Monday, December 19, 2011

Comparing SSDI Results

With all the recent kerfuffle over changes to Social Security Death Index and its removal from Rootsweb, I wanted to re-evaluate all my options.  I also wanted to see how different databases deal with people deceased less than ten years (Ancestry has removed social security numbers for their entries).  I compared four databases, if you have one that you really like that isn't included below, please let me know about it!

My "test subject" is my grandmother who died about seven years ago.  First at

The next is FamilySearch:

Lastly, NEHGS:
While both NEHGS and FamilySearch include social security numbers, I like FamilySearch best because it includes the state of issuance (like Ancestry and GenealogyBank).  FamilySearch is also free which makes it even better!  Here's hoping they won't be making Ancestry-esque changes to their database anytime soon...

(I also love the One-Step social security number calculators and chart, so the state of issuance isn't that big a deal - as long as you have the number that is)

Disclosure:  I am in no way affiliated with any of the websites or companies mentioned in this post, nor was I prompted or remunerated by anyone to write this post.


  1. Leah, what a useful service you did for all of us. I'm printing your post out for future reference. Thank you so much.

  2. Leah,

    Please add to your list - it's free, and they will create the request letter like Rootsweb used to do.

    Thanks -- Randy

  3. Thank you for sharing this. My aunt died six weeks ago, and a sister-in-law's father died in early September, so I used them as test cases in the four databases you mention, as well as the one Randy mentions. There is an SSDI record for them in (no SSN) and GenealogyBank (no SSN). FamilySearch is not yet updated to include November 2011 deaths. (And NEHGS and FamilyTreeLegends aren't updated to include September 2011 deaths.) I will have to remember to look for their records in these databases when they are updated and see what information is provided.

  4. Leah,

    Thanks for the helpful information. I've not worked much on my genealogy this past year and have been a little out of the loop on what is happening in the genealogy world.

  5. Future SSDI sourced data will remove the state provided state and zip code for last residence and benefits. Will the free sites "update" their previous content? See:


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