Friday, August 2, 2019

Social Security Death Index - Warning

As some of you know, I work off of Ancestry RECORD Hints, and find this works very well for me. I then will use the Web Merge feature of Family Tree Maker to get that data from the website, into my database. The REASON I do this is so that my database contains the exact information from that Record. Misspelling and all. When the Data is in my database, then I evaluate the information presented and mark the appropriate Fact as Preferred. Keep in mind, that I have already evaluated the Hint BEFORE I do the Web Merge, to make sure it is my person. This 2nd evaluation is to match this new information against the other information I already have.

Now, the reason for this blog post is to bring to your attention a problem that I have seen in a number of Records, but I will focus on ONE Record Group, the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) from Ancestry.

The issue: The Death Fact information.

I have seen this problem during the Web Merge of an SSDI Record, many times and have reported this as a Bug to Family Tree Maker. But, I wanted to see why the Web Merge was acting the way it was. The Root Cause of the problem (yes, I'll tell you in a minute), is the way that Ancestry handles this Record.

Here is a Hint, in my Ancestry Member Tree (AMT), for an Individual, for a SSDI Record:

This is a Quick Compare, in the AMT, with My information on the Right and the Record information on the Left. I only have the Year of the persons Death. The Record, in this Hint, had the Month and Date (all good) of the Death BUT is has a Death Location.

If I were to just accept that Hint, the Death Location would be Added to that Death Fact.

Here is the Issue:

If you Look at the RECORD, the Record has the Month and Year but NO Death Location. In this example, there is a Last Residence Fact, which is good, it includes the city, county, state, and Zip code. All good. BUT there is NO Death Location on that Record.

What information does the SSDI contain?

The SSDI contains the following information fields:ty number
Given Name
Date of Death
Date of Birth
Last Known Residence
Location of Last Benefit
Date and Place of Issuance
Note: the Date of Birth, nor the Date of Death items do NOT include the Location / Place. And, in the Web Merge, online or in Family Tree Maker, the Birth PLACE is not included. Only the Death Place (example in a minute)

My understand of the Last Know Residence and the Location of Last Benefit, is the last place someone lived, according to Social Security and where the Last Benefit was sent. Neither of them are noting the Place of Death.

In the Web Merge, in Family Tree Maker, as it the AMT Save Hint we see:

I will NOT accept that Place Name for the Death Fact, I must manually delete the Death Fact PLACE for an SSDI.

I caught this issue a while ago, but chose now to blog about it, when the SSDI claimed that my Grandfather Died in New Jersey. He did not, but the Last Benefit was sent to New Jersey.

My mothers SSDI claimed her last residence correctly, but the Last Benefit was sent to the same Place Name, but a different Zip Code. In this specific case, and the  reason why I enter those other Fact Names into my database, (deleting the Place of Death) is that it gave me a clue as to why my mother's estate did not include any Social Security benefits. It must have been sent to the Long Term Care facility, as part of their Contact. It IS useful information.

It is my opinion, that this is a BUG for to resolve as well as Family Tree Maker to resolve.

IF the RECORD does NOT Contain the Place of Death, it should NOT be included in the AMT Merge, nor the Family Tree Maker Web Merge Feature.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Print Friendly