Ancestry.com is indicating that “U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007” has been updated as of today. It’s been on the Ancestry.com site for some time.
There’s no indication of how the database has been updated or how significant that change is.
The database is a wonderful source for 20th century United States research, but there are a few points to keep in mind:
- it does not include everyone in the United States who had a Social Security Number
- place names may have been spelled irregularly-Barthage, Illinois, for Carthage, Illinois, is one easy example. These names most likely are not tagged in such a way as to be found on a county based search using the county in which Carthage is located.
- place names can be truncated, merely chopping off some of the last characters–the data received from the Social Security Administration was computerized data some of which was created when truncation of names was necessary
- some incorrect or non-standard place names are tagged to the correct locations and will come up on search results that include the geographic reference–others will not. My grandmother’s place of birth is listed in U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 as “Tioga,Walker,Illinois.” This is a reference to Tioga in Walker Township in Hancock County, Illinois. Fortunately it is returned as a hit when a search for her name and a place of birth in Hancock County, Illinois, is conducted.
- names may be spelled in unusual ways–sometimes they were spelled that way on the application and some times the handwritten application for a number was difficult to read
- be creative when using the search box