Lindner Socks discovers surprising family history thanks to Facebook

LONG TIME IN THE GAME: Andrew, Arthur and Lucy Lindner who have learnt their family have been making socks for 10 generations. Inset: Otto and Elsa. Picture: Supplied.
LONG TIME IN THE GAME: Andrew, Arthur and Lucy Lindner who have learnt their family have been making socks for 10 generations. Inset: Otto and Elsa. Picture: Supplied.

The family behind Crookwell’s iconic Lindner Quality Socks is heading to Germany next month in an effort to dig deeper into their family history.

Lucy and Andrew Lindner, along with their two children Arthur and Dorothy, will travel overseas spurred by information from a stranger.

According to Lucy, about 10-years ago she collected family history for their website but never completed the full research.

So last October she decided to pick up the task she neglected all those years ago.

She jumped onto Facebook and did some simple searches. She found the accounts of four men in Thalheim with the Lindner surname.

Jokingly, she said it was the distinctive brow and smile from her husband that stood out.

She sent a message to four and one responded.

She couldn’t believe when she learnt that the man, Mathias, was a relation.

“A fellow replied saying his great-great-grandfather was Max Lindner's brother, and that his father, Uwe, was very interested in family history and a member of the Thalheim Historical Society. He gave me Uwe's email address and we have been corresponding regularly since November,” she said.

“Uwe is very excited to share his knowledge with us, and sends us regular emails covering different topics, often with a big reveal.” 

Andrew’s great grandfather Max Lindner, with his wife Meta, founded the business “H. Max Lindner Strumpf Fabrik” in 1925 and their son Alfred later joined him.

Andrew and Lucy had always understood the Lindner family story began in Thalheim, near Chemnitz, Germany.

With the hosiery industry a major part of the Thalheim’s growth and economy from as early as 1730, Lucy suspected Andrew’s family had possibly been involved in sock and stocking manufacturing for much longer than previously known.

Moving to Australia in 1987, Lindner Quality Socks started in Goulburn in 1988 and later moved to Crookwell.

Through Lucy’s correspondence, the pair have learnt of previously unknown upgrades to the factory. They also learnt the sock making legacy has spanned ten generations, instead of four.

They plan to document their travels and reach out to historical societys and museums while overseas.

“I’m really fortunate to be supplied with documented information from Uwe and the Thalheim Historic Society. I have two young kids and I’m not in the position to do it myself. Sometimes genealogy is a bit of a rabbit hole,” she said.

“For me I get so excited because of the kids. It amazes me how it puts you in touch of the human side rather than just the facts and figures.

“It gives you a place in history.” 

She recommended people interested in their family history to utilise Facebook and join genealogy groups, describing the people as helpful and supportive.

  • Lindner Quality Socks will feature in the Sydney Weekender episode about socks made from locally grown merino. It will air on July 22 at 5.30pm on Channel 7. 

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