Thursday, June 19, 2008

Icelandic Reunion

I'm soon heading out for a family reunion for my mom's great grandmother Vilborg Thordardottir who immigrated to Utah in 1874. (On the left is her photo with her second husband Sigi Arnasson and her grandson Arthur.) She came after the trans-continental railroad was finished in 1869 so she isn't consider a pioneer who came by covered wagon. But I still consider her one, leaving her homeland after her conversion to Mormon-ism and persecution in Iceland which was 100% Lutheran at the time. They wouldn't allow any of their citizens to be baptized into a different church, so she and her family were baptized Mormons after their arrival in Spanish Fork. I've enjoyed researching her life story and will be publishing a 58 page history of her life for my family members. 

She left a little book of genealogy that lists her direct ancestral line back to 800 AD back to Norway. Iceland was settled about then by Vikings and others. The original settlers weren't Christians but were forcefully converted to Catholicism. Some of my ancestors were beheaded when they wouldn't accept the new Protestant religion Lutheranism. So there is quite a history of religious persecution in Iceland. Vilborg brought it full circle after living in Utah for few years when she returned to the Lutheran religion. Fascinating to write and compile her history. I'll give a workshop lecture on it for Icelandic Days.

4 comments:

gremhog susan.hatch@gmail.com said...

How wonderful to have access to such records...sure wish my ancestors had left some...at least left some for me to find.

dellgirl said...

Your family's history is very interesting. Looking forward to hearing more.

Kay said...

This is wonderful, Lin. Your family will love it! My son was just telling me that we should go to Iceland next.

katie said...

Thanks for the blog comment! Its nice to meet some of Michael's extended family, hopefully we'll be able to meet you in person soon! Which city do you live in? I have really enjoyed looking at your blog! Its great!