The Emigration from Iceland to North America

16 November 2008   Newsletter - Nr 68

 From the desk of yours truly
Jónas Hallgrímsson
16th of November (i.e. today) is the birthday of Iceland´s National Poet, Jónas Hallgrímsson who was born in 1807. Since 1996 this day has been declared the "Day of the Icelandic Language" Today when little is left of the Icelandic pride, because of shameless behaviour of politician and financial criminals, we have to consider what is the most precious we still have. Well, we have the Icelandic heritage and the Icelandic language. Jónas Hallgrímsson is the most admired poet of modern Iceland. "His work transformed the literary sensibility of his countrymen, reshaped the language of their poetry and prose, opened their eyes to the beauty of their land and its natural features, and accelerated their determination to achieve political independence." That's something to start a new Iceland with, isn't it?
Actually I should write this letter in my own language so please hurry up learning Icelandic.

Out of the financial turmoil sweeping a small country somewhere in the ice cold Arctic ocean I send you all my very best and warmest wishes, hoping to find you all in good shape and having not lost much if anything in the crash of the Icelandic banks. In my last letter I expressed my feelings for the situation and I'm not going to repeat it here. Anyway, many people here in Iceland have lost their savings and jobs, even houses and heaven knows when the situation will be "normal" again and the wealty men will be wealty again.
Kristinn Freyr Sæþórsson in the lap of Laufey,
his great great great grandmother.
(the picture lifted from the newspaper Fréttablaðið).
Well, wealt can be measured in many ways. In the middle of the crisis here (18th Oct) a boy was born who can be regarded as a very wealty one. Believe it or not, this little boy - Kristinn Freyr - has 8 (eight) grandmothers and 2 grandfathers alive. In the picture at right you see him together with his mother (1988), grandmother (1970), great grandmother (1954), great great grandmother (1934) and great great great grandmother (1914) - all on his mother's side. Wao!
And now a small piece of genealogy. Sigurður Júlíus Jörgensson was an uncle to Laufey Þorgeirsdóttir, the great great great grandmother above. Her father's brother. He was born 1872 in Reykjavík and emigrated to Canada. Just when is not known but he died 1951 in Selkirk, Manitoba. Anyone able to inform me about this man? Was he married? Any children?
More relatives. Sigurður Júlíus Jörgensson's cousin was Magnús Magnússon, born 1875, who emigrated 1900 from Saudarkrokur. The previous year his wife Ögn Ingibjörg Guðmundsdóttir (1863-??) emigrated to US with their son Sigurður Tryggvi Magnússon who later became a medical doctor in Portland, Oregon. After 2 years in N-Dakota the family moved to Point Roberts. Magnus and Ögn Ingibjörg had two other sons, Gudmundur Ingibjartur Freeman and Agnar Bragi. This family has it's chapter in the book Icelanders on the Pacific Coast (page 23). Any further information? Descendants?

 Searching for Bóel
In my last letter I asked for assistance in searching for Bóel Sigríður Kristjánsdóttir, b. 16 July 1884 who emigrated 21 years of age in 1905 from Rangárvallasýsla, Southern Iceland. Her parents were Kristján Jónsson (1857-1937) and Bóel Erlendsdóttir (1857-1937). Bóel Sigríður had 11 siblings, none of them emigrated except her sister Guðbjörg, born 17 June 1883 who left in 1901. Guðbjörg married Eiríkur, son to Guðmundur Eiríksson farmer in Hallson, N.-Dakota and his wife Una Pétursdóttir.
Bóel Sigríður could have moved to N.-Dakota to her sister.
Please let me know if you have any clue.

 Please add to my "knowledge"
Jósefína Margrét Bjarnadóttir.
Is she still remembered?
In 1887 Bjarni Árnason, b. 1850 in Hunavatnssysla county, Northern Iceland emigrated with his wife Ásta Sólveig Jósafatsdóttir, b. 1862 and their two daughters, Guðný, then two years old and Hólmfríður one year old and settled in Pembina, N.-Dakota, where they lived ever after. In Pembina they had three more children, Sigríður, Frímann and Jósefína Margrét.
Guðný married Sigurður Johnson a farmer in Sascatchewan, Canada, Hólmfríður lived with her husband in Cavalier ND, Sigríður lived in Pembina and Frímann became a railway engineer in Canada. The youngest one, Jósefína Margrét, died in 1912, only 19 years old.
Ásta Sólveig's father, Jósafat Sigvaldason, born 1828, emigrated in 1885 with his wife Guðný Guðlaugsdóttir (not Ásta Sólveig's mother) and their two sons, Björn Frímann born 1870 and Pálmi born 1875. Björn Frímann was a police officer(?) in Pembina and later editor for the Icelandic newspaper Heimskringla in Winnipeg for some time. He married Guðrún Soffía Halldórsdóttir, born 1866. They had five children. She had emigrated in 1887 from the county of Skagafjarðarsysla with her first husband Jóhannes Björnsson born 1866. Well, please help me with the following:
1) The Descendants of Bjarni Árnason and Ásta Sólveig Jósafatsdóttir.
2) Who was Sigurður Johnson?
3) The descendants of Jósafat Sigvaldason and his second wife Guðný Guðlaugsdóttir.
4) What is known about Jóhannes Björnsson?

 Beutiful Iceland
The volcanic crater Hverfell near Lake Myvatn Northern Iceland.
To me Lake Myvatn is the center of the Universe.
Photo courtesy: Mats Wibe Lund

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