Sunna Furstenau with Hálfdan Helgason

How did the database begin?

The Icelandic Roots database as we know it today began several decades ago with Icelandic genealogist Hálfdan Helgason. His goal was to compile the best Icelandic genealogy database available and with his tremendous work he created a site that contained over 512,000 names and genealogy information such as place of birth, marriage, death, occupation, and immigration information.


Hálfdan’s long-term goal was to develop an online site with a knowledge base for the benefit of both Icelanders and people of Icelandic heritage and their families worldwide. In the summer of 2013, he transferred his information to Icelandic Roots. Since then we add an average of 2,300 new people to the database every month. For up to the minute numbers, check our

"Cousins Counter" on our home page.

What will you find in the database?

Genealogical Information is just the start. You will also find:

  • Portraits and other photographs

  • Biographies and obituaries

  • Histories of Icelandic settlements and communities

  • Lists and locations of ancestral farms in Iceland

  • Maps and places cross-referenced to people and events

  • Churches, cemeteries, clergy and headstones

  • Emigration information, including ports, ships, and passenger manifests

  • Cross-references between Icelandic names and new names taken upon emigration to America and elsewhere

  • Reports on specialized topics such as: Abandoned farms, Ancestors that drowned, Places referenced in the Sagas, Midwives, Military Service, and more

  • A timeline of interesting events and reports of interesting people and places

  • Calculate your relationship to any of the people in the database - including “Leif the Lucky Eriksson”, and other interesting people


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