The Blöndal family

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Taken from the Icelandic Appeal website, circa 2000.
Blöndal, Björn Ágústsson

By Nelson Gerrard

Björn Ágústsson Blöndal, the second generation of the Blöndal family in Canada and grandfather to Doris Blöndal Johnson, was born at Raga in Vatnsdalur in 1858.

In 1883, by then 25 years of age, he emigrated with his mother and brother and joined the ranks of those seeking opportunities in Western Canada.

Shortly after arriving in Winnipeg, Björn joined the Manitoba Grenadiers, who were among the troops sent to quell the violence at Batoche in the Northwest in 1885. His brother Jón learned photography in Winnipeg and became a partner in Baldwin & Blondal, a studio where many Icelanders had their photographs taken during the 1890s.

In 1888 Björn Blöndal married Björg Björnsdóttir (b.1862), who had emigrated with her sister Margrét the previous year. Björg's parents, Björn Halldórsson and Hólmfríður Einarsdóttir from Úlfsstaðir in Loðmundarfjörður, had emigrated in 1884 with five other children: Ólof (later Mrs. Gísli Goodman, Winnipeg), Guðrún (Mrs. Einar Gr. Einarsson. Ethridge. Montana). Magnús (Dr. M. B. Halldórsson of Winnipeg), Björn (last of San Francisco), and Halldór.

Björg's father, Björn from Úlfsstaðir, was an outstanding individual descended from such old and distinguished families as the Vídalíns and Schevings. Active in regional government in the East Fjords and a key organizer of looal millennium celebrations in 1874.


Björn had originally opposed emigration, but he later found it his fate to emigrate with all his family. He pioneered near Mountain. North Dakota. but spent his latter years in Winnipeg, where he died in 1920.

Not long after their marriage. Björn and Björg Blöndal moved to North Dakota. where they lived for six years. They then spent two years at Gray's Harbor, Washington, before returning to Winnipeg where Björn a skilled carpenter, became a building contractor.

Björg Bjömsdóttir BlöndaI died in Winnipeg in 1904 and Björn died there in 1910, a year after marrying his second wife. Rannveig Stefánsdóttir.

Four of Björn and Björg Blöndal’s children reached adulthood;

  1. Dr. Ágúst Theódór Blöndal
  2. Jóhanna (Mrs. Clarence Marples, Los Angeles).
  3. Björn Blöndal, Edmonton (d.1965).
  4. Margret Hólmfríður (Mrs. Norman Stevens, Gimli).

Björn Blöndal's daughter with his second wife: Björg (Mrs. Clarence Wm. Gibb. California).

Third Generation