Newly engaged Icelando-phile Jared asked me a very good question in yesterday's comments, and I thought I'd go ahead and address it here.
Q: why doesn't your dad's name end in "son"? my-mother-in-law-to-be's last name is thorisdottir.
Well, Jared, here's the scoop:
A: My father's given name is Þórir, or Thorir. Just like your fiancée's grandfather, i.e. your mother-in-law-to-be's father. My father's father's name was Páll, so my father was christened Þórir Pálsson. His mother, Steinnun Sighvatsdóttir, never married Páll, but my father was still his son, hence "Páls-son." When my father was nine, his mother married an American who worked out at the Naval Base at Keflavík, Stanley Roff. He adopted my father and gave him the family name of Roff (which, incidentally, used to be a much longer Russian name that was shortened at Ellis Island when Stanley's forfathers fled the Revolution).
So actually I am "Þóris-dóttir" or "Daughter of Thorir" just like your future mother-in-law, but I go with the family name Roff for convenience, as I have dual citizenship and all my US papers us that name.
My mother is Ásthildur Brynjólfsdóttir here in Iceland but goes by Asta Roff in the States. My sister is Addy Roff in the US, Steinnun Ásta Þórisdóttir in Iceland. My daughter's father's name is Jóhann, though, so her full name is Valentína Jóhannsdóttir. No Roff
Here's a link to the main page of my online family tree, if you're more curious. Actually, using this online service, called Íslendingabók, I along with most Icelanders, can trace my ancestry directly back to 830 a.d., to one Eirikur "The White" Högnason, one of Iceland's first settlers as well as Eyvindur Bjarnasson, born around 810 a.d. and married to Rafarta Kjarvalsdóttir, daughter of Irish king Kjarval. Oh, and Leifur Eiríksson, or Leif Eriksson "the Lucky." And actually pretty much everyone who came here on that first boat. Trippy, huh?
By the way, the above picture has no connection. It's just a good shot of the inside of Fry's Electronic SuperStore, the one in San Jose with the Mayan theme. A computer lover's dream...