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So, this is Dad and Mom. Ray is the son of Conrad Herrmann and Kate Bundock. He is the step-son of Edith Armstrong and Wally Hewitt. ...

Saturday, December 19, 2015

City Directory Research with the Bjorkmans

While I ponder on my next blog post, I decided today to do a little viewing of city directories. After a while, I decided this to be my next post.
City directories hold a wealth of information. It can help if you are timelining a family member. It can also help with filling in blanks on a variety of vital information.
Let's use Hilmar Bjorkman as an example. I call him Grandpa B.
The earliest city directory record I could find for Grandpa B was in Waukegan, 1916. 

Now, I found this interesting because there was a fact here that I didn't know - the residence. I had never heard of Grandpa and Grandma B. living on Helmholtz Ave. in Waukegan. A quick Google Map check shows that Helmholtz Avenue runs east/west between S. Jackson St. to the west and S. Geneesee St. to the east. Where the grandparents lived lays between S. Lincoln (west) and Sunderlin (east) with George Ave (north) and Cummings Ave (south). There wasn't a street view photo for Helmholtz Avenue, but just the map gave an exact location. 
I also know from the directory year - 1916 - that Mom and Uncle Earl were not born yet. It was the year that Uncle Ivan was born, so I think it is safe to say that Grandpa and Grandma B, Uncle Rollie, and Uncle Ivan lived here. 
Many of the early directories would give occupations. In this case, the directory has Grandpa B.'s occupation as painter. 
Such is the case in the 1939 Waukegan City Directory when Grandpa and Grandma B lived on Jackson in the North Chicago area of Waukegan. It shows Grandpa B. as a painter, and Mom as an assembler at Giolite Corp.
There is another interesting fact about this particular directory listing. In the same household is Harold S Bjorkman. I believe this may be Harold Sondee. It doesn't say why he was listed as living there, and I don't know if he and Aunt Nora had already moved to Florida or not at that time. 
One other thing about this listing. It is the last listing on the page, so it is always a good thing to check the next page for any other information, such as what I found when I did just that.
Well, well, well......at the top is Aunt Irene, a glass moulder at Giolite. Uncle Ivan's listing is right below Aunt Irene, living with Grandpa and Grandma B. Two listings below is Aunt Irene's husband, Uncle Rollie, a bundler at AS&W. 
So, you see, it's always best to check the following page when someone is listed as last on the previous page. That also holds true for anyone as a first listing on a page - check the previous page.
This brings me to make another point - family members on the same page in the same directory.
Here, in the 1945 San Diego City Directory, second column of the page, is Rocky and Mom living on Penn Avenue.
And look who I find in the first column of the same page.  Rocky's brother, Bud (Bart C), a salesman, living on Arizona. Rocky's parents, Bart and Ellen, living on Grim St, and Rocky's sister, Betty Lou, a couple of listings down.

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