Diaries can provide a micro-perspective on people’s way of life and the world of conceptualization in a local society, and also on the changes that took place in the years that the diaries were written. This can be considered micro-history. While conducting fieldwork for the research project “Cultural contacts in Bohuslän’s coastal rural communities” in the 1970s, I came across some detailed handwritten diaries. These had been written by Jakob Jonsson (21 July 1795 – 15 March 1879), owner of Prästbacka farm in Röra parish on Orust Island, Bohuslän province, and the preserved material covers a period from 1866 to a few weeks prior to Jonsson’s death in 1879. In this paper, I have chosen to present a special study and analysis of Jakob Jonsson’s notes with reference to death and funerals in Röra parish, and also to investigate if and how the general world outside this district manifested itself in Jonsson’s world of ideas.
Made available here with permission from the journal.