North Dakota, USA
George A. Freeman is a genealogist from Grand Forks, North Dakota who specializes in Icelandic research. Growing up in Bismarck, he remembers his Icelandic father talking gloriously of their heritage. After his father’s death in 1993, George developed a genealogy hobby while searching for his Icelandic family, beginning by adding himself to Family Tree Maker software. Today, 24 years later, he has 40,000 names in his file as well as a library of about 500 books on Icelandic heritage.
George attended Bismarck Junior College, NDSU in Fargo, and UND in Grand Forks. He was an officer in the North Dakota National Guard, graduating from Engineer Officer School in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Professionally, George worked as a surveyor and engineering technician, retiring in 2002 after 31 years as a senior engineering assistant for Minnkota Power Cooperative of Grand Forks.
After retiring, George served on the board of the Icelandic National League of North America for a few years. Along with Shirley Olgeirson of the Icelandic Communities Association, he started the Genealogy Center at the annual Deuce of August Celebration at Mountain, North Dakota and served as director for ten years. Over the years George has helped many people with their family histories and printed over 200 family history books. In 2007 he compiled and published the three-volume set Pembina County Pioneer Daughter Biographies. In 2014 George and his sister Janet compiled and published their mother’s recipes in a book named Fed With Love. He is currently compiling the so-called Mouse River Saga, the story of the Mouse River Icelandic settlement in north central North Dakota.
Through years of Icelandic research, George has realized that he finds joy not in the end result but in his journey. He contributes his genealogy findings to Icelandic Roots on a volunteer basis.