Robyn S. Lacy 2023

Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

Sic finis: 17th-Century burial places and spaces in Northeast North America [v]

The burial landscape of the 17th-century in North America is an ever-present feature of historic cities across the northeast seaboard of North America, where many early European settlers landed. These burial spaces, which reflect not only the traditions from the setters’ home country, also show the development of new funeral and burial practices that would evolve and shape how we respond to the same events today. In this paper, based on my PhD research, I will demonstrate how burial grounds developed in the 17th century by British, Dutch, and French settlers reflected aspects of new and old traditions alike, and how these sites compared to one another across the developing burial landscapes of the northeast. Through comparing these early sites, we gain a better understanding of how early settlers were experiencing and dealing with their mortality in an unfamiliar land, and how those sites would eventually influence the modern burial traditions in North America.


The Cemetery Research Group runs two events a year: in May and in November. Follow the links and send in an abstract