- 5. Information Sources
- SSDI Search – How to Find Hard to Find Ancestors
- MATERIALS AND METHODS
- Social Security Death Index (SSDI) Search | Genealogy Bank
5. Information Sources
Many of the earlier records have never been added to this computerized database. Also included in the millions of records are approximately , railroad retirement records from the early s to s. These begin with numbers in the range.
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- What Information Can You Find in the SSA Death Index?!
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A record in the Social Security Death Index will generally contain some or all of the following information: last name, first name, birth date, death date, Social Security number, the state of residence where the Social Security number SSN was issued, the last known residence and the location where the last benefit payment was sent. For individuals who died while residing outside of the U. Social Security records can help provide information needed to find a birth certificate, death certificate, obituary, maiden name, parents names, occupation or residence.
SSDI Search – How to Find Hard to Find Ancestors
The Social Security Death Index is available as a free online database from numerous online organizations. There are some who charge for access to the Social Security Death index as well, but why pay when you can search it for free? For best results when searching the Social Security Death Index, enter only one or two known facts and then search.
If the individual had an unusual surname, you may even find it useful to search on just the surname. If the search results are too large, then add more information and search again. Get creative. Most Social Security Death Index databases will allow you to search on any combination of facts such as a birth date and first name. With over 77 million Americans included in the SSDI, locating a particular person can often be an exercise in frustration. Understanding the search options is extremely important in helping to narrow down you search.
Remember: it is best to start off with just a few facts and then add additional info if it is needed to fine tune your search results. For best results, select the "Soundex Search" option if available so that you don't miss possible misspellings. You can also try searching for the obvious alternate name spellings on your own. When searching for a name with punctuation in it such as D'Angelo , enter the name without the punctuation. You should try this both with and without a space in place of the punctuation i. All names with prefixes and suffixes even those which don't use punctuation should be searched both with and without the space i.
For married women, try searching under both their married name and their maiden name. Search the SSDI by First Name The first name field is searched by exact spelling only, so be sure to try other possibilities including alternate spellings, initials, nicknames, middle names etc. This number can enable you to order the individual's Social Security application, which can lead to the discovery of all sorts of new clues for your ancestor.
You can also learn which state issued the SSN from the first three digits.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Searching the SSDI by State of Issue In most cases, the first three numbers of the SSN indicate which state issued the number there are a few instances where one three digit number was used for more than one state. Complete this field if you are fairly positive of where your ancestor was living when they received their SSN. Be aware, however, that people often lived in one state and had their SSN issued from another state. You may search on just one or any combination of these fields.
If you have no luck, then try narrowing down your search to just one i. You should also search for obvious typos i. Searching the SSDI by Death Date Just as with the birth date, the death date lets you search separately on the birth date, month and year. For deaths prior to it is advisable to search on the month and year only, as the exact date of death was seldom recorded. Make sure to search for the possible typos!
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Searching the SSDI by Last Benefit Information If the individual in question was married you may find that the last benefit and location of last residence are one and the same. It is a field which you will usually want to leave blank for your search as the last benefit could often have been paid to any number of people. This information can prove to be extremely valuable in the search for relatives, however, as next of kin were usually the ones to receive the last benefit. While the Death Master File is hidden behind a paywall, anyone with an internet connection can access the SSDI for free through many genealogy websites.
The Death Index is an absolutely sprawling data source, encompassing no fewer than 89 million records which are updated on a weekly basis. However, information regarding persons who died before is extremely limited. Most entries come from the second half of the twentieth century and later.
There are at least three websites where you can access the Social Security Death Index for free, including Ancestry. The SSDI has proven invaluable to countless geneaologists, historians, and medical professionals conducting long-term clinical studies. The line is staffed Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 A.
Remember, the SSA is constantly bombarded by phone calls, so showing a little bit of patience and respect can help get your problem resolved that much quicker.
Social Security Death Index (SSDI) Search | Genealogy Bank
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