Recorded as Sarat, Sarath, Sarwat, Tharwat, and possibly others, this is a name of Islamic origins. Found mainly it is said in Eastern India and Shri Lanka, where it is a male forename, in the West it is sometimes converted by social circumstances into a surname. It is said to mean 'wealth or abundance' although at least one reference says 'sage' - as in a wise man. The coming of the telephone and the need to record 'names' created a serious problem for most areas of the Middle and Far East. The 'Fixed' spelling surnames as known in the West for a thousand years simply did not exist, in general males being known after the father, his father, his father, and hence to the great grandfather. This in effect created a lineage of at least 125 years, - but was not easy to print in a telephone directory! In addition few countries created written registers, meaning that such records as exist of the surname are recent, rarely more than fifty years old, and without the continuity that exists with Western surnames. This continuity can apply even though the modern name-holders may have emigrated through several countries over the past centuries, as long as they retained the name spelling, there family can still be traceable in many instances. Whilst this is clearly not true, as far as records are concerned, this surname is probably first recorded in the USA.
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