Why The Church Was Essential For New France Essay

1797 Words Aug 25th, 2015 8 Pages
I. Introduction Since the early colonial period of Canada in the 16th century, the role of the church was essential for New France in regards to maintaining birth and death records of the French population (Satzewich, 2015). In Ontario, the Anglican Diocese of Niagara has maintained burial registers from the 19th century, each of which contain information on deaths of residents in the Hamilton, Ontario region. Church ministers held responsibility for transcribing the name, age, cause of death, and the city of residence of the individual in the burial registers. The recording process may appear objective, but it still remains subject to potential biases. Harold Garfinkel, an American sociologist, developed the theoretical approach of ethnomethodology (Dillon, 2014, p. 313). Ethnomethodology refers to the methods used by individuals to create a sense of an ordered reality (Dillon, 2014, p. 314). It is not a theory, but an approach to understanding the actions of individuals. In essence, it involves examining the use of societal expectations to explain events that have occurred in a particular setting (Dillon, 2014, p. 314). In context of the church ministers in the 19th century, certain societal expectations and understandings of the causes of death may have prompted particular answers. For example, the cause death for an elderly individual may be recorded as “old age.” Old age is not a true cause of death, as it is just a contributing factor to potential health issues…

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