Friday, June 02, 2006

Speaker Spotlight: Cecile Wendt Jensen

Cecile (Ceil) Wendt Jensen was given a family history writing assignment in grade school. She interviewed her father Frank J. Wendt. He took a brown canvas pouch imprinted with F. Missler from the top dresser drawer and removed three small pieces of paper written in German. They were the birth certificates that her great grandfather Franz Wendt and his sons Franz and Adolph used for their passage to America. She was hooked!
Read More About Ceil Wendt Jensen


Her father's untimely death several months later cloaked her family history in a mystique that lingers today. She was determined to continue her research and find out where the documents came from. At that time she was perplexed that the certificates were in German yet the family was Polish. Ceil is now a Certified Genealogist who has documented her ancestry back to the 1600s. She has done on-site research in Poland and now understands how a Polish family once carried documentation written in German.

Arcadia recently published Ceil's book Detroit's Polonia. She is working on two more publications: Detroit's Mt. Elliott Cemetery and Detroit's Mt. Olivet Cemetery. She has a forthcoming book for the Polish Genealogical Society of America, Sot Lat - A Modern Guide to Polish Genealogy. Ceil presents practical examples and suggestions on how to use records, databases and archives to start or advance your genealogical research while dispeling the myth that records were destroyed during the World Wars and that language barriers make European research difficult. She delights in helping researchers find their ancestral villages.

Her NGS lectures include Researching Your Polish Heritage Online and Polish Archives: Behind the Scenes, complete with digital video.

Ceil taught in public schools for 30 years in traditional and electronic art, art history, and social studies. She transitioned to professional genealogy in 1999. Her studio now develops websites, video, CDs, DVDs and databases for genealogists of all ages. For additional information see: http://www.mipolonia.net/.

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