Friday, October 25, 2013

Finding Lenertz Genealogy Gold in City Directories

Have I told you how much I love city directories? Yes. Have I done so lately? No. This is a friendly reminder how much I love city directories.

Here is an example of why:

These Lenertz folk in this city directory clipping are my ancestors in 1908 Mankato, Minnesota. Alexander, Henry, Michael and William are the brothers of my great-great grandfather, John Benjamin Lenertz (Robert is Michael's son). John left Minnesota for greener pastures in Oklahoma. Everyone else stayed in Mankato. I've been using city directories to track their lives, occupations and locations.

Check out this city directory. Not only does it tell where everyone lived and worked, it also lists a death date for Henry Lenertz. I used this date to order an obituary. He died of typhoid fever.

But wait...look what it says about William Lenertz. He moved! And it tells me where he moved to. This makes me very happy, because I was having trouble tracking William. I now know he eventually died in Wisconsin, but this city directory he helping me fill in the events of his life.

No shocking revelations here, just happy to be building strong timelines for my Lenertz ancestors...and city directories are helping me do so.


  1. Those are some sweeeet directories, Amy. Maybe better than the ones we checked out at the L.A. Public Library?k That was a fun afternoon.

  2. I LOVE City directories too. I haven't found moves or deaths, but I've learned a lot about occupations which were a HUGE clue about my family member's life styles. I was also able to isolate when a great uncle left Ohio. Thanks for the reminder.