What's up with this? Picked up a Gannett Newspaper, the Courier News, while in New Jersey this week. Front-page story in the Jan. 27 edition announces that the nation's largest death registry -- the Death Master File -- has been linked to the Courier News' free public records website. Go to datauniverse.com to view records of 80 million names complete with social security numbers, years of birth/death, and last residence. You'll find mostly people who died in the 1960s through June 2007.
Apparently, the Social Security Administration opened the death index to the public in the 1980s. It's said to be especially valuable to people researching their ancestors. Guess all those stories I've heard about criminals stealing the ss numbers of the dead are wrong? They point out that companies use the database to prevent scammers from using retired numbers. We are told there is "absolutely no threat to national security or a living person's identity."
I tested it. Found one of my grandmothers, my great aunt and some other relatives. Found Linda McCartney and Elvis but couldn't find Hunter S. Thompson or Andy Warhol (Warhola).