The Dakota Icelanders Project is a work in progress. The purpose of this website is simply to help fulfill some of the goals of the project. As such, the content of the website and this webpage will be periodically updated and altered.
The original goal of the project was simply to compile a complete and accurate history of the Icelandic settlements in North Dakota and to disseminate this information in a manner conducive to the preservation of that history. Although the goal remains the same, the means of attaining that goal are constantly being revised. In time, this webpage, together with the other webpages at this site, should contain complete descriptions of all the efforts that have or will be taken towards the achievement of the goal.
One of the main requirements for achieving the goal is simply the identification of all native Icelanders that emigrated to America and lived either temporarily or permanently in the Dakota Icelandic settlements. I never imagined how difficult this task could be. For a large portion of the families there are records available that will identify with certaintly who the people were. However, for another large portion, records are almost nonexistent.
The first effort at trying to accomplish this task was to undertake a survey with the thought that people in general would be interested in this. Self-addressed survey forms were distributed in the hopes that people would be excited about filling them in and making sure their families were included in the project data. As it turned out even most of my own family and close relatives were not interested enough to respond. However, the survey, even a decade and half later, continues. If any reader is interested, the pdf form is available. Simply send them to:Arlan Steinolfson
744 48th Street South
Fargo, North Dakota USA 58103
1 701 281 8824
In any event, it soon became apparent that much research would be required, and soon after that came the realization that the research efforts needed to be compiled. Some of the efforts are obvious simply from visiting the other webpage by navigating the menus on the left panel. For instance, using data available from the US Bureau of Land Management, the project has compiled and published a complete index to all land grants in Pembina County and the eastern edge of Cavalier County. From the Insight Pembina County Atlas of 1893, it has compiled and published and a complete atlas and index of landowners for 1893. Using the 1904 Pink Paper Map, the project created a complete atlas and index of landowners for 1904. Using data available from the Iceland National Archives, the project has compiled a complete summary of the 1835 Census of Iceland, together with complete name and location indexes. (These and other resources will have full descriptions when added to the Publications webpage).
This effort continues and more explanation will be added in the future. A major source of information is simply the result of communication with interested people. Much of the correspondence that has taken place regarding the project was initiated by people who somehow found The Dakota Icelanders Website. It is hoped that will continue.
The best place to visit The Dakota Icelanders Project is either at the annual Family History Workshop at Minnesota State University Moorhead, informally at the Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival, or at the booth at 2nd of August Celebration in Mountain, North Dakota (usually on the Steingrimur Steinolfson lot south of the tavern).
Click on the name below to contact The Dakota Icelanders Project.