forms including Bhatia, Bhattia, Bhata, hBatia, Bhaita, Batia, and others, this is an Indian (Sikh) name mainly from the Punjab, a region since 1947 divided between India and Pakistan. It is now also a developing surname. There is at least one full history of the development of this ancient name, which seems to have originated in Afghanistan or Persia some two thousand years ago. It probably has a religious origin. However as a surname it was developed to meet modern needs, and in that respect it is important to recognise that in most parts of the world, hereditary surnames are a global phenomena of recent origins, that is mainly since the 19th century. The need for hereditary identification dates from about 1850 with the telegraph, and from 1900 with the telephone, and the famous Telephone Directory! Countries which since the beginning of time had no central bureaucracy, overnight developed hereditary personal identification. This has been accelerated in the past forty years by firstly computerisation from 1965 or thereabouts, and then from 1990 with the Internet. The result has been that ''surnames'' have been created from existing names, or developed from scratch in vast numbers (Singh, Patel, and Khan being significant examples), and these have swamped the system. As a result in many countries the authorities are trying to encourage the development of ''new'' surnames. Curiously Bhata is also an Irish word meaning ''stick'' and refers primarily to the famous stick fighting of ancient times. To the best of our knowledge it has never provided a surname. We would like to say that we know the precise meaning of the sub continent Bhata and the patronymic Bhatia or son of Bhata, but no conclusive evidence has been provided to date.
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