top of page

Roots Tips Recap - March 2024

Updated: Mar 24

by Shaune Jonasson

The most recent Roots Tips was an informative session with Dave Jónasson, IT specialist and the creator of a new series of database training webinars. Dave is also a genealogist with Icelandic Roots and has done a lot of research regarding emigration from Iceland.

Dave reviewed the first five of an anticipated twenty-two training videos. These identify some of the basic things we should know as database users:

Part 1 Introduction: In the opening video for this series, Dave talks about what makes the IR database different from other genealogy sites. He also explains how the series came about and what we are trying to accomplish. He then covers how to get the most from the series and how to ask questions if something is not clear. (10 min)

Part 2 Getting Started:  In this video we discuss the two Icelandic Roots websites, how to get to and log on to the database site and the common elements found on every page; (14 min)


Part 3 Bottom Links: In this session we talk about IR’s privacy policies and how we protect the data in our database, the responsibilities of members to keep our data private and how to add or correct data in the database. (10 min.)


Part 4 Six sections of a person's page: In this video we discuss what information you will find on a person’s page and how that information is organized. Each of the six sections on a person’s page are explained. Additionally, you are shown how to access your page (“MyPage”) any other specific person using their I-number. (26 min)


Part 5 Why a person’s page might look very different: This video talks about who can be in the database (and who cannot). Since everybody can potentially have the same six sections on their page, it talks about how the sections can grow with more information can grow and people at different points in history might look very different.


These webinars are accessible through the member's main page of Icelandic Roots, the page that opens after you "Go to the Database". The blue menu column on the left is where you'll find “My Training & Resources”. In addition, on the right-hand side under “Feature Articles”, there is also a link to “Member Training” in red. Click on either menu option to access the database training.

IR Database Menu Options

Searches can be disappointing and frustrating particularly when “no result” is the response. Regardless, there are options available where we can find the information. Dave did remind us that even though there are thousands of people in the database with lots of information, not everyone is in there (yet). However, people and information are added and updated daily. (Check out the "What's New" that has weekly updates.)

Dave recommends always using the “Advanced Search” function where many options exist to enter search criteria. One can enter approximations, such as “starts with”, or under Death Year, the researcher can enter “+/- 5 years”, etc. The approximations are beneficial when details may be less certain.

The key to getting a concise search is remembering to always use the “Reset” button on the right of the screen. It is important to clear all previous search criteria entered and allow the system a fresh start with the new entries.

Being aware of the spelling of names, in either Icelandic or English script, is key. The database is designed to recognize the Icelandic-English characters interchangeably. For example, a name using an Icelandic spelling such as Þorvaldsson, or anglicized as Thorvaldson, each with a different character at the beginning and varying the “s”, will result in a comprehensive list of people with both spellings. Nicknames or second names can also be used as part of the search criteria with successful results.

Other menu options can be explored to assist in your search. Under the “My Training & Resources” header is “Genealogical Resources” with links to numerous online resources. The “Search Options” header expands as does the “Special Collections”.


Because the databases offers a vast amount of research sources, we were warned to be aware of the “quicksand”! The more you search, the more you want to know, so you continue searching. Your search was successful and you've found what you needed plus so much more, and all so very interesting. Hours may have passed, and you’ll wonder where the time went. Short answer: it’s the quicksand! But what a fun (and educational!) way to spend a few hours.

Remember, if you remain at an impasse and need further guidance or help, please send your request to  Include your information, what you are looking for, and someone from the support team will respond to your enquiry.


Email us your questions or join the conversation on our Facebook Group.

bottom of page