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Born IV 21 (1442 by the Shire-reckoning)
Brought up at Bag End in Hobbiton
Tolman is pronounced 'to'lman'
The literal meaning of Tolman is uncertain,1 but this Tolman was presumably named for his uncle and grandfather, both of whom shared the same name
Other names
Nicknamed 'Tom'


About this entry:

  • Updated 25 August 2015
  • This entry is complete

Tolman ‘Tom’ Gamgee

Youngest of Sam Gamgee’s children

The youngest of the thirteen children of Sam Gamgee and Rose Cotton. 'Tolman' was a common name in his mother's family, and this Tolman shared his name with his grandfather Tolman Cotton, as well as one of his uncles (also named Tolman Cotton).

We have no details of Tolman Gamgee's life, except for a curious coincidence of timing. He was born in the Shire-year 1442, which is recorded as the same date on which his mother and father travelled to Gondor for a year. The implications of this are unclear, but it hardly seems likely that Sam and Rose would have carried a newborn child across the long miles of Middle-earth. The most likely scenario would be that Tolman was born early in the year, and left behind in the Shire with his many older brothers and sisters, but there remains an outside possibility that he was actually born in Gondor.



There is a real English name 'Tolman', which derives from 'toll collector', but that hardly appears to fit what we know of the Cotton family (from whom the name derives). Rather, it seems to be a simple variation on the previous generations' names, and probably doesn't carry a specific meaning itself.

See also...

Robin Gamgee


About this entry:

  • Updated 25 August 2015
  • This entry is complete

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