Volunteering at the Oxford County Archives 2

In the time since my last post, I entered approximately 800 more Probates of Will, Deeds of Separation and Power of Attorney into the database and finished the top drawer of the filing cabinet. The Archivist was very pleased and decided that I should get to do something a little more interesting than solely data entry. She and the Assistant Archivist developed an educational program that provides students with a take home brochure containing not only information about the Archives themselves but also about a specific historical topic. The four that I was able to take a look at covered the topics of the Springbank Snow Countess, Isabelle Gunn, James William Faulkner and the Thomas Organ Company. The brochures contain information concerning the topic as well as a small envelope containing copies of primary documents that allow the students to get a sense of the time period and the topic they are researching. The teachers are also provided with a lesson plan which gives the students the opportunity to work together and answer questions because there are different primary documents in each of the envelopes. I have started researching an extremely interesting woman from Eastwood, Ontario most well known as Cassie Chadwick. She was born Elizabeth Bigley, but changed her name multiple times throughout her lifetime. She was a con woman born in 1857 and began her life of crime at age 13. Chadwick scammed bank officials, hotels, and the men she married in order to live the extravagant life she so desperately wanted. She was quite creative and had a mind that I don’t know if anyone could replicate today. Just researching her for the short time I have so far I have learned so much and been amazed by how she accomplished so much in her short 50 years being alive. Having the opportunity to use my research skills to increase awareness of this incredible woman and educate young people is very exciting. This not only increases my research skills but it allows me increase my ability to create age appropriate lesson plans that I will be able to apply to teaching further down the road in my career. For a short overview of Cassie Chadwick’s life of crime you can visit this site: http://www.biography.com/people/cassie-chadwick-20649415


Cassie Chadwick



Springbank Snow Countess



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