Reader Richard Fipphen of Fairfield, Connecticut, let us know about a new 1940 census tool for New York City called Direct Me NYC 1940. The New York Public Library digitized the 1940 New York City phone books and created a tool that allows users to move from the phone book listings to the 1940 census schedules on NARA's website. When a person of interest is selected from the telephone book, the address will be mapped on both a ca. 1940 map and a 2012 map. The relevant enumeration district(s) will appear, and entering the name of a cross street will further refine the results. In some cases it may be impossible to narrow the results to one ED; for instance, if a street is on the border of two EDs, you will see two EDs for that street.
The Direct Me NYC 1940 website also allows users to share stories of who they’ve found in the 1940 New York City census. Here are some examples of notable entries:
“Asimov Candy Store — candy (and cigarettes) store owned by the family of the science fiction author Isaac Asimov, one of a series of such establishments where he worked that were run by his father Judah Asimov. The Asimov family lived across the street. The candy store itself continued for decades afterward under various owners as 'Buggy Bill's' and 'Wetters'; today, the location is ‘CBS Construction & Cabinets.’ Just the year before this, Asimov attended the ‘1st World Science Fiction Convention’ at the 1939 New York World's Fair in Queens.”
“Ten-year-old Jackie Bouvier, future wife of President John F. Kennedy, living with her parents on Park Avenue the year they divorced.”
“Found Billie Holiday in the 1940 Census living with her mother, Sadie, and Irene Wilson Kitchings (ex-wife of Teddy Wilson and composer of "Some of Spring). ED 31-1849 p. 18.”