Bogsnes – the name and the farm

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.

bogsneskart Spelling Bogsnes through the times

  • 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.

9 thoughts on “Bogsnes – the name and the farm

  1. My 8th Great grandmother, Gynette Bell, born before 1600, is said to have come from “Bossnes i Skottland.” She emigrated to Bergen, Norway and was married there to my 8th GGF, David Joensen Bour (Brun). Gynette drowned in Lundegårdsvannet near Bergen Harbor in 1657.
    Any comments regarding her ancestry would be appreciated.

  2. I’ve checked with my family, including my grandmother who has a pretty good idea of the family tree going back a few hundred years – but to no avail. Either Gynette Bell is not at all related – or we have no track of it in the family books.

  3. I have also found Gynette Bell and David Bour in my family tree. Have no information about either of them, so any information would be greatly appreciated

  4. My 10th great grandfather was a David Bour who was born in 1580. I do not know his wife’s name (perhaps it was Gynette Bell?), but he and his wife had a son, David Davidsen who married Ingeborg Njelsdotter. David and Ingeborg had a daughter, Ingeborg Davidsdotter who married Halword Schrelesen. Halword and Ingeborg had a son, David Halwordsen who married Tormodsdotter

  5. Found in Digitalarkivet.no:
    Koppeskatt for Bergen 1645: (Tax records)

    David Brun og hans quinde (his woman) 1 rdr 2 mrk 3

    Could this be the same David Brun (Bour)??

  6. Katie P,
    Interesting reference to decendants. Are you scottish? What are your references? I recogize the names, but the spelling is odd. I have an ancestor called David Halvorsen Vea married to Mette thomassen. His parents was Ingeborg Davidsdotter and Halvor Skulesen. Her parents was Anna Kristensdotter and David Davidsen Stangeland. This was his second wife.(your Ingeborg N may have been his first wife) His parents was Gynette Bell and David Jonsen Brun. His name might have been David Bour fra Faridzbroch in Scotland.

  7. My family comes from Sunde Norway next to Husnes and are said to be from the line of Karen Mowat but not Ludvig Rosenkrants . I am constantly looking for missing branches in my tree,any help will be appreciated

  8. To Katie P. ! I agree with you. Ingeborg Nilsdatter var the first wife of Davidsen Bour. They were childless. His second wife was Anna Christensdaughter, born about 1630/1640, much younger than his first wife. They had a girl together, Ingeborg Davidsdaughter, born about 1667 and died 1730 in Vea, Karmøy. She married Halvor (Halword) Schulesen from Eia or Myssa in Sokndal, Norway, who was born about 1640 and died about 1724. At first they lived on Vibrandsøy outside Haugesund, but moved to Vea in 1694. They had a son, David Halvorsen Vea, (1684-1763) who married Mette Tomasdaughter (1683-1761). They had 7 children. Number 6 was Bent Davidsen Munkejord, who belong to my husband´s family.

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