Dublin Roman Catholic – Acton

Dublin Roman Catholic Church & Cemetery

NE Lot 25, Concession 1, Esquesing Township.
Dublin Line, Acton.
GPS 43.6089°N, –80.0369°W

History: Roman Catholics emigrating from Ireland in the mid-1830s settled around the First Line and 25th Sideroad area. Matthew and Honora McCann from County Meath were among the first, being joined by the Daltons, Mainys, Cealys, and Foleys. Later many other Catholics came to the area, particularly after the railway, built by Irish labourers, came through in 1856. The spiritual needs of the people of Acton were first looked after by the Jesuit Fathers from Guelph. From 1852 to 1857 infrequent Masses were held in the home of Matthew and Honora McCann until one day the floor gave way, sliding some of the parishioners into the cellar. Because of this accident, McCann and his neighbour John Mulholland decided to donate two acres of land for a proper church and cemetery, both of whom are buried there. The property was deeded to the Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Hamilton in 1856.On 18 March 1857 (the eve of the feast of St. Joseph), under the direction of Father J. Dumortier construction was started on the church. On 31 August 1858 the first Bishop of Hamilton, the Right Reverend John Farrell, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation for the first time in the new church. Burials took place around the church, thus instituting the present cemetery. The entire cost of the church and its furnishings was completely paid by January 1869.

By 1887 the congregation had outgrown this church and in co-operation with the Jesuit Fathers managed to purchase a church in Acton that the Congregationalists had built around 1877 and, due to financial difficulties, had sold to the Salvation Army around 1880. They remodelled it and paid off the debt in a comparatively short time. When they were settled in this church which was renamed to St. Joseph’s, the pews from the Dublin church were removed and sold to the new Sacred Heart parish in Rockwood. The building was sold to Mr. Kirkpatrick who tore it down and rebuilt it as a private home elsewhere.

The cemetery is still maintained. Records of births, marriages and deaths from 1854 to 1956 are kept at St. Joseph’s Church, but our recording has not been compared to the death records. It is possible that there are records of the Jesuits in Guelph but this also has not been checked.

Transcriptions of this cemetery are available on-line by credit card from the O.G.S. web site click here for price/order.

Georgetown Herald (12 August 1981)
Acton’s Early Days (Acton Free Press, 1939)
Halton County Early Church Histories, Volume 1, Esquesing (Trudy Mann, 1983)