Joel Weintraub

Joel, a New Yorker by birth, is an emeritus Professor at California State University Fullerton and won awards for his science teaching. He volunteered for nine years at the National Archives and Records Administration. Joel 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 on NYC and Federal census research, immigration and naturalization, Ellis Island, biographical research, and Jewish genealogy topics.

September 3, 2016

11:00 AM - "Manifest Destiny": Names at Ellis Island

About 70% of immigrants to the U.S. during 1892 through 1924 came through the Ellis Island immigration station. The island's history including the Wall of Honor, and the changing questions on ship manifest forms 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 analyzed. Twenty percent of processed immigrants ended up on detention sheets, and we will find out where those can be found. Finally, we will introduce all four (4!) of the ship name indexes. After this talk the audience should have a clear idea of the process the immigrants went through, and a greater appreciation of the manifest as a genealogy research tool. Be prepared to try to successfully negotiate the "Island of Tears" and avoid deportation by Joel! Original material will be displayed.


12:30 PM - Crowdsourcing the Path to the 1950 Census

The 1940 U.S. Census opened in 2012 without a name index. A FamilySearch led consortium used 160,000 volunteers to name index that census in 4 months. In addition, Joel and Steve Morse, over seven years with about 125 volunteers, developed free utilities to find which of 150,000 census districts someone was in, when a location or address is known. These projects are examples of crowdsourcing. Steve and Joel are now doing a similar project for the 1950 Census. Joel will discuss differences between the 1940 and 1950 censuses that impacted their planning and project design. The film scanning, publicity, volunteer response, Yahoo Group site, cloud storage, software, One-Step utilities, and project phases will be discussed. All 233,800 1950 enumeration district definitions have now been transcribed. Street indexes will also be completed for over 2,000 communities (over 900 already done at this time) to help find 1950 census district numbers. Original 1950 census documents will be displayed.


Handouts are available for Member's Only on the Speaker Handouts page.



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Orange County California Genealogical Society
c/o Huntington Beach Central Library
7111 Talbert Avenue
Huntington Beach, California 92648

(714) 536-5549