Is it helpful to provide social security numbers or is that no a good idea

+10 votes
84 views
asked Jun 9, 2016 in Genealogy Help by Rick Miles G2G Crew (460 points)

5 Answers

+6 votes
 
Best answer
I have been recording the Social Security Number in my personal database, but I have not yet added it to the profiles I've created.  I have  relatives with very common names, so I intend to add it in the biography to enable others to verify sources.  This will only be helpful for comparing 20th century U.S. records, though.

Since the SSN appears on death certificates, employment documents, and military records (for mid to late 20th century documents), it will enable someone to verify that they are sourcing the record for the correct John Thompson or William Jackson.

But, as Anne has already mentioned, it is important that we never list a SSN for a living person.
answered Jun 10, 2016 by Star Kline G2G6 Pilot (485,990 points)
selected Jun 10, 2016 by J V
+9 votes

I had considered adding the SSN but then I thought of the security issues that come along with having it out there. Even deceased people are targets for identity thief. I just state SSN (in records) when I post a SSN Source or U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index reference etc. .

answered Jun 9, 2016 by Dorothy Barry G2G6 Pilot (939,780 points)
+7 votes
I can't see where it would be helpful at all. Nobody searches for deceased people by SS #, but rather by name. And obviously, it's not a good idea for living people.
answered Jun 9, 2016 by Anne B G2G6 Pilot (888,250 points)
+5 votes
Hi Rick, I've never really thought about it.  Though I do just copy/paste - and only for the deceased.  Must reconsider this.  Thank you for raising this question.
answered Jun 9, 2016 by T Cassidy G2G6 Mach 5 (57,430 points)
+4 votes
The only time I've found the SSN useful was for a relative that was in the Army, in WWII I think, and I had his discharge papers which had his SSN.  I later found  him in the SSDI and thus knew it was correct person even though he'd been estranged from the family for a long time.
answered Jun 10, 2016 by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (351,700 points)
Similar to Dave, I have a few distant cousins of mine who served in the military and then lost touch with the family.  Finding their Social Security numbers in military records then helped me track them down in the SSDI.

For two of these distant cousins, I would have not been able to track down when/where they died without having their Social Security numbers.  Here is a good example of one of these:

http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Bender-404

I also agree that there is no reason that we should ever list Social Security numbers of living people.

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