I am still getting ready to view the 1940 census that will come out on April 2, 2012. The census will not be indexed by name for awhile so to find a family you will have to have the Enumeration District number. To find the ED district I have to look through all my files to find address' for 1940 or anything close before and after.
I was looking at the family history of our Murphy's in Brooklyn and found that Thomas J. Murphy and his wife Florence (McDonald) lived a block away from her sister and her husband. My next plan is to map all of these addresses. I hope it will give some insight to how families interacted with each other and possibly how the children met their spouses.
My love of the history of families has me ask one of my favorite questions "how did you meet your husband/wife"?
Tom and I met in High School and my parents met at work. I'm not sure how Tom's parents met, I never asked that of them. I think they lived and hung out in the same neighborhood. I should be able to see if I'm right when I map out their addresses.
I did ask Tom's Aunt Florrie (Florence Glessoff). I was surprised to find out she met her husband Frank Wipf through an ad in the personals section of the newspaper. Before the 1970's the classified section of the newspaper was divided into different sections, help wanted male, help wanted female, personal, real estate etc.
The way Aunt Florrie told me started out with her telling me where she worked. She worked in a travel agency, she would sign people up for train and cruise ship travel. This was in the late 1920's. They would check the newspapers everyday because there was a section that listed people who had just arrived on ships to the New York harbor. It also listed people leaving. I don't know if her office supplied names of people or not but it was part of their business to know what ships had come in.
One day while checking the newspapers her boss saw ads in the personal section for people asking for dates and he dared her to put one in because she was still single at 26 years old. So she did and went on a blind date. The two of them (Florence and Frank) both took measures to be safe by meeting in a public park. Frank got there very early to be able to see Florence before they met. I guess he liked what he saw because they married soon after and were married for 58 years when he died.
So I guess there is nothing new about meeting new people it started a long while ago just different ways for different times.