The Emigration from Iceland to North America
The Weekly Newsletter - Nr 40
June 9 2004  Keeping in touch every single week! (almost)
 On the Road .....
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall", said the great Chinese philosopher Confucius long, long time ago (551 BC-479 BC).
Well, I didn't actually fall, but I sort of stumbled, I might say. That's why you haven't heard from me for a long time. I'm not gonna dramatize the cause of the Newsletter's delay, the cause is just pure work all day long. How I envy you, living on a fat pension and just fiddling around :-)
Anyway, It's now my turn to have some fun. At last! Next Friday (June 11th) is THE DAY when I'm off on my three weeks' tour to USA and Canada and I certainly hope I'll meet you each and everyone. At lest those who live near my trail from Minneapolis to Winnipeg and north to Heckla Island. After that I know I'll meet some good people in Utah. The trail is as follows (I'm sure I have given it to you before): Minneapolis June 11th: Holiday Inn, Bloomington, 952-884-8211 - Green Bay June 12th and 13th, Baymont Inn & Suites, 920-494-7887 - Duluth June 14th, Americinn Resort, 218-722-9590 - Grand Forks 15th: Roadking Inn, 701-746-1391 - Winnipeg June 16th to June 19th: Delta Winnipeg, 204-942-0551 - Montevideo, Minnesota June 20th, Country Inn and Suites, 320-269-8000 - Minneapolis 21st and 22nd: Holiday Inn, Bloomington, 952-884-8211.
June 23rd I'm off to Utah. Getting to know the descendants of the Icelandic Mormons who emigrated to Utah, mainly to Spanish Fork, in the period from 1856 up to around 1900. I'll be back home in Iceland, July 2nd.
So, See You! I hope :-)

 From Iceland to Canada
Here is a story from the Montreal Gazette, Monday, August 14, 1893.
Note the fact that the ship picked up passengers in Seydisfjord; this is in NE Iceland, as far from Reykjavik as one can get. It is possible the ship also embarked passengers at Reykjavik but it is surprising the article did not comment if the Lake Huron stopped there.
Other ships reported many icebergs in the Strait of Belle Isle area at this time.
Montreal Gazette, Monday, August 14, 1893

Five Hundred Hardy Northerners Come to Canada

The Beaver Line steamship Lake Huron, Captain Carey, arrived in port on Saturday afternoon with passengers and a general cargo. She sailed from Liverpool on July 29 with 21 cabin, 29 intermediate and 70 steerage passengers, besides a general cargo for Quebec, Montreal and the West. Instead of coming straight to Montreal the Lake Huron made for Seydisfjord, Iceland, to receive 500 Icelanders who intend to settle in the Canadian Northwest. The Lake Huron steamed into Seydisfjord bay at noon on August 1, and being the first vessel to arrive in that part of the country for a great number of years was the object of much interest to the Icelanders. As the vessel was anchored in the bay for 32 hours the officers went ashore for a walk and they say that although the Icelanders have some very nice houses the principal buildings are the sheriff's office, the post office, a newspaper office, and a saloon. The editor of the Austri (the Sun), a four sheet journal published bi-monthly, visited the ship and was so impressed with what he saw on board the vessel that he intends publishing a special number.
The authorities of Iceland are strongly adverse to immigration and Mr. Christoferson, of Manitoba, has had considerable trouble in gathering together the 500 Icelanders. The steamer Wiltshire, which had been chartered by the Beaver Line to cruise up and down the country collecting the party, arrived alongside the Lake Huron on August 2 and she continued her journey at 9 o'clock the same evening.
Fine weather prevailed up to August 7 when fog set in detaining the vessel for four hours. Passed Belle Isle at 1.10 p.m. on the 8th. The first icebergs were passed about 100 miles east of Belle Isle, which continued up to Point Amour. Fine clear weather and variable winds was experienced in the Gulf. Passed Heath Point [Anticosti Isld.] at 1 p.m. on the 9th, Father Point at 2 p.m. on the 10th, arriving at Quebec at 8.25 a.m. on the 11th, when the Quebec and Western cargo was discharged, as the whole of the steerage passengers were disembarked.
During the trip one of the Icelanders died in child birth and was buried at sea, the funeral service being most impressive, the whole of the Icelanders singing hymns as the remains were committed to the deep. On Tuesday night a very successful concert was held aboard which was much appreciated, and the Liverpool Seamen's orphanage benefited by a good sum. Before leaving the ship to proceed to their destinations the Icelanders marked their appreciation of the kindness shown them by presenting Captain Carey and his officers with the following pleasing testimonial, which had 500 signatures, and which speaks for itself:-
"We have great pleasure in presenting the following testimonial to the Beaver Line company. Their steamer Lake Huron left Liverpool for Iceland where the emigrants embarked on Wednesday, August 9, at Seydisfjord. We are a large party, numbering 525 people, men, women and children, accompanied by the Government agent from Manitoba. From the moment of our arrival on board we have received every kindness possible from all on board. Our accommodation has been very good, and kept properly cleaned and well ventilated. Our food has been abundant, well cooked, well served, and we had three good meals every day. The captain, doctor and chief steward, accompanied by Mr. Christopherson, the agent, made an inspection of our quarters every morning at 10.30 a.m., when everything had to be in good order. We particularly wish to thank the doctor for his kind efforts and courtesy. We are sorry, and deeply regret the death of one of our number in child-birth, in spite of his skill and attention. We also desire to thank Captain Carey for his kind thoughtfulness and care with which the funeral arrangements were managed. In conclusion, we give our best wishes to the captain and his staff, all round, desiring them every success, and we are sure our friends remaining in Iceland, intending to emigrate, will be well cared for and thoroughly pleased if they travel by the Beaver line. Our journey from Iceland to Quebec has occupied a little over eight days."

To be continued.

Thanks Layne Hamilton and family and thanks Guy Chapman for your visit! Layne in April and Guy in June. It's always nice to see List Members here in Iceland and have some chat :-)

Settler of the Week

Hinrik Jónsson

Hinrik Jónsson was born 27 August 1854 at the farm Kirkjuból in Bjarnardalur, Isafjarðarsýsla County. His parents were Jón Jónsson (1829-??) and Ingibjörg Pálsdóttir (1832-??), farmers at Kirkjuból. In 1886 Hinrik emigrated from the village of Borgarnes to Canada.

Oddný Ásgeirsdóttir

Hinrik married Oddný Ásgeirsdóttir (1865-1953) from Lundar in Borgarfjörður County. Her parents were Ásgeir Finnbogason (1814-1881) and Ragnhildur Ólafsdóttir (1833-1908), farmers at Lundar.
Hinrik and Oddný made their home in the Lundar settlement in Manitoba, the name Lundar given by Hinrik, taken from his wife's homeplace in Iceland.

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