Because… Italo-Celt… Uncle George… It Just Is

The Celtic language of my County Mayo ancestors has been traced back to an ancestral form of “Italo-Celtic”, yup, that’s right. Italian and Celtic have a common ancestor. More than that, there were O’Brien named Generals in the Spanish Army into the 1800s and it was reputed that the Gauls spoke a language that was “mutually intelligible” with Latin. “We’ve Met”…

So forgive me if I freely intermingle Gaulic, French, Italian, Spanish, Irish and British bits. They are ALL my ancestors and make up my heritage.

So my Maternal Uncle George… I had a recording of him somewhere, probably lost by now. My Mum recorded it when she returned to England for her one and only trip after 18 years away in about the early ’60s. On a small 3 inch tape that I transcribed to plastic disk that is who knows where now. But, the important bit: I heard his voice. It had a breathy sandy quality lacking in base tones.

So now my Sister has traced our genealogy and asserts we might have a relationship to Sting. His given name is Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner. We both have a lot of George Sumners in our history and it was common to carry forward a name like that. My Uncle George Sumner had the same breathy sandy quality on those recordings. He also looked a lot like Sting and had the same blond hair. Never mind that my Son also has the same Platinum Blond hair look and plays a mean guitar…

Disclaimer: I have no proof what so ever that we are related. I’m British enough that even if we were I’d not impose on him in any way nor really even want to cause him a moments pause. It is more a curiosity than anything else. Oh, and I really like his music. Speaking of which:

He acutally looks a lot like Uncle George too…

Oh, and I want a driver with a mask too…

So at some time we were inside a few hundred miles of each other as this was filmed in So. Cal to Las Vegas…

OH, and ignore that my son is named Matthew… and has similarly blond hair and a mean guitar…

and I just must inbed my personal favorite:

But about that Italo link to the Celts…

And… History of a love…

Reality just is, and it is far more chaotic than you might think…

If you’ve not snuffled a citrus flower, it has a particularly sweet aroma that is not like any other…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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10 Responses to Because… Italo-Celt… Uncle George… It Just Is

  1. Steve C says:

    If, indeed, you do share descent with Sting then, if Miles Mathis is right, you are distantly related “to the English and German crowns both”. He certainly mentions one or two of Sting’s familial links which might be worth checking out in more detail.

    Note, Miles takes a lot of the genealogical stuff at a run. When he says something that makes you go “what??”, it usually just means you haven’t read enough of his earlier stuff!

    “May it please His Majesty” … ;-)

  2. Ed forbes says:

    “..O’Brien named Generals in the Spanish Army into the 1800s..”
    The Spanish had royal regiments consisting of Irish expats for several hundred years, so O’Brien is understandable.

    Not to say that Celtic influence doesn’t extend through Europe, but modern European language has much more commonality due to Roman Latin than residual Celtic influence. The Celtic influence on Roman Latin was pretty defused by the time of Cesar.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    @Steve C:


    FWIW, I’ve likely got a connection on the other side as well. Mum’s Mum was from a “well placed family” and was essentially disowned when she married a Randy Sailor instead of marrying up… It’s a long story…

    @Ed Forbes:

    The assertion I’ve seen is that Gaulish was “mutually intelligible” with Latin. Unfortunately, Gaulish is now gone so we can’t prove up that point.

    The basic assertion is that Island Celts spoke a very different sort of Celtic Tongue (and it is the one that survives) while Continental Celts were closer to the italo-celtic commons.

    I’ve looked into it only enough to think it is correct, but not enough to prove it up.

    My ancestors being “Pirates” (as that is what the Goidelic link says):

    The endonyms (Gaeilge, Gaelic and Gaolainn in Irish, Gaelg in Manx and Gàidhlig in Scottish Gaelic) are derived from Old Irish Goídelc, which in turn is derived from Old Welsh Guoidel meaning “pirate, raider”.

    I can only point at what folks said about the Continental Gaulish as my branch were clearly speaking a Pirate Pitash of who knows what mix…

    FWIW, in defense of my long long long ago pirate sailor ancestors, they started a whole lot of what we now consider advanced things. They voted for who would be captain. They had a “workers comp” system. And a whole lot more… What we now take as standard western systems, started with pirates…

  4. E.M.Smith says:


    Finally got a chance to watch the video. What a delightful experience!

    It really does capture the essence..

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ed Forbes:

    Spanish and Irish ships often worked the same waters and docked at each others ports for hundreds of years, There is a Celtic region of Spain (rather like Breton in France) and folks were more than willing to just ignore who was king and move back and forth.

    In several Religious Wars, the Catholic Irish were more “on side” with Catholic Spain and France than with Protestant / Anglican England… Even into W.W.II when Irish / Scots speakers were able to talk (more or less) with the Celts on the mainland when they landed, it’s “been a thing”…

  6. YMMV says:

    Great Latin songs … and Sting … so I was looking for the great song Sting sings in Spanish, Fragilidad. Here are three YouTube videos for it.

    featuring the Buena Vista Social Club. Just one image, of Sting.

    same, but with the lyrics. Just one image, a bit weird.

    Sting – Fragilidad – Salsa Dance – Soraya & Daniel Rosas (Salsa Romantica)

    And as a bonus, Sting in a Tiny Desk concert.

    (first song is “Englishman in New York”)

    Music videos are great, but sometimes the visual content overwhelms or distracts from the music, so it’s sometimes a nice change to see someone just playing the songs.

  7. philjourdan says:

    I would rather trace my lineage to the Atreides than the Harkonens. :-)

  8. Another Ian says:


    Re Welsh pirates and Ireland. H.V. Morton is an English travel writer of earlier years. One of his books mentions that the Irish Joyce clan are the descendants of such

  9. Power Grab says:

    I’m told we’re descended from Edward Longshanks.

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