found wallet from the 70's

While doing construction at my house, workers opened up a wall and found a guy’s wallet dating to 1975. Apparently he was a worker there, left it on a stud and the wall got sealed up without him knowing about it.

No, there are no bodies here. I think.

Anyway, how could I find this guy to give the wallet back to him, or his family if he’s not alive?

I have his Social Security card – it’s a metal card!! Not the crappy paper they give out today – his CA driver’s license, an honorable discharge card from the Army, his birthday (born in 1931), a Foreign Legion card, and a bunch of random stuff. There are sites that sell info based on SS#s but I don’t want to spend any money tracking him down.

Any way to do it for free? I think it’d be a hoot to get this back to him.

Turn it in to the police.

Was there any money in it?

Bah, that’s no fun!! =)

And no, zero money in it.

Sometimes builders put things in walls to be found later, on purpose.

Did you try Googling the guy’s name?

easy enough to see if he’s alive…

Social Security Death Index at

If he’s not dead, there are plenty of online places to look for him.

BTW, the metal SS card was not goverment issue. There was a company that heavily advertised them as practical gifts that would last a lifetime.

You can write him a letter and have the Social Security Administration try to forward it to him, based on his SS#. Someone once contacted me this way. Apparently, the SSA was able to pull up my current employer information from IRS records using my SS#, and sent the letter there.

I’m not sure the forwarding thing would work:

Try . You get the cities he has been livng in for free, though they are not always current, and there may be several for him if he moved around a lot. Then start checking phone books.

The guy had a California Driver’s license. Use to see what family lives at that address now. You might get lucky.

Thanks everybody. Good suggestions all around. Though the site wants money, too. If I can’t find him soon (and for free), will probably go to police at that point.

You can also find the Social Security Death Index for free at RootsWeb. Click on and use “Advance Search”.

Tip: do not enter middle name or middle initial.

BTW, I used to be a professional genealogist specializing in tracking down missing persons. If you’ll e-mail me the man’s name and date of birth, I can probably find his current contact information very quickly for you.

Let me guess: The company inscribed (or stamped, or whatever) the SSN onto the metal sheet.

Let me know if you still don’t see the problem (for the buyer) with this cunning plan.

Derleth, I don’t believe I said there was a problem. Not sure what you are asking. I do recall that SS numbers were commonly used as a second form of ID in the 70’s (they even put them on your driver’s license) and that it became a big deal to stop using it as such.

I’m commenting on the huge security risk inherent in having one company collect massive amounts of SSNs. Even if the company itself is clean, all it takes is one or two employees with criminal minds.

Today, hundreds of companies collect masses of private information, including SSNs, and fraud is rampant. The greater the number of companies having access to sensitive private information, the greater the probability of privacy leaks and the more difficult it is for government investigators to trace said leaks.