Edna Hlity





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Taken from the Icelandic Appeal website, circa 2000.
Hilty, Edna

Edna’s maternal grandparents, Jörundur Sigurbjörnsson (b. May 26, 1866) and Anna Jónasdóttir, emigrated from Husavík, Iceland in 1893. They brought with them their three children, Baldrún, Sigurbjörn (Barney), and Edna’s mother Emily Evelyn (b. Jan. 26, 1892). Upon coming to North America, the family adopted the surname Eyford, after Eyjafjörður, the beautiful fjörd in Northern Iceland from whence they came.

After arriving in Quebec, the family moved westward, spending their first winter with relatives in Mountain, North Dakota. They then moved to the Lake Manitoba Narrows, and finally to Siglunes, a place that Jörundur himself named, where they took a homestead in the northwest area toward the lake. They stayed there for seven years, in which time the family increased by four. However, tragedy struck when Emily contracted diphtheria. She recovered, but the four youngest children did not. Near the place where the home was located is the cemetery where these children are buried.

The tragedy so affected Anna that the family decided to move first to Winnipeg, then to Grosmont, and finally to Athabasca, Alberta. Baldrún and Sigurbjörn stayed behind, as they were older and had put down roots in the Siglunes area.

In Iceland, Jörundur was a fisherman and sailor. At Siglunes, he is credited with teaching his neighbours how to sail. He was also the first mail carrier for the area, transporting the mail from Kinosota across Lake Manitoba by boat in summer, and by dog team in winter. Jörundur also took on the duties of postmaster for the area.

Jörundur saw action in the First World War. He had to lie about his age to get in, as, in 1914, he was already 46 years old. He was gassed and blinded, and returned to Alberta in poor health; his vision later recovered. In Alberta, two more children were born: Jónas and Oswald. Anna died in 1919, with Jörundur following her in 1938.

Emily married Marion Parker Howard (b. Mar. 21, 1894 in Alabama), son of Francis Marion Howard and Laura Carter, at Forks Washington on Nov., 13, 1915.


The couple lived in Redding, California and had five children: Frances Marzie, Edna Ildri, Hilda Anna (Pat), Laura Belva, and Marion Jacqueline.

Frances Marzie Howard (b. Sept. 12, 1916 at Clallam Bay, Washington-d. May 12, 1963 at Redding, California) married Raymond McArthur (b. June 26, 1913-d. June 20, 1982 at Redding, California) on Oct. 5, 1939. They had three children: Robert Ray McArthur (b. Nov. 5, 1941), Howard Francis McArthur (b. June 16, 1947), and Victoria Patricia McArthur (formerly Milton) (b. Feb. 6, 1950).

Edna Ildri Howard (b. Oct. 22, 1917 at Clallam Bay Washington) married Wilmer Marvin Hilty (b. May 15, 1918 at Bluffton, Ohio) on Mar. 23, 1945 at Redding California. They had five children: Linda Diane Hilty Hamberlin Cosper (b. Dec. 28, 1945), Diana Lynn Hilty Filleu Vance (b. Dec, 28, 1951), Wayne Richard Hilty (b. Apr. 10, 1956), Gordon Byron Hilty (b. Nov. 18, 1957), Lawrence Scott Hilty (b. Mar. 18, 1960).

Hilda Anna (Pat) (b. Mar. 3, 1919 at Clallam Bay-d. Feb. 19, 1985 at Redding, California) never married and had no children.

Laura Belva Howard (b. Mar. 24, 1930 at Cottonwood, California-d. Oct. 9, 1988 at Redding, California) married Gayle Effenbeck. They had six children: Terri Gale Effenbeck Wilson, Marion Tracey Effebeck Rutherford, Scott, Mitchell, Mark (deceased) and Dana (deceased).

Marion Jacqueline Howard (b. July 12, 1934 at Redding, California) married William (Bud) Byerley (b. Dec. 26, 1929 at Worthsville, Pennsylvania-d. Sept. 19, 1980 at Spokane, Washington). They had four children: Becky Byerly Adams (b. June 13, 1958), Paula Charlene Byerly Croxon (b. June 22, 1960), Robin Jeanette Byerly (b. June 10, 1964), and Wendy Kristine Byerly Purdy (Mar. 5, 1967).

For more complete histories, please see: Jónas Thordarson, Vestur-Íslenzkar Æviskar,Vol. V, p. 63; “The Eyford Family,” in Taming a Wilderness: A History of Ashern and District, pp. 352-353.