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Kristín at Jaðar

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

One of the services at Icelandic Roots is Translations. We have several genealogists living in Iceland who volunteer their time on the genealogy database and they also work on translations for our members. The following story is a recent translation by Almar Grímsson, which was part of a 10 page translation.

Kristín at Jaðar from the magazine, Óðinn, Page 13.

Translation by Almar Grímsson Edited by Sunna Olafson Furstenau November 2014

Kristín Jónsdóttir at Jaðar was born in Hamrakot in Andakíl 13 Nov 1857. She lived with her parents until 23 years of age when she married Jón Hálfdánarson of Flóðatangi, a very handsome man. They lived first at Tungutún but after two years they moved to Akranes. They were farmhands for 2 years but started then farming at Jaðar.

Jón passed away after nine years of marriage and before the funeral and not yet buried, Kristín gave birth to their sixth child. At this time of grief, Kristín was devastated and thought that she would have to give her children away. But after a few days, she went out under the sun and changed her mind and thought she would be able to cope. Kristín has always been a child of the sun and trusted the light and the higher power.

She now started her battle to keep her young children happy and brave, although she was very poor. She was both the man and woman of the house and did all chores in haying, building and maintenance and keeping the animals. She did all of this along with the traditional duties of the housewife and was regarded as being very energetic. She brought her children up with dignity and care. She also fostered two other boys.

Kristin had many difficult situations to deal with as well as grief. Kristín seemed to take it all with a serenity and positive attitude being a very clever and careful woman. Her natural joyful heroism and courage were very strong. She has now lost all her children except one and some of them passed on at a young age, but others grew up and are married.

After 43 years, Kristín continues to live at Jaðar and is reasonably well off.

This summer, Kristin was still making hay under difficult conditions in her field at Jaðar. It is truly enlightening to meet this 72-year-old and good-looking woman.

I have sometimes thought, "What would become of the fashionable women now growing up if they had to be put in the shoes of Kristín Jónsdóttir at Jaðar?"

The area of the farm, Jaðar, is highlighted in yellow on this photo.

It is now inside the town of Akranes with a street named Jarðarsbraut.

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