Michael Jackson (1958 -2009) – SSDI, Only on GenealogyBank

If you’re looking for Michael Jackson in the SSDI – you’ll only find him on GenealogyBank’s copy of the Social Security Death Index.

Why? Because GenelaogyBank is the ONLY site that updates the SSDI every week.

Michael Jackson (1958 -2009) You’ll Only Find Him on GenealogyBank’s SSDI

If you’re looking for Michael Jackson in the SSDI – you’ll only find him on GenealogyBank‘s copy of the Social Security Death Index.

Why?
Because GenealogyBank is the ONLY site that updates the SSDI every week.

Be a part of GenealogyBank – Sign up Now.

Find and document your ancestors in GenealogyBank – the best source for old newspapers on the planet.
Period!
Thank you to Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak for alerting me.
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Obituary Reveals Identity of Homesick Boy from Orphanage – 65 years later

Genealogists want to find and document every member of a family. They don’t want even one child to be forgotten.

Thanks to genealogist Ed Hutchison of Mississippi a 78 year old Syracuse, NY man’s true identity has been uncovered.

Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY) – April 5, 2009
Case, Dick. Death Uncovers Hidden Identity
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We called him Louie.
He told us his name was Louis Ludbeck.
Mostly, his life seemed to be a blank slate.


It wasn’t until he died March 5, that the mystery that was Louie began to unravel.
Louie died in peace at Francis House. He was 78. A stroke took him.

We know now that Louie was born Gene Rollin Poffahl, Jan.17, 1931. He came into a family of farmers in Albany County. Likely he had five siblings.

We know this because the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office came into the picture after Louie died. He went to Francis House, a hospice run by the Franciscan Order of Nuns, with no past: no government health insurance, no Social Security number, no record of medical treatment or military service. Just a limp, old man ready to die.

The nuns gathered Louie into their embrace, just the way Ann O’Connor and Peter King had, more than 30 years ago. He passed restfully, among friends.

Ann and Peter are two of the founders of Unity Kitchen of the Catholic Worker of Syracuse. They run an elegant soup kitchen, offering full-course, fully served meals twice a week, as well as brunch on Sundays after Mass. The kitchen gets by on alms and the good will of a small, devoted troop of volunteers, who support Ann and Peter with donations and the good will of their help, in-person sometimes twice a week.

They live in a house on Palmer Avenue, devoted to the Catholic Worker community. Years ago, Ann and Peter set their lives aside to serve the city’s poor in a very special way. My wife, Sandy, and I have been volunteers at the kitchen several years.

Louie drifted into Unity Kitchen maybe 30 years ago. No one paid attention to the exact date. Some say it was 1978. He was part of a continuous wave of needy folks who washed across the struggling agency every week. Back then, the kitchen was a literal soup kitchen, and a flophouse, holed up in two floors of an old sash factory tucked next to the DL&W railroad tracks about where Adams and South Clinton streets meet.

Louie settled in; he seemed to have found a home among the homeless. He said little, as became his way of life. Ann and Peter accepted his silence, knowing from experience that it’s not a good idea to poke at the psyche of a homeless person. If he wanted to share a story, he would. Louie didn’t. It was as if his life began when he arrived in Syracuse. The only clue he carried was a piece of paper marked Orwell,” where the affiliated Unity Acres shelter is located.

Peter recalls that Louie settled into a helping routine, taking on small jobs that seemed to give meaning to his life. He’d often stand fire watch in the building. When others refused to do anything but soak up the founders’ charity, Louie joined up, fit in.

“He seemed to have found his place,” Peter explains.

When Ann and Peter closed the old kitchen, and moved to new quarters in Syracuse’s only co-op apartment building on West Onondaga Street, Louie went with them. He was invited to join them in their home, moving into an upstairs bedroom in the house that’s not far from Unity Kitchen.

One time, Ann and Peter tried to bring Louie into the social welfare system. He told the social worker a fantastic story about owning a house at Split Rock and a car. No, he’s not eligible for help, they were told. You’ll have to apply to be his guardian.

Leave him alone, let it be, the couple was advised. Louie is Louie. He doesn’t want to reveal himself; maybe he can’t.

Louie kept to his routine at Unity Kitchen. He worked at menial things — taking out the garbage, dusting and mopping the floor, arranging chairs — and joining the other guests for meals. Louie asked for little and earned the love and respect of the community.

Like others of our readers, Ed Hutchison, a former county legislator who now lives in Mississippi, was intrigued by Louie’s obituary, which was published in The Post-Standard and the Albany Times Union. By then, the FBI fingerprint check had given him a new name and birth date. It also revealed he had been in the Army for seven years, discharged in 1957. Ed’s a genealogist and loves a mystery. He ran an Internet search.

The search revealed a number of folks with the last name of Poffahl, which is of German origin, in the Albany area. Ed also found a newspaper story with an Albany dateline from 1944: “A homesick boy, injured in trying to escape from the Humane Society for Children, fought for his life today. Gene Poffahl, 13, suffered critical back and neck injuries last week, when police said, he lost his grip on an improvised rope strung from a third-story window and fell to the porch steps of the shelter ….”

Gene Poffahl seems to be Louie Ludbeck. His age fits the FBI record. The accident also would explain Louie’s twisted body. “He was a pretty strong little guy,” according to Peter King, “but his motor facilities were compromised. He walked as if he was drunk.”

The mystery of Louie’s life continues to be peeled back. Peter’s been contacted by people who live in the Albany area who may be relatives. He’s being told his parents surrendered Louie and his brothers and sisters to an orphan home run by nuns in Troy; they couldn’t afford to raise the children. The Poffahls were vegetable farmers, supposedly.

His funeral service was held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Father John Schopfer, shepherd of Syracuse’s needy, presided. He was carried to his grave in St. Mary’s Cemetery by his friends from Unity Kitchen.

Louie obviously was a troubled man, hiding his history or leaving it where it fell. Peter says he sometimes overheard him “arguing with himself” in a loud voice in his room. He didn’t intrude.

I’m not sure we know how hard we should push our inquiry, either.

Dick Case writes Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at dcase@syracuse.com or 470-2254.
Edition: Final

Page: B1
Copyright, 2009, The Herald Company

GenealogyBank.com Celebrates Second Anniversary Online — Reports 67% Growth in Family History Records

GenealogyBank has added over 80 million historical newspaper articles, recent obituaries and other vital records in the past two years – growing 67% – going from 160 million records to over 240 million articles, records & documents.

To celebrate its expansion and success, GenealogyBank is now offering a 30-day trial for only $9.95 along with membership savings up to 50% after the trial period.

GenealogyBank, a leading provider of historical and recent newspapers for family history research, is celebrating its second anniversary online.

GenealogyBank has added over 80 million historical newspaper articles, recent obituaries and other vital records added in the past two years, GenealogyBank is the fastest growing newspaper site for family history research and an ideal resource for exploring the real stories behind the lives of past generations.

“We now have 67% more family history information online today than when we launched and we only plan to continue growing, with new documents digitized every month.”

GenealogyBank‘s 3,600+ newspapers provide a firsthand glimpse into the everyday lives of millions of Americans who lived from 1690 to the present day. In addition to names, dates, places and events, newspapers offer real-life stories of the triumphs, challenges and turning points that formed communities and shaped lives. GenealogyBank‘s exclusive newspaper content — from all 50 states — can help family history researchers dig deeper into their family’s past.

“Most importantly,” adds Kemp, “GenealogyBank provides substantial runs from big-city dailies, regional weeklies and small-town papers from across America. There is literally coverage from every day of the week across a 300-year span.”

“And with the most complete Social Security Death Index available–as well as government documents, rare books, military records and more — GenealogyBank has truly become the ‘go-to’ source for family history information.”

Special Anniversary Savings – Save up to 50% on memberships
To celebrate its expansion and success over the past two years, GenealogyBank is now offering a 30-day trial for only $9.95 along with membership savings up to 50% after the trial period.

Subscriptions to GenealogyBank include access to more than 240 million records including an estimated one billion names from all 50 states, each of which can be viewed as a single document and printed.

Millions of additional records are added monthly.

The Great Obituary Hunt …

Sharon writes an interesting column – with a grim name:

Find Your Dead

Today she wrote about “The Great Obituary Hunt” … it was interesting to see her approach to finding obituaries – the search terms used, how she expanded and restricted the words selected for each search and the terrific results that she found.

I was thrilled (of course) that she found her answers on GenealogyBank!

Read about her search for her family’s obituaries by clicking here …..

Then start searching on GenealogyBank and see what you will find.
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SSDI – Free on GenealogyBank

GenealogyBank has the most comprehensive; the most complete version of the SSDI online and now it is free online for genealogists to search.

We are celebrating Ida May Fuller’s birthday – she would have been 134 years old this year – and we’re getting a jump on celebrating our own birthday – GenealogyBank will be two years old – next month – on October 18th.

Ida May Fuller was the nation’s first Social Security benefit recipient and was a native of Vermont and lived all of her life there. In fact she lived for many years in nearby Ludlow, VT – a neighboring town to Chester, VT where GenealogyBank has its offices.

To celebrate both events we are giving back to the genealogical community and putting the most complete and up-to-date version of the SSDI free online.

So – here’s to a happy birthday to Ida May Fuller (1874-1975) – who was born September 6, 1874 and to GenealogyBank – born Oct 18th, 2006!!

GenealogyBank has not only the most complete SSDI online – it has expanded & enhanced the data – adding the day of the week when the person’s birth or death occurred and the GPS coordinates that many genealogists like to have for their records.

No other site updates the SSDI weekly.
Give it a try – search it right now – click here!

SSDI – By the Numbers

Social Security Death Index has:
82,637,474 – Death records
17,125,521 – Persons born in the 19th Century
1,040,516 – Persons that died between 1937 – 1962
5,983,919 – Persons who died in New York
191,268 – Persons named “Ida” in the SSDI
1 – Person who died in Palau

It’s a great day for genealogy!

Virginia is 401 years old today!

Happy Birthday to Virginia!
The first colonists arrived in Jamestown, Virginia on May 14, 1607 and with ups and downs the Commonwealth has prospered ever since.

GenealogyBank.com is packed with early Americana – including millions of Virginia items go back to the 1700s.

Newspapers
GenealogyBank has more than 100 Virginia newspapers – containing more than 2.3 Million articles. There are multiple titles going back to the 1700s and early 1800s.
Click here for a complete list

Also – GenealogyBank has more than 4 Million Virginia obituaries and death records in the America’s Obituaries and Social Security Death Index (SSDI) sections.

Other Virginia Resources in GenealogyBank

Search for Virginia documents in:
American State Papers and US Serial Set in the Historical Documents section.
There are thousands of Virginia documents in the Historical Books section that are unique to GenealogyBank.


For example – here is a petition to Congress signed by the local Virginia residents south of the James River that were seeking improved conditions on the Turnpike to Richmond.



Here is an example of an early Virginia funeral sermon – for Mrs. Ann Boyd who died 1819.



Terrific sources.

Beyond GenealogyBank – here are other useful sites for Virginia research
Virginia Census Records
1850, 1880, 1900 – Free Online – FamilySearchLabs


Virginia Digital Books Online
American Memory Project
Documenting the American South

Google Books
Making of America

Library of Virgina – Virginia Land Records

Virginia Genealogical Society
Be sure to see the back issues of their newsletter that you can download and read online

Virginia Historical Society
Current issue of Virginia Magazine of History & Biography
Be sure to see their online research guides

Virginia Vital Records
See the collection at the Library of Virginia
Virginia Department of Vital Records