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CHAUDHRY pronounced (CHAUDREEY) Historically, this term literally means “a holder of four or owner of the fourth part.” It is a title indicating the ownership of ancestral land found in the South Asia area. It is often taken as a surname. It does not indicate a tribe, but rather a position held.

In some traditions the term is said to have been derived from a title for a military commander. This military commander would control four different fighting forces, namely the navy, cavalry, infantry and elephant corps. The earliest reference to Chaudhry is from the 15th century.

This title of Chaudhry was conferred by the Sultans of the New Delhi Sultanate upon its military nobles of Indian Origins. A Chaudhry was given the privileged position as an area administrator. In Northern India, the area administrator was given the responsibility to collect taxes, maintain law and order, and provide military supplies/manpower to the provincial government. The Chaudhry (a.k.a.Talqdar or area administrator) were entitled to retain a percentage of the total revenue collected which was around 10%. The privileged Chaudhry though were able to retain a 25% or ¼ and hence called the Chaudhry, which also literally means owner of the fourth part.

Though in North and South India the Chaudhry is different in ethnicity, the job title and responsibilities such as a privileged area administrator or land owner is still the same.

Historic origins of this name can be traced back almost 600 years. This name is of Asian/Middle Eastern descent. Throughout the centuries, families bearing this title of respect or surname are well known in regions around the world as affluent land owners, business owners, trusted merchants, or traders.

Today, specifically in the West, this title of respect is a common a surname. Throughout the United States and Europe those bearing the Chaudhry name have excelled in Business, Medicine, Law, Real Estate, Mathematics, Engineering, and/or have become prominent leaders in their communities.

Information obtained in part from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia.org complied by: Stephen J. Chaudhry on March 31st, 2007 in honor of my father.