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Gjest Arne Mikal Mikkelsen

[#1899] "lensmann" ?

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Gjest Arne Mikal Mikkelsen

I have come found the word "lensmann" in some of the bydeboks. What is it's translation, I know it is more than just a policeman!Thank you.

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Gjest Arnfinn Småli

In english, I think a close meaning of the word must be "county sheriff".

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Gjest Arne Mikal Mikkelsen

Arnfinn, Takk, in my Norwegian - English dictionary a lens~herre was a fuedal lord, was there more power to the position of lensmann than that just of a county sherriff? In bygdebok references I have for my family it seems that several were rich and became a lensmann through marriage of daughters of lensmann. I was just curious. Thank you again.Arne Mikkelsen

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Gjest Inge Eikeland

Lensherrer were, as your dictionary says, medival feudal lords. They were in charge of a region called "Len". Here they collected taxes and were responible for localadministration and army. They were given the "Len" from the king, and the king was payed by the services the "Lensherre" performed. This practice ended in 1662.Lensmann was,as Arnfinn says, a county sheriff. But he was also more than a policeman. He had many responsibilityes; drafting, demand payment of taxes, take part in probate cases, distraint, school and pooradministration and so on. The responsibilityes changed over time. The lensmann was until 1850s the best of the local farmers.

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Gjest Arne Mikal Mikkelsen

Inge and Arnfinn,Thank you so much, I have been very busy trying to find my family, now I am trying to understand the history, as I become more familiar with meaning of the Norwegian words I can make my family story come to life in my mind. Tusen takk, to both of you.Arne

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