The Goud Saraswat Brahmins kept their identity by their Surnames were ever they migrated among the local people, The surnames of GSBs are mainly of two types.


Over many years the number of gotras increased due to:

GSB's usually kept their name according to their traditional professions, but some kept there Surname according to the Village they originated or migrated. They Village name for their surname.

For an Example let us take the surname of Sachin (He is not a gsb, but he is an Rajpura Saraswat Brahmin) i.e Tendulkar , took their surname according to their village "tendul" and added 'kar" which means"from" or "Citizen of", thus Tendul+kar became Tendulkar , which means the "citizen of tendul" or "from tendul" .

Some famous Surnames: Bandivadekar, Madkaikar, Borkar, Sakhalkar, Haldwanekar, Chimbalkar, Navelkar, Marathe, Lotlikar, Salwankar, Karlekar, Burake, Bhagav, Tendulkar, Patkar, Juvale, Dhonde, Shinkar, Shendre, Bokade, Takur, Gawade, Potkar, Askekar, Shenai, Gavalkar, Shembekar, Lanjolkar etc.


Some GSB's kept there Surname according to their profession. For Example let us take Shenoy, They were Shanbhags(clerks), took there surname according to their Profession.

Surname Profession
Shenoy Originaly for the Shenvis in Goa. Since most of them took up Administrative jobs they were called Shanbhags (clerks) which later became Shenoy.
Kammathi/Kammath Kama means Work, Mati means Soil,thus Kamathi (Kama+Mathi) means people who worked in soil (agriculture), who are presently called Kammath.
Pai Pai in Konkani language means foot or leg. The common person who had not amassed wealth or power was known as Pai.Their job was menial in maintaining ledgers and doing odd jobs.
Vadhyar Every family had an exclusive priest to perform their rites, and he was the "Family Purohit" and was called Vadhyar.
Bhat The poojas in Small temples and its rituals were conducted by bhat.
Rao Some Nayaks were honored by the kings with a title like "Rao Bahadur" adopted Rao into their surname.
Nayak People who worked in Army (Army Commanders) were Known as Nayak.
Prabhu Feudal lords called themselves Prabhu. They were very rich and lived in Palatial home called Mahals.
Mallan/Mallaya The Care-takers of Prabhus who were known as Mahalyar, who are presently called as Mallan/Mallaya.
Kini Those who cultivated herbs were Kinvis, who presently called Kini or Keni.
Baliga Baliga were foot soldiers with a spear, called Ballo, who were under the commands of Nayak.
Kulkarni/ Nadkarni People who maintains statistics were known as the Karni's. "Nadu" which means land,Thus Nadukarni means the person maintaining land records."Kul" means homes,Thus Kulkarni maintained census, and social registers.