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.