Keep the Time Frame In Mind

The list of alternate names for anyone in the “Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007” at may not contain every “alternate name” the person ever had–particularly if the person was a female who was married. It appears that Elsie’s Social Security file contains no information from before October of 1962.

In this case the likely reason the additional last name is not included is that this woman, who died as Elsie Cegas, had a first marriage that ended in the early 1930s–before the Social Security Act was enacted in 1935. Elsie may have married Mr. Queen before she ever even applied for a Social Security number. It’s a good reminder to know when certain records were kept and when programs that required those records were in operation.

Some databases and records require all that “back history” and others do not.

And sometimes people do not always share everything they know either.