The Emigration from Iceland to North America
The Weekly Newsletter - Nr 5
March 29, 2003  Keeping in touch every single week! (almost)
It has been said that love of litterature is a characteristic of the Icelandic people. Well, it was at the least. And the Icelandic settlers were indeed well read and well informed people. Most of them. And they maintained the practice of reading aloud for the family in the evenings, as had been done in the old country through the centuries, and the saga characters and the poetry they read were frequently the topics of conversation. Pretty soon the settlers, scattered all over, felt the need for a common media and in 1886 a weekly newspaper, Heimskringla, was published, following a demise of previous attempts to similar publications. Two years later another weekly newspaper, Lögberg was published and for many years these two papers competed for the favour of the readers. These papers were written in Icelandic, but as the time went on the knowledge of the language dvindled and the subscribers became fewer and fewer. In 1959 the two papers, Heimskringla and Lögberg were joined and now we have the Icelandic weekly Lögberg-Heimskringla, "with news and articles of interest to all people of Icelandic ancestry" written in both Icelandic and English. I think this newspaper is a must for you all! Why not take a look at it's website and subscribe?!

 Back in North Dakota - A Picture of the Past
The famous painting of the first log cabin built by the Icelanders in Dakota is now back in North Dakota where it belongs. Recently auctioned in New York, Emile Walters’ exquisite depiction of the Jóhann Pétur Hallsson
The log cabin in Pembina
move the mouse over the picture
cabin is truly an important part of the heritage of the Dakota Icelanders. The painting, dated 1925 - at a time when the cabin still existed, but had been relocated, and several of the participants in the construction were still alive, is a great illustration in impressionistic style of an early settlement farmstead, this one on the banks of the Tongue River, looking west, with the Pembina Escarpment in the background.
This is the painting that matches the illustration on page 27 of Saga Íslendinga í Norđur Dakota (The Saga of the Icelanders in North Dakota), compiled by Thorstína Sigríđur Jackson from her father’s (Thorleifur Jóakimsson Jackson’s) original work and published in 1926. Thorstína Sigríđur’s husband, Emile, was the first American-Icelandic artist of international renown and his paintings still hang in several museums.
The log cabin, which was completed on June 23, 1878, and measured 12 by 14 feet and 5 feet under the eaves, was built of logs cut in the immediate area and dragged by hand to the building site. It originally housed 9 people until additional cabins could be constructed. Upon its retirement as a home, it was moved to the site of Hallson where it served for many years as the post office building.
After the successful bidder brought the painting home, he removed the paper backing and discovered the inscription describing the painting. A search of the internet led him to the Dakota Icelanders website, and the painting is now in the possession of Arlan Steinolfson of Fargo, North Dakota.

 Your Ancestors
It would be very interesting and helpful to me, and maybe many of you, if I could assemble a database including information regarding your Icelandic ancestors as settlers in North America. It will also make it easier for me to connect you to certain individuals among the settlers. Therefore I ask you - all of you - very kindly :-) to take part in my attempt to compile such a database. Please fill in the following form with appropriate information and submit.
Your name:
The name(s) of your Icelandic ancestor(s):
From where in Iceland did he/she/they come:
When did he/she/they emigrate:
Where did he/she/they settle:
More information, like names of the settler's children and their marriages:
Your relation to the settlers:

 The Newsletter's Forum
We have a Forum! For all our thoughts, questions and answers and not to forget the comments you may have on this Newsletter, we have a Forum. The forum is only for the list members so therefore it's Password Protected. The Password is: cyber. Be a frequent visitor to the Forum and use it!

Settler of the Week

Guđbrandur Erlendsson
emigrated with his wife Sigríđur Ingibjörg Hávarđsdóttir and three daughters, Anna, Guđný and Hallfríđur in 1875 from Vopnafjörđur onboard ss Hjálmar to finally settle in Markland, Nova Scotia.
Guđbrandur's parents were Erlendur Ásmundsson and Guđný Brynjólfsdóttir from Stöđvarfjörđur in Múlasýsla south and Sigríđur's parents were Hávarđur Magnússon and Hallfríđur Pétursdóttir. In 1881 the family moved to N-Dakota, where they settled in Pembina and stayed for the rest of their life. Guđbrandur and Sigríđur Ingibjörg had four more children, Hávarđur, farmer near Hallson, N-Dakota, Helga, married Einar Jónsson Snaedal, they lived in N-Dakota and Colorado, Pálína Soffía, married Jón Hallgeir Sigurjónsson Axdal, and Pétur (where did he live?).

Is Guđbrandur and his family in your family tree?

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A fine US genealogist with devoted passion for the history of Icelandic settlers in North Dakota and their descendants is the List member Arlan Steinolfson. Take a look at his pages:
The Icelanders of Dakota and Thingvalla Township - an Icelandic Settlement

The pictures in this and previous Newsletters are not mine. They have been taken off the Net and will be removed from here if the right owner claims so.
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