With respect to finding basic information, all that has been attempted.
This was to aid the son of my cousin. His father died in 1969 when he was not yet 3. His mother (my cousin) died in 2004. He knows his mother's ancestry from my research, but knows almost nothing about his father. What is known:
Paul Charles Fields b. January 12, 1928 Charlestown, Boston, MA, died NYC March 16, 1969. Mother was Anna V ???? died in the 60s.
I cannot find them in 1930, they appear to have been missed.
I find Paul's mother in various phone books, but so far none of the addresses yield a 1940 census entry. From the phone book entries it appears likely the father of Paul will not be present in 1940.
If they hadn't redacted his father's parents names, people certainly long dead, my cousin once removed would have his grandparents' names. He is going to try to get his father's birth certificate next.
The index for the 1940 census will be available soon, and that will at least (I hope) give his mother's age, but probably not much more.
Now none of you quote my own research back at me, look at the author when you look stuff up:-)