Jóhann Magnús Bjarnason (1866 - 1945)
Canada's most notable Icelandic author, playwright and poet.
He was a master story teller well known to readers in Iceland and in Canada's Icelandic
community. His achievements as a writer were recognized by the Icelandic Parliament
when they gave him their highest honour, the Order of the Falcon, on his 70th birthday.
He was born at Medalnes, Norður-Mulasýsla in Iceland and came to Canada with his parents in 1875. His family was the last to leave Markland in May of 1882. They moved to Winnipeg and from there to New Iceland (Gimli) in 1889, where he began a teaching career. He taught in several Icelandic communities in Manitoba and North Dakota until 1922, and for a short time in Vancouver (1912-15).
He wrote three novels;
Eiríkur Hansson (1899-1903), Braziliufaranir
(1905-1908), Í Raudárdalnum (1913-22) and numerous short stories. He also wrote at least 20 plays as well as poetry and articles.
Erlendur Höskuldsson (1843 - 1931)
The Höskuldsson's were the only settlers to stay in Nova Scotia and their descendents are well known (as Huskilson) in the community in the fishing industry, business, education, nursing and politics, both municipal and provincial.
Author of MARKLAND - Endurminningar frá Árnum 1875-1881
- Winnipeg, 1916.
This is his story of the Icelandic Settlement of Markland in Nova Scotia, the hardships, the accomplishments, and the reasons for leaving.
The English translation of the book "MARKLAND - Remembrance of the Years 1875-1881"
has been reprinted for the Society with the kind permission of Guðbrandur Erlendsson's descendents and is now available from the
Elected as the first Icelandic-American
senator for North Dakota (1891-93).
Served as the chairman
of the North Dakota Democratic Committee.
He was North Dakota State's Attorney from 1898-1910.
If you know of more stories of the settlers, please contact the