Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ted Williams in the 1940 U.S. Census

One of San Diego's "favorite sons" is Ted Williams, the Hall of Fame baseball player for the Boston Red Sox in the 1938-1961 time frame.  My mother was born the same year as Ted, and knew him in Junior High School.  She went to San Diego High, and Ted went to Hoover High.

I wanted to find him in the 1940 U.S. Census, but knew that on 1 April 1940 he was probably at Spring Training in Florida, or in Boston with the team, or on the road with the team.  I decided to find his mother, May Williams, in the census and maybe I would luck out and find his listing also.

I was lucky!  The Williams family resided at 4121 Utah Street in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego during the 1930s, and they were there in the 1940 San Diego City Directory (found on so I decided to look there.  I used Google Maps to determine that the block was bounded by Utah, Howard, Kansas and Polk.

Using the easy-to-use ED Finder on Ancestry (derived from Steve Morse's ED Finder), I input the four streets and that provided three EDs.  I used the descriptions to determine that the address was probably in ED 62-53B.

After clicking on the ED number, the first page of the ED had the address of 4121 Utah Street, and there was the Williams family in lines 17-21:

There were five persons in this family:

*  Samuel S. Williams - head, male, white, age 50, married, born New York, lived in same house in 1935.
*  May V. Williams (informant) - wife, female, white, age 47, married, born Texas, lived in same house in 1935.
*  Ted Williams (absent) - son, male, white, age 21, single, 4 years of high school, born California, lived in same house in 1935.
*  Dan Williams - son, male, white, age 19, married, born California, lived in same house in 1935.
*  Helen Williams - daughter-in-law, female, white, age 18, born California, lived in same house in 1935.

The employment and income information for Ted Williams is interesting:

The information for Ted is:

*  Employed the last week of March = Yes
*  Hours worked the last week of March = 60
*  Occupation = Baseball player
*  Industry = Boston Red Sox
*  Class of worker = P.W. [personal work?]
*  Number of weeks worked in 1939 = 52
*  Amount of money wages or salary earned in 1939 = $4500.

You can see other celebrity persons in the 1940 U.S. Census using the links at 

Celebrity 1940 US Census Records Collection.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

Doesn't "PW" stand for working in private industry. I have seen also "GW" meaning working in government. My grandfather was working for the WPA and he had GW. My grandmother was working as a waitress in a cafe and hers listed PW.