HelloCustomer and thanks for your interesting question.
'Patel' an Indian surname, is derived from the original meaning "village chief", in the Indian dialect of Gujarati. Most people carry this last name in the Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi. However, the name Patel also originates from the actual word "patedar', meaning 'record-keeper', so named by royal rulers of Gujarat, to keep track of crops. "Pat" means 'a parcel of land', so they would keep track of the crops planted on each particular parcel of land.
According to the US census taken in the year 2000, there were 49,740 Patels in the United States. The surname Patel ranked 591 overall, in the list of most common last names.
Interestingly, because so many Indian people now live in the U.K., it is the 24th most common surname, nationally, and the third most common in the Greater London area.
I hope this answered your question. If so, please click 'Accept'; click 'Reply' should you have any additional questions. Thank you for using Just Answer.
Edited by Cher on 12/26/2009 at 2:27 AM EST