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MY ICELANDIC GENEALOGY
Gudmundur Gudmundsson and Mt Laki
Midfirdi to Adalvik
Gudmundur Palmason born
Asa Byron Gudmundsdottir
Philip William Pearce
Farmer in Rekavik Bak Latur
and Lighthouse Keeper at Straumnesviti.
This picture was taken in Hull, Yorkshire.
It was important that he learnt English so that he could
communicate with shipping more effectively. Apparently,
he made frequent visits to Hull or Grimsby.
Rekavik Bak Latur was a harsh place to survive
in...and farming was insufficient to
sustain a family; especially one where sons and
daughters ammounted to around 17.
My mother told me that the months after Xmas
could be near starvation until the
first supply ship passed by.
She also told me that meat would be salted to
The lighthouse job was important indeed.
Gudmundur died in 1951 - and the
family farm was eventually deserted as his
offspring moved to cities and towns.
A re-union of the descendants of Gudmundur
Palmason took place in Hornstrandir
a few years back.
My brother and sister attended this and
brought back a camcorder recording of
the event. There were 200 people showing up.
There were many who couldn't make it to the
feast, including my parents and I.
The 20th Century never truly took hold in
Populated for centuries by isolated, hardy
families the growth of the modern world
left Hornstrandir deserted by the '60s.
It is now a nature reserve - with settlement
forbidden, it would seem, without permission.
But tourists are finding this area
attractive (particularly hikers).
Away from the noises and bustle of man - into
the Tolkienesque images of people who once
upon a time sought to hold sway upon this land -
who built their fortresses (farms) to display
their territorial advance - but who have long
since passed away or moved elsewhere.
So if you visit Hornstrandir and walk the
lonely valley of Rekavik Bak Latur - there
should be a ruined farmhouse where my
mother was born and raised.
The place where her mother Ketilridur
Porkelsdottir died - with Asa (my mother)
only 8 years old.
She would remember little of poor Ketildur,
but the inner loss probably remained.
About eight years after this Asa quarreled
with her father
and left home -
borrowing her brother's horse to travel to Isafjord.
Anyhow, let's go back to 1750:
Hilda Olafsdottir was born
Gudmundur Gudmundsson was born
Mt. Laki erupted, and for about nine months it produced a cloud that blanketed the sky. Livestock died from
eating fluorine contaminated grass. Crops failed through acid rain. At times the clouds reached as far as Syria.
As well as being a possible contributory factor toward the French Revolution it devastated Iceland, wiping out
25% of its population. Much of Iceland became uninhabitable for awhile. But Hornstrandir, according to my
brother's information, was not affected by Laki in any serious way. In fact, Hornstrandir thrived. It is likely
many displaced Icelanders migrated to the region in this decade.
NEW!! Gudmundur Gudmundsson lived in Midfirdi (north of Iceland). He was forced to move when the sea in
that region froze, leaving it impossible to fish. It is likely to have been a climatic result from the Haki eruption.
Gudmundur moved from Midfirdi to Adalvik in the Hornstrandir region.
AT SOME POINT, BEFORE OR AFTER THIS UPROOTING HE MARRIED HILDA.
Porgerdur Jonsdottir was born
At an unknown date:
Bjorn Gudmundsson and Porgerdur Jonsdottir married
SILFA JONSDOTTIR was born
Bjorn and Porgerdur had a son named JON BJORNSSON
Hildur Olafsdottir died; aged c. 83y
Jon Bjornsson (24) married Silfa Jonsdottir (28)
Gudmundur Gudmundsson died; aged 86y
Gudridur Sigurdardottir was born
Jon Bjornsson and Silfa Jonsdottir had a son, whom they named PALMI JONSSON
Porgerdur Jonsdottir died; aged 59y
Jon Bjornsson died; aged 77y
Ketilridur Porkelsdottir was born
Palmi Jonsson (24) married Gudridur Sigurdardottir (27)
Gudmundur Palmason was born
Jon Bjornsson died; aged 64y
Gudridur Sigurdardottir died; aged 37y
Gudmundur Palmason (21) married Ketilridur Porkelsdottir (24)
Palmi Jonsson died; aged 62y
Gudmundur Palmason and Ketilridur Porkelsdottir had a daughter, who they named:
ASA BYRON GUDMUNDSDOTTIR
On 26/11/1918 - at Bishop's
Philip William Pearce was born
Ketildur Porkelsdottir died; aged 50y
On 21/02/1951 - in Rekavik Bak
Gudmundur Palmason died; aged73y
On 07/07/1952 - in Bishop's
Philip and Asa had a daughter, who they named DIANA ASA SUAVA PEARCE
Philip and Asa had a son, who they named BRIAN ROBERT PEARCE (me)
Brian and Paula had a daughter named RACHEL
Philip William Pearce died; aged 74y
Asa Byron Gudmundsdottir died; aged 76y
In June, 1997:
Diana Asa Suava died; aged 44y
English text links:
ICELAND ROOTS: Michael Philip Pearce takes a more detailed look at the genealogy of Gudmundur Palmason and Ketilridur Porkelsdottir
THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN APPROX. YEAR 1912
IT WAS TAKEN IN REKAVIK BAK LATUR
IT IS GUDMUNDUR PALMASON WITH PARENTS (?), SISTER (?) AND HIS EARLIEST CHILDREN
TO SEE THIS PICTURE, PLUS PICTURES OF ICELAND IN 1945 AND MORE...
Icelandic text links:
SIGURVEIG PALMADOTTIR has got reams of info on family history in
TO OBTAIN FURTHER INFORMATION ON GUDMUNDUR PALMASON AND HIS CHILDREN, PLUS OTHER RELATIVES:
VISIT SIGURVEIG PALMADOTTIR'S SPLENDID WEBSITE: CLICK HERE
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Labyrinth Busker Journal
Brian Robert Pearce
West Fjords of Iceland