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.

NOTE: No meeting in September 2017.

NEXT MEETING: Monday, October 9, 2017
at the LDS Factoria Building

  • Free admission and refreshments
  • Doors open at 6:30 PM
  • Presentation starts at 7:15 PM
  • Free Wi-Fi (Free access to pay-per-view websites is no longer available.)
  • Come early to use our extensive JGSWS library and network with other attendees.

 JGSWS presents an interactive Ellis Island experience:

"Manifest Destiny: Names at Ellis Island," presented by Joel Weintraub


Joel Weintraub has channeled his interest in Ellis Island into his latest talk: "Manifest Destiny: Names at Ellis Island.” This main immigration station into the U.S. was most active from 1892 through 1924. About 70 percent of immigrants to the U.S. during this time came through Ellis Island. The history of the island, including the Wall of Honor and the changing Ship Manifest forms of the Immigration Service, will be shown. The pressures of the "Great Migration" eventually led to immigration quotas. The persistent myth of name changes at Ellis Island will be debunked. Twenty percent of immigrants ended up listed on detention sheets and we will find out where those can be found. Finally, using case studies, we will find out how to use a number of name search utilities. After this talk, we will have a clear idea of the process the immigrants went through and a greater appreciation of the Manifest as a genealogy research tool and will be prepared to successfully negotiate the "Island of Tears.”



Joel Weintraub, a New Yorker by birth, is an emeritus Professor at California State University Fullerton and won awards for his science teaching. Joel volunteered for nine years at the National Archives and Records Administration. He created search tools for the U.S. and New York City censuses that are freely available on the Steve Morse "One-Step" website. He and Steve are currently developing locational tools for the 2022 release of the 1950 federal census. Joel has written and talked about NYC and Federal census research, immigration and naturalization, Ellis Island, biographical research, and Jewish genealogy topics.

Download handouts from past meetings.

November 13: TBD
December 11: TBD


See the Events page.