The family rose to an especial prominence with Joatham Zedginidze, who at the risk of his life saved King George VIII of Georgia (r. 1446-1465) from the plot formed by the renegade nobles. George VIII must have elevated Joatham’s eldest son, T'aqa II (or Joatham himself before he died of the wounds he had received) to the new title and offices. The family was enfeoffed of the offices of amilakhvari, sardali (commander) of the Banner of Upper Kartli, and mouravi (Palatine) of Gori, as well as of numerous fiefs, including the sepulchral abbey and cathedral of Samtavisi, the town of Kaspi and several villages on the left bank of the Mtkvari River. Their fiefdom was called Saamilakhvro (Samilakhoro), literally meaning "of Amilakhvari."
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Zedginidze house ranked as fourth (after the Bagration-Mukhraneli, and the eristavi dynasties of Aragvi and of Ksani) among the princes of the Kingdom of Kartli. It was then that the name Amilakhvari became a surname of the heads of the house; the cadets being called Amilakhvarishvili. Beyond this principal line, the dynasty branched out as the Princes Khidirbekishvili in the provinces of Samtskhe and Inner Kartli, and as the Princes Guramishvili and the Princes Tusishvili in Kakheti. The Emukhvari family of Abkhazia is also supposed to be another line of this dynasty. The Amilakhvari were related through marriage with several other noble houses of Georgia and the royal Bagrationi dynasty. After the Russian annexation of Georgia (1801) the family was received among the princes (knyaz) of the Empire under the name of Amilakhvarov (Амилахваровы, Амилохваровы, 1825) and Amilakhvari (Амилахвари, 1850).