The Emigration from Iceland to North America
The Weekly Newsletter - Nr 31
January 10, 2004  Keeping in touch every single week! (almost)
 Your respond
How time flies! We are already a bit more than a whole week into the year 2004. And what a wonderful respond to my latest Newsletter! I am so greatful to all of you who sent me wonderful Christmas greetings, New Year greetings and good wishes for the new year 2004. I felt it in my heart and I appreaciate it so much. New Years Eve (remember, I'm at least five or more hours ahead of you) your greetings came in as an ongoing stream and I hardly gave myself the time to look a the fireworks! You sure gave me a reason to keep on with my Newsletter.
I have often thought about what it is that ties us all together. Besides the Icelandic origin of course. Well, I know that many of you have also ties to other countries and even other cultures. Anyway, it seems to me that you have some strange special feelings towards your Icelandic origin. Am I wrong? I don't think so. But I wonder why. What is it? Can you tell me? Is it the interest for genealogy? Well, not genealogy alone. The genealogy is great but it must be nourished on the interest for the family, for the origin. And as we "Icelanders" originate from the same source we share the same ties. Hey, we are in this all together!

 Markland Cemetery

From James Cox in Manitoba, came an interesting email and I give you a part of it here below. It gave me a long needed opportunity to dig a bit into the emigrants genealogy

For your interest, attached are 2 pictures of the Otto Church, located about 10 miles east of Lundar, Manitoba. These pictures were taken by my cousin Bill Ford on December 23, 2003.
Located within the church is a picture frame containing the names of Icelandic Pioneers buried in the Markland Cemetery. The list contains only 12 names which does seem short. However, any others were probably missed or forgotten. In 2001, the cemetery was totally overgrow with trees, shrubs & grass and was no longer in use. The names are as follows:
  • 1. Bjorn Thorsteinsson b: Aug 15, 1858 in Borgarfjardarsysla H (page738)
  • 2. Thuridur Hjalmsdottir b: July 13, 1857 in Myrarsysla, Wife
  • 3. Gudrun Bjornsdottir b: Nov 8, 1887 in Winnipeg, Daug
  • 4. Thorsteinn B. Thorsteinsson b: Mar 21, 1895 in Markland, Son
  • 5. Gudmundur Torfason b: 1855 in Borgarfjardar, H (pg745)
  • 6. Gudrun Thorsteinsdottir b: 1855 in Borgarfjardar, W
  • 7. Helgi Sveinson b: Nov 10, 1870 in Bardardal, N. Thingey, son in law (pg710)
  • 8. Kristrun Sveinungadottir
  • 9. Valdis Lindal
  • 10. Jonas Halldorsson b: Feb 14, 1845 in Bjork, Munkathvera, Eyjafjardar (page 421)
  • 11. Sigurdur Sigurdsson
  • 12. Ingigerdur Gunnlaugsdottir
    I have added the birth dates and locations, along with the page numbers from the book "Wagons to Wings" a history of Lundar.

    James, thank you very much, this is very much appreaciated.
    Well, as I indicated, I wanted to know more about the names in the picture frame mentioned and I'm sure that
    Jónas Halldórsson and family.
    some of my readers are able to add to my "research" ( I do not have the book "Wagons to Wings").
  • Bjorn Thorsteinsson (1) and his wife Thuridur Hjalmsdottir (2) farmed in Borgarfjörður County, West Iceland, before they emigrated in 1887 with their one year old daughter Rannveig, first to Winnipeg and shortly after to Shoal Lake, Manitoba. Rannveig died at young age.
    In Canada Bjorn and Thuridur had at least four children, Rann- veig, b. 1891, married Bjorgvin Gudmundsson farmer at Lundar, Thorsteinn (4), Gudrun Maria (3?) and Ragnheidur.
  • Gudmundur Torfason (5) and Gudrun Thorsteinsdottir (6) emigrated in 1900 from Borgarfjörður County with their two children Thorsteinn and Ljótunn. Thorsteinn, who took the name Goodman (from his father's first name), married Elín Bjarnadottir, they lived in Seattle and later in Los Angeles, Cal., and Ljotunn, who became a teacher, married Helgi Sveinson (7) who died in 1944.
  • Kristrun Sveinungadottir emigrated in 1876 from Eyjafjardar County, North Iceland, with her daughter Svava Ingibjörg, b. 1859. Kristin had been married to Bjorn Kristjansson Skagfjord, farmer in Skagafjordur County. They divorced in 1862. Bjorn emigrated in 1881 and settled at first in N-Dakota, later he moved to New Iceland. Svava Ingibjorg married Bjorn Sæmundsson (1851-1944), who emigrated in 1878 from Strandasysla County. He took the family name Lindal. Svava Ingibjorg and Bjorn had at least seven children, one of them vas:
  • Valdis Lindal (9), born 1903, d. 1913. Another child was Luther Melankton Lindal (d. 1933) in Lundar, Man. He was married to Rannveig Svanfridur Halldorson. Her parents were:
  • Jonas Halldorsson (10) and Johanna Jonsdottir, farmers in Eyjafjordur county, North Iceland, who had emigrated in 1878 to Winnipeg with their daughter Sigridur, then 7 years old. They moved to Hallson, N.-Dakota in 1879 and from there they moved to Lundar, Manitoba in 1895. Jonas and Johanna had seven children: Sigridur, married Jonas Hordal, farmer and Vet. in Lundar, Man., Asgrimur Jim, married Helga Arnadottir Egilson, Snæbjorn, married Gudny Sveinbjornsdottir Sigurdson, Kjartan, married Mabel Shewfeld, Rannveig Svanfridur, married Luther Melankton Lindal, as mentioned, after his death she married Thordur Isfold, Thorhallur, married Edwardine Nelson, and Nybjorg, married Johann (Snædal) Snidal.
  • 11. Sigurdur Sigurdson. I'm not sure about him. He could be brother to Gudny Sveinbjornsdottir Sigurdson. At least she had a brother with that name who died in 1947.
  • 12. Ingigerdur Gunnlaugsdottir. Don't know about her.
    This has become longer than I thought it would be. Genealogy IS fun. Anyway, this could have been much longer. It's easy to connect the people above to so many. Maybe we'll do it some other time. Let me know what you know about these families.

  •  Letters and Photos
    Please remember, I have great interest for old letters and photos of Icelandic settlers in North America and their families. If you can help me in any ways, i.e. copies of letters and scanned pictures, I would be extremely happy. Please keep me in your mind, at least when it comes to these things :-)

    Settler of the Week

    Björn Ágústsson Blöndal

    Björg Björnsdóttir Blöndal

    Björn Blöndal's parents were Ágúst Theodor Björnsson Blöndal (1835-1863), farmer at Flaga in Húnavatnssýsla County, North Iceland and his wife Jóhanna Jónsdóttir (abt 1830-??). Björn learned to be a carpenter and in 1883 he emigrated to Canada. He joined the Canadian army in 1885 and fought in the Riel-rebellion.
    In 1888 he married Björg Björnsdóttir, she had emigrated with her sister Margrét's family in 1887 from Múlasýsla-north, East Iceland. Björg's parents were Björn Halldórsson (1831-1920) farmer at Úlfsstaðir in Múlasýsla North and his wife Hólmfríður Einarsdóttir (1832-1904) who emigrated in 1884 and settled in N.-Dakota.
    Björn and Björg Blöndal had four children: Ágúst Theodore, Med. doctor in Winnipeg, married Guðrún Stefánsdóttir, Jóhanna Marples in Los Angeles, Björn in Edmonton, Alberta, Margrét Hólmfríður Stevens, married Norman Kristján Stevens in Gimli, Man.
    Björg Björnsdóttir Blöndal died 1903. Björn Married again in 1909 Rannveig Stevens and the following year Björn died. With Rannveig he had the daughter Björg.
    If you can add any information to this, please let me know.

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