Find Your Mexican Ancestors by Using the U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index

Last week ancestry published a great resource that can be the key to finding where your ancestors were/came from in Mexico. This data base is the Social Security Applications and Claims Index covering the years 1936 to 2007. If you know or want to know if your ancestors received Social Security benefits this database will be your one stop for research. Before I mention how it helped me out in my own research let me tell you what this database is and what genealogical information you may expect to find. If you are not an ancestry member you can Buy Family Tree Maker with 3 Free Months of Ancestry for $62.89. By the way I love Family Tree Maker.

About U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007

This database picks up where the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) leaves off by providing more details than those included in the SSDI. It includes information filed with the Social Security Administration through the application or claims process, including valuable details such as birth date, birth place, and parents’ names. While you will not find everybody who is listed in the SSDI in this database, data has been extracted for more than 49 million people.

Information you may find includes:

  • applicant’s full name
  • SSN
  • date and place of birth
  • citizenship
  • sex
  • father’s name
  • mother’s maiden name
  • race/ethnic description (optional)

You may also find details on changes made to the applicant’s record, including name changes and life or death claims. You may also find some unusual abbreviations or truncated entries for county and other names and punctuation errors in the data. These are in the original; we have not altered the text.

How it has Helped Me

I could never locate the birthplace of my wife’s grandmother, Maria Dedar FLores. I ran her name in this database but I could not find her. I entered her married name of Maria Perez and there she was. It listed her birthplace as Cuevitas, Hidalgo, Texas.

Another way it helped me was that I was also able to find the birth and death dates for my grandmother’s sister. Cristina Lopez DE Trevino born 5 Dec 1929 in Los Trevinos, Mexico and died in 24 Dec 2006. What is great is that everyone had to state their birth place and thus this database can be the key to finding were your ancestors and extended family was born.

Remember don’t just search for your ancestors also search for their brothers and sisters one may have the clue that you need to find more information.

Another way I am using this database is to help me in my locality research. As you are already aware and I have previously indicated. El Arcabuz, Tamaulipas is a location of interest to me. I searched this database for “Arcabus” and got 50 results. I then searched using “Arcabuz” and got 112 results. Make sure to also use name variances to get all the possible results that you can.

Get A Copy of the Social Security Application

The following information was found at ancestry and will help you get a copy of the application if so you desire to do so.

The Social Security Administration makes copies of the original Social Security application form (the SS-5) available to third parties who request information on a deceased individual. The SS-5 form contains some additional information not found in the computer extracts in our database (such as the individual’s employer when he or she first applied for a Social Security number). It may also contain the individual’s actual signature.

The Social Security Administration charges $27.00 for each SS-5 form requested.

To request this information, use the Social Security Administration’s online request form. Be sure to include the Social Security number if known. Without the Social Security number, the fee is $29. Note that the online form has the option of requesting a computer extract of the Social Security card application for $16 (or $18 without the Social Security number). You should not need to request this – these extracts are the source records for this collection.

Now you know about this collection and I hope that you use it for your research. You have also learned of what information you can expect to find and also of how it has helped me so far. By the way if you are interested in getting ancestry take a look at this deal: Buy Family Tree Maker with 3 Months of Ancestry for $62.89. You basically get Family Tree Maker for free!

Here is the link to search the Social Security Application Database at Ancestry: http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60901

Let me know in the comment area of any of your successes using this resource. Talk to you soon.

About Moises Garza

I have doing my family genealogy since 1998. I am also the creator of this blog Mexican Genealogy, and my personal blog We Are Cousins. To always be up to date with both of these sites follow me on facebook. Please feel free to contact me for anything.

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