Yesterday a sent a number of e-mails to German Tollkuehns/Tolkiehns, etc. I got this reply from Guenther-Ulrich Tolkiehn, professor of "Informations- und Kommunikationentechnik":<BR><BR>Several years ago, I wanted to find out, whether we are rellated with the author. My findings (mostly based on the work of one late grand-uncle of mine, Rev. Heinrich Tolkiehn) were, in short:<BR>-My ancestors lived in Ostpreusen (a part of Germany until 1945, the northern part which now belongs to Russia, as an exclave[sic]).<BR>-The area belongs to the "lower German" language region since ca. 1200. Older languages, especially eastern idioms, were also present in the old days, but died out later.<BR>-Our name was changed from the original Tolkien into Tolkiehn around 1800(in principle we know the exact date and the person who did it, but I am presently not aware of it).<BR>-The name Tolkien is a typical name only for the area of Ostpressen. Many family names there end -ien (like Leptien, Monien, and so on), but the meaning of this ending is somewhat unclear (as far as I know). The first part of the name is derived from the word-base talk and the name means a bi-lingual person, who can translate the old language (Prutzisch[a Baltic language]) to German. Today, the name is not very abundant, but prresent all over Germany, esp4ecially in the bigger cities of northern Germany. This is mainly due to the deportation of the population of that area after the second world war[sic]<BR>-We could not, however, find out any direct connection between our ancestors and the ancestors of the author in Lower Saxony. One reason may be, that in the area where my ancestors lived, the church-books where[sic] burnt as a consequence of some war (this date is in principle well known, I think it was somewhat later than the 30 years war[sic], i.e. later than 1648, but I would have to look it up). We did not make any research effort in lower[sic] Saxony.<BR><BR>I hope, I could be a little helpful and would of course appreciate any information about your findings.<BR>Yours sincerely,<BR><BR>Prof. Dr. Guenther-Ulrich Tolkiehn<BR>Informations- und Kommunikationenstechnik<BR>TFH Wildau<BR>BahnhofstraBe<BR>15745 Wildau<BR><BR><BR>It was really great of G-U to respond. Some interesting info. If accurate, the derivation of the name from a cognate of "talk" and a connection to translation is interesting in light of JRRT's linguistic interests and skills!