The Census & an Obituary Broke through My Brick Wall

I have been researching my Kemp cousins, but was not finding some of my more recent relatives.

Looking for Marion Kemp (1905- ), I knew: she married William Sullivan; their children were Harold, Donald and John; and they lived in New York.

I searched for them everywhere in New York, and then I spotted a Marion Sullivan in New Jersey listed in the 1940 U.S. Census. Hmm… this listing has the right children’s names.

Photo: the 1940 U.S. Census record for Marion Sullivan
Source: GenealogyBank, “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, GenealogyBank (, Marion Sullivan, New Providence Township, Union, New Jersey, United States. (Original index: United States Census, 1940, FamilySearch, 2014)

OK. The ages match – the children match. This looks like her census record – but I’m not sure why her husband William is called “Dewey.” Perhaps that was his nickname.

Digging further, I turned to GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives – and I found their son John’s obituary.

An obituary for John Sullivan, Star Ledger newspaper article 13 August 2017
Source: GenealogyBank, Star Ledger (Newark, New Jersey), 13 August 2017

This obituary confirmed the names of the family and where the family members lived. It stated that he was born in Plainfield, New Jersey – and that in addition to his wife, his two brothers had also passed away.

It is great that these resources are all available online.
I did not know that the family had moved to New Jersey.
Armed with this information I was able to frame the family correctly.

Thank you GenealogyBank!

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