Monday, January 08, 2007

Rosa Villalba's SS-5

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An SS-5 is the form you fill out to receive a Social Security Number. Under the Freedom of Information Act, you can request an SS-5 for a deceased person, which is a big help for genealogists. The above image is of the SS-5 for Rosa Barrios-Villalba. Here is the transcription:

1. (Name): Rosa de Villalba
2. (Address): 684 Guerrero St., San Francisco
3. (Name at birth): Rosa Barrios
4. (Age last birthday): 42
5. (Date of Birth): September 28, 1901
Note: It looks like the year was originally 1900, but the last zero was filled in to make a one.
6. (Place of birth): San Salvador, El Salvador
7. (Father's Name): Sixto Barrios
8. (Mother's Maiden Name): Ines Monterrosa
9. (Sex): Female (box checked)
10. (Race): White (box checked)
11. Left Blank
(Asks if you have applied for a Social Security number before or are eligible for Railroad Retirement)
12. (Where employed): Unemployed
13. (Today's date): 3-9-43
Note: 9 March 1943
14. (Signature): Rosa de Villalba

The most significant information on the SS-5 is that Rosa used "de Villalba" as her legal name. This is a carry over from her Spanish upbringing as it is common there to designate a woman's married name in that manner. However, used here in the United States, it becomes her legal name, which creates another name or alias to look for her under.

The other interesting bit is that she shaved some years off of her age when filing. The date of birth is correct (she was born on Sept. 28th) but the year should be 1898, not 1901. This again was a common practice as (a) women of this generation could be particularly sensitive about their age and would lie about it to be younger, and (b) many times an older employee would be discriminated against or could not find work. Even a few years could mean the difference between getting a job or not.

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