For those female siblings who you uncover in the United States 20th century census, and don’t know what became of them, here’s a quick tip. It doesn’t always work since it assumes that the woman is deceased, that she died after 1962 and she made it into the Social Security Death Index. But always worth a try!
You will need to know the woman’s birth date. If you don’t have this information, order her birth certificate (most places had started to require birth certificates by the early 1900′s). If you are not sure where to find a birth record, search for the city/county in Vital Rec http://www.vitalrec.com/
VitalRec will usually tell you in what year the city/county/state began record collection, the current location of the records (i.e. county clerk’s office) and the cost of ordering the record.
Next, using one of the available Social Security Death Indexes (SSDI), enter the woman’s date of birth and first name:
- Rootsweb’s SSDI, http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/ssdi.cgi (free index)
- NEHGS http://www.newenglandancestors.org/database_search/ssdi.asp (free index, but their search engine accepts only birth year which will give you more results to weed through).
- Ancestry.com http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3693 (requires subscription)
This search should give you a pretty short list of possible surname combinations. You could try entering the state of issue (assuming her residence state hadn’t changed since the 1930 census).
You can then use other research techniques (i.e. look for death records, also using VitalRec as a finding aid) to confirm a match or rule out the individual (s) as an ancestor.
Remember that you can also order a copy of the social security application (SS-5). It’s a bit pricy, so you may want to confirm that you have the correct person before ordering. Instructions are outlined in #6 of this prior post: http://passagetothepast.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/learning-from-others/
For those of you who have never ordered a copy of the SS-5, below you can view my g-grandmother Georgianna’s: