The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Originated after III 27601 (1160 by the Shire-reckoning); the last Gamwich apparently died in about III 2900 (S.R. 1300)2
Race
Culture
Settlements
The village of Gamwich in the Shire
Pronunciation
ga'mmich
Meaning
Taken from the village of Gamwich, whose name seems to mean 'game village'

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About this entry:

  • Updated 13 November 2011
  • This entry is complete

Gamwich Family

The ancestors of the Gamgees

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Hamfast was a Hobbit of the Shire who lived in the village of Gamwich, and so he became known as Hamfast of Gamwich. His son Wiseman removed to nearby Tighfield, but kept 'Gamwich' as his family name. Though spelt 'Gamwich', the name was pronounced 'Gammidge', and Wiseman's son Hob became known as Hob Gammidge. In later life, Hob acquired the nickname 'Old Gammidgy', and it was a corruption of this nickname that gave rise to the family name of the Gamgees.

The name 'Gamwich' is a anglicisation; the Shire-hobbits actually knew the village home of Hamfast as Galabas, and Hamfast's surname was originally Galbasi. In reduced form this became Galpsi, the actual name of the Hobbits better known as the Gamgees.


Notes

1

The earliest known Hobbit to use the surname 'Gamwich' was Hamfast of Gamwich, who was born in III 2760. There may have been earlier Gamwiches, though the form 'of Gamwich' implies that Hamfast was the first to use the name.

2

The last of the recorded line was Wiseman Gamwich, who was born in III 2800, and (assuming he lived a typical Hobbit lifespan) would have survived until about III 2900. It's conceivable - though it seems unlikely - that there other unrecorded Gamwiches belonging to unrecorded lines who survived past this date.

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