Welcome to my blog! My name is Jessica Linzel and I will be sharing my research journey with you through regular blog posts, in an effort to not only organize my own thoughts, but also to make my progress public. After all, what is the point of studying history if I am the only one who benefits? I hope that you find the work interesting and educational!

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About the Project

Mapping Early Niagara is the topic of my Master’s thesis which was completed in December, 2020 at Brock University, located in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

This SSHRC funded project incorporated both historical and geographical aspects in its examination of the economic development of the Niagara region in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I mapped select trade patterns that existed at the time, both within the peninsula itself and on a broader scale. I essentially wanted to know how the early colonial settlements in Niagara developed post-Revolution, using the visual dimension of digital tools to aid in my own understanding and also to share my research with the public in an accessible way.

So why did Niagara develop the way it did? Who laid the foundations of what we see and know today? How did these settlements appear and change over time? How did they interact with Indigenous nations already living on the land? These are just a few of the questions that this thesis seeks to answer. The spatial history “mapping” component is a modern approach to answering such questions. Digital mapping can show the development of space over time, and can convey historical meaning in new and different ways.

To see the results of this project, see the “Conclusions” tab in the header bar.

Thesis Blog

Life In Niagara: The Servos Family Enterprises (Analysis)

A Primary Source Analysis of the Servos Mill Accounts 1785-1816: Part 2 To read Part 1, click here. To recap, this blog post is based on the contents of Account Books I-IV and the Personal Account Book of Daniel Servos in the Servos Mill Records (1785-1826) collection found in the Archives of Ontario. Question “What drove Niagara’s Loyalist …

About Me

About Jess:

Currently residing in Grimsby, Ontario, I hold an MA in History from Brock University and am passionate about the history of Niagara. I am a Canadian, digital & public historian dedicated to understanding, preserving and sharing the stories of the past. 

Public History Work:

The Brown Homestead

St. Catharines, ON – 2021-present – director of community engagement

Navigating Niagara’s Human-Animal History

Niagara, ON – 2021-2022 – Historical GIS Specialist

Safe Sport: Critical Issues and Practices – Open Educational Resource

st. catharines, on – 2021-2022 – project manager

Sport Oral History Archive

niagara, on – 2020-2022 – digital collections builder

The Shickluna Shipyard

st. catharines, on – 2019 – public history ambassador

Welcome to the dig!

Town of Lincoln Museum Exhibit

beamsville, on – 2018 – local history digitization project


Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement

toronto, on – 2017 – Individual recipient


Nelles Manor Museum

grimsby, on – [2016 – present] – volunteer

Organization of Living History Events, and Explanations of the Engagement at the Forty