Since you are in Boston, I will try to explain Soc. Sec. numbers in Texas. Back about 1908, when they required birth, death certificates, and drivers license reporting the same to the county and state, people had to get an older sibling, aunt, grandparent, neighbors or parent to swear they were present at your birth, and send it in with your application to get a birth certificate or whatever they were needing.
My sister born 1932, brother 1934, me 1939, I was the only one born in a hospital, so my brother and sister had to get a birth certificate in order to go to school, get drivers license, etc. I made a trip to Mexico and my friend did not have a birth certificate, so she had to get someone 20 years older than her who knew her for years and they signed that they were present when she was born, etc.
She got her birth certificate so she could enter Mexico.
Good luck in your researching.
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