Ceil Jensen


Ceil Jensen has 30 years teaching experience in traditional and electronic art, art history and social studies. A graduate of Michigan State University, Ceil pioneered K-12 multimedia technology integration. She has collaborated with Adobe, Microsoft, and the the Annenberg Foundation. A few years ago, Ceil presented with Bill Gates, of Microsoft, and she was the only K-12 Teacher at his university roundtable. That same year, she participated in Harvard’s Institute of Leadership and the New Technologies. In 1998, she began the transition from public education to her avocation of genealogy. She has documented her ancestry back to the 1600’s and has done extensive research in Europe. Currently she is working with her husband Jim on his French Canadian, Irish and Colonial Virginia lines. Her studio now develops online sites, video, CD’s, DVD’s and databases for genealogists of all ages. She lectures on a number of genealogy research topics. Follow this link for more details.  She is also listed with the Michigan Humanities Council. Visit her on the web view her modern guide to Polish Genealogy at www.mipolonia.net


Ceil Wendt Jensen’s Lectures

Title: Notes from North America
Subtitle: A survey of North American methodology, genealogical projects, lineage societies, and databases.
Summary: A survey of North American methodology, genealogical projects, lineage societies, and databases useful for historians with North American roots or societies looking for new ideas. Learn about the immigrants that made North America the “Melting Pot”. Sample records cover Colonial America, Revolutionary War Patriots and Loyalists, the California Gold Rush, Civil War soldiers both Yankees and Rebels, and the surge of European Immigration 1880-1924.
Abstract: Online commercial databases are built using “low hanging fruit” databases that are useful to the largest group of researches. Many unique communities exist in North American including:  Canadian La Société des Filles du roi et soldats du Carignan, The Society of Mayflower Descendants, Daughters of the American Revolution, Settlers and Builders, Loyalists, and the Society of Civil War Families.  This presentation will identify archives and libraries that hold useful unique collections for family historians. Institutions identified as Best Practice have programs worth emulating. Audience: Anyone interested in North American genealogical research Medium: PowerPoint presentation with sample lineage society applications for Pioneer Families, Society of Civil War Families, and the Filles du roi et soldats du Carignan.

Title Libris: Baptismorum, Matrimoniorum et Defunctorum
Subtitle: Locating and Deciphering Catholic Records From Around the Globe
Summary: Many researchers find their family line eventually leads to Latin records maintained by the Catholic Church. Missionaries and immigrants brought their religion from Europe to points around the globe including North and South America. A survey of the types of records kept and keys to extracting data. Newspapers and Jubilee books and histories are also covered.
In Europe priests were require by law to maintain records at the parish level that were for civil use so they also became the stewards of Jewish and Evangelical birth, marriages and death records. The List of Souls was also kept by the parish. The records of ordained priests, mother superiors and religious brothers and sisters are a neglected but rich source of genealogical information. These religious organizations kept records of their schools and orphanages. This session will highlight the rules established by the church for sacramental records. A rubric key and translation guide with word list make the extractions manageable for family historians. Audience: Beginning and intermediate   owerPoint

Title: Cows, Vodka, Acres, Potatoes, Soil, Love, and Hate
Subtitle: Selected Polish paintings illustrate Władysław Reymont’s Noble Prize winning novel Chłopi (The Peasants)
Have you ever wondered what life was like in your ancestor’s village? Experience it in Wladyslaw Reymont’s Chlopi (The Peasants) which received the Noble Prize for Literature in 1924. This lecture focuses on the novel set in the late 1890s and moves through the seasons as it highlights the life and turmoil of the Boryna family. Learn the Polish traditions, customs, and folklore of the time. The lecture showcases the works of Polish artists including Jacek Malczewski, Włodzimierz Tetmajer, Olga Boznańska, and Stanisław Witkiewicz.
Abstract: Part of a series of lectures encouraging family historians to enhance their family history with the Arts. Family history can be enriched with the inclusion of work by regional artists, writers and musicians. Concludes with a “how to” locate European artwork and reproductions from libraries, museums and collections.
Audience All levels
Title: The Peasant and the Palace
Subtitle Locating and Researching Manor Records in Europe
A multimedia presentation set at the Palace of Rogalin using the manorial records and the writings of the owner Count Edward Raczyński. It dispels the myth that records for Eastern Europe were destroyed during the World Wars. The session demonstrates how to research ancestors’ lives as workers on a manorial estate. Includes a tutorial using gazetteers and online catalogs.
Abstract: The Manorial system was the organization of the rural economy and society throughout Europe. The manorial system prevailed in France, England, Germany, Spain, and Italy and far into Eastern Europe. Records, maps and histories of the manors help family historians expand their knowledge of their ancestors.  Concludes with a survey of available European records and practical guidance to the repositories.
Audience All levels
Title: Now Boarding: Armchair Travelers and Frequent Flyers
Subtitle: Planning a Trip for Overseas Research
Summary: How to hire a photographer, researcher and or guide via the net. Practical examples and suggestions to keep you within your genealogy budget as you buy online from overseas resources and prepare for a trip abroad.  Learn to write effective email to English as Second Language speakers and how to post to find distant relatives. This session will be of interest to both armchair travelers and frequent flyers.

Abstract: The Internet is a powerful research tool. But it can be intimidating when researching in other countries. This lecture covers techniques for finding researchers and providers in other counties who will retrieve needed information and records. Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness offers low cost research. This session is based 30 years of travel experience leading overseas tours as well as private research in Europe. Learn how to plan ahead, get the most for your dollar, travel light and bring home the research you went for!
Audience: Beginner and Intermediate
Title: Roast the Scribe
Subtitle: A light hearted look at record errors and bad handwriting while offering useful solutions to navigate around them.
The session begins with a survey of comical but erroneous record entries both from traditional and electronic sources. This session will help you learn techniques for deciphering hard-to-read handwriting or script, whether modern or archaic. Recognize the rubrics common to civil and religious records. Tips and tricks to successful find ancestors in online databases.
Abstract: Knowing the location of your ancestors homestead is only half the battle. Reading the records filled with archaic terms and abbreviations can be vexing. This session highlights the problems and solutions to reading registers and using online database.

Ethnic surnames and European locations extracted by English as second language transcribers make electronic research a challenge. When reading foreign language documents it is important to understand how surnames are disguised by suffixes and how variations developed. Participants will learn to identify unique characters and abbreviations in church and civil records.  Audience: All levels                         PowerPoint: Medium

Pink Cadillacs, Little Duce Coupes, and Red Corvettes: Working the Line
Transistor radios filled the airwaves with odes to pink Cadillacs, little duce coupes, and red corvettes. We sang along, but did we know who built these auto icons? They were built by the unsung line workers employed by the Big Three—Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. They fabricated the hot rods, and the more mundane Chevys, Fords, and Dodges. What was life like for an assembly line working at the plants during the auto makers’ heyday and what types of records were generated? Hand in hand with plant life was the formation and negotiations of the unions such as the UAW, AFL and the CIO. The union halls became centers for work as well as family gatherings. Working for the plant was often a family affair.
Ford worker John DiNatale and sons Vincent, Raymond, Joseph, and Albert had a combined service record totaling 161 years of labor. Their photo and article ran in the Tractor Division News (June 21, 1963). The lecture Working the Line covers the recruitment, training, and employment records as well as archives maintained by automakers and unions.
Immigration Agents
During the time period 1840s-1880 many states in the Union competed for immigrants and settlers. Learn how state agents, working with shipping lines, recruited future citizens both at U.S. ports and in villages and towns in Europe.
Displaced Persons
Genealogists who want to document their family history, which includes World War II Displaced Persons, will look at traditional as well as unique records to find answers to their family’s mysteries. While the events that forced them from their homeland took place over seventy years ago, there are survivors still searching for friends and family and documentation of this harsh period of their life. A paper trail was created, and we will explore the archives, associations, and organizations that have record sets of interest.  Advanced
The Google Triangle
Google offers free tools that make a great toolkit for genealogists. Learn to set up, communicate, and share data using Google’s Blogger, Picasa, and Google Docs. Using her blog The Polish Pioneers of Calumet, Michigan as a case study, Ceil Wendt Jensen will demonstrate the steps to create your web presence today! All Levels

Birthing a Book – Digital Tools Streamline the Process
Join Professional Genealogist Ceil Wendt Jensen, author of Sto Lat: A Modern Guide to Polish Genealogy, and her team as they outline the process of researching, designing, and bring a genealogy book to market. Adobe specialist, Chita Hunter, will present how online collaboration was employed using Adobe products.
Birth a Book II-The Road from Photo Morgue to Bookshelf
Cecile Wendt Jensen, Professional Genealogist is the author of three pictorial histories released by Arcadia Publishing. Lean how she worked with society members and a cemetery association to locate communities’ images and stories. Attendees will learn the process of obtaining a contract, researching, digitizing, writing, and launching a pictorial history.
Creating a Research Institute
In two short years, a grassroots dream has become an international reality. Learn how a foundation, historical institution, society members, and philanthropists teamed together to open a state of the art research facility. The institute has become a unique repository with the establishment of a lineage society devoted to the auto industry’s impact on immigration and prosperity. Attendees will gain ideas and learn procedures and that can be implemented by their society.

Sixteen Tons: Documenting Your Coal, Copper, Iron, and Salt Miners
A survey of miners and their records, deaths, and photos. Case studies of miners and their communities in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Europe. Find out about the life that made lyricist Merle Travis quote his father’s expression “Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go, I owe my soul to the company store”.