Thursday, September 11, 2008

SSDI Comparison

GenealogyBank has announced that their database for the Social Security Death Index is now freely accessible.

GenealogyBank has the only SSDI database that is updated weekly. They also provide more information than some other sites, and as I will show below, in some cases, more accurate information.

I will compare the results for a great uncle of mine, Israel David Newmark, the youngest brother of my great grandfather Barney Newmark. I will compare GenealogyBank's results with Ancestry/Rootsweb's since that is probably the best known alternative.

[Note: it's public information so there really isn't an issue, but I removed the actual number from both results below]


Name / Birth / Death / Last Residence / Last Benefit / SSN / State of Issue
ISRAEL D NEWMARK 03 Apr 190316 Oct 2004 (V)63005 (Chesterfield, Saint Louis, MO)(none specified)


Social Security Death Index
Name: Israel D. Newmark
Date of Birth: Friday April 03, 1903
Date of Death: Saturday October 16, 2004
Est. Age at death: 101 years, 6 months, 13 days
Last known residence:

City: Chesterfield; Clarkson Valley; Gumbo; Wildwood

County: Saint Louis

State: Missouri

ZIP Code: 63005

Latitude: 38.6405

Longitude: -90.6464

Confirmation: Verified
Social Security details:

State of Issue: Missouri


GenealogyBank's provision of the GPS coordinates is very useful for some mapping software, and they also provide a much more exact description of the location. Both provide the location in the traditional City, County format. However, all four "cities" listed at GenealogyBank are part of the same zip code, and it seems that Ancestry/Rootsweb just lists the first in the series, which isn't necessarily the correct one.

Not being exactly sure which of the four cities my great uncle lived in, I verified this with a relative who died in the 63105 zip code. Ancestry/Rootsweb says she lived in St. Louis City, and GenealogyBank says " Saint Louis; Clayton; University City." She lived in Clayton.

Furthermore, Ancestry/Rootsweb says that my grandmother, Belle Feinstein Newmark, died in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO. Which most would interpret as St. Louis City, but they would be wrong. No portion of the zip code of her last residence, 63141, is in St. Louis City.

GenealogyBank is correct with "Creve Coeur, St. Louis, MO". How does Ancestry/Rootsweb get it wrong? I think it may be due to Creve Coeur being part of an unincorporated section of St. Louis County.

I also like how GenealogyBank provides the day of the week, and the estimated age at death. Those are nice additions.

It should be noted that while in the above example it appears Ancestry/Rootsweb has a location field for "Last Benefit", and GenealogyBank doesn't - when there is data for that field, it is provided at GenealogyBank as well. It's just left out of the results when the information is blank.

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