Tell FamilySearch That I’ve Not Had My Birthday

The devil is, as they say, in the details. There’s an apparent bit of coding detail that’s not quite right at FamilySearch as far as the “United Social Security Death Index” is concerned. At least that’s how it appears from my informal study. Three entries are anecdotal and most certainly not a random sample, but there’s an apparent problem […]


No Smiths Died in the Entire US in October of 2014??

The devil may not be in the Social Security Death Index, but he certainly is in the details of searching it. is on of several sites offering their incarnation of the “Death Master File” maintiained by the Social Security Administration. styles their version of this database as the “Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014.” […]


Citing Social Security Items, Part II: Citing SSDI With No Social Security Number

My grandmother’s entry in the “Social Security Index (1935-2014)” at does not include her Social Security number because her death took place in 2008. Suggested citation form for various incarnations of the “Social Security Death Index” (generally created from the Master Death File maintained by the Social Security Administration) include the Social Security Number and […]