Family Collage - courtesy Trish Baer

Family Collage – Courtesy Trish Baer

A keen interest in personal and family histories and ancestry is a natural part of one’s Icelandic heritage. Begin with this article from the Iceland Review:

The Iceland Family Tree

Here is a list of sites that are helpful in the search for your Icelandic family history:

Ættfræði / Icelandic Genealogy  : Halfdan Helgason of Reykjavik is well-known in North American Icelandic genealogy circles. This is his original site. There are still some articles on emigration and other helpful information. The database has been moved to Icelandic Roots and is now available by subscription.

Icelandic Roots Database :  The successor to Halfdan’s site, with expanded database. One can also search (free) Manntal, the Censii for the years 1703, 1835, 1816, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1860, 1870, 1890, 1901, 1910.

Icelandic Roots : Icelandic Roots is a non-profit, educational, heritage organization specializing in Genealogy, History, and Traditions of our shared Icelandic ancestors.

Mats Icelandic Image Library contains photographs of farms and homesteads, towns and villages in Iceland, and includes the collections held by various INL of NA associations.

Rootsweb – Iceland page contains numerous links to genealogy and emigration sites including Cyndi’s List.

Íslendingabók : The database Íslendingabók contains genealogical information about the inhabitants of Iceland, dating more than 1,200 years back. Íslendingabók is a collaboration project between deCODE genetics, a research company in the field of medical genetics, and Friðrik Skúlason, an anti-virus software entrepreneur. The project’s goal is to trace all known family connections between Icelanders from the time of the settlement of Iceland to present times and register the genealogical information in a database. The database is in Icelandic and is unfortunately not available in other languages. Access to the genealogical database Íslendingabók is currently limited to Icelandic citizens and legal residents of Iceland who have been issued an Icelandic ID number (kennitala).

Icelandic Emigration Centre at Hofsós : The Icelandic Emigration Center was founded in 1996 and dedicated to commemorate Icelandic emigrants to North America and to promote connections between their descendants and the people of Iceland. The Center now offers four exhibits in three separate buildings, as well as a genealogical information service, library facilities and more. The exhibitions combine text, photographs and tableaux to illustrate the conditions in Iceland that influenced the decision to emigrate, the journey to the ‘New World’ and the new way of life they encountered.

Visitors also have the opportunity to consult with staff about their Icelandic ancestors, accessing information found on the database and library at Hofsós.