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"Old Time" RR Social Security Numbers
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EMTRailfan
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"Old Time" RR Social Security Numbers
 
« on: Aug 22nd, 2007, 12:30pm »
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I don't know if this is the right thread for this topic, but it seemed to be the closest shot.
 
One of the Medics that I work with is a big Genealogy nut, and shared with me that he found somewhere along the line that "Old Time" RR SSN's at one time started with the 700's (700-xx-xxxx) because of the Railroader's Insurance.  I don't know if they are strictly 700... as above, or if they could be 7xx-xx-xxxx.  I don't know if he saw actual SSNs, or if he just saw a statement similar to what I am typing.  The way I understand, the younger generation of railroaders now keep their birth given SSN now instead of changing.
 
I have access to SSNs in my job for billing purposes.  I won't be, and legally can't share any info because of HIPPA, but I will be watching for 700 series SSN's.
 
Please correct, or add details if anyone knows further info.


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George_Harris
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Re: "Old Time" RR Social Security Numbers
 
« Reply #1 on: Aug 22nd, 2007, 3:33pm »
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Not sure at all about this.  Depends also upon when someone got their social security number, and how far back.  Since the SS system goes back to the 30's, and for longer than that you could not work most railroad jobs before you were 18, it is highly unlikely that most railroad workers that achieved working age since that time had their first job requiring a SSN on a railroad.  Therefore, it would seem most likely that your first three digits would be based on other factors that railroad employment.  
 
Does anyone know what basis, if any, there is in the assignment of SSN's.  I have been told that they are generally geographic and that 4xx represents the southeast, but am not sure.  My father applied for my sister's and mine in the mid 1950's, and they are consecutive numbers.  I applied for numbers for my older children at the same time in the early 1980's, and they are not numerically consecutive.  
 
Is there any rhyme or reason at all to the system, or is it some sort of governmental random method?
 
George


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EMTRailfan
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Re: "Old Time" RR Social Security Numbers
 
« Reply #2 on: Aug 22nd, 2007, 6:59pm »
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on Aug 22nd, 2007, 3:33pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Does anyone know what basis, if any, there is in the assignment of SSN's.  I have been told that they are generally geographic and that 4xx represents the southeast, but am not sure.  My father applied for my sister's and mine in the mid 1950's, and they are consecutive numbers.  I applied for numbers for my older children at the same time in the early 1980's, and they are not numerically consecutive.  
 
Is there any rhyme or reason at all to the system, or is it some sort of governmental random method?
 
George

 
I found http://www.ssa.gov/history/ssn/geocard.html while researching further after I posted.
 
I also had a reply in the http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=42663 forums too.


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George_Harris
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Re: "Old Time" RR Social Security Numbers
 
« Reply #3 on: Aug 22nd, 2007, 7:18pm »
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Yup, it is some sort of governmental random method - called the way somebody decided to organize filing cabinets in 1936.

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Lowell
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Re: "Old Time" RR Social Security Numbers
 
« Reply #4 on: Oct 22nd, 2007, 4:55pm »
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I do not want to appear any more ancient than I am,,,,,,,,,,,,but
when I hired out to the SP in spring of 1941 (16 yrs old but lied it up to 1
I got my first Social Security No.
 
It was 700 series.  My father and two uncles also worked for SP and
were also 700 series.
 
I think that Social Security and Railroad Retirement both recognize
700 series as railroad related.


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George_Harris
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Re: "Old Time" RR Social Security Numbers
 
« Reply #5 on: Oct 22nd, 2007, 6:20pm »
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Quote:
when I hired out to the SP in spring of 1941 . . . it was 700 series.  My father and two uncles also worked for SP and were also 700 series.
 
 
 
Copying in the first part of the reference given us by EMTRailfan:
 
Quote:
The nine-digit SSN is composed of three parts:
 
The first set of three digits is called the Area Number  
The second set of two digits is called the Group Number  
The final set of four digits is the Serial Number  
Area Number
 
The Area Number is assigned by the geographical region. Prior to 1972, cards were issued in local Social Security offices around the country and the Area Number represented the State in which the card was issued. This did not necessarily have to be the State where the applicant lived, since a person could apply for their card in any Social Security office. Since 1972, when SSA began assigning SSNs and issuing cards centrally from Baltimore, the area number assigned has been based on the ZIP code in the mailing address provided on the application for the original Social Security card. The applicant's mailing address does not have to be the same as their place of residence. Thus, the Area Number does not necessarily represent the State of residence of the applicant, either prior to 1972 or since.
 
Generally, numbers were assigned beginning in the northeast and moving westward. So people on the east coast have the lowest numbers and those on the west coast have the highest numbers.
 
Note: One should not make too much of the "geographical code." It is not meant to be any kind of useable geographical information. The numbering scheme was designed in 1936 (before computers) to make it easier for SSA to store the applications in our files in Baltimore since the files were organized by regions as well as alphabetically. It was really just a bookkeeping device for our own internal use and was never intended to be anything more than that.

 
So, if all three of you had 700's it could mean no more than you were all in the state that got the 700's numbers.  Maybe someday I can find out the SSN of an in-law's relative that worked for the GM&N in Mississippi and Tennessee.  If geographic, that should be in the 400's.


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Walt_C
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Re: "Old Time" RR Social Security Numbers
 
« Reply #6 on: Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:15pm »
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Also keep in mind that back before the late 1980's or so, social security numbers were not issued until one turned 18, or became employed. Now, they are issued at birth. As has been indicated, they are geographic with the lowest of the first three numbers ( XXX xx xxxx) in the northeast, and the numbers increasing as you move south and west ( SSN's issued in Pennsylvania are lower than those issued in Maryland)  I once saw a complete geographic list of those first three digits, but it has been a long time, and I don't have a copy of that list now.  As I reacall, there was some similarity of those first three digits and the first three digits of postal zip codes. ( ie, Southeastern Penna has SSN's beginning in the high 100's, and zip codes beginning with the same three digits in the same area---as does Maryland with the 200's, and New Jersey with numbers beiginning with a zero).

« Last Edit: Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:21pm by Walt_C » Logged

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Re: "Old Time" RR Social Security Numbers
 
« Reply #7 on: Oct 23rd, 2007, 10:42am »
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hmmmm, my sisters and I all start in the 200's and we're from the Carolina's (three from Charlotte, and two from SC)

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Re: "Old Time" RR Social Security Numbers
 
« Reply #8 on: Dec 23rd, 2007, 10:17pm »
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on Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:15pm, Walt_C wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Also keep in mind that back before the late 1980's or so, social security numbers were not issued until one turned 18, or became employed. Now, they are issued at birth.

I was born in the 70s and was issued an SSN (from Michigan's block) sometime before I was 4yo and moved out of the state.  I assume it was done by the hospital when I was born.  I had to have one for my parents to enroll me in school when I was 5yo, but it would have been from Texas' block if they'd waited until then to do it.
 
Elsewhere on the SSA site:
Quote:
"700-728 Issuance of these numbers to railroad employees was discontinued July 1, 1963."

My guess is that this means people who had their first job on a RR up until that point got one from the 700-728 block.  That was probably particularly important when SSNs were new and RRs had hundreds of thousands of employees that needed them all at once but were highly mobile and couldn't easily visit a "local" SSA office.  The tie to RR Retirement was probably important too at first, but less so as time went on and they started absorbing a lot of people with non-RR SSNs, or people with RR SSNs left the industry and went into the normal SS system.


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