A missing Kamp

With the release of the 1940 Census now less than 40 days away (!), many researchers are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to explore the records, make new discoveries, and reconnect with lost ancestors.

In my research, there is one couple I am particularly anxious to reconnect with. Frank and Mary Kamp lived in Washington County, Pennsylvania (about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh) at the time of the 1920 Census. Here is the Kamp family in 1920: Frank, Mary, Albert, Jane, and Julia with her husband William Alderson.

The Kamp family, 1920 Census, Peters Twp., Washington Co., PA (ED 209, p. 2B)

Following that enumeration, however, I have been unable to find evidence of either Frank or Mary in any records. By 1930, their son Albert had moved to California, daughter Jane had remained in the Pittsburgh area, and daughter Julia had moved to Chicago. Yet Frank and Mary have continually evaded detection and proven to be my genealogy kryptonite.

The one question from the 1940 Census that I’m most interested in is the “In what place did this person live on April 1, 1935?” query. Think about the value of that question! Given the post-1920 gap in my research, this question could unlock the mysteries surrounding my Kamp research.

Over the years, I’ve had several promising leads and a few educated guesses about Frank and Mary’s whereabouts in 1930 and beyond, but nothing has ever panned out. I’m hoping that, if still alive then, they will represent my first 1940 Census research triumph. Here’s hoping the 1930 Kamp mystery will finally be solved a decade later!

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