Search for your family members

  • By Jonathan Good
  • August 16, 2011
Free and easy social security record search

Today we are excited to launch a new way to search for family records in the social security database. The official US government database lists the names of the 89 million Americans who have passed away since 1936. As well as recording full names it also lists their last place of residence and can often be used to find their place of birth. This database can be purchased from the US government but we are excited to offer a completely free way for everyone to be able to search and discover their ancestors and relatives.

The 1000memories search tool is unique in allowing data visualizations that hint at trends and make it much faster and easier to find your family members. The map view shows a heat map of states, with darker shades of red indicating that a name has been much more popular in that state. This is nicely illustrated by a search for 'Huneycutt' (my cofounder's last name) that shows their concentration North Carolina - the region his family is originally from.

There is also a time-based view that could one day offer a glimpse into the relative popularity of names over time (were a lot more children named Buster after the Giant's won the World Series last year?).

Both of these tools are incredibly helpful in finding your relatives. You can then simply click on their name and start a memory page to tell the story of their life (all their biographic information will be pre-populated from the SSA records). It took me less than a minute to find my second cousin; Richard Vanness.

We hope that this is the start of a new way to discover and share your family history on 1000memories. We want to record the extraordinary stories of every one of these 89 million amazing individuals.

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