Friday, February 13, 2009

Kaulins (Kauliņš) is a Latvian Surname comparable to English Collins and the historical name Ceawlin, King of the West Saxons

The surname Kaulins (Kauliņš) in Latvia probably has about the same distribution within the Latvian population as the comparable surname Collins in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and perhaps the United States. The Wikipedia writes at Collins (surname):
"The surname Collins has a variety of likely origins in Britain and Ireland:

1. Anglo-Saxon: A patronymic surname based on the name Colin, an English diminutive form of Nicholas. In England, Collins usually signified "son of Colin."
2. Irish: "cuilein" = darling, a term of endearment applied to young animals.
3. Irish: The surname O' Coileáin, meaning "from the whelp or young animal".
4. Welsh: Collen = hazel, hazel grove.

Alternative spellings or related surnames include Collin, Colling, Coling, Collings, Colings, Collis, Coliss, Collen, and Collens.

The earliest documented evidence of the name in England dates back as far as the twelfth and thirteenth centuries where several instances have been recorded. One Colinus de Andresia appears in the pipe rolls of Berkshire in 1191, while a Colinus is mentioned in Hartopp's Register of the Freeman of Leicester recorded in 1196. The personal name Colin from which the surname derives has an even older history; Ceawlin, the king of the West Saxons, Caelin, a brother of St Chad, an the early Welsh saint, Kollen, all have names related to Colin. In Ireland, Collins may be regarded as a genuinely indigenous Irish name; in fact, it is one the most numerous surnames, ranked number 30." [emphasis added]
If we go to, we find An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language which can be searched to include four specific sources:
An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language (Scottish Gaelic).
The School Gaelic Dictionary (Scottish Gaelic).
Fockleyr Gaelg - Baarle (Manx Gaelic).
Gramadach Lexicon. (Irish Gaelic)"
There we find the much more likely roots of the name:
"a club, bludgeon, Irish, Early Irish cuaille, *kaullio-; Greek @Gkaulós, stalk; Latin caulis, stalk; Lithuanian káulas, a bone (Stokes)...." (MacBain's - Scottisch Gaelic)

"a smart stroke; also coilleag" (Kelly's - Manx Gaelaic)

"wise, sover, Irish céillidhe; from ciall"

"sense, understanding, Irish, Old Irish ciall, Welsh pwyll, Cornish pull, Breton poell, *qeislâ: Indo-European qei, observe, see, shine; Greek @Gpinutós, wise; Sanskrit cetati, perceive, cittam, thought, cino@-ti, discover; further German heiter, clear"
Those Gaelic terms and their meanings correspond to the presumed etymological origin of the surname Kaulins as we have posted on this blog in previous postings. The origin of the English-language Collins as a surname may historically in some cases thus also be the same as Kaulins, and is rooted in the basic concept of "bone, bones" (Latvian kaul-), from which various derivative meanings resulted over the millennia, i.e. terms for the use of animal bones as clubs, or "old bones" which came to be used in the meaning "elders" and thus "wise men".

Since the Baltic peoples also have ancient bagpipes, as perfected in the modern era in Scotland, these language connections must be very ancient. Interesting is also the case of the name Ceawlin.

Ceawlin was the king of the West Saxons whose grandfather, according to the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, invaded Britain from the Continent and he is one of the early royal line of the present British Monarchy.

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle (The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #17, Part 1: A.D. 1 - 748. It was originally compiled on the orders of King Alfred the Great, approximately A.D. 890, and subsequently maintained and added to by generations of anonymous scribes until the middle of the 12th Century. The original language is Anglo-Saxon (Old English), but later entries are essentially Middle English in tone. Translation by Rev. James Ingram (London, 1823), with additional readings from the translation of Dr. J.A. Giles (London, 1847). The text of this edition is based on that published as "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" (Everyman Press, London, 1912). This edition is in the PUBLIC DOMAIN in the United States. This electronic edition was edited, proofed, and prepared by Douglas B. Killings (DeTroyes@AOL.COM), July 1996), who writes as follows:
"A.D. 495. This year came two leaders into Britain, Cerdic and Cynric his son, with five ships, at a place that is called Cerdic's-ore. And they fought with the Welsh the same day. Then he died, and his son Cynric succeeded to the government, and held
it six and twenty winters. Then he died; and Ceawlin, his son, succeeded, who reigned seventeen years. Then he died; and Ceol succeeded to the government, and reigned five years. When he died, Ceolwulf, his brother, succeeded, and reigned seventeen years. Their kin goeth to Cerdic. Then succeeded Cynebils, Ceolwulf's brother's son, to the kingdom; and reigned one and thirty winters. And he first of West-Saxon kings received baptism. Then succeeded Cenwall, who was the son of Cynegils, and reigned one and thirty winters. Then held Sexburga, his queen, the government one year after him. Then succeeded Escwine to the kingdom, whose kin goeth to Cerdic, and held it two years. Then succeeded Centwine, the son of Cynegils, to the kingdom of the West-Saxons, and reigned nine years. Then succeeded Ceadwall to the government, whose kin goeth to Cerdic, and held it three years. Then succeeded Ina to the kingdom of the West-Saxons, whose kin goeth to Cerdic, and reigned thirty-seven winters. Then succeeded Ethelheard, whose kin goeth to Cerdic, and reigned sixteen years. Then succeeded Cuthred, whose kin goeth to Cerdic, and reigned sixteen winters. Then succeeded Sigebriht, whose kin goeth to Cerdic, and reigned one year. Then succeeded Cynwulf, whose kin goeth to Cerdic, and reigned one and thirty winters. Then succeeded Brihtric, whose kin goeth to Cerdic, and reigned sixteen years. Then succeeded Egbert to the kingdom, and held it seven and thirty winters, and seven months. Then succeeded Ethelwulf, his son, and reigned eighteen years and a half. Ethelwulf was the son of Egbert, Egbert of Ealmund, Ealmund of Eafa, Eafa of Eoppa, Eoppa of Ingild, Ingild of Cenred (Ina of Cenred, Cuthburga of Cenred, and Cwenburga of Cenred), Cenred of Ceolwald, Ceolwald of Cuthwulf, Cuthwulf of Cuthwine, Cuthwine of Celm, Celm of Cynric, Cynric of Creoda, Creoda of Cerdic. Then succeeded Ethelbald, the son of Ethelwulf, to the kingdom, and held it five years. Then succeeded Ethelbert, his brother, and reigned five years. Then succeeded Ethelred, his brother, to the kingdom, and held it five years. Then succeeded Alfred, their brother, to the government. And then had elapsed of his age three and twenty winters, and three hundred and ninety-six winters from the time when his kindred first gained the land of Wessex from the Welsh. And he held the kingdom a year and a half less than thirty winters. Then succeeded Edward, the son of Alfred, and reigned twenty-four winters. When he died, then succeeded Athelstan, his son, and reigned fourteen years and seven weeks and three days. Then succeeded Edmund, his brother, and reigned six years and a half, wanting two nights. Then succeeded Edred, his brother, and reigned nine years and six weeks. Then succeeded Edwy, the son of Edmund, and reigned three years and thirty-six weeks, wanting two days. When he died, then succeeded Edgar, his brother, and reigned sixteen years and eight weeks and two nights. When he died, then succeeded Edward, the son of Edgar, and reigned --"
. . .
"((A.D. 565. This year Columba the presbyter came from the Scots among the Britons, to instruct the Picts, and he built a monastery in the island of Hii.))

A.D. 568. This year Ceawlin, and Cutha the brother of Ceawlin,
fought with Ethelbert, and pursued him into Kent. And they slew two aldermen at Wimbledon, Oslake and Cnebba.

A.D. 571. This year Cuthulf fought with the Britons at Bedford,
and took four towns, Lenbury, Aylesbury, Benson, and Ensham. And this same year he died.

A.D. 577. This year Cuthwin and Ceawlin fought with the Britons,
and slew three kings, Commail, and Condida, and Farinmail, on the spot that is called Derham, and took from them three cities, Gloucester, Cirencester, and Bath.

A.D. 583. This year Mauricius succeeded to the empire of the

A.D. 584. This year Ceawlin and Cutha fought with the Britons on
the spot that is called Fretherne. There Cutha was slain. And Ceawlin took many towns, as well as immense booty and wealth. He then retreated to his own people.

A.D. 588. This year died King Ella; and Ethelric reigned after
him five years.

A.D. 591. This year there was a great slaughter of Britons at
Wanborough; Ceawlin was driven from his kingdom, and Ceolric reigned six years.

A.D. 592. This year Gregory succeeded to the papacy at Rome.

A.D. 593. This year died Ceawlin, and Cwichelm, and Cryda; and
Ethelfrith succeeded to the kingdom of the Northumbrians. He was the son of Ethelric; Ethelric of Ida.

A.D. 596. This year Pope Gregory sent Augustine to Britain with
very many monks, to preach the word of God to the English people.

A.D. 597. This year began Ceolwulf to reign over the West-
Saxons; and he constantly fought and conquered, either with the Angles, or the Welsh, or the Picts, or the Scots. He was the son of Cutha, Cutha of Cynric, Cynric of Cerdic, Cerdic of Elesa, Elesa of Gewis, Gewis of Wye, Wye of Frewin, Frewin of Frithgar, Frithgar of Brand, Brand of Balday, and Balday of Woden. This year came Augustine and his companions to England. (17)"
. . .
The Latvian pronunciation of Kauliņš is "Cowlinsh". The derived English pronunciation of Kaulins is "Collins" because diacritical marks have been dispensed with by Kaulins families living outside of Latvia. In Germany, the surname Kaulins is pronounced more in the direction of "Call-ins" (.e. like the word "call") or phonetically as "Cowlins". There is also a German surname Kollins, while the Champagne House Médot in France produces a rare champagne named Brut Clos des Chaulins. writes:
"A ‘clos’ is a vineyard surrounded by walls, which cannot be crossed by a cavalier and his mount. A ‘clos’ Champagne is only made from grapes from that vineyard. Champagne has five of them: Clos des Goisses in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ (Champagne Philiponnat), Clos du Moulin (Champagne Cattier) in Chigny-les-Roses, Clos du Mesnil (Champagne Krug in Le Mesnil), Clos Saint-Jacques and Clos des Chaudes Terres (Bollinger in Ay)." [emphasis added]
And now we know the sixth Clos. It is even offered for sale online at We still have the remant of a bottle in our own wine cellar:


Cross-posted to LawPundit.

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