Joe Everett is a genealogist at FamilySearch working to help people discover their family history. He recently returned to FamilySearch, after spending 7 1/2 years at Ancestry.com, working to put new databases online. Joe is currently managing an international team of research consultants who assist people at the Family History Library and worldwide through Internet learning tools. Joe was previously the head of International Reference at the Family History Library, and also worked for several years there as a technical services librarian, cataloging Slavic and Germanic records. Joe earned a B.A. in Russian Language and in Family History/Genealogy (Germanic emphasis) from Brigham Young University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (Kansas). He has been a member of various library and genealogical associations and has lectured and published articles on Germanic & Slavic family history and Central & East European historical geography and migration.

18 February 2012

FGS RPAC announces SSDI Call to Action Kit

The Federation of Genealogical Societies Records Preservation and Access Committee has announced a new SSDI Call to Action Kit.  From the RPAC site: "Your help is needed to help Save the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) as an accessible resource for the genealogical community and others."  The "kit" consists a list of action items that individuals can take to help save this vital family history resource.  The steps are not hard to take, but will make a difference.  Take action!  And spread the word! http://www.fgs.org/rpac/2012/02/13/new-ssdi-call-to-action-kit/

Save the Social Security Death Index

Genealogists! Only 3,666 have signed the petition to save the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).  (https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/take-steps-stop-fraudulent-tax-refund-claims-based-upon-identity-theft-recently-deceased-infants/SghL35V4)  Supporting this petition helps prevent fraud and it also helps family history. Privacy advocates are calling for the Social Security Death Master File to be restricted from public use, because it is potentially used by criminals for identify theft. A better solution is for the IRS to start actually using the Social Security Death Master file to filter out fraudulent tax filings. The same Social Security Death file is a very important resource for everyone seeking the family history in the United States. Locking it up would mean that generations of Americans would lose a vital link to their past. Help educate our elected lawmakers on this issue. Everyone agrees that identity theft and fraud must be prevented. The answer is not to lock up public information. The answer is to make proper use of that information. For more information, go to the FGS Records Preservation and Access Committee page http://www.fgs.org/rpac/.