19 August 2009

Joni Mitchell's Norwegian ancestry

The Canadian musician, songwriter and painter Joni Mitchell (born Roberta Joan Anderson), who was born at Fort Macleod in Alberta in 1943, has in several interviews talked about her Norwegian ancestry.

The Norwegian genealogist Arnfrid Mæland, who holds Mithcell as one of her favourite musicians, invited in June 2009 other participants at the Norwegian genealogy forum Digitalarkivet's Brukarforumet to make a joint effort in finding Joni's Norwegian grandparents and if possibly further ancestry.

In early August Mæland published the first draft of part 1 of the singer's ancestry, Joni Mitchell - With ancestors from 'the Voss Fjord part of Norway'. The draft reveals among others that the family of Joni's paternal grandfather Henry Andersen (1873-1952) came from South Helgeland in Northern Norway, while her paternal grandmother Ingeborg "Emma" Gjertsdatter Andersen (b. 1882) came from Modalen in Hordaland county, a few miles north of Bergen. Emma's father was a third cousin of the Norwegian writer Henrik Wergeland (1808-1845).

The draft is written in English, while most of the discussion at Brukarforumet is in Norwegian.


8 September 2009: The webpage http://home.online.no/~harmell/joni.html was taken down on Sunday 6 September 2009, but can also be found at Joni Mitchell's official webpage, http://jonimitchell.com/library/view.cfm?id=2113.

1 comment:

  1. Since I'm all but resigned to the simple fact that I will, in all liklihood, never meet Joni Mitchell (whose early music has been a continuing source of inspiration for me), I wonder where women who look like she did and display similar personality traits can be found in greater supply? Saskatchewan? Norway?