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Book Club Director

Heather Lytwyn

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Manitoba, CAN

Heather was raised in rural Manitoba and graduated from Brandon University with an arts degree and one year of teachers’ training. She taught senior English for over 30 years in Flin Flon, where she and her husband raised three children. In 2006, Heather moved to Winnipeg, where she worked as a consultant for the Assessment Branch of the Manitoba Education Department until 2017.

Before becoming addicted to genealogy research, Heather always thought of her family as small. But as she learned more and more about her amma’s siblings, she developed a much wider understanding of where she came from. A compulsive sharer, she started sending out emails of her discoveries in what she called “A Virtual Family Reunion.” An article about this project was published on the Icelandic Roots blog on November 22, 2021.

Heather’s interest in ancestry developed partly out of a desire to uncover the identity of her father’s birth mother. Her father, Oscar Goodman, was a proud Icelander raised in Winnipeg and Gimli. His parents, Jon Goodman and Sigrudur Swanson, adopted him in 1911, but it was not until 2008, with the help of Nelson Gerrard, that Heather and her sister Marlene learned anything about their father’s birth mother. Through the dedicated genealogists at Icelandic Roots, Heather was able to trace her dad’s birth mother’s ancestry to the 1700s and fill in many details of her life.

In her quest to learn more about Iceland, Heather has been discovering both fictional and historical books by and about Icelanders referenced in the database and highlighted on the Icelandic Roots Facebook page. She spearheaded the IR Book Club, which will meet monthly starting in June 2022.