Tuesday, May 11, 2010

SS-5 Update

In my post SS-5 Waiting Game, I explained why I was ordering the SS-5 (application for a Social Security number) for my great-grandfather.

Well the record arrived today and delivered splendidly!

Here's the new information I learned from thus record:

Noel's middle name is spelled Holly. Some information I had said Hollie.

His birth year is 1889. Some records said 1886, but since Noel filled out this record himself, I'm counting it as the strongest source I've acquired so far.

Noel's father is Noel Sr.! I already knew this, but I had no record that directly said it. I had proof that Noel Jr.'s sister was Elizabeth. I had proof that Elizabeth's father was Noel Sr., but nothing that said the 2 Noels were connected. This seems obvious, but in Louisiana, Thibodeaux is a common name and you can't assume anything.

Noel had really neat penmanship. It's tidy capital letters. My grandfather and aunt write the same way.

This record was filled out June 11, 1937. It gives Noel Jr.'s residence and place of employment at that time. He was working construction in Calexico, California, right on the Mexico border. Wonder what he was building? This is a nice 1940 census substitute until I can get my hands on the real thing.

You can order SS-5s online. The whole transaction for me took less than the 20 business days advertised. It's easy, but not cheap.


  1. Fantastic! :) There is nothing like having something in your ancestor's own handwriting. What a treat and a treasure.

  2. I love those SS-5s - they have helped me make some breakthroughs in my husband's family, as well as providing and confirming some information on my lines. Such a simple thing to be so helpful!

  3. Congratulations, Amy. I can vouch for how important the SS-5 can be. It opened up my whole maternal line (my grandmother was Katherine Johnson and before the SS-5 arrived I had no idea where she was born -- my guesses were Michigan, Arkansas and Illinois -- it was Illinois).


  4. What's the difference between the photocopy and the computer extract?

    I didn't know they had so much information on them. It might be just what I need to solve a few issues that I have with a line.

  5. Bernard the SS-5 is a photocopy of the exact record. The numident is a computer print out. The SS-5 and numident have some different information. SS-5 has parents' names, numident may not. Numident has a woman's name change for marriage, SS-5 will not.

  6. Glad you got such good information!! I've had pretty good luck with the SS-5s in the past; I'm a bit more selective since the price jumped:)

  7. Just a thought: could your great-grandfather have been a participant in the Civilian Conservation Corps at that time? My father-in-law (a native Texan) worked on various projects in Southern California in the late 1930's as a member of the CCC. Thanks for pointing us to the resource of the SS-5s.