Monday, December 12, 2011

Social Security Death Index Gone from Rootsweb.com

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One of the very best FREE databases for the past ten years or more has been the Social Security Death Index (actually the Death Master Index) on Rootsweb (http://searches.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ssdi.html).  One of the best features of this page was the letter that could be printed to order an SS-5 application from the U.S. government.

Now it is gone.  The note on the site says:

"Due to sensitivities around the information in this database, the Social Security Death Index collection is not available on our free Rootsweb service but is accessible to search on Ancestry.com. Visit the Social Security Death Index page to be directly connected to this collection."

This must have happened in the last few days, since I used it last week on Rootsweb.

The Social Security Death Index is also available on:

FamilySearch.org:  FREE, but no letter written.

GenealogyBank.com:  FREE, but no letter written.

Ancestry.com:  not FREE; if you have a subscription, the information will be provided.  There is a link to write a letter in the Page Tools (upper left corner of the Search results) - "Request copy of original application."

WorldVitalRecords.com:  not FREE: if you have a subscription (or register for a free three-day subscription), you can see the information. 

AmericanAncestors.org:  FREE:  but no letter is written.

FamilyTreeLegends.com:  FREE: will write a letter to obtain the application.

There is an interesting comment on the Ancestry page:

"Why can’t I see the Social Security Number? If the Social Security Number is not visible on the record index it is because Ancestry.com does not provide this number in the Social Security Death Index for any person that has passed away within the past 10 years."

This is, I think, another recent change.

Hat tip to Sheri Fenley on Google+.

Updated:  13 December 2011 - added content in red type.

11 comments:

Adam said...

It must have just happened today, as I used the free version at Rootsweb this weekend!

Geoff said...

Yes, it must have happened this morning as I just posted about it on my blog this morning.

Greta Koehl said...

I have a subfolder in my Genealogy folder for "forms," and I have two versions of the template for the letter saved there, if anyone is interested in a copy.

Paula from SCGS said...

World Vital Records has a copy but you need to register for a three-day free trial in order to use it for free.

Jennifer Trahan said...

That Ancestry comment is interesting. I went to the site and looked up my grandmother who passed away in 2008. Her social security number is still visible at Ancestry.com. I think it's absurd that people think social security numbers of dead people are private. The recent changes in info available on social security applications and the SSDI is driving me bonkers!

Cherie in OC said...

NOT free on Ancestry unless you have a paid subscription! At 7:23 pm PST I just tried! IMHO: Sadly, just another way for Ancestry to sell subscriptions.

Debbie Blanton McCoy said...

The letter to order a copy of the SS-5 is not that important any more since they now block out the parents' names of any applicant who was born less than 100 years ago unless you provide proof that the applicant's parents are deceased. If you know that information, you probably wouldn't need a copy of the SS-5 to begin with.

Anonymous said...

I used the SSDI every day at work, and now am running into a lot of hassle. I think it's a joke to claim "confidentiality" concerns, when all you need to bypass this confidentiality is that dollar green... making someone pay for information does not make it confidential!!!

charles southby said...

Just another way for our socialistic President to hide info.
Just look at the questions from the last Census

Robert Wayne said...

It's getting harder and harder to get any free information online. No more free social security death index info. This really stinks. Ancestry.com just makes themselves look like another greedy company out for every penny with this crap.

sajosovic said...

Social Security Death Master File, free http://ssdmf.info