The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Emerged after the foundation of the Shire in III 1601 (year 1 by the Shire-reckoning)
Location
Found throughout the Shire (and in principle included Buckland as the folkland of the Brandybucks)
Race
Cultures
Meaning
'Folk' is used here in the sense of 'family' or 'clan'

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About this entry:

  • Updated 7 September 2012
  • This entry is complete

Folklands

The traditional family lands of the Shire

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
Map of the Folklands of the Shire

In the earlier history of the Shire, parts of that land were associated with particular families of Hobbits, thus becoming the 'folklands' of those families. Over time, those associations became less clear, and by the end of the Third Age, few of these old folklands could be easily identified.

Even at that time, some remnants of the old arrangement could still be seen, especially in the Tookland, which remained the home of the Tooks, the hereditary Thains of the Shire. Other connections also survived to some extent, as with the Brandybucks of Buckland, or the Bolgers of Budgeford in the Eastfarthing.

Baggins Hobbiton
Famous as the home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, Hobbiton was also historically associated with the Baggins family in general.
Boffin The Yale
The folkland of the Boffin family was the Yale, a region of the Eastfarthing that lay south of Whitfurrows and west of Stock.
Bolger Budgeford
The Bolger family held a connection with the town of Budgeford in the Eastfarthing. This connection apparently went back some time, as the name Budgeford was said to derive in part from the the name of the Bolgers who lived there.
Bracegirdle Hardbottle
The family from which Lobelia Sackville-Baggins was descended settled mainly around Hardbottle in the Northfarthing, a town to which Lobelia returned after the harrowing events of the War of the Ring.
Brandybuck Buckland
The heads of the Brandybuck family were the hereditary Masters of Buckland, holding sway over the lands east of the Brandywine (and also the Marish within the Shire itself). The family seat was Brandy Hall, above the town of Bucklebury.
Cotton Bywater
The Cotton family was a relatively young one at the time of the War of the Ring (Farmer Cotton belonged to only the second generation to use the name) but from the beginning it was associated with the village of Bywater.
Fairbairn The Westmarch
A family established after the War of the Ring, descended from Samwise Gamgee. The Fairbairns were hereditary Wardens of Westmarch, and lived at Undertowers on the Tower Hills.
Hornblower Longbottom
The most famous member of this family was Tobold Hornblower of Longbottom in the Southfarthing, the first to grow pipe-weed in the Shire. After his time, the Hornblower family maintained a connection with the town of Longbottom.
Maggot Bamfurlong
The Maggot family farmed the land known as Bamfurlong in the Marish, though it's not clear to what extent that area can be considered a 'folkland' of the Maggots.
North-took Long Cleeve
This branch of the Took family were descended from the more familiar Tooks of the Tookland, but were associated with the Northfarthing rather than the Westfarthing. The location of their town of Long Cleeve is not certainly known, but it was perhaps in or near the Greenfields on the banks of the Brandywine, where their ancestor Bandobras Took won a famous battle.
Puddifoot Stock
The Puddifoots must have been associated with Stock, and the marshlands of the Marish in which it lay, for at least several generations. The family name comes from 'puddle foot', a reference to the damp and boggy nature of the region they called home.
Took Tookland
One of the oldest and most important families of the Shire, the Tooks had given their family name to their own folkland. The land surrounding the Thain's seat at Great Smials, the Tookland, spread across a wide area of the Westfarthing at the western end of the Green Hill Country.

See also...

Shire-moot, Tookbank

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