The Emigration from Iceland to North America

18 December 2008   Newsletter - Nr 69

My good old Christmas decoration!
 From the desk of yours truly
Once again Christmas is coming and the year - when towards the end almost everything went upside down - is ambling away. Only about fortnight until we say "Goodby to 2008" and "You could have been better". At this time - as always :-) my thoughts are of course with you all - whether you wrote to me or not. This year, as many previous years, I have received hundreds of emails related to the Icelandic emigrants. Emails asking for assistance in tracing the roots, something that gives me great pleasure when we have jointly succeded, which is most of the time. Unfortunately I have not managed to reply to each and everyone - you know, lack of time and all that, but to those who feel neglected I say: "Please write again and remind me!"
To all of you:

Merry Christmas
and a happy new year!

 Your chance!
Here is your opportunity to visit Iceland! At least some of you know Jónas Þór the eager promotor of travels from Iceland to Icelandic settlements in North America. Large groups have been flown - mainly to Minneapolis - from where bustours have been taken to many interesting places in US and Canada. I was lucky to join in 2004 as can be seen in my letters #41 to #46. A wonderful trip.
Well, next summer - 2009 - Jónas is arranging tours from NA to Iceland. The tours will be arranged simultaneously from Minneapolis and Toronto June 3 and then back June 12th. The tour includes a round trip of Iceland, visiting many interesting places. You get a detailed information by clicking:
Tour around Iceland.

 Icelanders gather to Utah
Just recently I received a copy of a book called Icelanders gather to Utah 1854-1914.
A great work of David Alan Asby in Orem, Utah. For a long time La Nora Allred's book The Icelanders of Utah has been almost the only source of information regarding the Icelandic Mormons who went to Utah, but unfortunately in many ways both very brief and very incomplete and with far to many errors. Now David has has dug deep for informations and the result is a very comprehensive and accurate book which in the future will serve as a reliable startpoint for those descendants of the Icelandic Mormons in Utah who search for their roots as well as for Icelandic genealogists -and of course others - searching for the faith of those who left. Congratulations David!
The book is available from
Icelandic Association of Utah Inc.
P.O.Box 874
Spanish Fork, Utah 84660
For information write to:

 Grand centenary
Early this year, Lögberg Heimskringla announced: "Grand centenary reached!" Congratulations to Mrs. Olifia Thorbjorg Bergman, who turned 100 years young on 2 April 2008! Olifia, known to all as Olive, was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, and raised near Westbourne, Manitoba. Much of her adult life was spent in Winnipeg, where she worked at McGavin's Bakery until retirement.
Olive, whose Icelandic name is Ólafía Þuríður Þorsteinsdóttir, emigrated in 1913 according the Emigration records, with her mother Þórunn Ólafsdóttir and four siblings: Guðmundur Otto, Lára Ósk, Jón Þórður and Agnar Jóhann.
Guðmundur Otto Bergman b. 1 Oct 1901 married Georgia Hinriksdóttir Erlendsson.
Lára Ósk Bergman b. 7 July 1903 married Grímur Júníus Magnússon b. 1895, d. 1964. Three children.
Jón Þórður (Jón Thordur Bergmann) b. 29 Aug. 1905, d. 1983 married Guðrún Andrea Jakobsdóttir Andrésson.
Agnar Jóhann b. 1909 married Evelyn Stefánsdóttir Eymundsson.
Please inform me if you have any further information like dates and descendants.

I'm also searching information regarding Jóhann Jóhannsson, b. 18 April 1870 in the Parish of Grímstunga, Húnavatnssýsla. He emigrated with his parents Jóhann Guðmundsson and Una Stefánsdóttir in 1889. The family took the name Vatnsdal.

 I'll be home for Christmas!
Received the following and simply have to forward it to you. I trust there is no copywrite.

A man in Scotland calls his son in London the day before Christmas Eve and says, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough".
"Dad, what are you talking about?" the son screams.
"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer." the father says. "We're sick of each other and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Leeds and tell her."
Frantic, the son calls his sister who explodes on the phone. "Like hell they're getting divorced," she shouts, "I'll take care of this!"
She calls Scotland immediately and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" and hangs up.
The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife and says, "Okay, they're coming for Christmas, and they're paying their own way."

 Beautiful Iceland

 My Online Database
Just click the GenWeb-logo below and check on your Icelandic ancestors. The database is locked, so you need a password for your search. Right now the database holds 523.742 names and is constantly growing. Get a password,, and check your family tree. Also I'm sure you can help me with some additions to the database!
Remember: When you apply for passwords, you must inform me of your Icelandic ties with names of your ancestors, when they were born (at least approximately), when they emigrated, where from, their children and whatever you may know about them. That will help me to prepare for your visit if necessary.

 Pictures from Iceland - Your ancestors homeplace!
Mats Wibe
Click on Mats Islandsmyndasafn and browse through what is just a tiny bit of Mats Wibe Lund's huge picture gallery of places all over in Iceland. If you really want a fine picture of where your ancestors lived, just contact him.