The Guttormson Family


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Taken from the Icelandic Appeal website, circa 2000.
The Guttormson Family


My mother: (Lara Sigurlaug Augusta) Laura Anderson: b.Sept.27,1918; d.June14,1987,Gimli. Her parents were Oddur Anderson and Gudlaug Bjorg Gisladottir.

Oddur (Arnason) Anderson: b.1869,Grenivik Iceland; d.1952,Gimli. Known as “Oddur of Vigur”, he was mainly a farmer but also fished. His parents were Arni Oddsson and Gudrun Jonsdottir from Grenivik, Sudur-Thingeyjarsysla, Iceland. They emigrated to Gimli in 1876 with their three children, Baldvin 10, Oddur 7, and Gudrun 4.

Gudlaug Bjorg Gisladottir: b.Dec.26,1883,Jokulsa, Borgafjordur-eystra, Iceland; d.Aug.3, 1950,Gimli. She was the daughter of Gisli Jonsson: b.July12, 1842,Njarvik, Borgarfjordur-eystra, Iceland; d.June 30, 1929,Gimli; and Vilborg Asmundsdottir: b.Nov.30,1855, Setbergi, Borgafjordur-eystra, Iceland; d.June 18,1931,Gimli. Gisli and Vilborg lived in various locations: Heyskalar(Riverton area), Geysir, Selkirk, Winnipeg Beach, and Arnes (Setbergi). My grandmother Bjorg was raised by her Aunt Sigurlaug at Bakka, a big yellow house on the banks of the Icelandic River at Riverton. Talk of the olden days always involved Gusta a’bakka.

Laura’s siblings include: Gudrun Vilborg (Rooney) b.Jan.6,1905, d.Jan.31,1989, lived in Gimli; Stefan, moved in 1950s to Burnaby, BC; Arni Sigurjon of Winnipeg; Gisli Einar lived on the Vigur land south of Gimli; and Fjola England of Boulder, Colorado.

My father: (James Lightfoot Sigurlin) Jim Guttormson: b.Jan.22, 1911,Winnipeg; d.May23,1980,Gimli. His parents were Gunnar Guttormson and Ingiborg Stefansdottir (Emily Stevens).

Gunnar Guttormson: b.1880,Landamot,Seythisfjordur, Iceland; d.April25, 1964,Winnipeg. His father was Guttormur Jonsson: b.1844,Iceland; d.Nov.5,1898. He, at some point, lived on Hecla Island and Selkirk. His mother, Kristin Lilja Gunnarsdottir: b.Jan.4,1856,Svalbard Parish, N.Thingeysysla; d.May18,1935,Betel, Gimli. My grandfather Gunnar was involved in fishing. Later he had permanent employment in Winnipeg, retiring there.

Ingiborg (Emily) Stefansdottir: b.May14,1885,Harastadir on Skagastrond, Hunavatns, Iceland; d.Aug.12,1972,Betel, Gimli. Her father was Stefan Stefansson: b.Jan.5,1853, Gardar on Akranes, Borgafjordur, Iceland; d.Jan.3,1887, drowned with 23 others off Skagastrond. Her mother Lovisa Hjalmarsdottir: b.Sept.28,1862, Kroker, Skagastrond, Hunavatns, Iceland; d.1940 in Iceland.

Jim’s siblings include Harold, Florence, Stefan, Melvin, and Rooney.


Our family lived at 86 Third Avenue in Gimli. In 1957 the old house was moved to South Colonization Road in South Beach, while my father built our new home. He was very good at working with engines and machinery on the boats of Lake Winnipeg. He also was a fisherman at times. He worked in the far north with the DEW Line in the mid-fifties as well. My mother had a managerial position at Armstrong Gimli Fisheries (BC Packers) until it closed. She was hired by CN and worked up until she retired at 65 and passed away at 68. She had a great wit and was able to take a light approach to problems. She was an amazing vinaterta maker. I wish I had paid closer attention. She didn’t know how artistic she really was. We did have a lot of fun together.

My brother, James (Jimmy) was born in Gimli, September 22,1939 and died January 10,1992 in Nelson, BC. His family moved back to Gimli shortly after his death. He married Katherine Isfjord, of Gimli and they have three sons and a daughter. Jimmy was well liked by everyone. He was a superb mechanic, and loved driving. He owned and operated his own transport truck with his wife Kathy and then owned a passenger shuttle bus company in Nelson, BC. I think his true calling came when he was working with the Gimli Ambulance Service. It brought out the best in him and he learned so much about life and himself. I know he was greatly respected by his colleagues. He worked sometimes even when he was off duty because they needed him and he wouldn’t let them down. He was a great brother, a big tease, and would always have my back.

Myself, Patricia Allison. I was born December 30, 1944. I married James McJannet Peacock of Saint John, NB; a pilot at the RCAF based in Gimli, in the mid sixties. We moved to Vancouver in 1967 where James had a flying career with CPAir, Canadian Airlines and retired with Air Canada, flying 747-400’s. We reside in South Surrey, BC. We have two sons and a daughter and five grandchildren. Through my interest in art I have had memorable highlights…an invitational solo exhibition in Hofsos, Iceland in 1998, and being Canada’s Heritage artist in 1996 among them. I am a Senior Signature Member with the Federation of Canadian Artists in Vancouver. I look back to when I was about eight years old and think of my mom and I doing ‘paint by number’ at her kitchen table. I still have those paintings.

Author’s Notes
My grandparents on my Mom’s side lived across the lane and so we would be with them quite often. My father’s parents, I didn’t know as well because they lived in Winnipeg and would come to Gimli occasionally for a Sunday visit.

I feel very blessed to been born in Gimli and to have been a child in a town where people care about their neighbours. I am grateful that my ancestors chose Canada. I appreciate all they went through—to take a huge leap of faith and start a new life in a new land. I’ve heard the story of John and Betsy Ramsey and some of their people who helped the Icelanders. I want to say “Thank You” to them for helping our families.

by Patricia Guttormson Peacock