52 Weeks to Better Genealogy – Challenge 40 – SS-5 Applications

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy – Challenge 40

Week 40: Investigate how to order an SS5. When someone applies for a Social Security Number, he or she fills out form SS5. When that person (or any other with a Social Security Number) dies, the public can request a copy of the SS5. This document can be a genealogy gold mine of information including parents’ names, applicant’s address and occupation at the time of filing, and birth date. Halfway down the page of the SSA’s Guide to the Freedom of Information Act is information on requesting a deceased person’s SS-5 application. Check out the mail-in request form SSA-711 and the online form SSA-714 (both are PDF format and require Adobe reader to view). This week’s challenge is to explore the ways to order a SS5. You do not have to actually order one unless you want to. If you are participating in this challenge from outside the United States, you may investigate how to order a similar type of document from your own government. If you write a genealogy blog, share with readers information you have found through requested SS5 records.

This challenge runs from Saturday, October 2, 2010 through Friday, October 8, 2010.

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Here are the latest posts from GeneaBloggers members on this week’s challenge:


52 Weeks To Better Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts that are a bit more challenging and are geared towards those new to the field of genealogy and family history as well as those who want to brush up on some skills which might be a bit rusty. Please include an attribution link if you participate.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

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