Friday, February 10, 2012

Keep the Social Security Death Index Open

Utah State Archives and Records Service; Salt Lake City, Utah; Military Service Cards, ca. 1898-1975; Creating Agency: Department of Administrative Services, Division of Archives and Records Service; Series: 85268; Reel: 111.

Everyone is concerned about privacy laws. Some new legislation looks to restrict public access to the Social Security Death Index. This index is a great help to genealogists. I especially use it to locate deceased family members who have moved to an unknown location.

A petition is available through the White House website where you can electronically sign and request that the current index remain open to the public. The petition asks that the Social Security info be blocked in a safer and different way than restricting public access to the index. It takes just a few minutes to set up an account and sign the petition. Pass this on and help keep this important tool open to everyone. We need about 20,000 signatures before the end of February 2012.

Just this last week I found two Wammack cousins through the Social Security Death Index. I knew from the 1930 census that Charles Roy and James Troy were twins, born in early 1930. The family was in Dickens County, Texas. Some of our Wammack family is unusual in that the name is spelled Wammack, not Womack. There in the Social Security Death Index was Charles R. Wammack born 28 Jan 1930, and who died in 1992 in Central Point, Jackson, Oregon. I also learned that Charles had lived in Nevada at one point, and that he was a U.S. Veteran. He served in Korea and is now buried at the Eagle Point National Cemetery in Oregon. Without the Social Security Death Index, I probably could not have linked Charles to these other records.

Because I knew James was Charles' twin, I looked for another person born on that date and I found a James T. Wammack living in Georgia and Alabama who was born 28 Jan 1930. He is not showing on the SS Death Index, so he is possibly still living. A surprise is that a James Troy Wammack served in the Army in 1948 and his mother was living in Brigham City, Utah (not far from my home, see the image above). This family which was formerly lost after the 1930 Census, is beginning to take shape. All of this family's story is built on the foundation the Social Security Death Index built.

Please take a moment to sign the petition. Please pass this link on to anyone you think might take the time to sign also.

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