JATS are found all over the district and form the backbone of the agricultural community. They are divided into numerous clans and profess different religions, but a strong family likeness pervades the whole tribe. The Muhammadan is sometimes said to be less energetic than his Hindu or Sikh brother, but it is very doubtful whether any such distinction exists. The Sikh sometimes indulges a taste for liquor and a certain amount of illicit distilling occurs in the district. All are patient, hardworking cultivators without much enterprise but tenacious of their rights and proud of their position as zamindars or landowners, even if their holding be but an acre or two. The Sikhs are freely recruited for the army, but until the War few Mussalmans were taken. In physique the Jat is generally of medium height with fairly regular features and a lean but wiry frame.
The principal clans are,
Bajwas are found in all tehsils except Daska. In the Sialkot tehsil they inhabit the Bhagowal zail only. In the Zafarwal tehsil they are grouped round Chawinda, in the Raya tehsil round Narowal, while in Pasrur they are found mainly in the north-west with head quarters at Kalaswala. The Baju Rajputs of Bajwat admit their relationship with the Bajwas. The clan is almost entirely confined to this district. The Bajus and Bajwas are singularly unanimous about their origin. They claim to be descended from Ram Chandar of the Surajbansi line. Their common ancestor was one Shalip, who lived in the time of Sikandar Lodi at Uch in Jhang, which was then part of the Multan Suba. Shalip was a man of some position, as he enjoyed a large jagir and paid tribute to Delhi. He quarreled with the Governor of the Suba, and owing to the intrigues of the latter fell into disfavor. The imperial troops marched against him, and when his fort at Uch fell he poisoned himself. He had a large number of sons, some of whom were killed with their father. Two of them KALS and Yas or Sis, however, escaped, disguised as falconers. Kals took refuge with a Sindhu Jat of Ban in the Pasrur tehsil, and married a Jat wife. Yas took service with the Rajput chief at Jammu and settled down at Gol, a village on the left bank of the Chenab opposite Hundal in Bajwat. Shortly afterwards he crossed the river and settled down in the Bajwat, where his descendants, the Bajus, live to this day. He put his brother Kals out of caste, as the letter had married beneath him. But Kals was strong enough to found a flourishing family of his own, which has now grown into the powerful Bajwa clan. The words Baju and Bajwa are derived from the word "Baz," meaning falcon. The Bajus, partly owing to the unhealthy climate of Bajwat, are an inferior race, but the Bajwas, especially the Sikhs among them, are as good as any of the JATS in the district.
They have three divisions.
The descendants of Manak inhabit Pasrur.
Those of Manga cluster roun Chawinda.
And Narowal is the head-quarters of the children of Naru.
The Bajwas have an interesting verse explaining the origin of their clan. There are various forms of it and probably the Kolu mentioned in the version below should be "Kalas"
"Unche Pindon ayon Mehal Dhis."
"Kolu ton Parnayon jian Ram Chand Sati."
"Tenun Manak, Manga, Nar Singh Narain die"
"Bas Bas bhi die."
"Oh Mehal, daughter of Dharu, who have come from Uncha Pind."
"Kolu has bought you in marriage as Ram Chabd did Sita."
"God will give you three sons-Manak,Maugh and Nar Singh."
"He will give you four others."
"Mehal said "Bas" (stop). He will give you Bas also."
Bas was a daughter of the bajwa, and Hindus of the clan may not mention her name so that at the end of a meal they say "Anand hogia" where others would say "Bas hogia" "I have had enough."
The Bajwa JATS are represented by two distinguished branches of the clan. The respective heads both live in Kalaswala, a large village near Pasrur. The first member of the family who made himself famous was Sardar Jodh Singh, who was first the favorite of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and then the object of his hate. After three years of an unequal struggle he submitted, and the Maharaja conferred jagirs on him and married his daughter to Prince Kharak Singh. On the latter's death his widow adopted sardar Bhagwan singh, the son of her second cousin. His grandson, Sardar Randhir singh, who has been educated at the Aitchison College, is the present (1920) head of the family.
The other side of the clan came into prominent at a later stage, but the authenticated history of its members presents a noble record. They were consistently distinguished by personal bravery, while one or two have displayed no small military capacity. The first member of the family of whom an accurate account is obtainable was Sardar Khushal Singh. He was by choice a scholar, but his descendants have all bennn soldiers. His son, Dula Singh, was one of the most dashing cavalry leaders of the Maharaja's army. Dula Singh's eldest son, Jiwan Singh, was a remarkable character. He commanded the famous Sher Dil Paltan and during the second Sikh war he remained thoroughly loyal. His elder son, Sant Singh, did good service in the Mutiny and the younger, Sardar Jagat Singh, also did much to emulate the brilliant career of his father. He was appointed Subadar of the 29th Punjab Infantry when quite a lad, in 1857, and served in that regiment till his retirement in 1882. He saw much war service, and won the Order of Merit at the Paiwar Kotal in 1878 and later received the Order of British India. On his retirement from military service he was appointed Honorary Magistrate and Civil Judge, and Chairman of the District Board. He was also granted the Order of C.I.E. His eldest serving son, Sardar Autar Singh is an Extra Assistant Commissioner, while a younger son, Sardar Upar Singh, who represents the family in the district, is a Zaildar and President of the Notified Area, Kalaswala. A third son, Sardar Piyar Singh, was a Subadar in the 29th Punjabis, and the fourth, Datar Singh, is Jemadar in 107th Pioneers.
Basra JATS are found mainly near Kali or Gharial Kalan in the Pasrur and Raya tehsil. They claim Phagwara in the Jullundar district as their home. Famine drove them with their herds to the jungles of Sialkot and they settled at Kali and in the neighborhood.
Chimas are found, so far as this district is concerned, mainly in the Daska tehsil where they hold many of the rich estates which enjoy irrigation from the Aik stream. They claim relationship with Chauhan Rajputs as their ancestor, Chima, belonged to that clan. They have the reputation of quarrelling amongst themselves but combining against strangers.
"Chima aur Chatha
Khan pin nun vakho-o-vakh Larai nun ikhatta"
Khan pin nun vakho-o-vakh Larai nun ikhatta"
(Chiman and Chathas separate for eating and drinking, but combine for fighting.)
Musulman Chimas still(1920) call in the Brahmin at their weddings.
The Ghumman JATS are chiefly settled in the Sialkot tehsil to the west and south of the city and around Sambrial in the Daska tehsil. They are an offshoot of the Janjua Rajputs, and so claim descent from Raja Dalip of Delhi. One of his descendants, Sanpal, married out of cast, took service in Jammu, and founded this clan, which has 21 sub-divisions, each representing an alleged son of Sanpal. They intermarry with all the leading JATS, with the exception of the Mans. They have a few peculiar wedding customs, such as the worship of an idol made of grass tied up with red cloth, and the pouring of water on a lambs head. They are good agriculturists.
The Kahlon JATS claim descent from raja Vikramajit, through Raja Jag Deo of Daranagar, of the lunar dynasty. The home of the clan is Batala in the Gurdaspur district. There are three divisions of the clan corresponding with the three sons of Soli, their founder. The first division inhabits Dhamthal, the north of the Raya tehsil, and a small part of the Shakargarh; the second, the remaining villages in Zafarwal; and the third, the rest of Shakargarh. Their marriage ceremonies differ somewhat from those of the western JATS, and they have special names for the various members of the marriage party. They intermarry with the ther JATS. They are a quiet, industrious people, and make good soldiers.
The Malhis of this district are found mainly around Baddomalhi in the Raya tehsil. The following interesting account of the tribe is supplied by one of its members. Ram Chanderji was of Surajbansi family, and it is through him the Malhis trace their descent. According Bard Chand (as Major Todd tells us) Malhi, Malhi or Mohil is one of 36 Royal racs of Rajhasthan. Malhi was then holder of the Malwa estate, the capital of which was Udunth Kot, the ruins of which are to be found up to this day in the Multan district. From Greek History also we learn that Alexander the Great in his conquest of India met and fought with the warlike tribe of Malhi, the holder of Multan(Mohilsthan). Prithviraja, the king of Delhi(12th century A.D.); the son of Bumhi, the son of Pisal, was of the same tribe of Rajputs and was one of the greatest Malwa princes. He was conquered by Shahab-ud-din Ghouri and from that time the Malhis have been scattered all over the Punjab, founding villages wherever they settled. There is however even now a small state in Rajputana by the name of Srobi, the ruler of which is a Malhi.
In loyalty the Malhis are second to none. In the reign of Shahjahan, Rai Jani (being converted to Islam, called Muhammad Jani), an ancestor of the Badhomalhi family and a descendent of badho, was granted a Jagir by that monarch. This Jagir extended from Eminabad(Gujranwala district) to Naurangabad (tehsil Raya). It was reduced to a few villages in tehsil Raya of those few villages the family has lost four or five, viz., Kotli Hathu Malhi, Panjgirayan Gidhian, Rathian, etc.
The Malhis have a Sidh or Pir. He was the great-grandson of Prithviraja and his name is Lakshman Jati Sidh Bala Korshi. From his early days he was given to the worship of God, and therefore having given up the world and its pleasures he became a Jogi and being a prince soon came to be known as one of the greatet of the Jogis. He was so esteemed for his wonderful works that people have founded shrines in his honor all over the Punjab and fairs are held there to commemorate the memory of Sidh Bala Korshi. He is erroneously confused with Lakshaman, the brother of Ram Chandarji, who indeed was no Jogi at all.
The customs of Malhis are mostly those of the Hindus except for the observance of Muhammadans and among these too, the most important customs such as marriage are mainly Hindu, although the ceremony of nikah is adopted from the Muhammadans, the jehaz and many other ceremonies connected with marriage are Hindu. Brahmins attend at the marriages of Mussulman and Christian Malhis, and the pecular Bahi marriage customs are observed by the Hindus.
The people of this clan are also found in 12 or13 villages round about Badiana, a village midway between Pasrur and Sialkot. One of the rising families in this tract is that Risaldar Pal Singh of Bathe, who joined the 25th Cavalary ( F.F ), served in the Afghan War, 1878-80, and Tirah Campaign, 1897, rose to commissioned rank in1900 and retired in 1912 after serving for 34 years. At the outbreak of the present Great War he, along with his brother Ishar Singh, again joined the regiment and is still serving (1920). Two of his nephews also joined the army. One died in France while with the 15th Sikhs, and the other is still (1920) overseas with th 19th Lancers. His son, Iqbal Singh, is an Extra Assistant Commissioner in the Punjab (1920).
The Goraya clan is found mainly in the north-east of the Pasrur Tehsil and in the neighboring villages of Daska. They are said to be descended from the Saroha family of the Lunar Rajputs and are closely connected with the Dhillon, Melti and Saroha Jats. The ancestor to whom they trace their origin, Rana, came from Sirsa to Jammu and thence to this district in the time of the Emperor Akbar.
Sandhu Jats are found round Satrah in the Pasrur Tehsil and Wadhala Sandhuan in Daska. In this district they call themselves Sandhus, not Sindhus. They claim Solar Rajputs origin and believe that they came here from Ghazni, but whether Ghazni in Afghanistan or in the Deccan or Bikaner is not certain. Hindu Sandhus revere their ancestor Kala Pir or Kala Mehr of whom various wonderful tales are told. There is a shrine at Satrah to his memory.
Sardar Shiv Deo Singh is the present (1920) head of the Sandhu Jat family of Siranwali in the Pasrur Tehsil. The family rose to position and power under the early Sikh rule, and the grand-aunt of the present(1920) Sardar married into the Royal family at Lahore. Her brother, Sardar Mangal Singh, attached himself to Prince Kharak Singh, whose chief favorite he was, and received large Jagirs. On the death of the Prince most of the Jagirs were resumed. After annexation he was allotted a cash pension of Rs. 1000 a month. He died in 1864. In 1870 his only son, Richpal Singh, married the nice of Rani Jind Kaur, widow of Prince Kashmira Singh, and had one son, Shiv Seo Singh, who was born in1875. In 1884 Sardar Richpal Singh was nominated President of the District Board Sialkot. In the same year he was entrusted with civil and criminal powers as an Honorary Magistrate with his Court at Siranwali.He died in 1907. His son has succeeded him as Honorary Magistrate at Siranwali where he lives a quiet studious life and is much respected by all who know him. He is a Provincial Darbari.
The Sanihus of Wadbala in Daska emerged fom obscurity during the Mughal ascendancy, but Sardar Mahtab Singh was the first to strike out a course for himself. He threw in his lot with two of the Bhangi leaders, and became connected by marriage with the father of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The latter, however, soon broke with him, and a fierce quarrel ensued. After much desultory fighting the heads of the family took service in Kashmir. They returned to the Punjab in 1814, and in the two Sikh wars some members took one side and some the other. Sardar Sahib Singh, had a distinguished career. He rendered valuable assistance in1857 both in Sialkot and Oudh, and in 1873 went to the Andamans as Assistant District Superintendent of Police. He retired in1884 on a well-earned pension and with the title of Rai Bahadur.
Sardar Baghel Singh's son Hakim Singh had an honorable career, serving with the 18th Lancers in Afghanistan and later as a Subedar in the Burma Police. After his retirement he became Honorary Magistrate and Civil Judge at Daska. He died in 1915.
The most prominent representative of the family at present is Risaldar Sardar Hira Singh, son of Sardar Thakur Singh, who served in the 30th Lancers. He is a Provincila Darbari.
The Man Jats do not properly belong to the Sialkot district, but any mention of the tribe would not be complete without a reference to this famous clan. With the Bhular and Her clans it forms the "two-and-half houses" witch claim to be the oldest and best of the Jat clans. The leading representative of the tribe in the Sialkot district is Sardar Harnam Singh, Honarary Magistrate of Kila Sardar Harnam Singhwala in the Raya tehsil. His grandfather, Sardar Budh Singh, was an exceptionally gallant and faithful adherent of the British throughout the chequered period which preceded and followed annexation. He died in 1856.