Records of the Social Security Administration are extremely valuable when completing genealogy and family history research for individuals who lived into the twentieth century. They can provide full name, birth date and place, parents, and spouse information, and are almost always well worth the investigative time needed to find and obtain them. Three records sets are of particular interest and will be discussed in this article. The first is the Social Security Death Index, the second is the SS-5 form, and the third is the Social Security Applications and Claims Index. A short timeline is useful to understand which records were created when, and why they were created: 1935—the original Social Security Act was created to provide retirement benefits and the first wave of citizens register. Many of these are indicated in the SSDI as receiving their number “before 1951.” 1939—the act was expanded to include spouses and minor children of retired or deceased …Read more
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Many of the record collections that genealogists most frequently use when researching families who lived in the United States were created by local governments, either at the town, county, or state level. The documents these jurisdictions generated are indispensable to our research, but they were not the only jurisdictions to create crucial record collections—the federal government also created many useful documents. Some of these documents (like the federal censuses) are readily available to researchers online, but many are only available through The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). In this blog post we will discuss how to best prepare for a trip to NARA or one its branches, what record types are housed at NARA, and how to make the best use of your time at the nation’s preeminent archive. About NARA The National Archives and Records Administration was established in the 1930s to centralize the preservation of government documents that were previously …Read more
Legacy Tree Genealogists works with researchers from across the globe to access records for our clients. We asked Carly, onsite in Peru, to share her experiences with Peruvian genealogy research at the civil archives of Peru. Peru is a country with a rich history. Ruins, documents, and modern cultural diversity testify of thousands of years of changes. To help those with Peruvian ancestral lines we want to share a little bit about current archival digitization and research in Peru. Behind the Scenes on Digitizing Peruvian Records Elder Terry Hill and Sister Annette Hill are missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, assigned to work with FamilySearch. One of their assignments is to digitize over 1,389 books found in one of the off-site annexes of the National Archives of Peru (Archivo General de la Nación), and containing the birth, marriage, and death records of the La Victoria district of Lima, Peru from the year 1926 to about 1996. As I interviewed …Read more
Cemetery records are an often-overlooked but essential part of genealogy research, and include more than just inscriptions on headstones or monuments. Research in cemetery records can help locate missing family members, determine ancestral hometowns, distinguish between similarly-named individuals, and provide clues into your ancestors’ lives. Locating cemetery records Church, government, private, and family cemeteries have many types of records. A cemetery that is part of a church will likely hold burial records, but the difficulty will be in finding the current repository. Some are within the church, others are at national repositories, and some may even be in the homes of clerks and ministers. Government cemeteries (town, county, or military) and private cemeteries may have sextons’ records, cemetery deeds, and records of plot sales. These records may include information about persons buried in unmarked graves. Additionally, in many cases volunteers have transcribed the …Read more