Do you have family in New Jersey? Or did your ancestors live there? The Courier-Post newspaper has placed online - with free access - links to many useful databases for family historians and genealogists. You may just find information on your "missing" links.
New Jersey, 1846
The nation's largest death registry is the Social Security Administration's Death Master File, known by its acronym of SSDI, is an index of more than 80 million names that has helped countless families trace their roots back to the 19th century. It is is now available on DataUniverse, a free public records search offered by the Courier-Post newspaper in New Jersey.
The index is searchable by name, last residence, year of death or birth, and Social Security number.
To access the data, click the Courier-Post Online.
Although updated frequently and holds deaths from 1937, it does not contain everyone who died since then, such as those who did not have a Social Security number, those whose deaths were never reported to the Federal government, and other reasons. The majority are people who died from the 1960s onward when records were computerized.
Not in the database is President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the creator of Social Security, is not because he died in 1945. But Harry S. Truman, Ronald W. Reagan and even Elvis Presley are in the searchable files.
There is a link to order (for a fee) the original social security application documents which can provide many genealogical facts, including address at application, place of work, parents' names, birthdate and birthplace.
The newspaper's collection also offers free access to millions of government records, including New Jersey convicted criminals (if you're looking for your family's black sheep!), public school performance reports, public employee salaries and overtime, property sales and ownership (1999-2006), and links to medical and consumer information on the Web.
Other information provides information on teachers, police, firefighters, retirees, university employees, college entrance scores, campaign contributions and more. Depending on the records, data is searchable by name, address, town or other parameters.
It is definitely worth a look, and it is free.
I look forward to hearing your comments and your experiences using this database.