Difference between revisions of "United States Social Security Death Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)"

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{{FamilySearch_Collection|CID=CID1202535|title=United States Social Security Death Index|location=United States}}<br>
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'''[[United States Genealogy|United States]]'''
  
== Collection Time Period ==
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{{United States HR Infobox
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|CID=CID1202535
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|title=United States Social Security Death Index
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|location=United States
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| record_type = Death
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| start_year = 1937
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| end_year = 2005
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| FS_URL_01 = [[Social Security Death Index (SSDI)]]
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| FS_URL_02 = [[U.S. Social Security Records for Genealogists]]
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| FS_URL_03 = [[United States Record Finder]]
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| FS_URL_04 =
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| FS_URL_05 =
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| FS_URL_06 =
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| FS_URL_07 = 
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| FS_URL_08 = 
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| FS_URL_09 = 
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| FS_URL_10 = 
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| RW_URL_01 = [http://www.stevemorse.org/ssdi/ssdi.html Searching the Social Security Death Index]
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| RW_URL_02 = [http://www.ntis.gov/products/ssa-dmf.aspx National Technical Information Service] Note that the NTIS states the index has records beginning in 1936, this page states 1962. 1962 is the year SSA automated and the record of deaths earlier that should not be considered complete.
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| RW_URL_03 = 
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| RW_URL_04 =   
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| RW_URL_05 =
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| RW_URL_06 =
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| RW_URL_07 =
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| RW_URL_08 =
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| RW_URL_09 =
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| RW_URL_10 =  
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| custodian =  
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}}
  
This index covers death events from 1962 to 2005 and a few from 1937 to 1961. &nbsp;Current as of February 28, 2011.
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== What is in This Collection?  ==
  
== Record Description ==
+
The "Social Security Death Index" is an online searchable database. This index is a master index file of deceased individuals whose deaths were reported to the Social Security Administration. It has been kept since 1962, when operations were computerized. The index includes a few deaths from 1937 to 1961, about 50 percent of deceased persons from 1962 to 1971, and about 85 percent of deceased persons from 1972 to 2005. Records for the most recent 3 years are not available.
  
The index is an online searchable database. It only includes the names of deceased individuals whose deaths were reported to Social Security.  
+
Married women are usually listed in this index under their married name. Last names longer than 12 letters are shortened to 12 characters. The death place listed is not necessarily the place of death, it is the last place of residence that the Social Security Administration has on file. When two geographical divisions are given they represent County/State as opposed to City/State. For example Jefferson,Texas refers to the county of Jefferson not the City of Jefferson. If a town name of last residence is not listed, it may be found by use of the Zip code. The death date, residence at time of death, Social Security number, and state of issue are usually reliable information since the information comes directly from the Social Security Administration’s master file. However, realize that errors may have occurred when the information was originally entered. Information listed for the name and birth date was provided by an informant and may be inaccurate.
  
=== Record Content  ===
 
  
The index includes the following information:
+
The Social Security Administration (SSA) was created in 1936 and began issuing Social Security numbers to track the earnings that workers reported for retirement benefits. In 1961, the Internal Revenue Service began using Social Security numbers to identify taxpayers. The SSA provides an extract from its file for distribution through the Department of Commerce’s National Technical Information Service. Because this extracted file deals with deceased persons, the information is considered to be in the public domain. Several organizations have purchased this file and posted it to their websites.
  
*Name of the deceased (Married women are usually listed by their married name)
+
*Birth date
+
The follow is a disclaimer from National Technical Information Service.
*Death date
 
*Social Security number
 
*State or territory where the Social Security number was issued
 
*Death residence zip code and corresponding localities
 
  
== How to Use the Records  ==
+
:"The products advertised on this website contain the complete and official Social Security Administration (SSA) database extract, as well as updates to the full file of persons reported to SSA as being deceased. SSA authorizes the use of this database as a death verification tool, but notes that the Death Master File (DMF) may contain inaccuracies. Thus, SSA cannot guarantee the accuracy of the DMF. Therefore, the absence of a particular person on this file is not proof that the individual is alive. Further, in rare instances it is possible for the records of a person who is not deceased to be included erroneously in the DMF."
  
Name indexes make it possible to access specific information quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings or misinterpretations.  
+
<br> For additional information about the index please visit the website for the [http://www.ntis.gov/products/ssa-dmf.aspx National Technical Information Service].
  
When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:
+
== What Can These Records Tell Me? ==
  
*The place where the death occurred.
+
The index includes the following pieces of information:
*The approximate date of the death.
 
*The name of the deceased.
 
  
Follow these steps to use the index.
+
*Name of the deceased (Married women are usually listed by their married name.)
 
+
*Birth date  
*Enter your ancestor’s first and last names in the appropriate fields. Be aware that married women are usually listed under their married names.  
+
*Death date  
*Enter a birth year or death year. For common names enter a year range.
+
*State or territory where the Social Security number was issued
 
+
*Death residence, zip code and corresponding localities (This in not necessarily the place of death, it is the last place of residence that the Social Security Administration has on file.)
If there are no results, try variant spellings of the names.
 
 
 
Follow the additional instructions on the screen for search tips and to learn how to request a copy of the person’s original application.
 
 
 
Compare the information in the index to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
 
 
 
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:
 
 
 
Use the death date and place to obtain a death certificate. The death certificate may lead you to mortuary, funeral, or church records
 
 
 
Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find your ancestor’s birth records and parents' names.
 
 
 
If your ancestor was born before 1930 you can use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
 
 
 
Use the residence to locate church and land records. <br>Keep in mind:
 
 
 
*The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
 
*There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
 
*If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, check for variant spellings of the surnames.
 
*The index only includes the names of deceased individuals whose deaths were reported to Social Security.
 
 
 
You may also want to do the following;
 
 
 
*Search the index to see if other family members are also listed. These might include the father, the mother, brothers, and sisters.
 
*Search the index to see if earlier or later generations are also listed. These might include aunts, uncles, grandparents, or children.
 
 
 
== Record History  ==
 
 
 
This index is a master index file of deaths reported to the Social Security Administration. It has been kept since 1962, when operations were computerized. The index includes about 50 percent of deceased persons from 1962 to 1971 and about 85 percent of the deceased persons from 1972 to 2005. It also includes a few deaths from 1937 to 1961. As of 2005, the index contained 76 million death records.
 
 
 
The Social Security Administration provides an extract from its file for distribution through the Department of Commerce’s National Technical Information Service. Because this extracted file deals with deceased persons, the information is considered to be public domain. Several organizations have purchased this file and posted it to their Web sites.
 
 
 
=== Why This Collection Was Created?  ===
 
  
The administration was created in 1936 and began issuing Social Security numbers to track the earnings that workers reported for retirement benefits. In 1961 the Internal Revenue Service began using Social Security numbers to identify taxpayers.
+
== Collection Content  ==
  
=== Record Reliability  ===
+
Sample of indexed information:
  
The death date, death residence, Social Security number, and state of issue is usually reliable since it comes directly from the Social Security Administration’s master file. However, realize that errors may have occurred when the information was originally entered. Information listed for the name and birth date was provided by an informant and may be inaccurate.
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{| style="width:60%; vertical-align:top;"                 
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|-                 
 +
|style=" vertical-align:top; width:20%;"|
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{| border="1" class="wikitable sortable"
 +
|-
 +
! align="center" style="background: rgb(240,240,240)" scope="col" | '''John Smith
 +
! align="center" style="background: rgb(240,240,240)" scope="col" | '''United States Social Security Death Index
 +
|-
 +
|Age
 +
|91
 +
|-
 +
|Given Name
 +
|John
 +
|-
 +
|Surname
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|Smith
 +
|-
 +
|Birth Date
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|14 Dec 1873
 +
|-
 +
|State
 +
|Michigan
 +
|-
 +
|Event Date
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|May 1964
 +
|-
 +
|}
 +
|}
  
== Related Web Sites ==
+
== How Do I Search This Collection? ==
 +
To search the index it is helpful to know:
 +
*The name of your deceased ancestor
 +
*The place where your ancestor died
 +
*The approximate date of the death
  
This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying links to related web sites here.  
+
=== Search the Index ===
 +
{{Search Collection Link
 +
| CID=CID1202535
 +
}}
 +
=== How Do I Analyze the Results? ===
 +
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a [[Use_Appropriate_Forms#Prepare_a_Research_Log | research log]].
  
== Related Wiki Articles ==
+
== What Do I Do Next? ==
  
[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Social_Security_Death_Index_(SSDI) wiki.familysearch.org/en/Social_Security_Death_Index_(SSDI)]
+
=== I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now? ===
 +
*Use the death date and place to obtain a death certificate. The death certificate may lead you to mortuary, funeral, or church records. Follow the additional instructions on the screen for search tips and to learn how to request a copy of the person’s original application
 +
*Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find your ancestor’s birth records and parents' names
 +
*If your ancestor was born before 1940 you can use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records
 +
*Use the residence to locate other family members, church and land records
 +
*Married women are usually listed under their married name
 +
*The death place is not necessarily the place of death, it is the last place of residence that the Social Security Administration has on file
 +
*When 2 geographical divisions are given they represent County/State as opposed to City/State. For example Jefferson,Texas refers to the county of Jefferson not the City of Jefferson
 +
*Using the Zip code of last residence helps determine the town 
 +
*The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant
 +
*There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record
 +
*If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, check for variant spellings of the surnames
 +
*The index only includes the names of deceased individuals whose deaths were reported to Social Security
 +
*Surnames longer than 12 letters are truncated to 12 characters. You may need to retry your search using only the first 12 letters of the name
 +
*Search the index to see if other family members are also listed. These might include the father, the mother, brothers, and sisters
 +
*Search the index to see if earlier or later generations are also listed. These might include aunts, uncles, grandparents, or children
  
[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/U.S._Social_Security_Records_for_Genealogists wiki.familysearch.org/en/U.S._Social_Security_Records_for_Genealogists]<br>
+
=== I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now? ===
 +
*Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names
 +
*Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records
 +
*Search the indexes and records of nearby counties
 +
*Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor
 +
*Married women are usually listed under their married names
  
=== Contributions to This Article  ===
+
=== Record Finder ===
  
{{Contributor invite}}
+
Consult the [[United States Record Finder]] to search other records.
  
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
 
  
When you copy information from the record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find th record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you do not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
+
== Citing This Collection ==
  
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched in found in the Wiki Article: [[How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections|How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections]]
+
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
  
=== Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection ===
+
;Collection Citation:"United States Social Security Death Index." Database. <i>FamilySearch</i>. <nowiki>http://FamilySearch.org</nowiki> : 14 June 2016. Citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  
"U.S. Social Security Death Index." index, ''FamilySearch:'' ([https://www.familysearch.org https://www.familysearch.org]): accessed April 8, 2011.entry for Fred D. Evans, born 9 April 1898 died 3 March 1988; citing Social Security Records, Social Security number 031-01-1427; Social Security Administration.
+
{{Record_Citation}}
  
== Sources of Information for This Collection  ==
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'''[[#top|Top of Page]]'''
  
<!--bibdescbegin-->"Social Security Death Index," index, ''FamilySearch:'' ([https://www.familysearch.org https://www.familysearch.org]); from Social Security Administration. Online database, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah <!--bibdescend-->
+
== How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki? ==
  
[[Category:United_States|Vital]]
+
{{Contributor_invite}}
 +
{{H-langs|en=United States Social Security Death Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)|pt=Estados Unidos, Índice de Óbito da Segurança Social (Registros Históricos do FamilySearch)}}

Latest revision as of 19:21, 11 May 2018

United States

Access the Records
United States Social Security Death Index
CID1202535
{{{CID2}}}
{{{CID3}}}
{{{CID4}}}
{{{CID5}}}
{{{CID6}}}
{{{CID7}}}
{{{CID8}}}
{{{CID9}}}
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
United states america-flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
US Locator Blank.svg.png
Location of the United States of America
Record Description
Record Type Death
Collection years 1937-2005
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
  • National Technical Information Service Note that the NTIS states the index has records beginning in 1936, this page states 1962. 1962 is the year SSA automated and the record of deaths earlier that should not be considered complete.


What is in This Collection?

The "Social Security Death Index" is an online searchable database. This index is a master index file of deceased individuals whose deaths were reported to the Social Security Administration. It has been kept since 1962, when operations were computerized. The index includes a few deaths from 1937 to 1961, about 50 percent of deceased persons from 1962 to 1971, and about 85 percent of deceased persons from 1972 to 2005. Records for the most recent 3 years are not available.

Married women are usually listed in this index under their married name. Last names longer than 12 letters are shortened to 12 characters. The death place listed is not necessarily the place of death, it is the last place of residence that the Social Security Administration has on file. When two geographical divisions are given they represent County/State as opposed to City/State. For example Jefferson,Texas refers to the county of Jefferson not the City of Jefferson. If a town name of last residence is not listed, it may be found by use of the Zip code. The death date, residence at time of death, Social Security number, and state of issue are usually reliable information since the information comes directly from the Social Security Administration’s master file. However, realize that errors may have occurred when the information was originally entered. Information listed for the name and birth date was provided by an informant and may be inaccurate.


The Social Security Administration (SSA) was created in 1936 and began issuing Social Security numbers to track the earnings that workers reported for retirement benefits. In 1961, the Internal Revenue Service began using Social Security numbers to identify taxpayers. The SSA provides an extract from its file for distribution through the Department of Commerce’s National Technical Information Service. Because this extracted file deals with deceased persons, the information is considered to be in the public domain. Several organizations have purchased this file and posted it to their websites.


The follow is a disclaimer from National Technical Information Service.

"The products advertised on this website contain the complete and official Social Security Administration (SSA) database extract, as well as updates to the full file of persons reported to SSA as being deceased. SSA authorizes the use of this database as a death verification tool, but notes that the Death Master File (DMF) may contain inaccuracies. Thus, SSA cannot guarantee the accuracy of the DMF. Therefore, the absence of a particular person on this file is not proof that the individual is alive. Further, in rare instances it is possible for the records of a person who is not deceased to be included erroneously in the DMF."


For additional information about the index please visit the website for the National Technical Information Service.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The index includes the following pieces of information:

  • Name of the deceased (Married women are usually listed by their married name.)
  • Birth date
  • Death date
  • State or territory where the Social Security number was issued
  • Death residence, zip code and corresponding localities (This in not necessarily the place of death, it is the last place of residence that the Social Security Administration has on file.)

Collection Content

Sample of indexed information:

John Smith United States Social Security Death Index
Age 91
Given Name John
Surname Smith
Birth Date 14 Dec 1873
State Michigan
Event Date May 1964

How Do I Search This Collection?

To search the index it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your deceased ancestor
  • The place where your ancestor died
  • The approximate date of the death

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the death date and place to obtain a death certificate. The death certificate may lead you to mortuary, funeral, or church records. Follow the additional instructions on the screen for search tips and to learn how to request a copy of the person’s original application
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find your ancestor’s birth records and parents' names
  • If your ancestor was born before 1940 you can use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records
  • Use the residence to locate other family members, church and land records
  • Married women are usually listed under their married name
  • The death place is not necessarily the place of death, it is the last place of residence that the Social Security Administration has on file
  • When 2 geographical divisions are given they represent County/State as opposed to City/State. For example Jefferson,Texas refers to the county of Jefferson not the City of Jefferson
  • Using the Zip code of last residence helps determine the town
  • The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record
  • If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, check for variant spellings of the surnames
  • The index only includes the names of deceased individuals whose deaths were reported to Social Security
  • Surnames longer than 12 letters are truncated to 12 characters. You may need to retry your search using only the first 12 letters of the name
  • Search the index to see if other family members are also listed. These might include the father, the mother, brothers, and sisters
  • Search the index to see if earlier or later generations are also listed. These might include aunts, uncles, grandparents, or children

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor
  • Married women are usually listed under their married names

Record Finder

Consult the United States Record Finder to search other records.


Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"United States Social Security Death Index." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.

Top of Page

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.