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Monday, January 20, 2020

Genealogy News


Using Social Security Death Records To Investigate Your Family Tree

In the U.S., Social Security death records are stored mainly in the Social Security Death Index, or SSDI. Part of the death records of the Social Security Administration Master (DMF) system, the SSDI is a collection of millions of death records of people (called "DMF") from early 1960 to almost present-day. Many DMF, however, date back as early as 1936-that was the year of the SSA began keeping death records.

Locating a DMF in the SSDI
The SSDI is generally available to the public courtesy of the Freedom of Information Act of 1966 and are considered public court records. As such, they can usually be found on ancestry and genealogy sites, as well as the SSA. Included in most of DMF SSDI are:


  • First and last names, initials, since 1990 the middle initial is listed too.
  • 20th century SSDI records show the month and year of death, post-2000 files list the complete date
  • The social security number of the deceased and the state it was issued
  • Last known address
  • Amount of lump sum payment, if a death benefit was issued
  • Birthday


What makes the location of a member of the deceased's family or friend Death Index file interesting is that the original SS-5 application (for a SS card) is attached, although it is stored at the SSA's NTIS (National Technical Information Service) division. The SS-5 can provide additional information beyond what DMF's contain. An SS-5 can include:


  • Birthday
  • Parents' full names, including maiden name of mother
  • Birthplace


It's not a requirement to have the deceased's Social Security Number to locate a DMF, but is likely to take longer to find them without it. The items you'll need are the deceased's full name, date of birth, place of birth, and parents (or guardians) full names.

What is even more interesting, perhaps, is the fact that some death records can be found in people born before or even during the Civil War (and, of course, that did not die until Social Security began compiling records death). For these very old records, most of the time you must have the social security number of the deceased.

Kevin Whitman is a bit of an amateur genealogy buff. To get tips about finding public records, check out his site at http://court-public-records.net/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kevin_A_Whitman      


Info To Help You Find County Death Records Online

Local governments and counties save records of death, officially known as "death certificates" available to the general public. Usually included in death certificate is the date of the person of birth (DOB), time and place of birth, date and time of death and last residence declared. A death certificate is an official document and is considered a vital record for each person. Other prominent civil records include divorce, marriage, adoption, and birth certificates.

Death certificates are not uniform nationwide
Depending on your specific state, other types of information may be recorded in the official records of death. Death certificates, in addition to the subject's birth date, time / place of death, and residence, also may include:


  • The deceased's time of residency
  • The name and location of the cemetery or crematorium
  • The official cause of death (as determined by the local coroner)
  • The names of the main surviving family members
  • The name(s) of the source of some of the data (if applicable)
  • The deceased's social security number, however, this is rare


It is important to remember that not all death records of the county and other public information are easily accessible. Depending on the municipal or state government, some records may require a fee and / or a request to obtain certain vital documents. In addition, many of the details mentioned above are not available in the records in many states because of privacy laws and confidentiality.

Tips for Locating County Death Records and Other Court Public Records
If you go on the hunt for a death certificate and come with nothing, there are a hundred reasons for what might have gone wrong. Most of the time one or a mixture of the following is the culprit:


  • Wrong place, usually the municipality, is used.
  • The date was wrong - and this could be either an error in the record, or the wrong date in the search.
  • The name of the person in the public record was misspelled or incorrect altogether.
  • A person who, without knowing it, to some, went under different names and aliases. For example, his nickname is sometimes the only name known some are familiar.
  • Reversing the situation, and that many people knew the full name for years but never learned his nickname, which incidentally was used in the public record.
  • It is rare, but records of some individuals life or never registered or are totally out of place or filed improperly.


Now that you have updated your search skills, you will be better armed to locate specific records should more effort be required.

Kevin Whitman is a bit of an amateur genealogy buff. To get more tips about finding public records, check out his site at http://court-public-records.net/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kevin_A_Whitman      


How to Be Aware of Errors in Genealogy Research

Do you know that particular ancestors of yours existed but you just can't find them?

Or do you absolutely know that an ancestor lived in a specific area but he or she doesn't show up on any census or land records?

What you may be dealing with is a pesky transposition (or transcription) error or the inability of the transcriptionist to read illegible handwriting. It's easy to forget that the handy online databases available to genealogists today were transcribed by humans from original documents, or even copies of original documents, in order to create a usable resource. When reviewing these online databases, the genealogist must be aware of the possibility of mistakes that can often occur in the process.

The time commitment and dedication given by these transcribers to any online project is incalculable. But they often face insurmountable obstacles in reading or entering information from these documents: The original script may be illegible due to the poor handwriting of the individual and/or the change in letter formation over the years. The original documents may be faded. The only copy of the information may be a replica of the original because of the fragile nature of the original, creating "first cause" errors. Or, as in many immigrant or census records, the record taker did not hear the name, date, or place correctly. The chance for mistakes, therefore, increases with each version.

For example: I had always heard that, in 1930, my father and his 3 siblings lived in Grays Harbor County, Washington. I searched the census records for Grays Harbor County, along with other Washington State counties' census records, for over 1.5 years and still came up empty-handed. I finally located his family in the 1930 Grays Harbor County census after doing a search for one of his sisters' first names only. As it turned out, their last name of "kroetch" had been spelled as 'krvatch' in the online database. After viewing the census taker's handwriting on the original document, it was a wonder to me that the transcriber could read even one or two letters of the name!

I have often seen the age of 74 become 79, an 1859 birth year become 1895, the letter "r" in a last name become an "e", and the name "Juanita" spelled as "Wannetta". The permutations are endless and if you become wedded to the supposedly exact nature of the records you research, you will overlook some very valuable data. In order to verify your research, you must be flexible about precise spellings, dates, and even locations. Since no single data source can be taken as the authoritative word on your research, collecting information from many records will eventually give you the best picture.

We are very fortunate to have dedicated individuals who take the time and make the effort to get information to us via the internet. It is amazing that these folks can find and even read some of these original documents. When I find variations or deviations in an online database and I have verification of the correct information, I notify the database owner so the information can be amended for other, later researchers.

Remember: To err is human. If the genealogist keeps this in mind and varies the parameters when doing research, perhaps a brick wall or two will come tumbling down!

Daniel J. Pinna is an avid lover of history, and as such began AncientFaces.com in 2000 to preserve family history photos and allow others to research their family history for free. To date, AncientFaces hosts over 50,000 photos that contain the images of our shared ancestors.

Search Family Photos by Surname or topic of interest at AncientFaces.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Daniel_Pinna       


Searching Public Divorce Records Is Easier Than You Think!

Public divorce records are generally considered public records of the court. Depending on your state, they may be filed in the state, county or city level or a combination of the three. Divorce public records, however, might not be as "public" as other vital records such as birth certificates and death due to privacy laws and statutes and the sensitivity of divorces in general.

Why people search for divorce records?
There are a variety of reasons why individuals seek divorce records in the public court records. The most common reasons include:

  • Doing research on the merits of a potential mate.
  • For legal reasons, mainly used by officials to ensure that two people engaged to be married are not already married to other people, for the purpose of verifying the marriage license.
  • To conduct genealogical research, tracing lost family members long ago, and even the identity of a person.
  • Records of divorce, perhaps unfortunately, can be used for purposes less than ideal also: blackmail, extortion, the smear campaign, court proceedings, etc.


What's in a divorce record and how to obtain one
Divorce records can potentially contain a significant amount of information about a person or a former marriage union. Depends primarily on the state, but includes information that typically appears in a file for divorce:

  • The full names of both spouses, residence, date, the presiding officer to set aside, and the grounds for divorce.
  • Division of the couple's assets, maintenance requirements (alimony) and the official allocation of children to parents (custody), if applicable, and the final decree.
  • Also, unless state law prevents it, restraining orders and other extenuating circumstances can be documented in a file for divorce.


Many states have put their records online in official divorce databases. The amount of information that is visible to the general public is very variable. In addition, not all states and municipalities scan and upload documents to the Internet.

First, determine where your state publishes vital records. Even if they're not loaded into a database online, there is likely a website detailing how the state manages the records and how they can be accessed. Many online retailers also offer certificates of divorce, however, the most useful tend to be those that charge a fee for access to certain records.

Kevin Whitman is a bit of an amateur genealogy buff. To get tips about finding public records, check out his site at http://court-public-records.net/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kevin_A_Whitman      


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