Casefile Clues

10 January 2013

Harry Shipe in the SSDI--Four Databases--Three Results


The "Social Security Death Index" often confuses researchers.  The confusion usually centers on someone who is not in the database that "should" be.

In the case of Harry Shipe that is not the problem. He is in the database.

Brief Background

The actual file used to create the several renderings of "Social Security Death Index" is the "Death Master File" maintained by the Social Security Administration. This file contains the zip code of last residence of the deceased and the zip code where the last benefit (if any) was sent for the deceased. It includes also the date of birth and date of death. Not every dead person who had a social security number is in the file. It is only those deaths that were reported to the Social Security Administration. The details we will not go into here. Fairly simple stuff most of the time.

Except apparently for Harry Shipe.

Harry Shipe died in Illinois in December of 1979. He was a a first cousin of my Grandmother Neill. The fact that Harry is a grandson of Ira Sargent should have been a clue that there'd be something interesting in researching him. And there was. 

The dates of birth (5 May 1898) and death (December 1979) are the same for Harry in all three databases. The other information is slightly different as can be seen in the screen shots of the results.

Ancestry.com


 Ancestry.com 's results screen for Harry Shipe is shown here:

GenealogyBank


The result from Genealogybank.com  is shown here:

FamilySearch


The database result for Harry Shipe from FamilySearch is shown here:


NEHGS

Thanks to Randy Seaver!


NEHGS American Ancestors has:

HARRY SHIPE
Birth date: May 5, 1898.
Death date: Dec, 1979.
SSN: 351-32-6319.
State Issued: IL.
Residence location: Sutter, Illinois, 62373.
Residence county: Hancock.
Payment location: MENDON, Illinois, 62351.
Payment county: ADAMS



It may help to see the results in a chart:

Website
Last Residence Zip
Last Residence Location
Last Benefit Zip
Last Benefit Location
Ancestry.com
62373
Sutter, Hancock, Illinois
62351
Mendon, Adams, Illinois
GenealogyBank
62373
Sutter, Hancock, Illinois
62373
Mendon/Tioga; Adams, Illinois [sic]
FamilySearch
62373
Sutter, Hancock, Illinois
Not given
Not given
NEHGS
62373
Sutter, Illinois
62351
Mendon, Illinois

From the United States Postal Service website:

  • 62351--is Mendon, Illinois and Tioga, Illinois.
  • 62373--is Sutter, Illinois.


The locations are pulled from the zip codes. The last residence is consistent. It is the last benefit that is somewhat confusing.  I am not understanding why the zip codes are different in the different databases. I understand that the database provides a last residence zipcode and a last benefit zipcode.  I am working on getting an answer to why the difference. Stay tuned--when (and if) I have an answer we'll post an update.

Oh, why didn't I mention Fold3?

Stay tuned for that as well.
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