SSDI opinions #general


Sarah L Meyer
 

I consider it a reliable primary source for Deaths and secondary for births.  If there is nothing else (no census records, no birth records etc) I will take it.  I also consider the month and day more reliable than the year.
--
Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
ANK(I)ER, BIGOS, KARMELEK, PERLSTADT, STOKFISZ, SZPIL(T)BAUM, Poland
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania
https://www.sarahsgenies.com


 

I frequently see the SSDI is off by one year. I have birth records to back up that assertion.
--
Jeff Goldner
Researching Goldner, Singer, Neuman, Braun, Schwartz, Gluck, Reichfeld (Hungary/Slovakia); Adler, Roth, Ader (Galicia); Soltz/Shultz/Zuckerman/Zicherman (Vitebsk, maybe Lithuania)


dbpdallas@...
 

Trudy,

The SSDI should be considered a reliable secondary source for death information. See Q[uestion]9: What information is available from Social Security records to help in genealogical research? at: https://www.ssa.gov/history/hfaq.html

Some in this string have indicated that census records were used to determine the birth year for people applying for Social Security numbers. The release of census records follows the 72-Year Rule: "According to the '72-Year Rule,' the National Archives releases census records to the general public 72 years after Census Day. As a result, the 1930 census records were released April 1, 2002, and the 1940 records were released April 2, 2012." (FWIW)

David Passman
Dallas, TX


Diane Jacobs
 

Census records were also used to describe a person's age for social security

Diane Jacobs 



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-------- Original message --------
From: "Friedman, H George" <friedman@...>
Date: 11/5/20 5:28 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [JewishGen.org] SSDI opinions #general

My mother worked as a legal secretary for a lawyer in a small town in Louisiana for a couple of years, right out of high school. This would have been in the mid-1930s. In later years, she recalled the legal problems of people who had no birth registration, which was not unusual among older people in that state signing up for social security. She remembered calling on a few residents of the town who "knew everybody" and having them sign affidavits that so-and-so was born in such-and-such a year. That date would then find its way into Social Security records. Of course, if it was off a bit....

George Friedman
Champaign, IL
--
Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey


Friedman, H George
 

My mother worked as a legal secretary for a lawyer in a small town in Louisiana for a couple of years, right out of high school. This would have been in the mid-1930s. In later years, she recalled the legal problems of people who had no birth registration, which was not unusual among older people in that state signing up for social security. She remembered calling on a few residents of the town who "knew everybody" and having them sign affidavits that so-and-so was born in such-and-such a year. That date would then find its way into Social Security records. Of course, if it was off a bit....

George Friedman
Champaign, IL


Sally Bruckheimer
 

"sometimes made themselves a year or two older. Presumably so that they could start collecting benefits sooner"

This is why the SSA used the actual birth record, and if that weren't available, the first census showing the person or some other record.

My mother, for example, had a birth record, but there was a fire in Buffalo City Hall at some point, and mother had to send the one she had for a Teacher's Certificate. So the SSA used the first census where she appeared. For immigrants, they might have used naturalization documents or passenger list information - the older the better for records, but they never took anyone's word for it.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ


m_tobiasiewicz@...
 

The SSDI is a reliable source. When people registered for social security, they had to present documentation of birth.
There is also the social security 
As far as comparing ages on the SSDI and the WW1 draft registration, I wouldn't get too hung up on it. No documentation of birth was required to enlist. Boys said they were older because they wanted to go fight. Older men often put down a date that showed they were younger because they wanted to defend freedom, their new country, etc. 

--
Maryellen Tobiasiewicz
family from: Bielsko-Biala powiat Poland
Gorlice powiat Poland
Lviv Oblast Ukraine


jbonline1111@...
 

When I have used the SSDI to check death dates, I have found them to match other sources I had, such as family memory and/or death certificates.  It may not be a reliable source for age for the reasons that Peter Cohen mentioned. I have at least three ages for my paternal grandfather, for example, not including the SSDI, which did not exist when he died in 1917.  I had to go with the preponderance of the evidence, giving some weight to the death certificate, presuming the information was given my grandmother.  
--
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC


Peter Cohen
 

One thing I have noticed about the Social Security Death Index...The people who got themselves into the Social Security system in the early days sometimes made themselves a year or two older. Presumably so that they could start collecting benefits sooner.  You will see the same month and day as a draft registration, but if not matching, they would be a year or two older.  Also, there is something strange about World War I draft registrations. In a large number of cases, the registration card makes the person one year younger than all other documents.  I am not sure what the goal of that was. It did not seem to be related to whether the person was old enough to serve. It almost seemed like the draft board itself was behind it.  I see this more in non-Jewish areas (perhaps because so many Jews in New York City that had to fill out that card didn't actually know when they were born anyway.)
--
Peter Cohen
California


Trudy Barch
 

Hi everyone,

 

I know that the SSDI is not a primary source.   Is it a reliable secondary source?                      

 

Thank you,   Trudy Barch,  Florida