My Icelandic heritage stems from my mother.  Her father was an American-born Icelander who grew up on a farm in North Dakota, one of 14 children.  His parents, Sveinn and Helga, emigrated separately as children with their parents in the 1880s.  Sveinn, about 10 years old at the time, came with his parents, Einar Magnússon and Kristín Jónsdóttir, from Barðastrandasýsla in the Vestfirðir region (Westfjords).  Helga, just a year old, came with her parents, Þórður and María Benediktsson, from Seyðisfjörður in the Eastfjords.

11 Westford siblings and parents Sveinn and Helga at a family reunion in Bellingham, 1948. My grandfather, Oscar, is the one with the best hair (far right, back row). Front row: Ellen, Einar, Helga, Sveinn, Lillian, John. Back row: Victor, Fred, Pauline, Swain, Christine, Grimes, Oscar.

2 thoughts on “Roots

  1. Pingback: Snorri Programs « Icelandic Roots

  2. Jennifer Parks

    Hello!!! I’m not exactly sure how I stumbled across this but I did. And it caught my eye because Þórður Benediktsson and María Sveinsdóttir are my great great grandparents. I too grew up in North Dakota, and have been taught to embrace and be proud of my Icelandic heritage. I will be visiting Iceland this July with my mother (and I believe she left a comment as well) and my brother; this is a trip years in the making and very special to all of us. So glad I found this!


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