GenToday-L Archive

Insurance Applications

Insurance companies have extensive data that can be helpful to genealogists. For example, applications often include names, birth dates, and causes of death of immediate family members, such as parents, children, and siblings. The records are usually maintained in the home office, and policies regarding search or release of information vary. If the request concerns a close relative or beneficiary, there is a higher probability of success.

Beware of the tip, often circulated through genealogical society newsletters, to write to Policy Search, American Council of Life Insurance to determine if an ancestor held an insurance policy. This suggestion is misleading because the service that is offered is to help determine if a policy benefit is due--not whether an individual owned a policy. If the American Council of Life Insurance has sufficient reason for believing a policy benefit is due and such a policy is located, the council will contact the beneficiary directly.

Inquiries regarding insurance payments to beneficiaries of veterans may be sent to the VA Insurance Office, Department of Veterans Affairs, P.O. Box 13399, Philadelphia, PA 19101. Include as much identifying information as possible.

The Directory of Health/Life Insurance Companies (Modesto, Calif,: HRS Geriatric Publishing, 1989) lists names and headquarter addresses of the major firms. City directories and state business directories are also helpful in determining which firms operated within a specific area and time period.

An unusual example of insurance claims data becoming available to the public is the abstracts made from original Union Pacific Railroad life insurance records. The original claims are located at the LDS Family History Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. They have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Information may include Social Security number, sex, race, occupation, birth date, birthplace, address, father's name, mother's name, marriage date, death date, cause of death, place of burial, and spouse's name.


This is a message to those people who are researching the surnames BOWER[S], BAUER[S], and their variant spellings. . . Colleen Pustola has opened the Bower Family Homestead at . It's dedicated solely to the BOWER[S], BAUER[S], etc. surnames worldwide and although small now, will have lots of goodies for BOWER/BAUER, etc. researchers as the site grows. Colleen invites you to drop in and look around. Also, Colleen has begun a BOWER mailing ist. You can join at the Homestead, or send an email to and put the word subscribe on the top line of the message part of the your email.


Searching for info on SUTTON family of Dubuque, Iowa in late 1800s and early 1900s. In particular, family of John T. and Jessie SUTTON, who had a daughter Myrtle, b. in Dubuque about 1907.

Seeking for the Rogers and Judkins from Nacodgoches co. Texas. John(Johnny Or Dock) Rogers 1874-1914. Married Etta Judkins 1881-1962. Etta was the daughter of Charles Judkins 1846-1901-Her mother was Eliza Davis Johnson.

Searching for parents of Russell Bales b. 1798 in TN? VA? in Gallatin County, KY. Believe had children named Nathaniel, William and Harrison and married Nancy Goins. Sue Houchin

Pierre BLAIS m. Adelia DANSEREAU January 5, 1871. 5 children Joseph Odilon (Charles) (born April 1872), Eli, Pearl, John, George. Seeking any information. reply to

Pietro DELUCIA m. Angela Marie PETRINO in San Fele, Potenza, Italy. 7 sons. Pietro married prior; wife unknown. 2 sons, Antonio/Giuseppe. Seeking info on first wife/family. reply

Looking for connection to Johnston ROBINSON b 1838 in Belfast, Married Mary Jane HARPER b 1842 in Belfast, daughter of Simon HARPER.Three known children, James b 1865, Margaret b 1866 and Johnston b 1879. Please reply to

Searching for any information on JESSIE G. BEATY, b. abt 1820, married SUSAN NELMS, 1841 in Logan County, KY. Married 2d wife, EVELINE SIMMONSin 1847 in Logan County, Ky. He also lived in Fannin County, Texas.

Do you know of these people from Patterson, St. Mary, Parish between the years 1880 and 1910? Parents Frederick and Irene (PROVO) MINGO. Children: Cary, Isham, Shedrick, Lazuraus, Earnest, Martha, Mary, and Savinia MINGO.

Looking for name Van Crombrugghe.(Originates in Belgium) My adopted Grandfather bn San Francisco-lost all records during great fire. I have only found three--all on the SS death index with one-Wilford-my grandfather. Anytime, Anywhere.

I'm looking for info. on John F. Bennett born in Arkansas in 1803. He had a son named Daniel Bennett who moved to Nodaway County Mo. Any help is appreciated.

Additional Articles:

  • Military Records
  • Federal Mortality Schedules
  • City Directory Research

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