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Skafti Arason
Skafti Arason, b.

Father: Vigfússon, Ari
Mother: Ásmundsdóttir, Guðrún


"Skafti Arason was born in the north of Iceland in the year 1850 [Roy's Great Grand Uncle; Gudrun Sigvaldson's brother]. His parents were farmers. His father died when he was 10 and his mother when he was 15 years old. Conditions in Iceland during his youth were not good and so he decided to leave the country for America. In 1874, a ship load of about 360 landed at Quebec. They went from there to Toronto and then north to the Village of Kinmount. They stayed there for the winter under very hard conditions. In the spring it was found that the area was not a suitable place for homesteading and it was decided to send a committee to Manitoba to look for land for an Icelandic colony. As a result, five men came from Kinmount settlement and Skafti Arason was one of them. They arrived in Winnipeg on July 16, 1875. They were the first Icelanders to set foot in Manitoba. Land for a colony was not available near Winnipeg so they travelled north along the west shore of Lake Winnipeg to the northern boundary of the small province of Manitoba. As a result of their recommendations, the colony of New Iceland was established in the now Gimli, Riverton, Arborg district. The settlers came from the Ontario settlement and landed at Gimli on Oct. 31, 1875. More came from Iceland in 1876 and, with government help, the settlement grew. They suffered many hardships, among them a smallpox epidemic which took the lives of over 100 and resulted in a quarantine of the community for over seven months. Weather was bad and high winds flooded the hay meadows and fields, often resulting in loss of crops and hay. As a result of these adverse con- ditions, many decided to look elsewhere for land. Skafti Arason and four other men left in September, 1880, walked to Winnipeg, Pilot Mound and hence to the north end of Argyle Municipality where they filed homesteads at Millf ord. They then went back to Gimli for the winter. Skafti had married in 1877, and· had two children by 1881

Skafti Arason
Son of Ari Vigfusson, b. 28 May 1803 at á Þverá í Reykjahverfi and Guðrún Ásmundsdóttir, b. Abt. 1772 at á Skútustöðum [Iceland]


Ásmundur Arason, b. 10 Nov 1836
Benedikt Arason, b. 13 Oct 1837
Vigfús Arason "elsti", b. 18 May 1839
Guðný Aradóttir, b. 11 May 1840
Vigfús Arason "yngri", b. 03 Sep 1842
Vigfús Arason "yngsti", b. 19 Dec 1844
Ari Arason, b. 25 Sep 1846
Gudrun Sigvaldson, b. 04 May 1848, Near Thingeyjarsysla, Iceland
Guðfinna Aradóttir, b. 27 May 1849
Skafti Arason, b. 10 Sep 1850, Pioneer
Sigfús Arason, b. 24 Jul 1852
Kristjana Aradóttir, b. 29 May 1857

Jon Arason

Sister of Gudrun ARRADOTTIR Sigvaldason
Roy's GGM

Lilja Kernestead Collection- See Photo Main Page

On March 15, 1881, with his wife, son Trygvi and daughter Gudrun, they left Gimli for their homestead land which he had filed on NW 24-6-14. He had three oxen and one horse hitched to four sleighs. On one sleigh was a house, six feet wide and ten feet long, in which they lived until July, when a shelter was erected. There were three other families and their effects in the caravan. They travelled across the open prairies and arrived on March 31, 1881. His meagre possessions on his arrival were the three oxen and one horse, four sleighs, ten head of cattle, one-hundred pounds of flour, $3.00 in money and one poor plow. Their first years were hard work but they persisted and soon had acquired and broken much land. They suffered considerable loss of stock, implements and possessions in the prairie fire of 1886. Skafti Arason was a leader in community affairs in the first settlement. He was also a progressive farmer. He shipped the first cream from Glenboro, by rail, to Winnipeg and also, with J ewsburys and Simons, shipped the first flax out of the district. He had a great love for his adopted land and was grateful for the bounty it had produced for him. He had acquired quite a bit of an estate and had planned to travel and see more of this great country but he died in 1903, at the age of 53. Skapti and Anna had six children. Trygvi was born in New Iceland in 1878. He died in 1965. He farmed in Bru and Cypress River areas. Gudrun was born in 1880. She married P.G. Magnus and is deceased. Oli was born in Glenboro in 1882, and died in 1966. He farmed all his life on the homestead. Herman was born in Glenboro in 1884, and died in 1920. August was born in Glenboro in 1886, and died in 1958. He farmed on the home farm for many years before moving into Glenboro. Gwen was born in Glenboro in 1888, and married John Baldwin. She passed away in 1978. Each of the children, except Herman, married and their children have moved far and wide across Canada, as well as many who still live in the district. Skapti (Skip) Arason still farms on the original homestead, one of the few farms in the area that has been farmed by the same family since homestead days."[1]
[1] "Come into our Heritage" book, 1882, Page 281 12.

The lcelanders of Argyle
From the Diary of Skapti Arason

Submitted by Herman Arason
I was born at Hamri in
Laxardal Þingeyarsyslu,
September 10, 1850. My
parents were Ari Vigfusson, a
farmer at Hamri, and Guðrún
Asmundsdóttir, farmer at
Sorvollum in Bardardal
Davidson. My father's mother
was Guðrún, daughter of Ari
at Skutustadum, near Myvatn.
Ari's mother was Jorunn
Thorliefsdottir, professor at
Mula, Skaptason. My mother's
mother was Gudny Jonsdottir
from Myri in Bardardal. She
was married twice, the second
time to Benedikt Indridason,
who lived at Sigurdarstothum
in Ljosavatnaskardi. Their
sons were Asmundur and Jon,
farmers at Stovollum.
My father died late in
October 1860. Two or three
years later my eldest brother,
Asmundur, died. December
28, 1865, my mother died. The
following spring, 1866, my
brother Benedikt went to live
at Hamri and I was with him
for two years and from there I
went to Hringveri in Tjornesi
to my sister, Gudny and her
husband, Sigurbjorn Johannesson
from Laxamyri where I
stayed until I went to America
in the year 1874, the l,000th
anniversary year of Iceland.
In about the year 1870, a
few men were leaving Iceland
for America. It wasn't actually
until the year 1873 that there
were many who left - but at
that time there was a ship
which came from England to
get people and horses. That
horses were taken to England
but the people were taken to
Canada and the United States.
In that group, I remember the
following: Fridjon and Arni
Frederickson, Olaf Olafson,
Fridbjorn Bjornson, Thorlak
Jonson, Baldwin Baldwinson,
Paul Johnson, Stephan G.
Stephanson and others. That
same year Sigfus Magnusson,
Sigurdur Kristopherson, my
sister, Gudrun, who is now the
wife of Arni Sigvaldason, a
farmer in Minnesota, and a
number more left. The last
mentioned were on a buying
trip for Iceland.
In 1874 the Allan ship lines
sent a ship to Iceland which
carried people direct from
Iceland to Quebec. On that
trip were 360 people or a few
more, some of whom were as
follows: Brynjjolfur Brynjolfson,
Samson and Frederick
Bjornson, Thorlakur Bjornson,
Thorstein Jonsson,
Magnus Jonsson, (all now in
Dakota), Freeman B. Anderson,
Arni Johnnsson (now a
minister at Myvatn), Benedikt
Einarson (a doctor in Chicago).
Gudmundur Olafson
(Winnipeg), Bjorn Arnason
(Winnipeg), Johannes and
Gudlaugur Magnusson, Sigurdur
Sigurbjornson, Johann
Straumfjord, Jonas Jonasson,
Jonas Stefanson, Benedikt
Arason, Johan Jonsson (now
all at Gimli), Bjorn Sigvaldason,
Gudmundur Nordman,
Baering Hallgrimsson,
Kristjan Jonsson, Skapti
Arnason (now all in Argyle),
Gudmundur Jonsson (storekeeper
in Winnipeg), and my
sister Gudfinna (Mrs. Hjalmar
German, Chicago), my sister,
Gudny and her husband,
Sigurbjorn Johannesson (he
died at Gimli, January 22,
These people went to
Toronto where the single girls
stayed but the single men went
to work throughout the
province. Many of the people
went to the Victoria district
and settled in four houses built
or roughly put up for them
near a railroad which was
being built near the village
Healthy men received $1.00
a day working on the railway.
Life was not good in those
houses as they were too small
for so many people and, too,
the people did not know how
See URL above to read more
Early Settlers in Winnipeg Part II
The delegation decided that John Taylor, Sygtryggur Jonasson and Einar Jonasson would head East and have talks with the Government. They also decided that Sygtryggur would go to Iceland and direct those who wished to immigrate, to come and settle in New Iceland. It was left to John Taylor to organize the Icelanders at Kinmount, Ontario and bring them to the newly acquired area along Lake Winnipeg before the advent of winter. Skapti Arason, Kristjan Jonasson and Sigurdur Kristofersson (who had joined the delegation as they passed through the United States) remained and worked on railway construction. The pay was $2.00 per day. Two...


Tryggvi S. Arason was the eldest son of Skapti and Anna Arason of 24-6-14 in the Municipality of Argyle. He was born at Husavik, Man., on April 27, 1878. On March 15, 1881, at the age of two years, he came to Argyle with his parents and sister Gudrun. On Oct. ll, 1911, Tryggvi married Olive Thordarson, daughter of Siggeir and Anna Thordarson, Olive was born on Jan. 17, 1889 and raised in Winnipeg, Man., where she attended Saint Mary’s Academy, and later worked as a dressmaker for a number of years. After their marriage, they moved to Edmonton, Alta., where Tryggvi and Asgeir Hallgrimson built and for two years operated the... [1]

They had 5 sons, Elmer, Stanley, Brian, Allan, Kenneth.

[1] "Come into our Heritage" book, 1882, Page 281

Tryggvi and Olive Arason

Could this be a wedding photo on OCT. 11, 1911?
Courtesy of Pauline Christopherson
Green Album Collection

Eldest son of Gudrun was Skapti Aaron Sigvaldson, b. 12 Apr 1879. He was the brother of Roy's grandmother, Mary SIGVALDSON Einarson. Confused yet? So is Roy.
Regardless, let's enter some people here and try and sort all this out. After all, there were not one but FOUR Skapti's in the area, now listed on Arni Sigvaldson's page.

Add text

Herman and Donna Arason would send Christmas letters to Pauline Christopherson. Pauline has a photo of "Skapti". Even though separated by a border and thousands of miles, they stayed in touch.

I believe Skip Arason as he was known went to school with Henry and Pauline Einarson.

copy into above
Roy's Great Grandmother on Pauline's side. Gudrun Sigvaldson, Arni's wife. She was a kind hearted, tough gal. Will post her obituary which is quite extensive and mentions her ancestors. I suspect they knew the stock they came from, never letting it go to their heads.
Individual Summary:
Father: Vigfússon, Ari
Mother: Ásmundsdóttir, Guðrún
SIGVALDASON, Guðrún Aradóttir
Individual Report for SIGVALDASON, Guðrún Aradóttir
Individual Facts:
Name: SIGVALDASON, Guðrún Aradóttir
Sex: Female [1]
Birth: 04 May 1848 in Near Thingeyjarsysla, Iceland [2, 3]
Farmed: 1873 [3]
Arrival: 1873 [4]
Residence: 1900 in Lake Benton, Lincoln, Minnesota [4]
Death: 08 Apr 1923 [3]
Emigration: According to 1910 census [3]
Burial: Icelandic Cemetery at Lincoln County Lutheran site [3]
Shared Facts: Sigvaldason, Árni
Marriage: 1878 in Marshall Minnisota
Children: SIGVALDSON, Skapti Aaron
SIGVALDASON, Pall Thorvaldur
Sigvaldson, Thora Jonina
Sigvaldson, Maria Jacobina
Sigvaldson, Frank
Sigvaldson, John E
SIGVALDSON, Palina Sigurbjorg
Shared Facts: [no spouse]
Children: SIGVALDSON, Julia G.
Shared Facts: [no spouse]
Children: SIGVALDSON, Skapti Aaron
Shared Facts: [no spouse]
Children: Sigvaldson, Frank
Shared Facts: [no spouse]
Children: Sigvaldson, John
Person Notes:
1. Title: minneota icelanders.FTW
Media: Other
Text: Date of Import: Mar 17, 2001
2. Title: minnesota islanders.FTW
Note: ABBR minnesota islanders.FTW
Note: Source Media Type: Other
Note: Text: Date of Import: May 29, 2001
Text: Date of Import: May 29, 2001
Page 1 of 2 Monday, March 30, 2009 5:40:46 PM
Individual Summary:
Father: Vigfússon, Ari
Mother: Ásmundsdóttir, Guðrún
SIGVALDASON, Guðrún Aradóttir
Individual Report for SIGVALDASON, Guðrún Aradóttir
Note: Text: Date of Import: May 29, 2001
Text: Date of Import: May 29, 2001
3. Title: Cemetery Research
Author: Rebecca Davidson
Publication: None
Note: I visited the cemeteries and recorded everything on every tombstone.
Note: 1st person Repository:
Note: on site
Media: Tombstone
4. Title: 1910 Federal Census
Media: Book
Page: MN, Lincoln County, Limestone. Page 105B
5. Title: 1880 Federal Census Repository: Media: Book
6. Title: 1885 State of Minnesota Census Author: State of Minnesota
Repository: Note: Minnesota History Center Media: Census
7. Title: 1895 Minnesota Census Repository: Note: Minnesota History
Center Media: Census
8. Title: Minneota Mascot Publication: March 25, 1898 Repository: Note:
Minnesota History Center Media: Microfiche Note: Minneota Mascot,
(January 5,1900).
9. Title: Minneota Mascot
Publication: March 25, 1898
Note: Minnesota History Center
Media: Microfiche Page: January 11, 1901
Note: Minneota Mascot, January 11, 1901.
1 Online Resource,
2 (Almanak, O.S.Th. 1940, p. 27-28. - Saga Isl. in Vesturheimi, IV, 194, Logberg Febr.10th, 1949),
SEC.1 (Aunt) Em Einarson Enns-1954 translated Icelandic Papers, Kristin Jonsdottir, Ljosvallagata,
Reykjavik, Iceland.
3 Online Resource,
4, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network,
Inc., 2004), Database online. Lake Benton, Lincoln, Minnesota, ED 141, roll T623 773, page 9B.
Page 2 of 2 Monday, March 30, 2009 5:40:46 PM


SKAPTI (SKIP) ARASON June 9, 1919 - November 9, 2011 On November 9, 2011, Skip Arason passed away peacefully with the love of his life, his wife of 66 years, Edith, at his side. He had a long and wonderful life, as he said many times to his family who were with him continuously during his last few difficult days. Skip was born on June 9, 1919 on the Arason family farm near Glenboro, Manitoba where his grandfather, Skafti Arason, had homesteaded in 1880. He is survived by his wife, Edith; son Greg Arason (Margie); daughter Eileen Beamish (Daryl) and daughter Nancy Arason (Ray Dudar). He is also survived by five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren: Colin Arason; Cade Arason (May), Ava, Hayden, Xavier; Carrie Styczen (Mike), Matthew, Lauren; Cathi Tilley (Kent); Jeremy Thornborough (Megan), Brady, Jane.

He was predeceased by his parents, Oli and Olga Arason and his sister Esther Ingaldson.

He grew up on the farm and after graduating from Glenboro High School, enrolled in the U. of M. faculty of Agriculture. He left university to join the RCAF in 1942, trained as a pilot and after receiving his wings in January 1943 was posted to England. He returned home in 1945 and on May 23, 1945, Skip married the girl of his dreams, Edith Avery, and they took over the family farm where they lived until 1983 when they retired and moved to their new home in Glenboro. In 2010 they moved into Winnipeg to their new home in the Seine River Retirement Residence where they made many new friends. Skip loved the farm and loved being a farmer which he believed was the best job in the world in spite of the many challenges associated with farming. He was active in the community, a life-long member of the Lutheran Church, a loyal member of Manitoba Pool Elevators, and served on numerous community committees and boards including chairing the Glenboro Centennial Celebrations. He loved curling and playing golf and was an honorary life member of the Glenboro Curling Club, receiving the Bill Lumsden Award in 2001 for his life-time contribution to curling in Manitoba. Dad loved life and some of the things he loved most were: being with his best friend, Edith, who was always by his side; supporting his family in all their activities and being their biggest fan; being a pilot; helping neighbours and friends; being an Icelander; newborn calves; riding his pony to the pasture; seeding a straight line; putting a clean crop in the bin; creating a farmer's fix when nothing else worked; singing; playing the trumpet; dancing; hearing Eileen and Nancy sing or play the piano; telling stories; playing bridge; curling; golfing; being a Manitoba Pool Delegate; cross-country skiing; making new friends; coffee time in the field; watching hockey and baseball; duck hunting with Greg and Bob; driving his car; checking out crops; dogs (especially Toby); gladiolas; being Grandpa and Great-Grandpa Skip; meeting old friends. A special thanks to Skip's many caregivers, especially Dr. Tim Ross and Tara and Dorcas from Home Care who took a special interest in caring for him. A celebration of Skip's life was held in Glenboro on Monday, November 14, 2011 with interment in the Glenboro Cemetery. We love you - Rest in peace. Online condolences may be made at Jamieson's Funeral Services, Willmor Chapel, of Glenboro, MB in care of arrangements. (204)827-2480
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on November 16, 2011
Courtesy of Lilja Kernestead

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