I need help searching for someone in New York

I am trying to help a friend with their family tree and I know the parents and grandparents. I believe I have found the great grandparent who were born around 1886.  Also, according to the 1920 census both were born in New York.  I do know that this could be wrong, but it is the only lead currently.  Right now I am trying to find the paternal great grandfather and his family.

But I can only find him in the 1920, and 1930 census.  I have tried various spellings of the last name and have even searched the immigration records.  There is a large concentration of them in this area, but none of the share either the birth year or first name.

I would rather not post the surname as this is for a friend, but I am trying to figure out ways to connect the dots. I would have thought the census would have been the easiest way especially from say 1880-1930's.  I do have SSN's for them and I could go that route, but that takes a lot of waiting.

I even went to Stephen Morse's website and found the ED, and street finder to find which district based off the 1920 that they should be in (If they lived in the same household in the 1910's) but that did not bring me any closer.

I have a WWI  draft showing the street address and its the same address from the 1920's.  I do know from experience that names get butchered in the census.  If anyone would like to help I can send them the names that I currently searching for.

Also as a side not I have full access to Ancestry.com.

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