27 August 2009

In the SSDI when I least expected it

I was just playing around today and found my great-grandma Neill in the Social Security Death Index. She died in 1965 and I never really thought to even look for her in the index. I don't need her SS5 form, it costs $27 and I have no doubts as to who her parents are and all that. However it makes the point that you never know if someone is in an index until you really look. I incorrectly assumed all my farming ancestors from her generation were not in the SSDI.

So, go ahead and look. You never know what you may find. If this had been a brick wall ancestor, getting a copy of her SS5 form from the Social Security Administration might have been helpful. And I NEVER buy the certified copies of records from the link on this site. They are entirely too expensive.


05 November 2008

What is an SS5 form?

I have updated my page on the SS5 form from the Social Security Administration. It includes a sample image of one of these forms, but keep in mind they are NOT online and must be ordered from SSA--for deceased individuals through the FOIA.

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23 October 2008

Searching the Social Security Death Index for Middle Names

I could have sworn I was dreaming.

My grandmother died on 9 September 2008 in Bradenton, Florida. It was a few weeks later when her name appeared in the Social Security Death Index --first at Genealogy Bank. I did not print out the reference, but I really did not think I had seen her maiden name in the original entry. When I searched for her again today. The entry was there--with her maiden name as her middle name.

I went and searched at Ancestry.com to see what results I obtained on their site. I was hoping they were using an "older" version of the database.

Ancestry.com was apparently using the same version of the SSDI as GenealogyBank was--the results also had Grandma's maiden name listed on the entry (the second image in this post).

I also searched for Grandma at FamilySearch and there found her without the middle name. Unfortunately, my quick experimentation with FamilySearch's SSDI leads me to conclude that they do not return middle names or initials in the search results even if that information is in the SSDI (this is based upon my quick search of Ufkes relatives who appeared in the SSDI at Ancestry.com and GenealogyBank with middle names or initials).

I still could have sworn the entry for Grandma I located a few weeks ago did not have her maiden name included and actually included her middle initial of "A." But maybe I was dreaming.

At least I learned that the Social Security Death Index at FamilySearch does not give middle names or initials in the search results.

And of course, the SSDI at Rootsweb, hasn't been updated yet to include Grandma's entry.


21 March 2007

Copies of SS-5 Forms

They aren't cheap, but in some cases, copies of an SS-5 form may be just what your genealogy research needs. The form shown here is for my wife's grandmother. She listed a different father on this form than her children listed on her death certificate, obituary, and other records for which one of her children was an informant.

The SSDI at Rootsweb can be searched for free. It can also be searched on our page which has more information about the SS-5 form, including how to obtain it. I usually only obtain SS-5 forms when I have a big "brick wall" or records created after the person's death are insufficient.

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02 March 2007

More SSDI at Rootsweb

I tried it again...using a wildcard in the SSN box on the SSDI at Rootsweb because it looked like wildcards could not be used there. However, the search shown to the right just now brought up 3,080 results. It appears that the wildcard on the SSN works with a certain number of digits in the SSN box and not with other number lengths.

333* did not work
3333* did not work
33334* did work--as shown
333344* did not work
3333441* did not work
and I know there is someone in the SSDI whose Social Security number begins with that string of numbers.
Ok, I have toooooo* much time on my hands...