Bogsnes is an old Norwegian name that has taken many spellings up through the years. The last part of the name comes from the large headland (nes) where the farm Bogsnes is located on the isthmus (eid). The first part of the name comes from old Norse ‘bugr’ (meaning bending), or in its genitive case ‘bugs’ (bøying). This is a word often used in toponyms where a bay is created by a curve (or bend) in the coastline.
Thereby the meaning “the headland on or by the bend” can be deduced for the name Bogsnes. As can be seen on the map below this corresponds to the actual typography of the area, as the shoreline takes a bend coming past Raustein and Langåto that ends in Bogsnesvågen, east of the headland where the farm is located.
- 1563: Bossnes
- 1610: Bøgenes
- 1612: Bogsnes
- 1612: Boxnes
- 1723: Bogsnæs
- Later also; Boksnes, Boxnes as well as the presently used Bogsnes
This information in this article is adapted with permission from Bård Bogsnes’ Gardssoga, 1976
The farm Bogsnes
The farm was probably cleared during the end of the Viking era (circa 12-1300 AD), and owned by the local chief. No owners can be identified with certainty until Axel Mowat bought it during the 1640ies. However, it is certain is that the farm was used by tenant farmers until 1936.
The farm was probably deserted after the Black Death plague, or at least not very profitable, because the tax census of 1519 mentions neither the farm nor any tenants. Alternatively it could have been part of a larger estate back then. By 1561 it is back up and running, as the tax census of that year states that “Olav” had to pay tax for it. The next tenant to take it over, “Lars”, had to pay 7 mark tallow and a goat’s skin for using the land in 1590.
Axel Mowat (b. 1593), son of Anders Mowat (who immigrated from Scotland) and Karen Gyntersberg, was a sailor in the Danish-Norwegian marine, but had to give up the sea due to his health. When he bought the farm in the 1640ies it was nobleman’s estate. The nobility in the western part of Norway was in a period of decline, and had to sell off or mortgage their properties to be able to continue their high-class living. Axel seized the opportunity and quickly became the largest landowner in western Norway.
During his travels Axel had an illicit son with Margrethe Eriksdotter called Anders Axelsen Helvik, circa 1620. Anders would come to lead the family on as the children Axel had with his wife Karen Bildt all died without any posterity.
Ludvig Rosenkrantz (later to become Baron Ludvig Rosenkrantz) married Axel’s daughter, Karen, in 1658 and inherited large portions of Axel’s earthly goods, including Bogsnes. Ludvig’s son, Axel, inherited the estate, but died only leaving daughters, and as a consequence the barony was ceded to the king.
Parliament passed a law on the 4th of July 1927, which allowed Tønnes Boxnes to buy the farm for 17.300 NOK in 1936. The present owners of the farm are direct descendants from Axel Mowat.
Today the farm is used for fodder production (grass/hay) and logging. Ragnfrid Bogsnes, and her daughter Karen Bogsnes still live there.