Shirley Thorsteinson Sigurdson

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The Book Of Life
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Taken from the Icelandic Appeal website, circa 2000.
Thorsteinson Sigurdson, Shirley

Kristín was born in 1885 and her parents married in 1887. They settled on a homestead called Solheimar in Geysir in 1885. In 1900 the Skagfelds set up storekeeping in Selkirk, but moved to Gimli in 1901.. Andres with his brother-in-law, Jon Petursson was a foreman for the building of the Gimli pier. The family made a final move in 1902, likely leaving Kristín behind (She married my grandfather Oli in 1904). They homesteaded again at Hove near Oak Point where Andres developed a successful farm and was the storekeeper and postmaster for the community. It is said he started a library, was the road foreman and a school board member.

My father, Edward, was Kristín’s and Oli’s older son. He and his brother Andres took over the farming of Hólmur from their grandparents, Thorsteinn and Ingibjörg, as teenagers, and their mother got them started as storekeepers. They learned carpentry from their father and these occupations were the mainstays of their lives. My father also became the postmaster. The store was a social centre for the district - neighbours came to shop, pick up their mail, and often stayed for a good long visit with the Thorsteinson Brothers. My mother and Kathleen, Andy’s wife, did a large part of the storekeeping especially when the men were working on the farm or at carpentry jobs.


Hólmur was a fun and interesting place to grow up but I left to study Medical Laboratory Technology in Winnipeg at 17. I worked at the Winnipeg Clinic for a time, the Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, and spent a year working in Bermuda before moving to Edmonton where I worked at the Provincial Laboratory of Public Health until the birth of our first son Grant.

I married Solli Sigurdson in 1973 and we have always made our home in Edmonton, except for sabbatical leaves in the U. S., Australia, and British Columbia. We come home to the Gimli area in the summer and still own Hólmur at Husavik. Hólmur was designated a Century Farm in 1992.

For more, please see: “The Holm Family of Husavick,” “The Olafur Thorsteinson Family,” in Gimli Saga, pp. 567, 775-777; “Andres and Steinunn Skagfeld,” Wagons to Wings: A History of Lundar and Districts, 1872-1980 pp. 686-687