Don’t Cry About the SSDI

Last spring we did a two part series on the Social Security Death Index and it progenitor, the Death Master File. The posts are here and here. The series was prompted in part by reports of errors in the Death Master file, especially those which reported living persons as deceased. We learned that nearly 90% of the information in the …Continue reading →

Research Note: The SSDI (Part II)

This article is about the Social Security Death Index, not Social Security Disability Insurance. In our last post we learned a few things about the Social Security Death Index. First we found out that the government doesn’t use the term SSDI; this term is used by nongovernmental concerns to describe the product that they derive from the Social Security Administration’s …Continue reading →

Research Note: A Bit of Info about SSDI

A poster on the APG public mailing list recently asserted that she had come across an error in the date of death listed for a person on the SSDI. She questioned how this could happen when the entry was supposedly verified by a family member.  In response another poster said that as far as she knew, the Social Security Administration …Continue reading →

Two Quick Bits about Internet Research

Green Light (meaning “good”!):  I don’t know how I missed this one, but you can now order SS-5’s online from the Government using a credit card!  Go to the Social Security Administration’s “Electronic Freedom of Information Act” page at: The records requested will be mailed in hard copy to you.  This is a step in the right direction! Yellow …Continue reading →

Detective Work: A Misplaced Headstone

I was trolling through Greenman Tim’s Cabinet of Curiosities [which I'll write about at a later date--for now suffice it to say, a day without Walking the Berkshires is no day at all] when I came across this curiosity: Clarence Thomas Delaware PVT 52 CO 152 Depot Brigade World War 1 December 13 1890 March 14 1956 It’s the inscription …Continue reading →

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