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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Obtaining a Copy of Social Security Card Application when SSN is not known

Carolyn's Questions:
My grandfather, who emigrated from Ireland in 1900 disappeared from the family, but undoubtedly remained living in Bronx, NY. So far, I’ve been unable to locate his death record in NYC and family history indicates he is probably buried on Hart’s Island (Potter’s Field). I always thought he probably did not have a social security account and I’m pretty sure he was never naturalized, but recently discovered (draft registration record in 1942 at age 60) he was employed in 1942 in NYC and guess he DID have to be enrolled. Can you suggest how I can find those records? I know the SSDI only goes back to the 1960’s.

Olive Tree Answer: Hi Carolyn, you say you are "pretty sure" your grandfather didn't naturalize. Since you know he was alive in 1942, you should be able to find him on census records for 1930, 1920, and 1910 (after you say he disappeared from the family) The 1900, 1910 ,1920 and 1930 census identify citizenship status, with notations showing the individual was an Alien, or had started the Naturalization process or had his final papers.

I use Ancestry.com for Census Records but
Footnote.com has Naturalization Recordsicon from NARA

To find your grandfather's Social Security details, you may want to request a copy of his Original Application for Social Security Card (Form SS-5). There is a fee and when the SSN is not known, the fee is slightly more ($29.00 at the present time). There is an online form at Guide to FOIA Requests

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