An aquaintance of Hamfast Gamgee and Daddy Twofoot (both of whom lived on Bagshot Row in Hobbiton). Old Noakes hailed from nearby Bywater, but joined his friends in the Ivy Bush on Bywater Road to discuss matters in the Shire. Like many of the rustic Hobbits, Old Noakes was little travelled, and considered even Buckland on the Shire's eastern border to be a distant and peculiar land.
Noakes is a real English family name, relating to a placename Noake or Noke (if Tolkien had a particular place in mind, it would presumably have been the village of Noke near Oxford). That in turn means 'at the oak', and the implication seems to be that there was a comparable village somewhere in the Shire, from which Old Noakes himself, or one of his ancestors, had originally come. If such a place did exist, however, we have no record of it.
We have no details of Old Noakes' dates of birth or death, but for him to have acquired the title 'Old' by III 3001, it's probably fair to assume that he was something like eighty years old at that time.
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