Help w social security death index number

+5 votes
Hi  I just joined wiki tree a few days ago and I noticed my maternal grandfather was on here with some information but it didn’t tell who put the info took over managing it as an adopter. My question is whoever originally put this info on his profile said they got the source  information using his Social Security number from some death index site. Then they copied his Social Security number onto his page but I am holding his actual certified death certificate and the number is not the same...I don’t know what to think Or which one to trust? Also should that even be on his record here?
in Genealogy Help by Shirley Garrity G2G Crew (370 points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Thank you for that link, Melanie!

I am going to put some sources on your grandfather's profile and I'll be adding another wife and children as a result of finding those sources. Once I've added all that I can, I will orphan them and you may adopt them if you like.
Thank you for that link, Melanie!


No worries.  I think that was the ONLY thing I had luck with regards trying to search in the US, and I only did that trying to find information on my paternal-maternal side, looking for my Grandma's sister and family.  I got her records from the Iron Range whatsit (link is on my laptop). Contacted her living son and got the coldest of cold brushoffs, so haven't bothered since. (And I'd been so excited, too.)

I have had no real luck in tracing her deceased children, other than one obituary.  But, still, I got HER info from that link .. and her ex-husband's as well, so that's a plus, right?  (Plus it's free!) cheeky 

Oh thank you so much! Really appreciate any help I can get with this!

5 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

Here's his application info including his SSN.

Name: George T Burroughs

Birth Date: 22 May 1886

Claim Date: 29 Jun 1953

SSN: 263240017

Notes: 10 Dec 1976: Name listed as GEORGE T BURROUGHS

Source Information U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007.

by Deb Durham G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
selected by Shirley Garrity
The number on your grandfather's profile is for a Nelda Cheney who died in 1987. Not even close. lol
Deb, Nelda was George's widow.
Ahh, that explains it. At least there was a connection.
+7 votes
They probably got a result on the Social Security Death Index which is searchable on most genealogy data sites. If they weren't careful and made an assumption, then they may have the wrong person. You will want to check that. Did the dates/places match? Parents?
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (426k points)
I wish I knew my grandparents actual names...No one that I’ve asked seems to know so I’m not sure if those listed are correct. I only know that his mother was supposed to be a full-blooded Cherokee Indian and I have a picture of her that was given to me from my aunt.  

Whoever put the original post on wiki tree has names listed as the parents but I can’t get them verified from anyone, including my aunt who said her dad never spoke about his parents and she never knew their names. She only knew that his mom was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian and gave me a picture. I tried to post it but every time I do it keeps saying wikitree  is down I don’t know what’s going on ....  I feel like I’ve hit a big brick wall since I can’t get his parents names to be able to go any further back especially with his mother. I tried to get a copy of my grandfather’s birth certificate and was told the hospital had a big fire and they have no records of that and nobody seems to have known his mothers name…Which I have no birth or death certificate for her...

Here is a 1900 Census record that matches the birth family on George's profile exactly, except for the minor fact of George's gender.

"United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 9 May 2019), Georgia Burrows in household of Le* Burrows, Civil Districts 5-6, Trousdale, Tennessee, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 130, sheet 11B, family 225, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,602.

Depending on where he was born, hospitals aren't the only place to look. IT could be recorded at the State, County and/or City/Local levels. In that time period not everywhere recorded births. While the census record posted matches somewhat, not sure I would use it. If you can find a census then there might be clues to whether there was native ancestry.

I would start with where they lived in childhood and look for any records of any type that might include your ancestors. School records, newspaper mentions of the family, etc. Also research siblings of ancestors. They sometimes left better records.

Here is the death certificate of the person listed as mother on George's profile:

"Tennessee Deaths, 1914-1966," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 15 October 2018), Margarette Susan Burroughs, 7 Mar 1937; Death, Sumner, Tennessee, United States, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville.

The informant was JW (Joseph?) Burroughs.

Wow! You guys are so good here! Thanks so much! So now I know that is her name but her mothers name is listed as just Billingsby! Not finding anything on her!
Careful, Shirley!  I found the people the prior profile managers attached as George's parents and siblings.  Their accounts are closed, so we won't be learning any more from them.  I haven't seen any proof that Georgia Burroughs in the 1900 Census and George Tillman Burroughs were the same person.  Someone may have shoehorned George into Len's family while struggling to break a brick wall.  I wouldn't invest too much in that family connection without stronger evidence.  Maybe investigating the other members of the Len Burroughs family will clear up the gender confusion.
Yes, that is confusing!
+6 votes

Welcome, Shirley!  That source citation could be incorrect.  It's certainly incomplete.  The only record I found in the US Social Security Death Index is for a George Burrowes who died in Florida in 1964.  If you have his death certificate, that's the one to trust.  Inaccurate information should be removed from the profile.

Here's a citation that might better apply to your grandfather:

"Florida Death Index, 1877-1998," database, FamilySearch ( : 25 December 2014), George Tillman Burroughs, Mar 1959; from "Florida Death Index, 1877-1998," index, Ancestry ( : 2004); citing vol. 2044, certificate number 11727, Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, Jacksonville.

I was about to cite his FindaGrave memorial, but I think you created it.  smiley

Please let us know if you need help finding any other sources or information!

Edit to add:  That SSN belonged to a Nelda Cheney, 1911-1987.  frown

Edit to add further:  Mrs Cheney was probably George's widow.

Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 9 May 2019), memorial page for Nelda Burroughs Cheney (27 Sep 1911–17 Jun 1987), Find A Grave Memorial no. 176305690, citing Memorial Park Cemetery, Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Dawn (contributor 49172547).

Yep, Nelda Cheney was Alverna Chadwell's sister:

"United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 9 May 2019), Nelda M Cheney, SouthEast, Florida, United States, 19 Jun 1987; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, ( : 2014); citing St. Petersburg Times, born-digital text.

by Herbert Tardy G2G6 Pilot (692k points)
edited by Herbert Tardy
Oh, I totally forgot that I put that on there years ago I have to go check it out.

Here you go:

Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 9 May 2019), memorial page for George Tillman Burroughs (22 May 1886–9 Mar 1959), Find A Grave Memorial no. 71577567, citing Memorial Park Cemetery, Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Shirley (contributor 46614992).
+2 votes

Hi! Welcome to WikiTree! 

Hmmm...the number on the profile is not the SSN that comes up in the US Social Security Applications and Claims Index at for George Tillman Burroughs. (Still looking for a Social Security Death Index record with that data. I will edit this post if I find it.)

So, to me, it looks like maybe the source and perhaps some of the information on the profile is in error. The original manager may have confused your grandfather with another person of the same name. Since you are the profile manager, you can make all the changes you want--correct any data errors, remove incorrect sources, add correct sources.

Update...I'm finding zip with the dates of birth and death that are one the profile. I found the George T. Burroughs with the same birth date, but the death date doesn't match up with what's on the profile. and nothing in the Social Security Death Index is coming up an exact match with all that data. Like Herb said, I'd trust the death certificate you have in hand and use it to make corrections to the profile as you need to.

by Nelda Spires G2G6 Pilot (379k points)
edited by Nelda Spires
That FamilySearch citation is not him, Nelda. He died in Florida in 1959.
Yes, that's why I edited to delete it.
Thank you so very much! I tried doing a little research years ago and gave up! I wish I’d have come here! You all have given me so much help and your experience in  genealogy research definitely shows!

So now I know my grandpa George’s mothers name is definitely Margarette Susan (Jackson) Burroughs but it says on her death certificate her race is ‘white” not Cherokee Indian... huh confusing...
+2 votes
The SSDI (social security death index) and the death record numbers will NEVER match.  One is issued by the feds and other by the state/county.  But there are other reasons for concern as expressed by others.
by Kathy Rabenstein G2G6 Pilot (271k points)

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