History Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2021-07-24

Owner’s Marks - Sweden

Owner’s Marks in Medelpad, Sweden

In the past, when knowledge and the ability to read and write were not so great, owner's marks (Swe: bomärken) were used as signs to recognize and indicate what was owned by a family or farm. Owner's marks were used on both movable and immovable property. The owner's marks were a recognized symbol and were used above all as a mark for the farm and its movable property, such as tools and household utensils. An example of use for the immovable property was the use of the owner’s mark as a farmland boundary mark (landmark) and as a farm symbol in the rural community. The mark was designed so that it would be easy to carve or cut into what was to be marked. Usually, it was straight lines or arcs. The resemblance to the runes was great. The owner's mark belonging to a farm was inherited and could remain unchanged for several generations. When a new owner's mark was created, it was usually at homestead distributions due to inheritance. The new owner's mark was often only slightly modified, often with the addition of a line. The owner's mark was the holder's and family's special property mark for their home and an expression of fellowship and work efforts within the parish and village councils. Participation and order of precedence were often marked by the owner’s mark in the fiery cross (budkavle), and the hammer, etc. Ownership and use of owner's marks were regulated in Medelpad province in the Hälsingland Law's Village Council Code Hälsingelagens Byalagsbalk”. This law was taken down in the early 14th century. The system of owner's marks applied to all social classes. During the 16th century, the owner's marks of clergy and officials usually had a heraldic design in the form of a seal (sigill). Company logos also have their origins in the owner's marks. As written marks became more common, using quills and ink, the owner's marks changed to make it easier and faster to write them in pen. They became more "rounded" instead of angular. They became more and more like letters, initials. The old owner's marks gradually disappeared in the 19th century as literacy became more widespread. Below are some examples of owner's marks used by my ancestors in Ljustorp and Hässjö parishes, Medelpad (Y).

Examples of Owner’s Marks from Ljustorp Parish, Medelpad (Y)

This owner's mark has been used by my ancestors on the farm Öppom nr 2 in Ljustorp. At least three generations on the male line have used this mark: Pehr Jonsson (1660-1725), his son Erik Pehrsson (1704-1767) and his grandson Pehr Ersson (1730-1816).
The mark has been used on the farm Lövberg nr 1 in Ljustorp. Holder Anders Olsson (1668-1747) and his son Lars Andersson (1731-1800).
The mark has been used on the farm Lövberg nr 2 in Ljustorp. Holder Olov Andersson (1715-1791). Olov and Lars at Lövberg 1 above were siblings.
The mark has been used on the farm Björkom nr 4 in Ljustorp. Holder Erik Nilsson (1705-1800).
The mark has been used on the farm Edsta nr 2 in Ljustorp. Holder Augustin Nilsson (16..-1710) and grandson Isak Nilsson (1699-1771).
The mark has been used on the farm Hamre nr 2 in Ljustorp. Holder Anders Olsson (1657-1719) and his son Lars Andersson.
Märket har använts på gården Högland nr 1 i Ljustorp. Innehavare Ingemar Olsson. Står som ägare till gården år 1620.
The mark has been used on the farm Högland nr 4 in Ljustorp. Holder Olov Davidsson (1654-1693).
The mark has been used on the farm Jällvik nr 2 in Ljustorp. Holder Erik Jonsson (1691-1765).

Example of an Owner’s Mark from Hässjö Parish, Medelpad (Y)

The mark has been used on the farm Västanbäck nr 1 in Hässjö. Holder Anders Thomasson (1755-1815).

Source References

Bomärken i Medelpad, by Valter Bergsten, 1981 Top of page
xxxxx Swegen xxxxxxxxxxx

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History Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2021-07-24

Owner’s Marks -

Sweden

Owner’s Marks in Medelpad,

Sweden

In the past, when knowledge and the ability to read and write were not so great, owner's marks (Swe: bomärken) were used as signs to recognize and indicate what was owned by a family or farm. Owner's marks were used on both movable and immovable property. The owner's marks were a recognized symbol and were used above all as a mark for the farm and its movable property, such as tools and household utensils. An example of use for the immovable property was the use of the owner’s mark as a farmland boundary mark (landmark) and as a farm symbol in the rural community. The mark was designed so that it would be easy to carve or cut into what was to be marked. Usually, it was straight lines or arcs. The resemblance to the runes was great. The owner's mark belonging to a farm was inherited and could remain unchanged for several generations. When a new owner's mark was created, it was usually at homestead distributions due to inheritance. The new owner's mark was often only slightly modified, often with the addition of a line. The owner's mark was the holder's and family's special property mark for their home and an expression of fellowship and work efforts within the parish and village councils. Participation and order of precedence were often marked by the owner’s mark in the fiery cross (budkavle), and the hammer, etc. Ownership and use of owner's marks were regulated in Medelpad province in the Hälsingland Law's Village Council Code “Hälsingelagens Byalagsbalk”. This law was taken down in the early 14th century. The system of owner's marks applied to all social classes. During the 16th century, the owner's marks of clergy and officials usually had a heraldic design in the form of a seal (sigill). Company logos also have their origins in the owner's marks. As written marks became more common, using quills and ink, the owner's marks changed to make it easier and faster to write them in pen. They became more "rounded" instead of angular. They became more and more like letters, initials. The old owner's marks gradually disappeared in the 19th century as literacy became more widespread. Below are some examples of owner's marks used by my ancestors in Ljustorp and Hässjö parishes, Medelpad (Y).

Examples of Owner’s Marks

from Ljustorp Parish, Medelpad

(Y)

This owner's mark has been used by my ancestors on the farm Öppom nr 2 in Ljustorp. At least three generations on the male line have used this mark: Pehr Jonsson (1660-1725), his son Erik Pehrsson (1704-1767) and his grandson Pehr Ersson (1730-1816).
The mark has been used on the farm Lövberg nr 1 in Ljustorp. Holder Anders Olsson (1668-1747) and his son Lars Andersson (1731-1800).
The mark has been used on the farm Lövberg nr 2 in Ljustorp. Holder Olov Andersson (1715-1791). Olov and Lars at Lövberg 1 above were siblings.
The mark has been used on the farm Björkom nr 4 in Ljustorp. Holder Erik Nilsson (1705-1800).
The mark has been used on the farm Edsta nr 2 in Ljustorp. Holder Augustin Nilsson (16..-1710) and grandson Isak Nilsson (1699- 1771).
The mark has been used on the farm Hamre nr 2 in Ljustorp. Holder Anders Olsson (1657-1719) and his son Lars Andersson.
Märket har använts på gården Högland nr 1 i Ljustorp. Innehavare Ingemar Olsson. Står som ägare till gården år 1620.
The mark has been used on the farm Högland nr 4 in Ljustorp. Holder Olov Davidsson (1654-1693).
The mark has been used on the farm Jällvik nr 2 in Ljustorp. Holder Erik Jonsson (1691-1765).

Example of an Owner’s Mark from

Hässjö Parish, Medelpad (Y)

The mark has been used on the farm Västanbäck nr 1 in Hässjö. Holder Anders Thomasson (1755-1815).

Source References

Bomärken i Medelpad, by Valter Bergsten, 1981 Top of page