Someone pointed out to me that Thailand doesn't actually have Aristocrats. I thought hard about it, and have to succumb to the fact that may be true, in some ways. The English Aristocrats continue to be so because of their system of passing down titles and everything else that goes with it,from generation to generation. The Thai "nobles" were actually individuals, rather than family, but it was often many members of a single family who were bestowed titles for their own hard work. The titles did not pass down from father to son. The land and wealth did not pass down to the eldest son, but divided out between family members. There was really no continuity, unless one in the family (or a few) decided to continue the legacy of the father. Every child of the titled father had some advantage of already belonging to "the group," but had to do the rest of the work himself. It was a fair system, really. If one didn't do the work, then one was lost by the wayside, even with the surname of an "aristocratic" father. Some had a head start, some didn't, everyone had to prove himself. When many members of one family having achieved high status, and therefore titles, the family collectively became known as aristocratic or noble. The 1932 Revolution ended these titles, though the women's titles of Thanpuyings and Khunyings remains, strangely.

Siamese Aristocrats

(Please note that the English spellings of the titles may differ, as I have tried using how they are actually pronounced rather than how they are normally spelt. For example, "Praya" is sometimes spelt Phya or Phraya, but is actually pronounced Praya.)

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Aristocratic Titles Simplified can familiarise you with the basic understanding of the old aristocratic system of Siam. It was certainly a complex system, but I have tried my best to simplify it here.

The first four aristocratic gentlemen are my forebears. Chao Praya Sri Pipat is my great-grandfather, or my maternal grandmother's father. Praya Bhirom Bhakdi is my great-grandfather, my grandfather's father. Luang Visal Silpakam is also my great-grandfather, my paternal grandmother's father. Chao Praya Surasih Visitsak is the elder brother of Chao Chom Manda Cham, my great-gradfather, Prince Pravitra's mother. Pra Lipikorn Kosol is from the Debhakam family, linked to me by my first cousins, children of my aunt's. The rest are notable individuals or presentation photographs or photographs I have in my collection.

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Chao Praya Sri Pipat Praya Bhirom Bhakdi Luang Visal Silpakam Chao Praya Surasih Visitsak Chao Praya Dhamasak Montri Chao Praya Mukmontri
Chao Praya Sri Pipat Praya Bhirom Bhakdi Luang Visal Silpakam Chao Praya Surasih Chao Praya Dhamasak Chao Praya Mukmontri
Francis Chit Praya Indra Montri Praya Pirentra Dhibodi      
Luang Angkani Naruemitr Praya Indra Montri Praya Pirentra Dhibodi      
           
Families
Many notable individuals came from a single family, and there might be too many individuals to list here, at this time, therefore it is easier to summarise that family into a single page. In old Siam, there were a number of these families, and they intertwined with the Royal Family as well as among the different aristocratic families, ensuring that the power and prestige were not dispersed in too different a direction.
Families Synopsis
Bunnag Probably the largest family in Thailand, once extremely powerful, second only to the Royal Family
Sucharitkul 3 Queens of Rama V's and a consort of Rama VI's came from the family
   
 
 

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Updated 7 April 2019