11 September 2008

GenealogyBank: SSDI now free for everyone

What a week! Announcements are flying through cyberspace.

Tom Kemp at the GenealogyBank blog announced that from today, its Social Security Death Index database is free.

Yes, SSDI is also available on other sites, so I asked Tom to enlighten me on some differences.

Why is GenealogyBank's SSDI better?

-Updated with corrections and new data weekly.
Other sites are updated quarterly or monthly, and one site hasn't been updated for a long time. Remember it isn't just updated with newly deceased persons -the weekly updates also include SAA older cases that have been worked on and added.

-Expands the life dates to give the name of the day of the week.
This is helpful for estimating when the funeral occurred. For Jewish burials, this will help determine the Jewish funeral date as there are no burials on Shabbat (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) or Jewish holidays, along with the religious law - with certain exceptions - that the burial should be completed within 24 hours,. It may also help to factor in deaths after sunset, which are counted as the next day of the Jewish calendar.

-Lets you search on foreign country of death.
Tom said that he found a woman who died in London that way - we didn't know her married name at death - just her first/middle names; and that she died in London. With this feature, was able to narrow down the place of death and locate her.

-Gives GPS coordinates.
Some techies want that today

-Gives list of all location options for zip code .
Not just one default location, means researchers can determine the actual place of death.

-Age given at death in years, months, days , not just chronological age.

Tom writes - in a purely subjective comment - that it's easy to cut-and-paste and add to his genealogy software. Also, the URL can be saved for citation and will always be in your notes. Want to see it again without searching? Just click on it.

The best part, he adds - is that it's free, no subscription necessary - so enjoy what GenealogyBank calls the best SSDI site on the planet - free to all researchers.

Also, GenealogyBank is approaching its second anniversary on October 18.
It is hard to keep track of all the field's achievements.

1 comment:

  1. As of October, 2009, GenealogyBank is not providing SSDI free. Check the site.