Old Kirk

Old Kirk

Lot 8, Concession 4, Esquesing Township.
Fifth Line at 17 Sideroad, Halton Hills

History: of the Seceder Church and Cemetery, Lot 8, Conc 4


Note: no visible gravesites or tombstones remain today.

In 1844 there were three Presbyterian Churches in the Scotch Block, all within one mile of each other, and all located on the 3rd Line of Esquesing Township.

Some members of the Congregation of the Boston Church were sympathetic to the Secession Church of Scotland and objected to receiving state aid towards the minister’s stipend and the use of the Clergy Reserve. They split off from the congregation to form the Seceder Church in 1837. This is very confusing as the members of this Seceder Church were United Presbyterians and until 1844, when their church was built, they attended the Antiburgher Church on Lot 6, Conc 3, which was also United Presbyterian.

The Minute Book of the Secession Congregation on the 14th October 1843 noted that the site of the church would be on the west half of Lot 8, Conc 4, Esquesing Township, with burying grounds for the congregation and the site would consist of one acre. A seven member committee was formed to look after the building of the church. They were Robert Moffat, John McNaughton, Alexander Robertson, Alexander McNaughton, Allen McPherson, William Mickie and John Stewart.  The property was purchased from John Stewart in 1843. The first pastor was Rev. George Fisher.

As no burial records can be found we assume that the graves were moved to the Boston Church when the churches united in 1862. No visible gravesites or tombstones remain today. A history of John Stewart, Jr., notes that two of his infant children were buried in this cemetery in the 1840s.  On May 23, 1862 the Seceder Church reunited with the Boston Church, but as a new stone Boston Church was not as yet completed, the congregation worshiped at the Seceder Church. On the last Sunday in January 1870 the congregation moved into the new Boston Church. The Seceder Church was then sold and moved to Georgetown to be used as a blacksmith shop owned by a McKinnon. The property became part of the farm Lot 8 Conc 4.

References:    History of Boston Presbyterian Church, 1820-1975

History of Knox Presbyterian Church, 1855-1975

Halton County Early Church Histories, by Trudy Mann

Records of the Secession Congregation from 1843

Halton County land title records