The youngest of four children of Roper Gamgee. Halfred's family originated in Tighfield, and his eldest brother Andwise was known to have remained there. At least two other members of the family left Tighfield, though: Halfred himself moved to Overhill, north beyond Hobbiton Hill. The other brother moved to Hobbiton itself, where he became a gardener. This was Hamfast the Gaffer, father of Samwise Gamgee, and so Halfred of Overhill was one of Sam's uncles. Halfred was known to have had a son of his own, Sam's cousin Halfast.
'Halfred' is apparently a play on the more familiar 'Alfred', though the derivation of that name ('Elf wisdom') doesn't sit easily within the homely Gamgee family. The 'Half-' element suggests a meaning of 'half wisdom' that fits more easily with Halfred's family (indeed, etymologically speaking this is almost a synonym for his nephew's Samwise's name, which means 'half wise').
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