The Family Trees

From Tolkien Gateway
The Peoples of Middle-earth
  1. The Prologue
  2. The Appendix on Languages
  3. The Family Trees
  4. The Calendars
  5. The History of the Akallabêth
  6. The Tale of Years of the Second Age
  7. The Heirs of Elendil
  8. The Tale of Years of the Third Age
  9. The Making of Appendix A
  10. Of Dwarves and Men
  11. The Shibboleth of Fëanor
  12. The Problem of Ros
  13. Last Writings
  14. Dangweth Pengoloð
  15. Of Lembas
  16. The New Shadow
  17. Tal-Elmar

The Family Trees is the third chapter of The Peoples of Middle-earth. In this chapter Christopher Tolkien traced the evolution of the family trees of various Hobbit clans that were published in Appendix C in The Lord of the Rings. Christopher reproduced the tables in their successive stages for the Baggins (BA), Bolger (BG), Boffin (BF), Brandybuck (BR), Took (T), and Gamgee/Gardner (S) families so that readers could easily see how they developed over time.

Christopher labeled the tables of family trees in this chapter with one or two letters followed by a number indicating the place of the table in a series. All of the tables had at least four or five versions, and often they were done in a group. Thus BA1, BG1, BR1 and T2 were all written together. Other clusters include: BA2, BF1, and BR2; BA3, BG2, BF2, BR4, T4, and S1; and BA4, BG3, and BF3. It should be noted that the "final" versions of some of the tables are not given since they are printed in Appendix C.

In some of the family trees Tolkien made extensive alterations of the first names as well as the dates of birth or death. Christopher explained that the changes were not just finicky in nature but were done as the narrative was written so that names and ages of hobbits appearing in the story were faithfully represented in the trees.

Christopher noted that the Bolger and Boffin tables were ready for print in Appendix C in the early editions but that they were pulled out before publication. He reports no evidence regarding the reason for their rejection and can only speculate that it was related to the severe shortage of space allotted for the Appendices.[1]


Readers interested in seeing the final family trees for those families mentioned in this chapter may view them in the following Tolkien Gateway articles: