Immigration to Canada from the United States:1888-1889

Thorel & Laura Eymundsson-web sizeThe Dakota Territories to Alberta

A few years after Sigurdur`s death, Johanna and their children immigrated to the Red Deer area of Alberta, Canada in 1889. Read about Sigurdur & Johanna’s family on the next page.

After her mother Thorbjorg’s death in the Dakotas, Johanna’s father Einar also emigrated to Canada.  According to the 1906 census (of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) Einar lived with his daughter Asa Ingebjorg, her husband Metusalem Jonsson and their family. In 1906, the Jonsson family  lived at Ardal (Arborg) in the Selkirk district of Manitoba.

The November 1907 issue of Logberg states that Einar passed away on October 10th 1907 at the home of his daughter and son-in-law. On October 18th, Einar was interred in the Ardal Cemetery in the presence of many people. Rev.Marteinn Runolfsson officiated.

Sigurdur and Johanna’s eldest son Thorel Eymundsson was born July 08 1871 in Saudanes, Iceland, he was christened four days later. He was eleven years of age when he emigrated to the DakotaTerritories with his parents and siblings. In 1888, three years after immigration to Alberta, Canada with his mother and siblings Thorel applied for homestead SW 32-37-2-W5. The government reserved it for him until he became of age, which was in 1892 (per Thorel’s son Barney Eymundson`s biography). In 1889, Thorel Eymundson built a house by the Medicine River near SylvanLake (Alberta).

On September 07th 1904 Thorel married Gudlaug “Lauga or Laura” Magnea Bjornsdottir at Markerville, Alberta, Canada. Twenty two year old Laura had only recently arrived from Iceland, she was born on Estri-Tunga (farm) on February 09, 1882.  Laura and Thorel had three healthy children born to them; Bjornis “Barney” in 1905, Bergthora Johanna Asey “Asa” in 1907, and Christopher in 1909.

At some point, Thorel also anglicized his surname to Emerson from Eymundson. 1920, Thorel and Laura sold their homestead to their eldest son Barney and moved to Vancouver, BC.  Thorel spent much time in the Icelandic settlement of Osland on Smith Island, BC where he had a cabin. In the late 50’s, a neighbor helped Thorel move his cabin to Dodge Cove across from SmithIsland. Thorel Eymundson Emerson passed away in Prince Rupert in 1961. Laura passed away in New Westminster, BC on January 14 1977. Thorel and Laura have many descendants living in Alberta and British Columbia.

(After Thorel and his family moved his house passed through many hands. The Hanna family purchased the house in 1934 and members of the family lived there for the next 40 years. In 1996, Thorel’s house was moved to Sunnybrook Museum in Alberta where it is being preserved as a heritage building.)