JGSWS meets on the second Monday of each month, from September through June. Doors open at 6:30 PM unless noted otherwise. Our meeting location, since September 2013, is the LDS Factoria Building, 4200 124th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98006 (in Factoria, just off I-90 and I-405). Occasional meetings will be held at the JCC on Mercer Island. Admission is free.

NEXT MEETING: Monday, October 19, 2015
at the LDS Factoria Building

  • Presentation starts at 7:15 PM
  • Doors open at 6:30 PM
  • Free admission and refreshments
  • Free Wi-Fi

Come early to use the Family History Library computers and databases, as well as our extensive JGSWS library!

"Using USCIS Records to Research Jewish and Ethnic Roots," presented by Marian L. Smith, USCIS


Researching your immigrant ancestors? USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) historical records expert Marian L. Smith will present an overview of the Federal immigration agency’s records housed both at the National Archives (NARA) and USCIS. The talk will include examples, identification and finding aids, and explanations of research procedures.

Come listen to this inspiring speaker and walk away with valuable knowledge on the resources and methods for researching, as well as tips on getting the most out of the USCIS documents to research your Jewish and ethnic roots.



Marian L. Smith specializes in the history and uses of immigration and naturalization records. She served as Chief Historian for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) from 1988 to 2003, then its successor the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from 2003 to 2014. During that time her articles appeared in the National Archives journal Prologue, the FGS Forum, and other publications. Marian now serves the USCIS Records Division as an historical records subject matter expert, whose current work focuses on automation, digitization, data integrity, and training..

For more information, please e-mail


Download handouts from past meetings.

November 9: Dr. Jeffrey Mark Paull will talk about "The History, Adoption, and Regulation of Jewish Surnames in the Russian Empire."

December 14: TBD


See the Events page.