Place of Birth Truncations in “Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007″

Place names in the “Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007″ at  have been truncated in a variety of ways. Some of these truncated places may come up correctly using the drop down list of locations at  Others may not. Searches of the  “Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007″  at using the location field should be conducted as broad searches, particularly for people born in rural locations that may have been written in very non-standard form.

It is very likely that the truncation of these place names was performed by the Social Security Administration at some point in the data entry or data manipulation process.

This study is anecdotal and additional comments are welcomed in response to this post.  The image used in this post came from search results for the last name of “Rampley” where “Illinois” was also keyword.

The “Birth Place” appears to have been truncated to a length of less than twenty-five characters. Some of the places of birth on the original record may not have included the name of the county. Some of these places of birth, when rural, included the word “near” as a part of the place of birth.



One thought on “Place of Birth Truncations in “Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007″

  1. Where a place of birth is given and it includes a State name, it should be pretty safe to specify the State.

    But there are loads of entries that omit any birth place at all. And what do you suppose “Alamanee Cou” stands for? There are many locations for which a State is not given, so a search with exact state may exclude a valid result entry.

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