This book could not have met the deadline for this sesquicentennial commemorative year without the assistance of a number of individuals and institutions. I wish to first thank Religious Education at Brigham Young University for their support of student employees and resources to produce this work, as well as the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation and the Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University. Gratitude is also extended to the staffs and administrators of several repositories who have been helpful in my research, including the following: Several librarians at the National Library of Iceland; Doug Misner, Utah State Historical Society; Anne Butters, Special Collections, Merrill Library, Utah State University and Russ Taylor, Curator and Supervisor of Reference Services for the L. Tom Perry Special Collections of the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University.
Especially helpful were the resources and staff from the National Museum of Iceland, the National Archives of Iceland, the Reykjavík City Archives, the Vestmannaeyjar Library, as well as the Family and Church Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Certain individuals from these institutions must be noted for their great efforts in assisting: From the National Museum of Iceland, Inga Lara Baldvinsdóttir, who helped expedite identification and usage of images, including the book cover. Björk Ingimundardóttir, archivist for the National Archives of Iceland, Jóhanna Helgadóttir from the Reykjavík City Archives and Jóna Björg Guðmundsdóttir of the Vestmannaeyjar Library who all went the extra mile to assist with identification of Icelandic sources. From the Family and Church Historical Department, William W. Slaughter, photo archivist, who graciously assisted in providing photos of several items used in this text. Melvin L. Bashore, senior librarian who has rendered counsel and support on this and a variety of other projects for the past decade. Michael N. Landon, who carefully reviewed this manuscript and Ronald O. Barney who offered helpful suggestions on sources for the early history of Spanish Fork.
Gratitude is conveyed to the Geslison family for providing interviews, several journals of Byron T. Geslison and family images. Phylis and Marilyn Ashby have permitted the usage of several volumes of Icelandic history and biographies which they have compiled over the years as historians for the Icelandic Association of Utah. David A. Ashby has also provided textual material and images as well as continual support throughout the duration of this project. Several BYU students were a part of the production of this manuscript: Tanille Rodman assisted in compiling the bibliography, Timothy M. Keller helped with source checking and Danish translations and my research assistant, Mark J. Sanderson, was especially useful in compiling additional sources used in Appendix A. Bliss Anderson, Spanish Fork genealogist and LaNora Allred, author of The Icelanders of Utah, supplied the bulk of the base in this appendix which lists the known Icelanders who immigrated to Utah (1855–1914). Derek Tangren, Administrative Assistant for the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation helped with assembling images. A special thanks is expressed to Darron S. Allred for carefully reviewing the entire manuscript and translating the Icelandic missionary tract of Thordur Didricksson in Appendix B as well as several passages used in the text. Sincere thanks is also expressed to Friðrik Rafn Guðmundsson who provided not only the translation of a number of Icelandic letters and documents used throughout the book, but also rendered valuable suggestions in its content.
Several other individuals were helpful in the production of this work. Carmen Cole did an excellent job with typesetting and I appreciate the editorial assistance provided by Don E. Norton, and BYU student Rebecca E. Romney. However, as usual the majority of the editing was provided by my wife JoAnna who is not only a devoted wife and mother but is exceptional with the art of word smithing. I express my gratitude for her commendable editorial efforts which contributed to the readability and flow of the text. Gratitude is also extended to our children for their patience and support of this undertaking. Finally, appreciation is expressed to R. Devan Jensen, Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, and the staff of the Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University for their service in providing a quality work in a timely fashion.