The Shervashidze (Georgian: შერვაშიძე; Abkhaz: Chachba - later in the 18th century Chachibaia) was a noble family in Abkhazia/Georgia which, according to later sources, can be traced at least as far back as the 12th century.
Although this is quite clearly a Georgian form (particularly, the typical –dze suffix meaning "a son"), the family is said to have derived from the Shirvanshahs, a dynasty of Shirvan in what is now Azerbaijan. According to the medieval Georgian chronicles, the Shirvanese princes were granted the possessions in Abkhazia after the powerful and militarily successful Georgian potentate David IV the Builder took hold of Shirvan in 1124. Later in history, the Shervashidze had another, purely Abkhazian clan name, Chachba - Chachibaia.
Modern Abkhaz historians argue the above genealogy and claim the family was of local origin referring to an oral Abkhaz tradition which holds that the Shervashidze/Chachba/Chachibaia were related to the earlier clan of Anchabadze/Achba (see Abkhazian Kingdom#Rulers). The first representative of the dynasty assumed the princely powers under the authority of the Georgian kings circa 1325. It was not, however, until the final decomposition of the unified Georgian feudal state in the late 15th century, when the Abkhazian princes obtained their full independence, only to soon become vassals of the Ottomans. The Turkish overlordship brought major changes in their palace culture and political leanings, with the Shervashidze gradually losing their ties with the Christian Georgian nobility. In the late 18th century, the Shervashidze princes embraced Islam, but shifted back and forth across the religious divide, as the Russians and Ottomans struggled for controlling the area. The pro-Russian orientation prevailed, and Abkhazia joined Imperial Russia as an autonomous princedom in 1810 while the Shervashidzes (Russian: Шервашидзе) were confirmed in the Russian princely rank. The end of the Caucasian War terminated the Shervashidze rule and the last remnants of the Abkhazian autonomy were eliminated in 1866.
See also 
- (English)Georgi M. Derluguian, The Tale of Two Resorts: Abkhazia and Ajaria Before and Since and the Soviet Collapse. In: The Myth of "Ethnic Conflict": Politics, Economics, and "Cultural" Violence, edited by Beverly Crawford and Ronnie D. Lipschutz. University of California Press/University of California International and Area Studies Digital Collection, Edited Volume #98, pp. 261–292, 1998
- (Russian) The Oath of Allegiance of Prince Sefer-Ali Bek to the Russian crown, August 23 1810 (text)
- (Russian)Russian Biographical Dictionary