Isfeld Family
of Winnipeg Beach

Páll and Anna

Pall & Anna Isfeld
Páll and Anna Ísfeld

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Taken from the Icelandic Appeal website, circa 2000.
Isfeld, Páll and Anna

Páll Eiríksson Ísfeld was born at Fjarðarkot in Mjóafjörður, Suður-Múlasýsla on November 30, 1865. In 1882, at the age of 16 Páll went to Norway with Norwegian herring fishermen for a year and following his return worked with the Norwegians in various locations in Mjóafjörður.

Páll's father died in 1881 when Pall was 16. Páll was a fisherman and shoreward at this time and he remained in Iceland after his mother and siblings emigrated in 1886.

In 1890 he left with his future wife Ánna Guðrún Pálsdóttir, whom he had met while she was employed as a farm servant at nearby Kolableikseyri. Páll and Anna then moved north to Ánna's native district, the Melrakkasletta Peninsula of Norður-Þingeyjarsýsla and they were married there on.

Anna was born at in Núpskatla in Presthólar Parish, Norður-Þingeyjarsýsla on September 1st, 1867. She was the daughter of Páll Illugason, a crofter at Núpskatla, and his wife Kristín Þorgrímsdóttir.

Anna grewn up with her parents at Núpskatla, but lost her mother in 1880 when she was 13. She began working as a farm servant in Axarfjörður. In 1885, her father and brother Árni joined her there, and in 1887 the three of them walked all the way to the East Fjords, settling in Mjóafjörður where employment in the herring industry was plentiful at the time. It was there that Anna met Páll Ísfeld, her future husband. Páll was a lively young man who played the accordion at local dances and he was well known for his jovial, humorous personality.



Páll and Anna lived at Raufarhöfn in the north for three years, then in 1893 they emigrated with 2 children (Ólafur and Eiríkur) aboard the SS Lake Huron. Two little girls, Jarþrúður and Þórunn had died in infancy.

Upon their arrival in Canada, the young couple joined Páll's mother and several of his siblings at Hólmur in the Viðirnes district of New Iceland for a time. They then settled the adjacent homestead Skógar (NW20-18-4E) in the early spring of 1896.

Up to that time, Skógar had been occupied by a settler named Björn Jónsson, and there were two small houses on this homestead as well as two log stables, some old rail fencing, and a clearing of about 4 acres. In October, 1896 Páll paid $6.25 for the improvements, as assessed by two neighbours. Around the turn of the century, he built a new 14 x 17 foot log house at Skógar, 1 1/2 storeys high, with a shingle roof and cellar, and in 1902 he applied for a patent, which was granted on April 30, 1902. Five more children - Björn, Fríðholm, Ingibjörg and a twin who died at birth, and Árni, were born at Skógar.

Páll and Anna subsequently acquired ownership of Nýhagi north of Gimli and there Páll operated an icehouse for a time, in partnership known as “Thidriksson and Isfeld”. Anna loved this location overlooking the lake, as it reminded her of the view of the ocean to which she had become accustomed in Iceland. Páll also found it so much easier to go fishing and then take his fish to the Gimli packers, where he sold his catch.