1935 Social Security and our Ancestors

+4 votes
Some of our ancestors will start to become "open" on Wiki and unfortunately with a name/dob/location records can be gathered that contain their SS# information.

Ancestors who were a generation prior did not have this issue as social security did not come into play till 1935.

Currently rule is 150 yrs born (1869) or 100 after death (1919).

People born about 1869 could have died after 1935 and been integrated into Social Security!

Is this concern valid?
in Policy and Style by Celine Anonymous G2G2 (2.2k points)
As the article indicates, it may take up to 6 months for the SSA and financial institutions to get the info on deceased individuals to be able to prevent fraud/identity theft, so I'd tread lightly with recently deceased individuals. But for individuals born in 1869 and even many years later, I don't think we should have much concern.

I'm much more concerned about fraud/identity theft using SSNs of living individuals. But that's a whole different discussion that's not appropriate in this forum anyway, since we don't disclose publicly information about living individuals here.

3 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer
I don't think it's really a big concern.  Anyone who is willing to spend the time and effort searching can come up with the same data they would find on this or any genealogy site.  I'm not sure what damage you could do with the SSN of a deceased ancestor anyway.
by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (378k points)
selected by Peggy McReynolds
+7 votes
We  can see and post information from the Social Security Death index already for people who died in the 2000’s, so nothing is special about 1869.  I don’t put Social Security numbers in people’s profiles, but anyone can see them on line.
by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (218k points)
Hi Kathie, thank you for the answer.

The difference is you can still make those profiles private in Wiki so people don't know the exact dob and so forth.

With elder ancestors after dying after 1935 but born more than 150 years ago there is no control and the profile becomes open.
+6 votes
Many of our recent ancestors are in the SSDI, and their information has been available for many years. This has been through free sites and the subscription genealogy sites.

Wikipedia has a good article and discusses some of the criticisms of the SSDI.

Personally, I am not particularly concerned.
by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (322k points)
I am not very concerned, I searched for a few hours to find my Dadʻs SSN so I could access his military records. I knew all the details of his life and where I wanted to look,  but it was still a search.
The link did not take me to an article.  Still, I am not worried about SSN stuff on WikiTree since most bad guys will not look here because there are more direct ways to get the info! And most WikiTree folks won't post SSN on a profile anyway.

That said, it is prudent to be careful what we put on profiles.

Kristina, thanks for reply.  Here is article again. I am able to access.


Most people have other sites they also build trees. I don't want to name other venue by name but from that information you can then access lots of other things. 

And yes, I know people don't post SSN here but the information is enough to go to another venue and get the SSN and proceed to know the descendants. 

Hopefully this helps all!


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