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The Tolkien Family is a family of Saxon descent, arriving in England six generations before J.R.R. Tolkien.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
The name “Tolkien” (pron.: Tol-keen; equal stress on both syllables) is believed to be of German origin; Toll-kühn: foolishly brave, or stupidly clever; a cognate in Modern English would be "dull-keen".
Tolkien tranlated his name in Gothic as Ruginwaldus Dwalakōneis and in Old English as Rægnold Hrædmóding (hræd-mód "hasty, quick tempered"). One time he signed a poem under the pseudonym Oxymore (oxymoron being greek for "sharp-dull", "keen-stupid"). He also created the character Professor Rashbold, loosely translating the meaning of his surname. He possibly translated it in Quenya as Arcastar.
Research conducted by Ryszard Derdziński suggests another etymology of the Tolkien family name, deriving it from Baltic Tolk-īn, "a descendant of Tolk", tolk being a Baltic term for "translator, interpreter". Tolkien himself had always been dismissive of this connection.
Origins[edit | edit source]
Research conducted by Ryszard Derdziński shows that the Tolkien family actually had its roots in Gdańsk (German form Danzig) in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and earlier in Kreuzburg, East Prussia, but had been living in England since 1770. The Tolkien name is attested there since the 16th century.
The verified paternal line of J. R. R. Tolkien starts with Michel Tolkien, who was born around 1620 in Kreuzburg. Michel's son Christianus Tolkien (1663-1746) was a wealthy miller in Kreuzburg. His son Christian Tolkien (1706-1791) moved from Kreuzburg to nearby Danzig, and his two sons Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien (1747-1813) and Johann (later known as John) Benjamin Tolkien (1752-1819) emigrated to London in the 1770s, and became the ancestors of the English family. The family first appears in English records in 1777. In 1792 John Benjamin Tolkien and William Gravell took over the Erdley Norton manufacture in London, which from then on sold clocks and watches under the name Gravell & Tolkien. Daniel Gottlieb obtained British citizenship in 1794, but John Benjamin apparently never became a British citizen. Their German nephew Daniel Gottlieb Bergmann also joined them in London. Johann (John) Benjamin Tolkien, who died in London in 1819, had a son named George Tolkien, who was the grandfather of Arthur Tolkien, J. R. R. Tolkien's own father.
Genealogy[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
- Etymology of 'Tolkien'
- The Tolkien Family Album
- Tolkien Family Trees
- On J.R.R. Tolkien's roots in Gdańsk, by Ryszard Derdziński
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 324, (dated 4-5 June 1971)
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 272, (dated 20 July 1965)
- For W.H.A.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part Two: The Notion Club Papers: Introduction"
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 165, (undated, written June 1955)
- Ryszard Derdziński, "Elvish with Balto-Slavic sound and the matter of Laūmas 'Elves'" dated 19 November 2017, tolkniety.blogspot.com (accessed 22 November 2017)
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 349, (dated 8 March 1973)
- Ryszard Derdziński, "Paternal line of J.R.R. Tolkien" dated 7 November 2017, tolkniety.blogspot.com (accessed 22 November 2017)