Named after Sir Robert Montgomery, it lay in the Bari Doab, or the tract between the Sutlej and the Ravi rivers, extending also across the Ravi into the Rechna Doab, which lies between the Ravi and the Chenab. The administrative headquarters was the town of Montgomery, present-day Sahiwal. The district had an area of 4,771 sq mi (12,360 km2) and included the present-day districts of Sahiwal, Pakpattan, Okara, and portions of Shekhupura, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, and Vehari.
Jat clans in Montgomery District (Sahiwal District)
Arar (1,800), Bhadro (638), Bhatti (1,978), Chadhar (2,283), Chauhan (517), Dhakku (673), Dhudhi (582), Hans (964), Jakhar (676), Johiya (979), Kalsan (576), Khokhar (4,137), Kharal (735), Khichi (1,307), Mahar (1,225), Malil (1,633), Nonari (2,448), Sahu (1,178) and, Sial (3,709)
The Rechna Doab was long home to the pastoral Jats, who had constantly maintained a sturdy independence against the successive rulers of northern India. The sites of Kot Kamalia and Harappa contain large mounds of antique bricks and other ruins left by the Indus Valley Civilization, while many other remains of ancient cities or villages lie scattered along the river bank, or dotted the then-barren stretches of the central waste. The pastoral tribes of this barren expanse did not appear to have paid more than a nominal allegiance to the Muslim rulers, and even in the 19th century, when Ranjit Singh extended the Sikh supremacy as far as Multan, the population for the most part remained in a chronic state of rebellion. British influence was first exercised in the district in 1847, when an officer was deputed to effect a summary settlement of the land revenue. Direct British rule was effected on the annexation of the Punjab in 1849.
During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, there was a general rising of the Jat clans, the District formed the scene of the only rising which took place north of the Sutlej. Before the end of May, emissaries from Delhi crossed the river from Sirsa and Hissar, where open rebellion was already rife, and met with a ready reception from the Kharrals and other wild Jat clans. The District authorities, however, kept down the threatened rising till August 26, when the prisoners in jail made a desperate attempt to break loose. At the same time Ahmad Khan, a famous Kharral leader, who had been detained at Gugera, broke his arrest, and, though apprehended, was released on security, together with several other suspected chieftains. On September 16 they fled to their homes, and the whole country rose in open rebellion. Kot Kamalia was sacked; and Major Chamberlain, moving up with a small force from Multan, was besieged for some days at Chichawatni on the Ravi. The situation at the civil station remained critical till Colonel Paton arrived with substantial reinforcements from Lahore. An attack which took place immediately after their arrival was repulsed. Several minor actions followed in the open field, until finally the rebels, driven from the plain into the wildest jungles of the interior, were utterly defeated and dispersed. The British troops then inflicted severe punishment on the insurgent clans, destroying their villages, and seizing large numbers of cattle for sale.
- Census Of India 1911 Volume xiv Punjab Part 2 by Pandit Narikishan Kaul
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