Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Social Security Death Index vs. Social Security Application and Claims Index

I have a beautiful little niece who is just about 3. When she was first born I called her Squooshy because she has the most delicious fat thighs; Gardner thighs, a trait both my sisters and I have gleened from my mother's DNA apparently. My father's family, with the exception of Uncle Tom's and his Popeye-like calves, seem capable of tottering around on toothpick-like legs. Squooshy their thighs are not.

As a christening gift to my niece I made her a family tree going back to her 3rd great grandparents; well, most of them. On my side, her mother's side, that was a breeze but this of course meant that I had to research my brother-in-law's family history. His family is not very close knit but they humored me and helped me in my research. There was one line on which I couldn't get back to her 3rd great-grandparents, though. My brother-in-law's paternal grandmother, Margaret, is a bit elusive. I was able to find her living with her father and step-mother in the 1930 census but could not determine her biological mother and at the time the Social Security Death index just provided a date of birth, death, and last known residence.

Margaret's parents would have probably been married in 1920 based on Margaret being born in September 1921. Therefore, Margaret would not appear in the 1920 census with her parents. And in the 1930 census her father is noted as having been married just 2 years prior. Thus the woman listed as his wife in that census, Delia, is not the biological mother of Margaret or her sister Alice who was born in 1923.

Every now and then I poke around on Margaret hoping Ancestry.com will had some new record to lead me to Margaret's birth mother.

Well, lo and behold, my poking around last night paid off. Ancestry.com now provides not only the Social Security Death Index now but also the Social Security Application and Claims Index.

What's the difference?

Glad you asked! The S.S.Application and Claims Index indicated the person's parent's names as they listed them on their application.

According to the S.S.Application and Claims Index Margaret's mother was Nora Kane.

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