Hemnes is a Municipality in the Helgeland Traditional Region of Nordland county, Norway. While Hemnes currently includes the villages of Korgen, Bjerka, Bleikvasslia, Hemnesberget, and Sund, the area considered to be Hemnes has varied greatly over time.


(Click the links below view the related pages on Wikipedia)

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Røsvatnet Lake — Røsvatnet is Norway’s second largest lake and is a vital grounds for hunting, fishing, and outdoor life in Hemnes Municipality.  For many centuries, the Storfurua Pine has lived at the  east end of Røsvatnet, drawing visitors each year.

Røssåga River  — Røssåga is 50 km long with a footprint of approximately 2100 km 2. It is one of the most hydro-rich rivers in the world. and it’s idyllic pools draw visitors who are attracted for fishing and swimming.

Okstindmassivet  — The Okstind Glacier and the peaks towering above it, are referred to as the roof of Northern Norway.  With it’s height of 1915 miles, Okskolten is the highest mountain in Northern Norway and many of the other peaks are almost of the same height.

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Current Location

Hemnes is located south of the Ranfjorden and borders on the south and east with Sweden. It is crossed by the Nordlandbanen Railway line and the European Route E06 highway on their way to Mo i Rana, which is about 20 km/12mi northeast of Hemnes. The E6 highway enters Hemnes from the west through the Korgfjell Tunnel through Vesfsn.
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Genealogy Considerations

The best piece of advice I have found for approaching genealogical research in Hemnes comes from the Caolsson Slektwiki (translated from Norwegian):

“For us as genealogists, we basically have to relate to the current scope of Hemnes minus the areas located at Tustervatnet and Røssvatnet. These belonged in the olden days to Hattfjelldal, which was a part of Vefsn until about 1860. This means that Hemnes in the genealogical sense, stopped by Bygdåsen and Svartvassmoen”

There were two large-scale additions to the current Hemnes.

  1. Elsfjord, Drevass, Luktvassbygdene
    The farms around Rundsvold & Skosgsmo stood in a unique position in this respect, though both areas are now again part of Vesfn:Gnr 24 Rundsvoll and Property No 24 Skoksgmo was transferred from Vesfn to Hemnes by Roal Decree of 19.04.1849. The information on these farms in the past: matrikier, tax lists, bykslinger mm, are under Vefsn tinglag, and births, marriages and deaths in Vefsn church – these farms by appointment treated in the same local history for Vesfn
  2. Utskarpen, Straumbygda, Sjona
    Utskarpen and Straumbygda, both located on the north side of Ranfjord, which is today part of Rana. Sjona, meaning both north and south, was earlier referred to as Nesna, though the name Myklebostad is often found in Hemnes church records.For us today, this old division seems quite illogical and cumbersome. It is, for example, difficult for some to see why Elsjord would be part of Hemnes, instead of Vefsn (at least before it was underground). We are so used to driving a car that it shapes our perception of geography, but communication in the past was done by boat, which makes the picture quite different. During this period, it was mandatory to attend church and it must have been much easier for people from Elsfjord – Utskarpen Stream to go to Hemnes, than to Dolstad and Mo. When we understand that, we can understand the central location of the church at Hemnes Ranfjord.

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Timeline – Evolution of Hemnes

  • Hemnes exists as a sub-parish in Alstahaugh parish
  • Rana district is split to form two new parishes – Nesna (Outer Rana) and Hemnes (Inner Rana)
  • Death of vicar Anders Dass
  • Cemetery is established on Storforshei
  • The Formannskapsdistrikt law is put into effect, requiring every parish (prestegjeld) form a formannsskapsdistrikt, making Church districts into administrative districts as well.
  • The municipality of Rana is divided into Sør-Rana and Nord-Rana.
Apr 191843
  • By Royal Decree, the parish of Rana is divided into two – Hemnes parish and Mo parish.
  • Sør-Rana is renamed to Hemnes
Apr 191849
  • By Royal Decree, Gnr 24 Rundsvoll and Property No 24 Skoksgmo are transferred from Vesfn to Hemnes. The information on these farms in the past: matrikier, tax lists, bykslinger mm, are under Vefsn tinglag, and births, marriages and deaths in Vefsn church – these farms by appointment treated in the same local history for Vesfn
  • Korgen and Hemnes become separate parishes with properties 1-98 being a part of Hemnes and 100-149 a part of Korgen annex.
  • Korgen is allowed to build a church through the cemetary on the farm.
Sep 91886
  • By Supreme Decree, Hemnes is allowed to add a new cemetery on a piece of land of the rectory.
Nov 221887
  • Korgen is allowed to create a new cemetery for Korgen annex on a piece of land on the farm of Benoni S Korgen.
  • The Chapel on Nordre Nevernes is established; The Cemetery on Storforshei is no longer used.
Jul 11918
  • The south district of Hemnes, with a population of 1,369, separates to form the new municipality of Korgen, leaving Hemnes with a population of 3,567.
Jan 11919
  • The eastern area of Bardal, with a population of 4, transfers to Nesna.
July 11929
  • Hemnes splits into three municipalities: Sør-Rana, Elsfjord, and Hemnes. Hemnes consists now of only the village of Hemnesberget and the area immediately surrounding it, consisting of a population of 1,077.
Jan 11964
  • A larger municipality of Hemnes is created by merging the municipalities of Korgen, Hemnes, the northern-most part of Hattfjelldal, and the southern part of Sør-Rana.
May 21965
  • Elsfjord parish transfers to Vefsn parish.

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Media & References

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