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OGS Publications: A Better Place – Death and Burial in Ninteenth-Century Ontario

betterplaceSusan Smart


A Better Place describes the practices around death and burial in nineteenth-century Ontario. Funeral rituals, strong religious beliefs, and a firm conviction that death was a beginning, not an end, helped the bereaved through their times of loss in a century where death was always close at hand.

The book describes the pioneer funeral in detail, as well as the factors that changed this simple funeral into the elaborate etiquette-driven Victorian funeral at the end of the century. It examines the sources of various funeral customs, including the origins of embalming that gave rise to the modern-day funeral parlour. The evolution of cemeteries is explained with the beginnings of cemeteries in specific towns given as examples.

An understanding of these changing burial rites, many of which might seem strange to us today, is invaluable for the family historian. In addition, the book includes practical suggestions for finding death and burial records throughout the century.

Click here to purchase this book from the OGS eStore

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