Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sveinn Þórðarson - November 2008

Sveinn Thordarson was born February 18, 1827 to the Rev. Thordar Brynjolfsson (1763-1840) and Solveig Sveinnsdottir (1797-1872) in Vestur Skaftafell, Iceland. Born into a strong Lutheran family, he ventured to Denmark to study barrel making sometime after his father died when he was 13. He later returned to Iceland where he applied his craft for the fishing industry.

On October 28, 1854, he married Helga Arnadottir (1833-1907), daughter of Gudny Erasmusdottir (1794-1888) who was one of the first and oldest immigrants from Iceland to Utah in 1857. Sveinn and Helga had six children while in Iceland, three of whom lived to adulthood. Sveinn, Helga, and their youngest child John Julius (1872-1951) came to Utah in 1878 while their daughters Solveig Thordis Jorunn (1858-1920) and Johanna Gudny Helga (1861-1927) came later. The family settled in Spanish Fork where the 1880 census shows Sveinn as a laborer living outside the city limits. In 1884, Sveinn also married Helga’s sister Gudney (1834-1915) as his plural wife after Gudney’s husband had died in 1879. After Helga and Gudney’s mother died in Spanish Fork at the age of 94, Sveinn and Helga moved to Cleveland, Emery County, Utah in 1890 where he (and eventually two of his children’s families) settled as a farmer. Sveinn died in 1901 after a back injury, and this photo with his wife Helga was likely taken shortly before his death.

By David Johnson - Seattle Washington

No comments: