Benedikt Jónsson

Benedikt Jónsson was born in Reykjavík but grew up on the farm Hamrar in Haukadalur in Dalasýsla county. At a very young age he decided that he was not cut out for farm life and consequently pursued the path of education. After graduating with a BA in English and Literature from the University of Iceland in 1979, Benedikt moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, for post-graduate studies. He completed his post-graduate studies in English literature at the University of Edinburgh in 1981.

Benedikt has been interested in genealogy for many years and even wrote and published a book called Hamraætt (1999), which details the family history of his grandfather and grandmother who lived at Hamrar. With Þorkell Örn Ólason, he co-edited the book Fyrir Opnu Hafi (By the Open Sea, 2009), which lists the descendants of Guðmundur Guðmundsson and Ragnheiður Halldórsdóttir who lived at Bær on Selströnd, Kaldrananes­hreppi in Strandasýsla county. Since 2017, Benedikt has served as chair of the Icelandic Genealogy Society.

Professionally, Benedikt has worked as a teacher, held various office and publishing jobs, and in 2002 began working as a project manager at the National Archives of Iceland (Þjóðskjala­safn Íslands). At the National Archives, Benedikt’s responsibilities have included acting as webmaster and helping build census databases as well as the online digital document repository, heimildir.is. In 2016, the National Archives signed a contract with FamilySearch of Utah to digitize various documents of genealogical interest. Benedikt has supervised that work, which is still ongoing.

Benedikt is now semi-retired from his job at the National Archives and is excited to be part of the Icelandic Roots team. Benedikt has three children and seven grandchildren and lives in Hafnarfjörður with his wife Guðný Árnadóttir.

Icelandic Roots is a non-profit, educational, heritage organization specializing in genealogy, history & traditions of our Icelandic ancestors.

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