Yadu (यदु) is the name of one of the five Aryan clans mentioned in the Rig Veda. The epic Mahabharata and Puranas refer to Yadu as the eldest son of mythological king Yayati.  Yadu was banished from ruling and had become rebel who first started ruling in outskirts of India and then intruded the mainland. The jambudwipa referred in scriptures is believed to be in memory of these islands. The regions where the Yadu clan settled is not certain, but certain scholars suggest that Yadu clan inherited the territories to the south-west of the Gangetic plains, between the Chambal River, Betwa and Ken, which correspond to the border areas of present Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Descendants of yadu were called Yadavavanshi. Krishna, founder of Jat sangha, was born in Yadavavansh. Yadu are called Gadun or Jadu in Afghanistan. Yadu clan is found in Afghanistan.
The Mahabharata, the Harivamsha and the Puranas mention Yadu as the eldest son of king Yayati and his queen Devayani. The prince of King Yayati, Yadu was a self-respecting and a very established ruler. According to the Vishnu Purana, the Bhagavata Purana and the Garuda Purana Yadu had four sons, while according to the rest of the Puranas he had five sons. The names of his sons are: Sahasrajit (or Sahasrada), Kroshtu (or Kroshta),, Nila, Antika and Laghu. The kings between Budha and Yayati were known as Somavanshi. As mentioned before, Yadu had officially lost the title to govern by his father's command since he had refused to exchange his youth with his father. Thereby, he could not have carried on the same dynasty, called Somvanshi. Notably, the only remaining dynasty of King Puru was entitled to be known as Somvanshi. Thereby King Yadu ordered that the future generations of his would be known as "Yadu" or "Yadava" and the dynasty would be known as "Yaduvanshi". The generations of Yadu had an unprecedented growth and got divided into two branches.
Descendants of Yadu
King Sasasrajit's descendants were named after his grandson Haihaya and were well known as the Haihayas. King Kroshtu's descendants had no special name, but were known particularly as the "Yadavas", According to P.L. Bhargava, when the original territory was partitioned between Sahasrajit and Kroshta, the former received the part lying to the western bank of the river Sindhu and the latter received the territory situated along the east bank of the river. King Haihaya was Shatajit's son and Sahasrajit's grandson. King Sahasrajit instituted a new state and a new dynasty and offered the same, by his own will and against his birth right, to be taken care of by his younger brother Kroshta. Thereby, Kroshta officially became the heir of King Yadu. Consequently, the generations of King Puru, Paurav or Puruvanshi were the only ones to be known as Somvanshi.
The regions where the Yadu clan settled is not certain, but certain scholars suggest that Yadu clan inherited the territories to the south-west of the Gangetic plains, between the Chambal River, Betwa and Ken, which correspond to the border areas of present Indian states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The descendants of Yadu tribe (Yaduvanshi) include Krishna. Yadu-Dynasty belongs to the family deriving from Soma, identified with the moon god Chandra.
Origin of Jats from Yadu
Many historians consider the origin of Jats from Yadu.
- Thakur Deshraj has mentioned with reference to Pandit Lekhram Arya who says in 'Risalajihad' that word Jat has derived from Yadu as under.
- Yadu(यदु) → Jadu(जदु) → Jādu(जादु) → Jād(जाद) → Jāt(जात) → Jāt(जाट)
- James Todd and Wilson have also supported this theory.
- Mr Neshfield, a renowned Indologist, says that "The word Jat is nothing more than the modern Hindi pronunciation of Yadu or Jadu, the tribe in which Krishna was born.
- The Sinsinwar Jat rulers of Bharatpur have been recorded as Yadavavanshi, the descendants of Krishna by Prakash Chandra Chandawat. 
- UN Sharma has mentioned the chronology of Krishna in which starting from Sindhupal in 64th generation of Krishna to Bharatpur ruler Maharaja Brijendra Singh (1929-1948) all the rulers are mentioned as Yaduvanshi Jats. 
- Almost all early Jat rulers have been mentioned by contemporary poets as Yaduvanshis. The poet Sudan , poet Somnath , poet Udayram  have write about the origin of Sinsinwar Jat rulers of Bharatpur as under -
- तीन जाति जादव की, अंधक, विस्नी, भोज ।
- तीन भांति तेई भये, तै फिर तिनही षोज ।।
- पूर्व जनम ते जादव विस्नी ।
- तेई प्रकटे आइ सिनसिनी ।।
- Jat historian Bhaleram Beniwal has written after recent researches with evidences in his book "Jāton kā Ādikālīn Itihās" that Krishna was by all evidences noting other than Jat. He has mentioned the above refered evidences in addition to the following authors which mention Krishna as Jats. These are Yogendrapal Shastri, Motilal Gupta  Walter Hamilton.
- The Muslim contries have a notion that Jats are the ancestors of Yadavas. The Arabian traveller Al-Biruni has mentioned that Lord Krishna was a Jat. 
- Dr Natthan Singh has also mentioned the theory of origin of Jats from Yadu. Yadu was banished from ruling by Yayati for not obeying him and made his other son Puru as king. Yadu had become rebel who first started ruling in outskirts of India in south-west border areas. Slowly he gained strength by forming a federation of Shaka, Pallava, Parad, Yavan and Kamboja tribes. The king Sagar failed his these attempts and suppressed them. In order to avoid confrontation with Sagar, the Yaduvanshis came to Sursena area (Mathura). Here he again formed a federation of 18 tribes. One of thse tribe was vrishni in which Krishna was born. Many historians connect Jats with these Yadus. Looking to similar physical features, food habits, life and culture both Jats and Yaduvanshis can be treated belonging to same caste.
Branches of Yaduvansh
Dalip Singh Ahlawat writes that Krishna formed the sangha of many clans. He himself was Jat. The Branches of Yaduvansh include the following: Vrishni, Andhaka, Hala, Sheokhande, Dagur-Digrana, Khirwar-Khare, Balhara, Saran, Sinsinwar, Chhonkar, Sogarwar, Hanga, Ghanihar, Bhoj
Complete ancestry of Yaduvansha
- Genealogy of Yadu
- An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan By H. W. Bellew, The Oriental University Institute, Woking, 1891, p.87
- An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan By H. W. Bellew, The Oriental University Institute, Woking, 1891, p.158
- Pargiter, F.E. (1972). Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.87.
- Misra, V.S. (2007). Ancient Indian Dynasties, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, ISBN 81-7276-413-8, pp.162-3
- Matsya Purana,43.6-7
- Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency ..., Volume 1, Part 1 By Bombay (India : State), Page no.58 
- Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas (Hindi), Maharaja Suraj Mal Smarak Shiksha Sansthan, Delhi, 1934, 2nd edition 1992. Page 85-86
- Parmesh Sharma & Rajpal Shastri: Kshatriyon ka Itihas
- James Todd: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, 2 Vols., Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., London, 1972 (reprint), first published in 1829
- Dr. Prakash Chandra Chandawat: Maharaja Suraj Mal aur unka yug, Jaypal Agencies Agra, 1982
- UN Sharma :Jaton ka Navin Itihas
- Sudan: Sujan-charitra, page-4
- Somnath: Sujanvilas,page 133
- Udayram: Sujan samva
- Bhaleram Beniwal : "Jāton kā Ādikālīn Itihās" (page 26-30), Jaypal Agencies Agra
- Yogendrapal Shastri:Jaton ka utkarsh (page286)
- Motilal Gupta: Matsya Pradesh ki Hindi Sahitya ko den (page214)
- Walter Hamilton: The east India Gazeteer (Vol. 1, page 233)
- Al-Biruni, India:Translated by Kayamuddin, Published by National Book Trust, India, 1997 page-176
- Dr Natthan Singh: Jat - Itihas (Hindi), Jat Samaj Kalyan Parishad Gwalior, 2004 (Page31-32
- Dalip Singh Ahlawat: "Haihay vansh evam Yadu vansh ke Shakha Gotra, Jat Samaj, Agra, August 1995, p. 13
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