The subscription historical newspaper service GenealogyBank has made its version of the SSDI—a database of people whose deaths have been reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA)—free. Most deaths listed in the SSDI happened after 1962, but look anyway—my great-grandfather, who died in 1949, is in there.
The SSDI can tell you when and where your ancestor died, and his Social Security number (SSN). You can use the SSN and death information to request his SS-5, the record of his application for a Social Security card. (Learn how in our associate editor’s Family Tree Firsts post.)
Other places with the SSDI free include FamilySearch, FamilyTreeLegends, World Vital Records, NewEnglandAncestors.org and RootsWeb. Each site adds new death information from the SSA on a different schedule; GenealogyBank updates its SSDI weekly.
You can search several sites’ SSDI databases simultaneously through Stephen P. Morse’s One-Step search.