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(Special to the American Press)

(Special to the American Press)

Informer: Lost bonds redeemable via form, website

Last Modified: Friday, July 26, 2013 2:57 PM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

I bought some war bonds during the Vietnam War, and they were lost. Is there any kind of way that I can redeem them?

Brad Benson, a spokesman for the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Management Service, offered step-by-step instructions on how to redeem lost bonds:

1. Visit our website,

2. Click on the “Individuals” banner.

3. Click on the “Forms” banner.

4. Click on “Savings Bond Forms.”

5. Scroll down to PDF 1048. It’s probably easiest to download and print the PDF, fill it out with the best information you have, then mail it to the address in the instructions (at the bottom of the form).

“When the form is received, Treasury will attempt to locate the record,” Benson wrote in an email. “Once they have located them and verify they weren’t previously redeemed, they will redeem the bonds for you.”

People who’ve lost savings bonds that were issued in 1974 and later can use to search a public database. To do so, though, you must know the Social Security number or employee identification number that appeared on the bonds.

“Each year, 25,000 payments are returned to the Department of the Treasury as undeliverable,” the site reads.

“Billions of dollars in savings bonds have stopped earning interest, but haven’t been cashed.”

Another option, Benson said, is the Treasury Department’s retail securities customer service number, 800-553-2663.

Confusing cousins problem then, now

Could you explain cousins — first cousins, second cousins, first cousins once removed?


First cousins are the children of your aunts and uncles.

Second cousins are the children of your parents’ first cousins.

And your parents’ first cousins are your first cousins once removed — as are the children of your first cousins.

The “once removed” part means the relationship is separated by a generation.

So second cousins once removed refers to both the children of your second cousins and to your parents’ second cousins.

The children of your second cousins once removed are your third cousins.

When in Rome

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, several Indo-European languages — including the famously elaborate Latin — “have or had separate words for some or all of the eight possible ‘cousin’ relationships.”

Among the cousin-kinship words in Latin are “patruelis” (“father’s brother’s son”); “matruelis” (“mother’s brother’s son”); and “amitinus” (“father’s sister’s son”).

Still, despite the specificity of their language, the ancient Romans typically used “consobrinus” (“mother’s sister’s son”) as a generic term for the child of an aunt or uncle. That word made its way via French into English as “cousin.”


• • •

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email

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