Social Security Death Indexes

Researching in the USA

Most of my genealogy research on my husband’s side of the family is the USA.

He has AUMACKS in Michigan and NJ and his MILLERS are into Maine and south.  His ancestors include Empire Loyalists and Salem witches.  His family also has Civil War and Revolutionary War Vets.  Needless to say I’ve had to find genealogy sources in the US of A.

There are several paid online resources that I use on a regular bases to find US records. These include  US Federal Census Records and Birth, Marriage and Death  records at Ancestry and I tend to use Fold3 (formerly Footnote)more for Civil War records and other historical documents.

This doesn’t replace legwork to the archives, libraries,  LDS Family history centers, perusing and writing away for records etc but it sure is convenient having access to the databases at home, even if they do cost.

Some features overlap between databases, including access to census records and other material….but I still maintain my subscriptions.  The database that works for researching one family may not have much material on another.

What is the Social Security Death Index?

Another great database is the Social Security Death Indexes (SSDI).   This is a database of death records created from the United States Social Security Administration’s Death Master File Extract.

GenealogyBank has a comprehensive database for searching the Free Social Security Death Index
You can find some of this info at RootsWeb SSDI but I happen to like how GenealogyBank does the search.   Their interface is cleaner and gives the user more search options.

There are millions of US social security numbers in the database and it is updated on a regular basis, as often as weekly.  You can search for free.

 What can you find?

  • name
  • birth date
  • death date
  • last known residence
  • Searches from 1937 to today. 
  • Free SSDI search can lead to obituary.

This gives recent research material not often available elsewhere and another valuable resource for us USA genealogy and family history researchers.  It also gives the option to find the actual obituary (this is where you start paying if you so choose).  It can save a lot of leg work.

To access the database go to the Free Social Security Death Index.