top of page

2023: The Journey is Just Starting...

Updated: Jan 14

2023 is shaping up to be a momentous year for Icelandic Roots. On November 12th, we will celebrate our tenth anniversary as an official non-profit organization. Currently, we have over 60 volunteers who live in Iceland, Canada, the United States, and Australia. The mission of Icelandic Roots is to educate, promote and preserve interest and knowledge in the history of Iceland and its people, and to strengthen the links between Icelanders and those of Icelandic descent in North America.


To honor our mission in 2023, we are focusing on the emigration story of our ancestors with the newsletter, webinars, seminars, and more.


Why Emigration?


Between 1855 and 1920, almost 20% of the Icelandic population emigrated to North America. Why did they leave their homes to travel across the Atlantic? Where did they go, and why did they choose that destination? How did they travel on their journey to a new home? And why did some decide to return to Iceland? These are a few of the stories we plan to cover this year.



Vopnafjörður during the emigration period
Vopnafjörður during the emigration period

We will tell you about the ports from which they emigrated, such as Vopnafjörður and Akureyri. Learn about the communities they formed in Canada and the United States. Read about women and children who made the journey or were left behind. We will share links to videos on the farms they abandoned and their destinations in North America, as well as links to our podcasts, including our newest, ’Emigration Investigations’.


Why Return?


In September, a small group of Icelandic Roots volunteers will travel to Iceland to commemorate the emigration of our ancestors and the legacy of those who left Iceland by visiting some of the emigration ports. In addition, this trip is a chance for team members and cousins across the ocean to meet in person. We plan to leave a marker at each port to pay homage to our ancestors, as well as plant trees to give back to Iceland. This trip will also be a chance to strengthen the ties between Icelandic Roots and the Icelanders we encounter.


Keep reading our newsletters to learn about all the upcoming events during our tenth anniversary year!