During one of my “browsing” endeavors on Ancestry Library Edition, I did a search for my ancestors using my last name as the search. I happened to notice some new results in what is a newly added file at Ancestry titled “U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007”. The file was in fact made available in Ancestry on July 22, 2015. (TIP: Keep re-visiting major sites to see what may have been newly added that gives you new hits when you search for your ancestors!)
Here is a link to get you to this specific file at Ancestry. Take the time to read the full description as to what this file is and what is contained in it.
The Social Security Death Index gives information on those deceased with minimal amounts of information. Still valuable, but minimal.
A genealogy researcher can attempt to obtain more detailed information on a deceased individual by submitting a request to obtain a copy of the original application made by an individual to obtain a Social Security Card. This original application is known as an SS-5. There is a $27.00 fee required to Social Security to obtain this information. You can find more about requesting an SS-5 at:
For many of us it is a very hefty fee charge to obtain this information.
With this newly added file in Ancestry you can obtain much more information about a deceased individual than in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), but maybe not quite the original application information that might be found in the SS-5. What I was seeing in this new file pertaining to my ancestors was in some cases more than I had previously known about them and their parents. In fact, if there was a good amount of activity related to Social Security for a particular individual you may see a nice chronology of these events documented by Social Security available in this new file.
I was seeing chronological events in some cases related to the marriage of a woman when a name change is involved. I was seeing chronology events of name changes where a persons full middle name that was used perhaps in the original application change to just an initial. I have seen what are referred to as “claim” dates for individuals which appear to be the date when an individual started receiving Social Security.
These are not earth shattering major discoveries but I am amazed at how much is out there in this new file.
I am excited at the contents of this new file!
Check it out yourself and search it with your surnames. Read the detailed description of the database as provided by Ancestry.com. Know what is in it and then do a search on a name that perhaps you know something about and see what added information might be present for you to add to that person.
And to think, all I was doing was just “browsing” and trying my surname search again. And up popped results in this newly added file.
Schaumburg Township District Library