I had a phone call from Ben the other day, and met him today at the library. Here is Ben's situation:
* Ben needs to get California identification (driver's license). He has an expired New Mexico driver's license. He has a Social Security card. In order to obtain the California driver's license, he apparently needs a birth certificate with his birth date, birth place, and parents names.
* Ben was born in Clark County, Nevada. He has tried several times to obtain his own birth certificate by mail from Clark County. They require his birth date, his birth place, his father's name, and his mother's maiden name. They took his payment once, and have rejected his application for a birth certificate because he did not have the correct mother's maiden name.
* Ben has two brothers, both deceased. One was born in Arizona, and died in Oregon, the other's birth place was Nevada but his death place is unknown.
* His mother is deceased. He thinks that she died in Iowa in the 1980s. He received information from Social Security about his mother's maiden name, and there were six variations on it in the Social Security records.
* His mother was born in New Mexico, and Ben knows the birth date and birth place. He thought that obtaining a New Mexico birth certificate for his mother would help him solve his own birth certificate problem. He knows about one brother of his mother, knows where he died (California) but doesn't know when he died.
How can Ben obtain information that might help him find his mother's maiden name? I've thought of:
* Ben's own Social Security Application. Ben could obtain this himself, I think, for a fee.
* His brothers' birth certificates in Nevada and Arizona. How can these be obtained?
* His mother's birth certificate in 1931 in New Mexico. How can this be obtained?
* His mother's Social Security Application (I found the number in the SSDI).
* His mother's death record (1987 in Ohio according to SSDI last residence).
* His mother's marriage certificates (not sure how many, or where... perhaps New Mexico or Arizona).
* His uncle's death record or death certificate in California.
What advice do you have to obtain those records? I recommended going through www.VitalChek.com to order his own
Updated 4 August: fixed last paragraph...I need a copy editor, I guess.
To clarify: Ben told me his mother died in Iowa, but SSDI said Ohio (the town name Ben told me and the last residence are identical - I think Ben told me the wrong state).