Oscar Win Leads Thousands of Icelanders to Genealogical Site Skip to content
Hildur Guðnadóttir Oscar

Oscar Win Leads Thousands of Icelanders to Genealogical Site

Nearly 3,000 Icelanders have visited Íslendingabók.is – a database containing genealogical information about the inhabitants of Iceland – to examine their kinship with composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, Mbl reports. Hildur became the first Icelander* to win an Oscar on Sunday, February 9, for her original score for the film Joker.

Heavy Traffic

In response to an inquiry from Mbl, deCODE genetics – a research company that manages the website Íslendingabók.is in collaboration with anti-virus software entrepreneur Friðrik Skúlason – replied that search queries relating to Hildur Guðnadóttir had caused a considerable increase in traffic on the site (traffic increased by roughly a quarter).

Hundreds of users had examined their kinship to the composer in the days leading up to the Oscars, and on Sunday, February 9, a total of 314 users did the same, resulting in a 5% increase in traffic on the site.

Proud “Cousins”

Several Icelanders have shared the results of their queries on social media, among the comedian and former Mayor of Reykjavík, Jón Gnarr, who declared that he was proud of his “cousin” (Jón Gnarr and Hildur Guðnadóttir are eighth cousins).

Elated, Kristinn R. Ólafsson – radio presenter and translator – replied to Jón Gnarr’s tweet saying that he was even more related to Hildur than Jón (they are seventh cousins). Jón Gnarr replied with the words: “Congratulations! Send my best regards to our cousin.”

Tómas Steindórsson, DJ and Twitterite, also inspected his blood relationship with Hildur, discovering that they are seventh cousins. “Congratulations, cousin,” Tómas tweeted.

A Grand Project

As noted on the website of Íslendingabók, the project aims to trace all known familial connections between Icelanders from the time of the settlement of Iceland to present times and register the genealogical information in a database:

“In the creation of the Íslendingabók database[,] we have used various sources and both unpublished and published documents. Most of the genealogical information comes from sources such as church records, national censuses, inhabitants registers and other public documents, but in addition to these sources[,] there are chronicles, books of convictions, various publications on genealogy, books about individuals within specific occupations, lists of descendants and ancestral records as well as memorial articles to name but a few.

The database is in Icelandic and is, unfortunately, not available in other languages.

Interview with Hildur

Iceland Review spoke to Hildur Guðnadóttir last year.

*Markéta Irglová – who has lived in Iceland for eight years, and applied for citizenship – won the Oscar in the category Best Original Score for the song Falling Slowly, from the film Once, in 2007.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!

Share article