area code changes #general

Renee Steinig <rsteinig@...>

We haven't had much discussion here on the genealogical impact
of area code changes. As a recent victim, I thought it time
to speak up!

Changing U.S. area codes can mean, among other things, that your
out-of-town cousins who finally decide to tell you all about
their family get a "wrong number," or that when you try to reach
relatives, their numbers appear to be wrong.

The changeover process is relatively quick: here in Suffolk
County, Long Island, we had six months notice of an impending
change (516 to 631), then a five-month "permissive" period
during which either area code worked. We're now into the
"mandatory" phase: callers who dial 516 get a recording telling
them to dial 631, but soon they'll get the dreaded "You've
reached a nonworking number." (Note that Nassau County--western
Long Island--has retained the 516 area code.)

Area code splits and overlays are occurring at a rapid rate. Some
new area codes for places with large Jewish populations are 240,
267, 347, 443, 646, 732, and 786. Don't recognize them? See for a listing of
codes by state and for
a list by number. Another useful site is
Area code maps at are easy to read, but not
up to the minute.

You may want to check these sites to update your family phone
listings and if you get a "sorry, wrong number" when you dial


Renee Steinig

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