List of hobbit families

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Hobbits are a fictional race in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth books. They first appear in The Hobbit and play an important role in the book The Lord of the Rings.

This is an alphabetical list of hobbit families that are mentioned by name in Tolkien's works.

B[edit]

Baggins

The Baggins family lived in the Shire, mostly in or near the town of Hobbiton. Evidently aristocratic landowners, they intermarried extensively with the two titled families of the Shire, the Tooks and the Brandybucks. It seems likely that the Bagginses were the major landowners and leading family of the area around Hobbiton. They were seen as respectable (indeed, as more respectable than the aristocratic Tooks) until Bilbo Baggins set out on the quest of Erebor with Gandalf the Grey and thirteen Dwarves: when he returned he was seen as odd or queer, but also extremely rich. Bilbo adopted his "nephew" Frodo Baggins, who inherited the smial of Bag End after Bilbo left. Frodo himself was involved in the quest of the Lord of the Rings, which ended the War of the Ring.

The Baggins clan traces their origin to the first recorded Baggins, one Balbo Baggins, who was born in or near Hobbiton in 1167 of the Shire reckoning (2767 Third Age). Bilbo is a great-grandson of Balbo, as was Frodo's father Drogo. The name Baggins is a translation in English of the actual Westron name Labingi, which was believed to be related to the Westron word labin, "bag".[1]

After Bilbo and Frodo left, the only recorded Bagginses are the descendants of Bilbo's great-nephew Posco Baggins, although many other descendants of Balbo Baggins are also recorded, under the Sackville-Bagginses, as well as Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck (through various interfamily marriages).

Banks

Found in both the Shire and Bree. The name may have referred to dwellings along river banks.

Boffin

A family with many connections to the Bagginses and Tooks. Apparently found in the Yale, Overhill, and other areas surrounding Hobbiton. The name is an Anglicization of the old hobbit term 'Bophîn', of unknown meaning.

Bolger

The Bolgers (anglicization of Bolgra, name of unknown meaning in Hobbitish Westron) are a family of Fallohidish origin, associated with the village of Budgeford, on the Water in the Eastfarthing of the Shire. In common with the Brandybucks and the Tooks, the Bolgers had a penchant for heroic names, and so as well as Fredegar Bolger (the most important Bolger in Tolkien's work), we find such noble names as Fastolph, Gundabald and Odovacar.

Bophîn

The Westron form of Boffin.

Bracegirdle

A family of hobbits living in Hardbottle and possibly other areas of the Shire.

Brandagamba

The Westron form of Brandybuck.

Brandybuck

An important family of Fallohide origin that founded and was primarily found in the Buckland. The Westron form of 'Brandybuck' was Brandagamba. This roughly translates into Borderland Buck or Borderland Young Man.

Brockhouse

Found in both the Shire and Bree. The name means 'badger house' and referred to the similarity between hobbit holes and badger dwellings.

Brown

Working class Shire hobbits.

Brownlock

Shire hobbits whose name may refer to brown hair.

Bunce

Hobbits of the Shire, possibly in the area around Michel Delving.

Burrowes

A name found only as one of those who was auctioning off Bag End at the end of The Hobbit and as an alternate spelling of 'Burrows' in Tolkien's notes.

Burrows

Hobbits of the Shire. The name likely referred to their underground dwellings.

Butcher

A name found only in the form Bill Butcher, the butcher of Michel Delving in the poem Perry-the-Winkle.

C[edit]

Chubb

Shire hobbits who may have been wealthy. Tolkien chose the name for its similarity to 'chubby', but the actual English surname refers to a type of river fish.

Chubb-Baggins

A collateral branch of the Baggins family of Shire hobbits.

Clayhanger

This family of Shire hobbits is mentioned only in one of Tolkien's letters.

Cotton

Shire hobbits found primarily in Bywater. The name derives not from the plant, but from 'cottage-town', which may have been an earlier name for Bywater. The Westron form of the name was Hlothran, of the same meaning.

D[edit]

Diggle

A name appearing only on the unpublished Bolger family tree.

F[edit]

Fairbairn

The descendants of Elanor Gardner. The name means 'fair-born' and was meant by Tolkien to imply the good looks and blond hair of the family.

Fallohide

Not strictly a family, but rather one of the three 'breeds' of hobbits. The name is derived from 'fallow-hide' meaning 'pale-skin'.

G[edit]

Galbasi

Original Westron form of Gamwich.

Galpsi

The Westron form of Gamgee, developed from Galbasi.

Gamgee

A Family of Ropers. The family name changed from Gamwich to Gammidge to Gamgee. The family name was changed again by Samwise Gamgee into Gardner.

Tolkien took the name "Gamgee" from a colloquial word in Birmingham for cotton wool. This was in turn derived from Gamgee Tissue, a surgical dressing invented by a 19th-century Birmingham surgeon named Sampson Gamgee. Tolkien originally used it as a nickname for a man living in Lamorna Cove, England before adapting it into his stories:

"There was a curious local character, an old man who used to go about swapping gossip and weather-wisdom and such like. To amuse my children I named him Gaffer Gamgee... The choice of Gamgee was primarily directed by alliteration; but I did not invent it. It was caught out of childhood memory, as a comic word or name. It was in fact the name when I was small (in Birmingham) for 'cotton-wool'. (Hence the association of the Gamgees with the Cottons.) I knew nothing of its origin."[2]

Gammidge

Ancestors of the Gamgee family.

Gamwich

Ropers and ancestors of the Gammidge family.

Gardner

The name taken by Sam Gamgee later in his life and passed down to his descendants. It referred to his original occupation as a gardener. It apparently later changed to Gardner of the Hill.

Gawkroger

A name only appearing in drafts as a predecessor to 'Goodbody'. Also spelled Gaukroger. The name means 'clumsy roger'.

Goldworthy

The maiden name of Hanna Brandybuck.

Goodbody

Hobbits of the Shire.

Goodchild

The maiden name of Bell Gamgee.

Goodenough

A name appearing only on the unpublished Boffin family tree.

Goold

The maiden name of Menegilda Brandybuck.

Greenhand

Family of gardeners living in Hobbiton. Closely related to the Gamgees.

Grubb

Hobbits of the Shire. The name is related to the verb 'grub', meaning to dig or root around.

H[edit]

Harfoot

Not strictly a family, but rather one of the three 'breeds' of hobbits. The name is derived from 'hair-foot'.

Hayward

Hobbits of the Eastfarthing. The name means 'fence-guard' and refers to an occupation of inspecting fences and assuring that cattle do not stray. The name 'Hayward' may also have its origins in the title of the officers who were responsible for overseeing the harvesting of crops on Medieval manors.

Headstrong

The maiden name of Malva Brandybuck.

Hlothran

The Westron form of Cotton.

Hogg

A name found only in the form 'Old Farmer Hogg' in the poem Perry-the-Winkle.

Hornblower

Shire hobbits primarily found in the Southfarthing. The name was derived from an old family occupation. Tobold Hornblower, Old Toby was the first to introduce pipe-weed in the Shire.

L[edit]

Labingi

The Westron language form of Baggins.

Lightfoot

A name appearing only on the unpublished Bolger family tree.

Longholes

Hobbits of Bree and possibly the Shire. The name likely refers to their dwellings.

M[edit]

Maggot

Hobbits of the Shire. The name was intended to be without any clear meaning rather than a reference to larvae.

Mugwort

Hobbits of Bree. The name refers to a type of plant.

N[edit]

Noakes

Shire hobbits of the working class. The name is derived from a place of dwelling and means 'at the oak' or 'dweller by the oak tree'.

North-tooks

The descendants of Bandobras Took. The family primarily dwelt in Long Cleeve.

O[edit]

Oldbuck

The descendants of Bucca of the Marish ('Old Bucca' = Oldbucks). Later changed their names after the crossing of the Brandywine to Brandybuck.

P[edit]

Pott

A name found only in the form 'Old Pott', the Mayor of Michel Delving in the poem Perry-the-Winkle. Possibly a first rather than family name.

Proudfoot

Hobbits of the Shire. The name may be a reference to family pride in having exceptionally large and furry feet. Tolkien gives two possible plural forms: Proudfoots and Proudfeet.

Puddifoot

Shire hobbits of Stock and the Marish. The name is meant to suggest 'puddle-foot' and referred to the marshy area in which the family dwelt.

R[edit]

Roper

Family of rope makers living in Tighfield. Closely related to the Gamgees.

River Folk

Family of Stoors living on the banks of the Anduin, with a matriarch (Gollum's grandmother). Sméagol and Déagol belonged to this family.

Rumble

Working class hobbits of Hobbiton and possibly other parts of the Shire. The name no longer had any particular meaning by the time of The Lord of the Rings.

S[edit]

Sackville

Wealthy hobbit family of the Shire.

Sackville-Baggins

A family that was created by the marriage of Longo Baggins and Camellia Sackville. The family, however, was short-lived because of the murder of their sole grandson.

Sandheaver

Hobbits of Bree and possibly the Shire. The name referred to tunnel construction.

Sandyman

Working class hobbits of the Shire. One Sandyman family ran the Hobbiton mill.

Smallburrow

Working class hobbits of the Shire. The name referred to their homes.

Stoor

Not strictly a family, but rather one of the three 'breeds' of hobbits. The name means 'large, strong'.

T[edit]

Took

A wealthy family who held the Thainship. The name had no specific meaning.

Tûk

The Westron form of Took.

Tunnelly

Hobbits of Bree and possibly also the Shire. The name likely refers to tunnelling.

Twofoot

Hobbits of the Shire.

Townsend

Hobbits of Bree. The name possibly comes from the area they lived in.

U[edit]

Underhill

Hobbits of Bree and the Shire. The Shire branch may have been named for the area below Hobbiton hill, also called Under-hill.

W[edit]

Whitfoot

Somewhat prominent family of Shire hobbits. The Mayor of the Shire during the War of the Ring was Will Whitfoot. The name means 'white foot'.

Z[edit]

Zaragamba

The Westron form of Oldbuck.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Christopher Tolkien, The History of Middle-earth, Volume XII, The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Appendix on Languages", p. 48.
  2. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (1981), The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, No. 257, ISBN 0-395-31555-7