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I know today’s tip is a bit pricy, I know …. at $27.00 a pop, you need to think before you do this one, but it has been a brickwall-buster for me at times and worth the price!
Today’s Tip:  If your ancestor lived after November of 1936, you can request a copy of your ancestor’s original application for a Social Security Number!
You can do this online at https://secure.ssa.gov/apps9/eFOIA-FEWeb/internet/main.jsp or you can print off their form and mail it in.
It is simple, easy, and I find they usually beat the 20 days they promise it will take.
I suggest you ask for the “Original Application”.  It is worth the money and gives you the form your ancestor filled out, usually by hand.  I say usually since I have run across a couple of instances where a company helped employees apply and they were typed.  It is cool to me to see the handwriting and it serves as a much better piece of evidence than a computer transcipt of the same thing.  
These applications have revealed to me mother’s maiden names, father’s names, middle names, locations at the time of application, and a few other tidbits.  They can be great verifiers!  
As a matter of fact ….. I just requested one a few moments ago for one of my Knechtl lines I am trying very hard to trace, Smejkal.  Have hit several dead ends trying to get back to an 1871 marriage, so I am doing this in hopes one of the children can lead me backwards!  I have faith that the one I picked has a way better than even chance to lead me where I want to go!  We shall see …… in about 20 days I guess!
I have also broken open a name change with a SSN application form!  They can be a nugget of gold when many other avenues have failed me!  Just remember that unlike today, the applicate for an original SSN simply needed to make application and the clerk too their word for their information.  Most did so honestly, but a few did not …. as my cousin who used it for an ‘on-the-fly’ name change!
So think about it …. as I said it is a bit pricy for the top-of-the-line (and even the cheap-o version is $16 I think).
I understand if you do not have the SSN, you can ask them to get it also with the application form, but I have only used this service when I have the SSN and am sure of finding something.  NOTE:  Yes, I am frugal, I know 🙂
Now have a good day, find something new, dig up a nugget for yourself, and
Onward To Our Past!
Scott

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