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Social Security Death Index and Number Allocations Can Help with your Genealogy Research

Social Security numbers were introduced in 1935. They were originally intended to be used only by the social security program. In 1943 Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9397 which required federal agencies to use the number when creating new record-keeping systems. In 1961 the IRS began to use it as a taxpayer ID number. Some other agencies that use it to establish identities are: health and life insurance, credit cards, welfare, driver's license, and motor vehicle registration authorities.

How Social Security Numbers are Assigned

The first three (3) digits of a person's social security number are determined by the ZIP Code of the mailing address shown on the application for a social security number (SSN). The chart below shows the first 3 digits of the SSN assigned throughout the United States and its territories.

SS# State SS# State SS# State
416-424 Alabama 212-220 Maryland 035-039 Rhode Island
574 Alaska 425-428 Mississippi 247-251, 654-658 South Carolina
429-432 Arkansas 486-500 Missouri 503-504 South Dakota
526-527, 600-601 Arizona 516-517 Montana 408-415 Tennessee
545-573, 602-626 California 468-477 Minnesota 449-467, 627-645 Texas
521-524 Colorado 362-386 Michigan 528-529, 646-647 Utah
040-049 Connecticut 004-007 Maine 223-231 Virginia
221-222 Delaware 505-508 Nebraska 008-009 Vermont
261-267, 589-595 Florida 135-158 New Jersey 387-399 Wisconsin
252-260, 667-675 Georgia 001-003 New Hampshire 232-236 West Virginia
575-576 Hawaii 525,585, 648-649 New Mexico 520 Wyoming
518-519 Idaho 050-134 New York 531-539 Washington
478-485 Iowa 530, 680 Nevada 577-579 Washington D.C.
303-317 Indiana 501-502 North Dakota 580 Virgin Islands
318-361 Illinois 232, 237-246 North Carolina 580-584, 596-599 Peurto Rico
400-407 Kentucky 440-448 Oklahoma 586 Guam
509-515 Kansas 540-544 Oregon 586 American Somoa
433-439 Louisiana 268-302 Ohio 586 Phillipine Islands
010-034 Massachusetts 159-211 Pennsylvania 700-728 Railroad Board

NOTE: The same area, when shown more than once, means that certain numbers have been transferred from one State to another, or that an area has been divided for use among certain geographic locations. 700-728 was used for railroad employees, but that was discontinued on July 1, 1963.

Confirm your Family History by Ordering an Original SSA for your Ancestor

The social security application (SSA) of a deceased individual is available, under the Freedom of Information Act and is a good source for genealogy information. Once you locate the SSN you can file for the original application that contains more family history information than the index: The original SS-5 form contains the following information:
  • First name
  • Middle name
  • Last name (married women are to give their maiden and married surname)
  • Place of Employment
  • Street Address, City, and State
  • Age at last birthday
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Father’s Full Name
  • Mother’s Full Name (they are to give their maiden name)
  • Sex
  • Color (Nationality)
  • Date of application
  • Signature of applicant

With information like this, you can confirm or record missing genealogy facts about your ancestor and help further your family research by following up with the data that is recorded for the person's parents. By knowing where they lived, you can look it up on old Sanborn maps and compare to a recent online map and see how the area changed over time. By knowing where they were born, you can dig into birth certificates to add further proof of your ancestor.

Genealogy Research through the Social Security Death Index

To order an original SSA, use the SS-5 Form, you will need some information about your ancestor to obtain their original record. You can search Social Security Death Index below to get the data that you need, then proceed to fill out the SS-5 Form, the link is on the right.

Use Social Security Death Index to find SS-5 form