Social Security Death Index Comparison across Genealogy Sites

The Social Security Death Index is available on so many genealogy sites—are they all alike?

You might think so—but on looking closer, they aren’t all the same. In fact, there are many differences in the Social Security information they provide, as this article will show.

Here’s an important question to ask when comparing various genealogy websites: how many SSDI records are on each site?

SSDI Search Websites Comparison Chart

SSDI Search Websites Comparison Chart

GenealogyBank and Ancestry update their SSDI records every week and have 91.4 million records.

In contrast, FamilySearch.org has 90.7 million SSDI records and Mocavo has only 88 million SSDI records.

So—just in numbers of Social Security records available—you can miss millions of records depending on which genealogy website you visit.

Let’s look deeper and see what information is in the SSDI record on each site.

For this Social Security record comparison we’ll use Tracy Kemp as our target person, who died in 2010.

GenealogyBank.com (Free SSDI)

tracy kemp death record from genealogybank's social security death index

Tracy Kemp death record from GenealogyBank's Social Security Death Index

GenealogyBank gives his name and tells us that the Social Security card was issued in New Jersey. Importantly, the record also gives complete dates of birth and death, adding the day of the week. The Social Security record also gives a complete and accurate age at death, giving the age in years, months and days.

GenealogyBank also includes the extra information that the Social Security Administration has validated this information, giving it the “Proven” designation—telling genealogists that it is accurate information.

Ancestry.com (Pay site, no free SSDI)

tracy kemp death record from ancestry's social security death index

Tracy Kemp death record from Ancestry's Social Security Death Index

Ancestry gives the basic facts in the Social Security record: first name, last name; birth date; death date; noting that the Social Security card was issued in New Jersey in 1979.

Archives.com (Pay site, no free SSDI)

tracy kemp death record from archive's social security death index

Tracy Kemp death record from Archive's Social Security Death Index

Archives.com gives his name, birth and death dates, and notes that the Social Security card was issued in New Jersey in the online SS record.

The Social Security death record also adds that he was age 39 when he died.

FamilySearch (Free SSDI)

tracy kemp death record from familysearch's social security death index

Tracy Kemp death record from FamilySearch's Social Security Death Index

The FamilySearch website repeats this same basic information in the SS record: his name, dates of birth/death, and place of issue of the Social Security card are all the same.

FamilySearch incorrectly gives his “estimated” age at death as 40.

Mocavo.com (Free SSDI)

tracy kemp death record from mocavo's social security death index

Tracy Kemp death record from Mocavo's Social Security Death Index

Mocavo gives the core facts in the SS record: name, dates of birth/death, and gives the age at death as 39 years old. This site gives the Social Security number. The other sites have all removed the SSN for security concerns.

Mocavo has no SSDI records for 2011 or 2012.

AmericanAncestors.org (Free SSDI)

AmericanAncestors Tracy Kemp SSDI Record

Tracy Kemp's SSDI record from AmericanAncestors.org

AmericanAncestors.org gives the first name, last name; birth date; death date and Social Security number. It has records from 1937 to 2011.

It is quickly apparent that all SSDI sites do not contain the same number of records or display the same amount of information. Clearly GenealogyBank.com has the edge, offering the most complete and accurate SSDI information available online.

Where can I find Philadelphia death certificates?

Q: I am trying to find the exact date of death of my ancestor. I am sure he died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1800 and 1910. Is there a source for death records for that time period?

A: You want to search these key sources:
1. Philadelphia Historical Newspapers on GenealogyBank 1719-1983 http://www.genealogybank.com/gbnk/newspapers/explore/USA/Pennsylvania/Philadelphia/
2. Philadelphia Death Records (free) online 1803-1915 http://search.labs.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#p=collectionDetails;c=1320976


It’s a great day for genealogy.

I found one of my ancestors in the 1881 Canadian census. What do I do now?

I found one of my ancestors in the 1881 Canadian census on http://www.familysearch.org/What do I do now?

Good work.

FamilySearch.org is a terrific free site – with helpful indexes like the 1881 Canadian census index.

You may see the original census page at a website put up by the The Library & Archives of Canada. It has the 1881 (and other) census records online – free.

New Brunswick Vital Records are online – free.

I copied out the index citations for Ella’s brother Charles and sisters: Agnes and Elizabeth.

But, now look carefully at these records. In the census – the mother’s name is: Mary and in these vital records it is given as Annie Stewart.

So, you need to determine – if these records are for the same family or not.

Questions you might ask:
1. Are Annie & Mary the same person?
Perhaps one name is her first name and the other her middle name OR perhaps Annie died and Stephen remarried a person named Mary before the 1881 census was taken.

2. Are these two different families with similar names?

The oldest child listed in the census – William – was born in 1862. So you want to search the Church registers from 1850 on to check for the parent’s marriage record and the records for each of the children.

Like the birth records from the New Brunswick Archives – the Church records should give the mother’s maiden name.

Notice too – that Stephen Jackson was born in England – in 1881 he gave his age as 45 – that would make his birth year as approximately 1836. Let’s hope that he rounded his age – since British birth, marriage and death records were started on July 1, 1837.

3. Your next critical question is: When did they leave Canada and emigrate to the United States? If they are in the US by 1900 – you will want to look for them in the 1900 Census.
If they are still in Canada in 1901 – then you want to search for them in the 1901 Census.

You may use the 1900 Census – free at FamilySearchLabs

You may search the 1901 Canadian Census at the Library & Archives of Canada.

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Indiana wants me …

Searching for Indiana family history?
GenealogyBank has Indiana newspapers from 1817 – Today.

Click here and search Indiana historical newspapers 1817-1930
Click here and search recent Indiana Obituaries 1990 – 2010
Click here and search Indiana Death records 1937-2010 (SSDI)

Newspapers in GenealogyBank
American Nonconformist. 11/11/1886 – 4/2/1896
Amigo del Hogar. 11/22/1925 – 4/13/1930
Batesville Herald-Tribune. 10/2/2009-Current
Bremen Enquirer. 10/7/2009-Current
Brookville Enquirer. 2/5/1819 – 12/26/1820
Chronicle-Tribune (Marion, IN). 3/18/1999-Current
Commercial Review, The (Portland, IN). 4/10/2003-Current
Decatur Daily Democrat. 3/11/2008-Current
Elkhart Truth. 12/29/2007-Current
Evansville Courier & Press. 6/19/1991-Current
Evening News and Tribune (Jeffersonville-New Albany, IN). 6/3/2006-Current
Fort Wayne News Sentinel. 6/29/1901 – 2/22/1923
Freeman. 6/12/1897 – 2/4/1899
Goshen News, The. 10/26/2007-Current
Greensburg Daily News. 10/2/2009-Current
Herald Bulletin, The (Anderson, IN). 11/13/2008-Current
Huntington Herald-Press. 5/13/2005-Current
Indiana Centinel. 3/14/1817 – 12/30/1820
Indiana Democrat. 10/30/1830 – 3/9/1838
Indiana State Journal. 6/24/1846 – 12/27/1899
Indianapolis Ledger. 4/13/1918 – 10/28/1922
Indianapolis Sentinel. 7/2/1872 – 9/30/1882
Journal Gazette, The (Fort Wayne, IN). 2/14/1992-Current
Madison Courier, The. 5/1/2001-Current
New Albany Daily Ledger. 2/11/1854 – 9/15/1860
News-Dispatch, The (Michigan City, IN). 4/1/1997-Current
News-Sentinel, The (Fort Wayne, IN). 8/6/1990-Current
Paper of Montgomery County, The (Crawfordsville, IN). 11/26/2004-Current
Pharos-Tribune (Logansport, IN). 10/2/2009-Current
Post & Mail, The (Columbia City, IN). 10/7/2009-Current
Post-Tribune. 9/17/2000-Current
Reporter, The (Lebanon, IN). 6/18/2008-Current
Shelbyville News, The. 6/2/2009-Current
Terre Haute Express. 12/25/1878 – 3/22/1881
Times, The (Noblesville, IN). 10/22/2008-Current
Vincennes Sun-Commercial. 10/7/2002-Current
Wabash Courier. 2/18/1836 – 1/1/1853
Washington Times-Herald, The. 11/5/2007-Current
Zionsville Times Sentinel, The. 10/2/2009-Current

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Happy Birthday GenealogyBank!

GenealogyBank is 3 years old today!
Wow – and has it grown. GenealogyBank has gone from 1,300 newspapers to over 3,800 newspapers – that’s the equivalent of going from 160 million articles to 346 million articles, documents and reports – GenealogyBank now has more than 130 million obituaries and death records. If you haven’t checked GenealogyBank in awhile – you should celebrate its birthday and try it today.

In October we added:
41 newspapers from 22 states
21 new titles

8,052 issues added from 1800-Today
Added nearly 14 million records, articles, documents

In the past 3 years GenealogyBank has ….
= More than doubled in size since it launched

= Added 186 million more articles, records and reports
= Jumped from 1,300 newspapers to over 3,800 newspapers
= Added 92,000 reports & books in just the past 12 months
= 130 million obituaries & death records
= Best source of old newspapers on the planet
= Largest collection of US newspapers published in German, French, & Spanish languages

It’s a great day for Genealogy!
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So, this couple just had a baby ….


I met a couple with a new baby boy.

They decided to name him for his mother’s brother –

They call him: Uncle.


Not only does GenealogyBank.com have over 130 million obituaries and death records it has tens of millions of birth announcements as well.

What will you find?
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GenealogyBank.com adds 1.5 million records

GenealogyBank.com added 1.5+ million records and documents this week: 62 newspapers; 1,500 books/documents; over 300,000 obituaries/death records.

GenealogyBank now has over 250,000 books, documents and reports.
Earlier this week we announced the addition of over 60 newspapers in the Historical Newspapers and the America’s Newspapers sections.

GenealogyBank:
Covers all 50 States!
1690-Today!
Updated daily!

3,800+ newspapers
130+ million obituaries & death records
250,000+ books & documents

With GenealogyBank you can read the same newspapers your ancestor’s did.

See what was happening every day of their lives.

Start your 30-day introductory trial on GenealogyBank.
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Simply call us at 800-243-7694 before your trial ends.
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Genealogist Obituaries – genealogists in 11 states pass away

Genealogists in 11 states pass away.
CT, MA, MI, MN, NH, OK, PA, TN, UT, WA, WV

Bell, Frederick R. (1945-2009)
Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) – May 6, 2009

Brown, Robert Arthur. (1927-2009)
Knoxville News Sentinel (TN) – May 6, 2009

Carrington, Hiram D., Jr. (1930-2009)
Republican-American (Waterbury, CT) – May 5, 2009

Church, James. (1925-2009)
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) – May 5, 2009

Moher, Mariette I. (Corriveau). (1921-2009)
Telegraph, The (Nashua, NH) – May 5, 2009

Payne, Marlene Alcorn. (1935-2009)
Spectrum, The (St. George, UT) – May 5, 2009

Quesenberry, Bobby J., Jr. (1959-2009)
Charleston Gazette (WV) – May 5, 2009

Shoemaker, Clyde P. (1927-2009)
Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA) – May 6, 2009

Stevens, Grace Louise. (1932-2009)
Kalamazoo Gazette (MI) – May 5, 2009

Ward, Dana Shaw. (1915-2009)
Plymouth Bulletin (MA) – May 5, 2009

Wilson, Joyce Fern. (1940-2009)
Muskogee Daily Phoenix and Times-Democrat (OK) – May 5, 2009

GenealogyBank with over 130 million obituaries is the largest source of obituaries and death records online.

Genealogist Obituaries – 12 Genealogists in 7 States have passed away.

12 genealogists in 7 States have passed away.

Baker, Francis J. (1916-2009)
News Journal (Mansfield, OH). May 1, 2009

Beeson, Myron. (1926-2009)
Salt Lake Tribune (UT). May 3, 2009

Cantwell, Nancy Carolyn McKissack. (1933-2009)
Denton Record-Chronicle (TX). May 3, 2009

Clever, Evelyn L. (1910-2009)
Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT). May 2, 2009

Davis, Pauline Rose. (1931-2009)
Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT). May 2, 2009

Heck, Glenn Eugene. (1929-2009)
Macon Telegraph (GA). May 3, 2009

Hoff, Marjorie Doris. (1921-2009)
Idaho Statesman (Boise, ID). May 4, 2009

Lister, Nancy Lou. (1940-2009)
Hartford Courant (CT). May 3, 2009

Lloyd, Bud D. (1927-2009)
Idaho Statesman (Boise, ID). May 3, 2009

Robinson, Norma Garrett. (1918-2009)
Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT). May 2, 2009

Stevens, Zina Greene Campbell. (1915-2009)
Standard-Examiner (Ogden, UT). May 5, 2009

Williams, Virginia Johns. (1929-2009)
Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA). May 2, 2009

GenealogyBank with over 130 million obituaries is the largest source of obituaries and death records online.

Cincinnati, OH Newspaper archives 1802-1890, 1990-Today now online

GenealogyBank has put the Cincinnati, Ohio newspaper archives: 1802-1890, 1990-Today online.

Click here to search Cincinnati, Ohio newspaper archives 1802-1890 online

Or click on the individual titles below to search a specific Cincinnati, OH newspaper:
Cincinnati Commercial Tribune 1869-1890
Cincinnati Daily Enquirer 1862-1876
Cincinnati Daily Gazette 1867-1883
Cincinnati Enquirer 1999-Today
Cincinnati Post 1990-2007
Spirit of the West 1814-1815
Whig 1802-1882

Did you know GenealogyBank has more than 130 million obituaries and death records – from Newspapers 1690 to Today; Government Reports like the US Army Register and hundreds of other sources?

Click Here and Start Searching Now