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Make a Donation

If you are able, you can make a donation to the Icelandic National League of North America, you can do so by clicking on the link below:


International Visits Program

The International Visits Program of the Icelandic National League and the Icelandic National League of North America has been established to foster understanding and relationships between Icelanders and people of Icelandic descent living in North America.  Each year the Program sponsors a person from Iceland to visit North America or a person from North America to visit Iceland.  The Program selects people from North America with special qualifications or expertise as writers, scholars, scientists, genealogists, researchers or other areas of interest to audiences in Iceland .  Presentations are made in several locations in Iceland, usually about a dozen or so.

The Donald K. Johnson Icelandic Film Series

The Donald K. Johnson Icelandic Film Series is organized by the Icelandic National League of North America, a non-profit service organization that promotes Icelandic heritage and culture through its activities and the activities of member clubs scattered across North America. 

Snorri West

For Icelandic youth 18 - 28 who want to travel to the Icelandic settlements in Canada and the United States for four weeks during mid-summer.

General Use

All the regular, necessary expenses like running the office.



Images of our Icelandic Homeland in North America

The Icelandic Culture is alive and well in North America!  Let‘s produce a calendar that shows the activities, local area, monuments, festivals, or a view of Icelandic Culture that you have captured on film.

When submitting a picture, we require:

-       High resolution pictures, at last 300 dpi.

-       Include some aspect of Icelandic culture.

-       If identifiable people are in a picture, you must obtain consent to publish their image.

-       Taken within the past five years.

-       Be creative.

Submission deadline is:    OCTOBER 15, 2015

Include with submission:






-       Amanda Allen at: allen.ag@gmail.com 

-       David Johnson at: dj4seattle@comcast.net


‘The Saga of Gudrid the Far-Traveler’ is the INL Reads book for 2015 – 2016 as announced at the Convention in Minneapolis in May.  The idea is to get people reading books about Icelanders or about Iceland.  Below is the Guide written about the book.  Nancy Marie Brown is willing to discuss the book by over the phone or in a manner requested by the Clubs.  I have found this very interesting in the past.  The LEIC has this book in the library if someone wishes to borrow same.



The story behind ‘The Saga of Gudrid the Far-Traveler.’

Medieval women, everyone knows, did not stray far from home. But the historical Gudrid, on whom I based the character in this novel, traveled from Canada to Rome. She crossed the North Atlantic eight times in an open boat. She earned the nickname “Far-Traveler”—though no one called her that in her own day, as I do. The tag was attached to three Viking men whose travels took them through Russia and on to the mysterious East.

To me, that doesn’t seem quite fair. Gudrid was just as adventurous and brave as they were. If I was a young woman growing up in Iceland in the Viking Age, I would want to be like Gudrid. Even today, I think Gudrid is an excellent role model for girls, which is why I wrote The Saga of Gudrid the Far-Traveler as a novel for young adults (though I hope readers of any age and sex will enjoy it).

I was still in my teens when I first learned about Gudrid. I was studying medieval literature in college, and when I discovered the ‘Icelandic Sagas’ I lost interest in ‘King Arthur’, and ‘Beowulf’, and everything else. But, the two sagas that mention Gudrid, ‘The Saga of the Greenlanders’ and ‘The Saga of Eirik the Red’, were not my favorites. Their plots don’t hang together. Their settings and characters are weak. Their use of folk-tale motifs—fortune-telling, belligerent ghosts, one-footed humanoids—is clumsy and repetitious. They read like sketches from a writer’s notebook.

Thirty years later, that insight inspired me to write ‘The Saga of Gudrid the Far-Traveler.’ By then, I was a writer. The sagas could be my notebook.

They provided ample room for my imagination. The two ‘Vinland Sagas’, as they’re called, don’t agree on the particulars of Gudrid’s life, and they don’t tell us very much about her. She was “of striking appearance,” intelligent, adventurous, and friendly. She could sing. She was born in Iceland, married in Greenland, and explored Vinland (which I translate as Wine Land in the novel). She returned to Iceland and raised two sons, took a pilgrimage to Rome, and became one of the Iceland’s first nuns. Many people in Iceland today trace their ancestry from her.

Over the last 50 years, archaeologists have proved more and more of her story true. In Greenland, they uncovered Eirik the Red’s house at Brattahlid and the church built there by his wife, Thjodhild. They uncovered the house at Sand Ness where Gudrid’s husband died.

On the far northwestern tip of Newfoundland, near a fishing village called L’Anse aux Meadows, they found three Viking longhouses. This small settlement is now thought to be the gateway from which the Vikings explored North America. Among the Viking artifacts found there was a spindle whorl, proving a Viking woman had been on the expedition.

Three butternuts found at L’Anse aux Meadows prove the Vikings sailed well south, to where butternut trees—and the wild grapes for which Wine Land was named—then grew. One likely spot (the one I chose for Gudrid’s house) seems to be the mouth of the Miramichi River in New Brunswick, where there was a large Native American settlement at the time.

In 2001 a team of archaeologists began working in Skagafjord, the valley in northern Iceland where Karlsefni came from. I worked as a volunteer on the project one summer as we uncovered a house on the farm called Glaumbaer, where the sagas say Gudrid finally made her home. The floorplan of the house looks like no other found in Iceland. It most closely resembles a house at L’Anse aux Meadows.

I told the story of my summer working on the archaeological team in ‘The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman’, which was published in 2007. I thought then that I had written all I could about Gudrid the Far-Traveler. Her spirit disagreed. As soon as that book came out, I began writing this novel.

At the same time, I was working on my nonfiction book The Abacus and the Cross: The Story of the Pope Who Brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages, so, not surprisingly, one of Pope Gerbert’s students, Father Gausbert, managed to become a character in Gudrid’s story. I was also beginning to become interested in the Lewis chessmen, the walrus-ivory chess pieces on which Karlsefni’s set were modeled. That interest ultimately grew into my next book, ‘Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them.’ But while Father Gausbert accurately reflects what I learned about the Church’s views on science in the Viking Age, the story of the Lewis chessmen turned out to be much different than I imagined. Karlsefni couldn’t have made them—they were not carved until about 200 years later, and probably by an Icelandic woman named Margret the Adroit. I hear her spirit clamoring for a novel now.

Sunna & Icelandic Roots 2015

In April, Sunna Olafson Furstenau gave an exciting presentation at our Spring dinner with an Icelandic Roots Data base workshop the following day. 

In appreciation of the "fabulous hospitality and support in Alberta, the members of any Alberta Icelandic organization can join the database for only $100 for the entire year. This includes our personal assistance to help them get connected to the database so they can be part of the “Cousins Across the Ocean” project".

This is a fabulous data base and a wonderful resource for so many things Icelandic.

Just send her an email and say you are a member of the LEIC.  (Gwen registered by writing a Canadian check and this can be put in the mail.)

Sunna Furstenau: sunna@icelandicroots.com


Why is there a fee for the Icelandic Roots Database?

How is the information used?


  • 1.      This is the lifetime of work of Hálfdan Helgason. His database was purchased in September 2013 by ‘Sunna’ Pam Olafson Furstenau.
  • a.      The cost of the database, the cost of the lawyers and accountants to help set up the database, and all the other costs plus time were absorbed by Jeff and Sunna. They are not asking to be repaid this huge amount.
  • b.      Since purchasing the database, Sunna has brought together a great team of Icelandic Genealogists and IT experts from Iceland, Canada, and USA.
  •                    i.      Sunna volunteers full-time on the database to help connect people to their personal family story.
  • c.       The IR team (as of 02 Aug 2015) have added over 50,000 new people in addition to the many new and cutting edge features of the site.
  • d.      There are many reports, documents, histories, photos, cemetery information, and more plus we are adding more information daily.
  • 2.      This site is the best online site to find your ‘Cousins Across the Ocean’ and be a part of this exciting project.
  • a.      People in Iceland, people in North America, visitors with the Snorri West Program, visiting dignitaries, and visitors with the International Visits Program are always asking me to connect them with ‘Their Cousins.’
  •                      i.      They want to connect with family
  •                      ii.      They have information to share on family members such as old photos, documents, and stories
  •                      iii.      They want to learn more about the family that emigrated to North America
  •                      iv.      People in North America want to learn about their family from Iceland
  • b.      When you are entered in the database, you are part of the Cousins Across the Ocean project.
  • c.       Because of the many living people in the database, strict security measures are in place.
  •                       i.      A membership fee is charged to protect the data from spammers
  •                       ii.      Several levels of security exist to prevent people from looking at too many living people who are not related to them
  •                       iii.      There are several steps to become a member, to sign in as a member, and to login to the site to protect the data. This is on purpose for security.
  • 3.      Your name and information should be in the database whether you join as a member or not.
  • a.      With information going back in time to the Sagas, we have connections and show relationships with people throughout the ages.
  •                         i.      The Relationship Calculator itself cost the Furstenau family tens of thousands of dollars in personal money to make this amazing feature work between cousins and ancestors. It was perfected by an Icelandic IT expert who has donated hundreds and hundreds of hours to making the site better.
  •                        ii.      Find Famous Ancestors in a very special report plus see how you are related to them.
  •                        iii.      Find what was happening in the life of your ancestors with the Timeline report
  •                        iv.      Read many Histories, see Documents and Photos
  •                        v.      Discover many significant Biographies, Stories, Histories, and Obituaries
  •                         vi.      Learn about the Emigration from Iceland to North America
  • b.      When you are entered in the database, you can find how you are connected to the Ancestors and Famous Icelandic people
  • 4.      Save your family information
  • a.      Many family historians do not know what will happen to their lifetime of work after they die
  •                          i.      Send the information on how YOU are related to the Icelandic story – whether you join the database or not.
  •                          ii.      Icelandic Roots is a 501 c3 which protects and preserves the information for the future descendants.
  •                         iii.      If you donate books or other materials to Icelandic Roots, you can use it as a tax-deduction for US Federal taxes.
  • 5.      Help others by preserving and promoting our Iceland heritage and genealogy
  • a.      Save your family information in a safe and interactive site
  • b.      Membership fees go towards the mission and most of the money is for Snorri Scholarships in Iceland www.snorri.is
  • c.       None of the genealogists or the board members are paid – we all work as volunteers to make this the best site for Icelandic Genealogy and History available online with personal assistance to any member.


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