great majority of the Icelandic emigrants settled down in Manitoba, Canada, where the government had promised to provide land for the early settlement.
From there many went on westwards, to Saskatchewan, Alberta and later to the west coast, others went south, to North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
|"The House" at Eyrarbakki. The boy with the buckets has been recognised as Ásgrímur Jónsson, who became one of the best known Icelandic painter.
Many spent years and years to search for acceptable land and some of those who went south, went later west and north again before finally settling down.
Some took another course. Ingibjörg Arnórsdóttir, b. 20 Sep 1827, daughter to Arnor Gunnarsson, a merchant in Keflavik who took the name Gunnarsen, to better mingle into the Danish merchants' society in Iceland - she married the Danish merchant assistent Heinrik Peter Julius Kreiser and together with their children emigrated already in 1871 from the village Eyrarbakki - which many of you know and even have been on a visit there. Known from the earliest time in Icelandic history Eyrarbakki was one of the most important commercial place, whereto ships brought "goods" from Denmark to be sold to poor peasants by the Danish monopoly merchants. The Kreiser family went to Kansas where they settled in a community called Denmark, Lincoln County's first permanent settlements.
From Eyrarbakki emigrated in 1870 as one of the first Icelandic emigrants, Jón Gíslason - also a merchant's assistent, 20 years old. He settled on Washington island in Lake Michican where he married Ágústa Einarsdóttir, the daughter of Einar Bjarnason and Helga Sigurðardóttir. Jón and Ágústa had ten children and the descendants are of course numerous.
Several Icelanders tried to settle in Nebraska. They came mainly from Milwaukee, but land was hard to get and many returned. One of the first Icelanders in Nebraska was Jón Halldórsson, b. 1838 at the farm Ytri-Neslönd by Lake Mývatn. He emigrated in 1872 to Milwaukee and two years later he went on a search for a land in Nebraska. In 1885 Jón Halldórsson married Thórvör Sveinsdóttir (1849-1912). They had three sons, Tómas (Thomas), Páll (Paul) and Hrólfur (Ralph) and one daughter, Soffía. Jón Halldórsson was called "Nebraska John". Further information regarding this family is needed.