Tell the stories of your ancestors

Updated: Jul 10


Cold summers Sea ice in the harbors No fishing No hay Bitter winters Hunger

Generations of working poor – Poor parents, poor children No money, no choice No home No hope

. . . then life got worse . . .

These are the words on the front cover of the East Iceland Emigration Center’s brochure. I have written about this wonderful place in an earlier post.

I was not always interested in history or in genealogy but the saying, “Genealogy begins as an interest, becomes a hobby; takes over as an obsession, and then it becomes incurable” certainly applies to me and many other genealogy friends. I would rather browse through a cemetery than a shopping mall any day.

Working on genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts to me. It is so much more than dates of birth and death. The quest is to figure out the story. To learn about our history. To bring these stories of our ancestors to life and to help us understand our roots.

Traveling to the land where our ancestors lived … standing where they had one day long ago stood … looking out across the same landscapes … it is an emotional and overwhelming experience. To think that somehow, you are returning HOME.

So, tell the story of your ancestors. Put flesh on their bones and bring them to life. Find them. Respect their hardships and losses. Remember them. Share the stories with the next generation so that they know their family story. By finding our ancestors, somehow, we find ourselves.



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

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