SSDI Gone in Censorship Scandal

Massive Loss to Genealogists Everywhere

Screen shot of the SSDI website.
SSDI, Rest in Peace

In my ongoing research of personal genealogy and family history, I can honestly say that no single record set had been more valuable to me than the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) database that was freely available on the RootsWeb website.  I attributed no less than 193 individual citations to this database, just in my own family tree.

While conducting such research during this winter break, I was shocked to see this message appear on RootsWeb:

Due to sensitivities around the information in this database, the Social Security Death Index collection is not available.

I was further shocked to learn that this database take down was initiated by the United States Senate.  I cannot avoid decrying censorship.  The SSDI has become a national treasure of historical information, and to even propose blocking its public use is a violation of our guaranteed freedoms.

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Speaking of Genealogy

Finding Your Ancestors in Michigan, by Robert Chapin, March 2011
My Title Slide

I made a fun little PowerPoint show about the tricks and shortcuts that genealogists can use to find historical records.

Finding Your Ancestors in Michigan

This is for a class where I will demonstrate how to start a family tree and begin researching the names of ancestors and relatives.  My main points include how to use free, general-purpose genealogy databases, and how to balance the focus and relevance of different resources.

June Joys

EMU, jury duty, JCC, Rob's Relatives, WordPress, Canon Camera x.x, Google Images >:{
My week, in logos

Many exciting things happened here recently.  Last Thursday I volunteered to help staff the airport while the Nascar drivers flew in for their race.  Friday I did my first solo flight at JCC.  Saturday I got a perfect score on the aviation test.  I spent Sunday reading the Aeronautical Information Manual.  Monday I performed a rejected takeoff that I was particularly proud of.  Tuesday I basically had a class from 4pm to 11pm.   But right before that I was congratulated on being admitted to EMU for the fall term, so it was all smiles.  🙂

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