The use of city directories can be extremely successful in locating additional information on an ancestor. City directories allow users to find former city residents, their occupations, local businesses and their locations. With any luck you can trace a relative during a certain scan of time, where they lived (street) and what their occupation happened to be in a specific time.
If there were any ancestors between 1859 and 1917 in and around the Minneapolis, Minnesota area you need to investigate these online directories. Using the tabs at the top you can browse the titles by years or go to the ‘simple search’ and place a surname or a keyword.
Using the name ‘Hanson’ in the body of the text produced some 48 listings. Click on one of the directories (its cover) and the page with the name ‘Hanson’ appears and is highlighted in yellow. Many of the listings will be actual advertisements with the owner’s name. That is a real bonus for your research. If you locate something of interest you enlarge the page to read it better or print that page or you can select the text. Use the scissor icon at the top then highlight the section and just the text that appears will be made available, but not any graphs, illustrations or drawings. You can save the digital page as an image in a PDF file. Go to the icon again at the top to print. The page you want will appear. Now look for the ‘save’ icon to the left and click on it. You will be directed to save (rename) the PDF image onto your computer in full size. Once in PDF there are several options you can do including converting it to a JPEG image using a photo / paint software program.
If you need a small image use the thumbnail image of it on the left and right click on it to save the page digitally to your computer. Any image would make a nice addition to a family history book – whether it is a listing of an individual or better yet an advertisement with all their wonderful graphics. Do make note of the date of that directory and the city’s name.
The other thumbnail images to the left of the larger page you are examining are from that directory, the pages previous and after.
Overall, an excellent resource, easy to use, for anyone with family from the Minneapolis area. Remember to check it even if you are not sure family once lived there, you might be surprised.
Photo: An 1893 directory page of interesting graphics for various advertisements.< Return To Blog