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Icelandic Genealogy: Collateral Research

Updated on January 7, 2011
Josie Goodman, sister to Maud Goodman Jarbo with son Herbert, age 6 years in North Dakota about 1900.
Josie Goodman, sister to Maud Goodman Jarbo with son Herbert, age 6 years in North Dakota about 1900. | Source
Maud Goodman and Pascal Jarbo wedding photo about 1888 in Dakota Territory
Maud Goodman and Pascal Jarbo wedding photo about 1888 in Dakota Territory | Source
The area circled is approximately the location of the homesite of Johannes Gudmondsson and his family before leaving in 1874 to go to Quebec, Canada.
The area circled is approximately the location of the homesite of Johannes Gudmondsson and his family before leaving in 1874 to go to Quebec, Canada. | Source
Show my Gudmondsson family registar when emigrated from Iceland to Quebec 1874.
Show my Gudmondsson family registar when emigrated from Iceland to Quebec 1874. | Source

“Collateral Line” is a family member who is not a direct line of ascent but who shares a common ancestor and the research of family genealogical records is done through the collateral individual. Researching my Icelandic family line through my Great Grandmother’s sister Josie Goodman was far easier and more interesting than trying to trace my Icelandic roots with the paternal side direct line of my Great Grandmother, Maud Goodman whose year of birth was 1868.

The information I found from the 1900 North Dakota Census was that Maud Goodman was from Iceland, mother to William, Frederick, Edna, Elva, and married to Pascal Jarbo my French Great Grandfather. Their wedding took place about 1888 in the Dakota Territory. At that time North Dakota was not a state.

When I began to research the Goodman Icelandic family line, the internet was in its infantile stage and computers were still MSDOS. The available options were to research through the Local LDS Family History centers and/or the public library’s microfiche of old census records, cemetery records, newspaper archives, funeral records, death certificates and family interviews.

During the initial Jarbo family research I found and met an elderly Jarbo cousin in his 80’s who gave me the first crack in the Icelandic ice flow. He used to visit his Aunt Josie Hull in Blaine, Washington as a young boy which was in the early to mid 1920’s. He told me that Josie Hull was Maud Jarbo’s sister and her maiden name was Goodman.

The basic principal of any research is patience, patience and more patience. I traveled to the Tacoma Washington Public Library’s Genealogy department many times. This library’s genealogy department became my second home on weekends. I finally found a Josie Goodman living with her “father-in-law” William P Andrus in Walsh County in the 1900 census for North Dakota. Her son, Herbert, age 6 years was born in North Dakota. I could not find any records of Maud or Josie’s parents.

In 1999, I hired a researcher listed on a North Dakota Genealogy Webpage. His task was to find out the name of Josie Goodman’s parents and her husband’s name so I could move forward with my research. He found a Josie Goodman marrying a Thomas C. Workman on December 23, 1901 at Grand Forks, North Dakota. I wasn’t sure that the Josie he found was Maud’s sister.

Family always follows family when you are doing genealogy. It seems one family member will move away and the send for the rest of the family later.

My Jarbo family moved from North Dakota to Washington State after 1906. They settled in Bellingham, Whatcom County according to the Polk Directory for Bellingham. The Polk Directory did not have any record of Josie Hull or Josie Workman living either in Bellingham or Blaine from 1906 to 1910.

The 1920 census was finally on-line and was one of the free searches available to the public at that time from In the Whatcom County Custer Township of Blaine City Census records I found a Josie Hull, 51 years old living in Blaine, Widowed with a 17 year old son, named Harold born in North Dakota about 1903. She was Icelandic and so were her parents. The Josie Hull living in Blaine matched the information supplied by the elderly Jarbo cousin.

Was this the same Josie Hull (AKA Josie Goodman who was AKA Josie Andrus and was AKA Josie Workman) who was possibly the sister to Maud? The big break came in 2003 when I found Josie on the 1910 Census for Blaine Washington.

In 2003 I spent countless hours at the Tacoma Public Library. One particular Saturday afternoon, frustrated because I could not find any documentation of Josie Goodman or Workman or Hull I made up my mind I would not leave the library until I found a clue of some sort.

As the hours dragged by my husband became bored beyond belief and created such a distraction for me I spoke harshly to him. I told him to leave me to my work and for him to move to another location. I watched him move over to another table. Feeling guilty about how I spoke to him, I decided to throw in the towel and take him home.

I turned my attention back to the microfiche machine and right before my eyes I saw “Josie Workman”, widowed living with her sister Maggie Lindal in Blaine in 1910. Josie was from North Dakota and her birth information matched my records. (To this day, my husband feels he deserves full credit for finding Josie Workman because he distracted me enough for my mind to re-focus on my work.)

The Washington State Library in Olympia, Washington, has all the state newspapers archived on microfilm. In the Bellingham Herald for 1909 to 1915 there was an article dated August 12, 1912 that brought Josie closer home to me. I had no idea that Josie Workman had remarried until I found an obituary article about Charles Apollis Hull, aged 43 who had died from injuries sustained in a serious accident while at work. His wife, Josie Hull had been by his side when the end came.

I contacted the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle by mail, asking for any information that might lead me to my Icelandic grandparents . I received a reply from Dr. Theodore R. Beck who sent copies of pages from the Vesturfaraskra 1870-1914 of all the Gudmundsson’s who left Iceland between 1870 and 1878 and who had a daughter born in 1868 (Maud’s year of birth) plus or minus 10 years. He selected 5 families that met his criteria. What a treasure of information he gave me but I still could not link any family to my information.

I posted all the know Goodman family information I had to a Icelandic Website. Several months later a Fridrik Gudmundsson from Iceland connected my Icelander family to a specific location in Nova Scotia. Based on his information, I went back to the original 5 families from Dr. Beck’s information and reviewed them.

I found a match—a complete family match. It listed the true Icelandic names, parent’s names and age, what children that were living at the time of departure from Iceland and the area of Iceland they left from and the probable arrival location:

Johannes Gudmundsson age 36 & family left in 1874 from Stapabud Iceland:

Solveig Jonsdottir, his wife.

Sigridur Johannesdottir, a daughter.

Joveig Johannesdottir, (my Great Aunt Josie Goodman).

Oddny Johannesdottir, (my Great Grandmother, Maud Goodman Jarbo). Jonina Margaret Johannesdottir, (possibly my Great Aunt Maggie Lindal).

The logical way to emigrate from Iceland was by sea. I found a ship’s manifest from the article:

“Emigration From Iceland to North America passenger list of the S.S.St.Patrick, 1874”

The S.S. ST Patrick carried 351 passengers from Iceland to Quebec in 1874. The Gudmondsson’s had boarded the ship at Akureyri Iceland on September 4, 1874. The page number of the Vesturfaraskra was shown on the ship’s manifest as page 121. The page of the Vesturfaraskra sent to me by Dr. Beck was page 121. There was my family in black and white on their way to Quebec Canada. They landed on August 17, 1874.

Johannes Gudmondsson, took a land grant from the Canadian Government and left for Nova Scotia with his wife and children to a settlement in Markland Nova Scotia in October 1875. During the years in the Nova Scotia Settlement, a daughter was born in 1876 and a son was born in 1878. A teen-aged daughter died in 1881. The Gudmondsson family did not appear on the 1881 Nova Scotia Census.

The entire family disappeared after they left the Nova Scotia settlement. It appears they left due to extreme hardships to whereabouts unknown until the Maud and Josie showed up on the 1900 Walsh County Census for North Dakota.

The connecting proof that allowed me to conclude Josie Goodman Workman Hull was indeed my Great Aunt and that her father was Johannes Goodman and her mother was Solveig Jonsdottir would finally come from records in the Blaine Cemetery.

Josie Hull died in 1941 in California and her body was interned in the Blaine Cemetery in 1947. It appears that her son, Harold W. Hull of California (evidently he took HULL as his last name) had his mother’s body buried in the same grave as Charles Apollis Hull. Josie Hull’s name, birth and death information is engraved on the back side of the marble head stone of Charles Apollis Hull.

While at the Blaine Cemetery, I recorded the names of deceased Goodman from surrounding head stones in the same section where Josie was buried.

A Johannes Goodman was buried close to Josie. Was this her father?

I went back to the newspaper archives in Olympia at the Washington State Library. This is where I found Johannes Goodman’s obituary posted in the Blaine Journal. Josie Hull and Margaret Thorenson were listed as his daughters and a son, William Goodman. Solveig Jonsdottir was listed as his wife and she had passed before Johannes.

Halleluiah!!! My search for the Icelandic relatives was finished for my direct line thanks to Josie Goodman. Maud, Josie and Margaret were sisters with a brother named William. Father was Johannes Gudmondsson and mother was Solveig Jonsdottir.

I still don’t know where Johannes took his family between 1881 and before 1888 in North Dakota. Each year in August, Pembina County has an Icelandic festival. I hope to attend some year and gain access to their data base so I can gather more information on him and his family.

I am not done yet: I want to know more about Maggie Lindal who remarried sometime after 1910. Is Maggie Lindal Margaret Thorenson? Who is William Goodman and where did he disappear to? What happened to Herbert W. Hull? Did he have any children?

So many questions remain ………

LC Ward


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