Dunwich Churches

Elgin County
Places of Worship
Records Inventory
Dunwich Township

Elgin County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Published 2006

Churches in Dunwich Township: (click on church name for photo)

            St. Peter’s Anglican, Tyrconnell

            Church of the Nativity, (Anglican) Dutton

            St. Stephen’s Anglican

            Iona Station Methodist/United Church

            Townline Methodist/United Church

            St. John’s Methodist/United Church, Dutton

            Wallacetown Methodist/United Church

            Tyrconnell Methodist/United Church

            Garbutt’s Methodist Church

            Chalmers Presbyterian/United Church

            Dutton Baptist Church

            Second Southwold Regular Baptist Church

           Iona Free Will Baptist Church

            Particular Covenanted Baptist, Wallacetown

            Iona Christian (Disciples) Church

            Knox Presbyterian Church, Dutton

            St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, Wallacetown

            Duff Presbyterian Church, Largie

            St. John’s Presbyterian Church

            St. Helen’s Roman Catholic

            St. Colomkill’s Roman Catholic

            Salvation Army


 Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Anglican (Church of England)

Name of Church:      St. Peter’s, Tyrconnell

Location:                    Lot 11, Concession 10; 29596 Lakeview Line  Tyrconnell St. Peters Anglican Church          

Date of Formation:   1827

Date of Closing:         active

Affiliations:                St. Thomas Anglican Church (1827-1842) (as a mission)

 St. Stephen’s Anglican Church (1872-1942)

Church of the Nativity, Dutton & St. Stephens (1943-1949)

St. Stephen’s, Burwell Park (1949 -1966)

Grace Church, West Lorne & Church of Nativity (1967 -1974)

Christ Church, Port Stanley; Grace Church; St. Stephens & Church of Nativity (1975-1979)

St. Stephen’s; Grace Church; & Church of Nativity (1980 – present)

early baptisms and confirmations in the 1820’s by travelling ministers have been printed in the church history “A Century of Service”

See also records of St. Thomas Anglican Church

 The Family History Catalog (LDS) lists the following records in their holdings:

Subscriber’s List (1828) (microfilm # 1482973, item 11)

Register of Baptisms, Marriages, Confirmations by Rev. James Stewart, and other ministers (1842-1869) (Book 971.334/T1)

Records at Huron Diocese Archives: Parish, Communion & Service Register, 1876-1960; Vestry Records 1846-1938

On microfilm (#MF1343) at The Elgin County Archives are parish registers dating from 1842, containing the following records:            

Baptisms, 1842-1931

Marriages, 1844-1868; 1872-1928

Burials, 1844-1931

Confirmations, 1845; 1848-1858; 1861-1864; 1870-1929

Vestry Minutes, 1846-1868

Cemetery Plot Register (page 93)

Communicants, 1870-1922

Published by the Elgin Historical Society are Marriages from 1844-1928, and burials from 1844 to 1977

History:     The Anglicans of Dunwich were first visited by Rev. Charles James Stewart in 1820, and early baptisms occurred at Col. Thomas Talbot’s house on April 10, 1820.  Ten acres of land was given to the church by Mrs. Mary Storey in a deed to the Bishop of Quebec dated May 29, 1828.  The site had been used as early as 1825 for a cemetery. A frame church was erected on this property in the fall of 1827, which is the part of the church which is now the nave.  The church was raised and a basement placed under it in 1908. From 1843 to 1871 St. Peter’s was the head of a mission from Norfolk to Essex and Lambton.  For a time services were also at Iona, Fingal, Wallacetown & Coyne’s Corners.


 Rev. Stewart 1820’s                                                    Rev. M. G. Freeman 1893-1900

Rev. A. Mackintosh 1820’s                                         Rev. George Elliott 1900-1912

Rev. Edward I. Boswell 1829                                    Rev. H. C. P. Owen 1912-1917

Rev. Mark Burnham 1829-1842                                 Rev. J. H. Inns 1917-1922

Rev. James Stewart 1842-1849                                  Rev. Wm. Crarey 1926-1941             

Rev. Henry Holland 1849-1859                                 Rev. C. O. Pherrill 1943-1949

Rev. John Kennedy 1859-1869                                  Rev. H. F. Cross 1949-1958

Rev. W. B. Rally 1869-1871                                      Rev. John Graham 1960-1963

Rev. A. E. Miller 1871-1879                                      Rev. A. Guest Mitchell 1963-1966

Rev. Canon James Chance 1879-1893                       Rev. Harold Kay 1966-1968

Rev. E. C. Ward 1968-

Further History:        “A Century of Service, 1827-1928″ (Elgin OGS has a copy)


Township: Dunwich
Denomination: Anglican (Church of England)

Name of Church: Church of the Nativity Anglican, Dutton

Location: corner of Currie & Ridge Streets, Dutton  Dutton Church of Nativity

Date of Formation: 1885

Date of Closing: active

Affiliations: St. Peter’s, Tyrconnell (1885-1896)

Missions of Bismark (now West Lorne) & Rodney (1897-1942)

St. Stephen’s, Burwell Park & St. Peter’s, Tyrconnell (1943-1949)

Grace Church, West Lorne (1949-1966)

St. Peter’s, Tyrconnell & Grace Church, West Lorne (1967-1974)

Christ Church, Port Stanley; Grace Church; St. Peter’s & St. Stephen’s (1975-1979)

St. Peter’s; St. Stephen’s & Grace Church (1980 – present)

Records: Records at Huron Diocese Archives: Parish Register & Service Register, 1894-1952

On microfilm number 1343 at the Elgin County Archives, are records for Church of the Nativity & Grace Anglican Church, West Lorne, 1898-1954, including:

Baptisms, 1898-1954

Marriages, 1899-1920; 1907-1912; 1921-1953

Burials, 1898-1954

Confirmations, 1899-1917; 1921-1952

Parochial lists, 1952

History: Anglican worship was first established in the Dutton community by the zeal and missionary enterprise of Rev. Canon Chance, rector of St. Peter’s, Tyrconnell in 1886. Previous to this, as early as 1874, Anglicans among the English settlers in Dutton had travelled to St. Peter’s to worship. The first frame Anglican church in Dutton was built in 1890 and dedicated on Nov. 30, 1890. The property was acquired from Adolphus Urlin at a cost of $175. For the first ten years, the congregation was ministered to by the rectors of St. Peter’s, but in 1897, a new mission parish consisting of Dutton, West Lorne (Bismark), and Rodney was set up. In 1902 a chancel was added to the church, donated by Thomas Hockin & J. B. Crawford. The property of the late D. J. Thompson on Nancy Street was purchased in 1919 as a rectory.  In 1922 the church was raised, and a basement added; in 1928 the chancel was extended and in 1933 a new entrance was constructed. During the war because of a shortage of ministers, the parish was divided – Dutton was attached to Tyrconnell and West Lorne was attached to Glencoe. After the war, Dutton and West Lorne were again combined.  In January 1953 these two congregations relinquished their status as a mission and have since become self supporting.

Further History:  article in Huron Church News, London, Nov. 1, 1955, by C. H. James (Elgin OGS has a copy)

 – article in Dutton Advance, Nov. 28, 1940 re 50th anniversary

– article in Dutton Advance, Nov. 18, 1949 re church history


Rev. Canon James Chance, 1886-1890

Rev. Geoffrey Hill, 1891

Rev. M. G. Freeman, 1894-1897

Rev. J. C. Ferrier, 1897-1898

Rev. S. P. Irwin, 1898-1903

Rev. T. B. Howard, 1903-1905

Rev. Kenneth McGown, 1906-1909

J. McLellan (student) 1909

Rev. W. B. Hawkins, 1909-1911

Rev. R. J. Murphy, 1912-1918

Rev. J. H. Colclough, 1919-1920

Rev. William Wallace, 1920-1924

Rev. E. W. McKegney, 1924-1928

Rev. J. H. Smith, 1926-1929

Rev. C. L. Langford, 1929-1939

Rev. R. C. Capper, 1939-1942

Rev. C. O. Pherrill, 1943-1949

Rev. Harold Cross, 1949-1958

Rev. H. W. Snell, 1958-1959

Rev. J. Graham, 1959-1963

Rev. A. Guest, 1963-1966

Rev. Raymond Brassell, 1967-1970

Rev. Brian Foxton, 1970-1973

Rev. Brian Holt, 1974-1976

Rev. Gord Simmons, 1977-1983

Rev. Michael Perry, 1983-1984

Rev. Stephen Haig, 1984-1988

Rev. Margaret Wheeler, 1988-1993

Rev. Anne Mills, 1993-2001

Rev. Anna Berwick, 2002-


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Anglican (Church of England)

Name of Church:      St. Stephen’s Anglican Church

Location:                    Lot C, Concession 10 (Burwell Park); 33105 Fingal Line  St. Stephens Church

Date of Formation:   1872

Date of Closing:         active  

Affiliations:      -St. Peter’s Church, Tyrconnell (1872-1942)

-Church of Nativity, Dutton & St. Peter’s, Tyrconnell (1943-1949)

-St. Peter’s Tyrconnell (1949-1966)

-Christ Church, Port Stanley (1966-1974)

-Christ Church, Port Stanley; St. Peter’s Tyrconnell; Church of Nativity, Dutton; & Grace Church, West Lorne (1975-1979)

-St. Peter’s, Tyrconnell; Church of Nativity, Dutton; & Grace Church, West Lorne (1980 – present)

Records:    see listings for above affiliated churches

History:    St. Stephen’s church was formally opened on January 28, 1872, built on ten acres of land in lot C, Concession 10, of which about one acre was used as the site of the church and cemetery.  The remaining nine acres was known as the Glebe.  This ten acres was donated by the Isaac B. Burwell in a deed dated March 16, 1861 . In 1952 the church underwent extensive repairs, and a basement was added. That year they also celebrated their 80th anniversary.  The remodelled church was re-opened on September 13, 1954. The 100th anniversary of St. Stephen’s was observed in July 1972 with impressive ceremonies.  In 1974 owing to shortage of clergy and decreasing members, it was found advisable to make a combined parish of the five congregations (see above affiliations).

Ministers:                   see affiliated churches, above

Further history:         -“Centennial Tribute 1872-1972″ (Elgin OGS has a copy)

-articles in Dutton Advance, Feb. 2 & Feb. 9, 1950


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Methodist (became United Church of Canada in 1925)

Name of Church:      Iona Methodist Church (later Iona Station United Church)

Location:                    Lot C, Concession 8, Village of Iona (Lots 6 & 7 in the village of Elliottsville) [Dunwich-Southwold townline ] 9075 Iona Road  Iona United Christian Fellowship Church

Date of Formation:   1874

Date of Closing:         1966 (continued as Iona Christian Fellowship Church)

Affiliations:                Fingal (1874-1880?)

Iona Charge (Miller’s, Muskoka) (1880-1888)

Miller’s (Lawrence Station), Southwold Station (1888-        ?)

Miller’s, Southwold Station, Shedden, Frome (?-      1919)

Fingal (1919-               ?)

Fingal & Middlemarch (1939-1954)

Fingal (1954-1964)

Shedden, Frome, Lawrence & McBride’s (1964-1965)

Southwold Pastoral Charge (1965-1966)

Records:   The United Church Archives lists the following records for Iona Station United Church in their holdings:

Board of Trustee Minutes (1966-1968)

Board of Stewards Minutes (1953-1965)

Deed, Iona Church (1890)

Financial Records and Correspondence (1960’s)

Minutes, Congregational Meetings, Board of Trustees (1966-1968)

Agreement, Elgin Presbytery and McBride Church (1966)

Legal Agreements & Property Records (1890, 1920)

Inventories, Church Furniture (1967)

Correspondence, Re: Sale of Iona United Church of the Iona Christian Fellowship (1967-1968)

Correspondence and Notes, Amalgamation Committee (1965-1968)

Historic Membership Roll (1964)

Correspondence regarding amalgamation (1965)

History:   In June 1874, the Iona Methodist church had its beginning with liberal assistance from Mrs. Sarah Casey and Mr. Amasa Wood.  Mrs. Casey had inherited a large block of land from her father, Mr. Elliott (for whom the Dunwich side of the village was named), and she donated two lots, 6 & 7, on which the church that still stands today, was built. The congregation was originally Wesleyan Methodist. The frame church was completed in 1874 and had a capacity for 250 people. In 1965, when the United Church of Canada formed the Southwold Pastoral Charge, several of the Iona congregation withdrew to form an independent congregation.  The church was temporarily closed, but later was purchased by the new congregation to form the Iona Christian Fellowship Church. Along with its sister church, McBride’s, Iona continues as Alliance Churches. The centennial of the church was celebrated in 1974, and is now known as “Missionary Alliance of Canada”.

Further history:         – article in Dutton Advance, June 8, 1944 re 70th anniversary – article in Dutton Advance, June 17, 1954 re 80th anniversary


Rev. James Harris 1874 – 1876

Rev. George Ferguson 1876 – 1877

Rev. J. H. Hackett 1877 – 1880

Rev. W. Ray Smith 1880 – 1883

Rev. Mr. Cooper 1883 – 1886

Rev. T. T. George 1886 – 1889

Rev. Mr. Medd 1889 – 1892

Rev. Mr. Fairchilds 1892 – 1895

Rev. W. C. Deacon 1895 – 1896

Rev. John Henderson 1896 – 1899

Rev. Mr. Nethercott 1899 – 1902

Rev. Mr. Wendell 1902 – 1904

 Rev. Mr. Thibedeau 1904 – 1907

Rev. A. E.  Moorehouse 1907 – 1911

Rev. M. C. Taylor 1911 – 1915

Rev. I. W. Kilpatrick 1915 – 1918

Rev. A. R. Johnston 1918

Rev. F. Burgess 1920

Rev. Hugh Wilson 1921

Rev. A. McKibbon 1922

Rev. A. A. Kellum 1925 – 1927

Rev. W. G. Shaw 1928 – 1930

Rev. E. S. Hiscocks 1930 – 1935

Rev. T. C. Wilkinson 1935 – 1938

Rev. D. W. Pomeroy 1938 – 1943

Rev. J. A. McKim 1943 – 1944

Rev. E. A. Poulter 1944 – 1949

Rev. W. H. Killam 1949 – 1951

Rev. H. A. Bunt 1952 – 1954

Mr. Harvey Sparling 1954

Mr. Marvin Streich 1956

Rev. Morley Colling 1957

Rev. Charles Lewis 1964-1965

Rev. Alex Taylor 1966

Rev. Robert McCrea 1965-1969

Rev. Mr. Simpson 1969

Rev. Michael Johnson 1970-1971

Rev. J. Kyle 1971-1976

Rev. George Croft 1976-1979

Mr. Dan Cudney 1979-1981

Mr. Bruce Robinson 1982-1983

Mr. Wayne Spriggs 1984-1986

Mr. James Breen 1986

Mr. William Oosterman 1986-1988

Mr. Dan Cudney 1988


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Methodist (became United Church of Canada in 1925)

Name of Church:      Townline

Location:                    Aldborough – Dunwich townline [probably on lot 1, concession 6, Dunwich]

Date of Formation:   1888

Date of Closing:         1961

Affiliations:                West Lorne Methodist Church (1888 –    )

St. John’s United Church, Dutton (1925 – 1961)

Records:  The United Church Archives lists the following records for Townline Methodist/United Church on the Dunwich Charge:

Minutes of Congregational Meetings (1946-1961)

A. & U. C. W. Minutes (1958-1963)

A. Treasurer’s Book (1955-1962)

Sunday School Record Book (1919-1950)

Sunday School Library Book (1895)

Young People’s Union Minutes (1923-1938)

Board of Managers Minutes (1931-1938)

See also listings for affiliated congregations, above

History:   In 1888 church services were held by Rev. Charles Scott in a schoolhouse opposite the former John McKishnie farm.  The charge was affiliated with West Lorne Methodist church.  In 1893, the congregation decided to erect a church.  Henry Alldrid donated the land and Amasa Wood of St. Thomas laid the corner stone.  Names on the deed were George Holland, Edgar Fillmore, Thomas Gilbert, John Ross, F. D. Pollard and Percy Witherden.  By 1925, the church was affiliated with St. John’s United Church, Dutton, part of the Dunwich Pastoral Charge.  After 68 years of service, the congregation felt it was in their best interests to affiliate completely with another church, and the church was closed on June 25, 1961 with a communion service.  In 1962 the church building was sold to the Oddfellow & Rebekah Lodge in West Lorne and was moved in July 1963 and was renovated for use of their meetings.  The land was sold back to the Alldrid farm.  The money from the sale of the church and contents was turned into the building fund of St. John’s United Church, Dutton.  New front doors were installed in 1965 as a memorial to the former Aldborough-Dunwich Townline church.

Further history:         – article in Dutton Advance, Sept. 16, 1943 re 50th anniversary

– article in Dutton Advance, July 5, 1961 re closing of church

– article in Dutton Advance, Aug. 21, 1963 re sale of church


Rev. Charles Scott 1888 –

Rev.  W. Brown

Rev.  Charles P. Wells 1893 – ,

Rev. F. Patterson

Rev.  Baker

Rev.  Vance,

Rev. T. Hibbert

Rev. Ashton

Rev.  G. Gifford

Rev.  James Andrews

Rev.  James Penrose

Rev.  John Ball

Rev.  James Husser

Rev.  Gerald Lawson

Rev.  Lyndon C. Harvey

Rev.  Mead

Gordon Hargrave (student)

Rev.  G. C. Mitchell

Rev.  Joseph Jones

Rev.  Clayton Searle

Rev.  Walter L. Nichol

Rev. Grant L. Mills

Rev.  Clarence E. Beacom – 1961


 Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Methodist (became United Church of Canada in 1925)

Name of Church:      St. John’s Methodist (United) Church, Dutton

Location:                    179 Nancy Street, Dutton [south ½ lot 13, Concession A, Dunwich]  Dutton St. Johns Church New

Date of Formation:   1872

Date of Closing:         active

Affiliations:        Tyrconnell Circuit with Bismark (West Lorne), Garbutt’s and Wallacetown (1872-1878)

Tyrconnell and Wallacetown (1878-1925)

Single Charge (1925-1935)

Townline Charge (1935-1951)

Wallacetown & Townline (1951-1961)

Wallacetown (1961-1964)

Chalmers and Wallacetown (1964-present)

Records:    The United Church Archives lists the following records for Dutton Methodist/United Church. The records have been microfilmed.

Marriage Register (1896-1919)

Circuit Register (Tyrconnell/Dutton) (1873-1900)

Circuit Register (Dutton, Wallacetown, Tyrconnell) (1902-1925)

Minutes of Quarterly Board of Dutton Circuit (1888-1925)

Minutes of Annual Congregational Meetings (1932-1966)

Minutes of Parsonage Trustee Board (1892-1912; 1915-1921)

Minutes of the Official Board (1935-1965)

Minutes of Board of Stewards (1932-1971)

Records [not specified] of St. John’s United Church (1927-1976)

The following records are kept at the Pastoral Charge office, which is located at the home of the minister, 250 Main Street, Box 147, Dutton. N0L 1J0  An appointment is necessary to view the records.  Phone (519) 762-3821

Marriage Register (Oct. 12, 1924 – Oct. 9, 1948) – contains primarily marriages performed at St. John’s church.

Marriage Register (April 9, 1955 – July 25, 1970) – contains marriages from St. John’s, Townline, Wallacetown & Chalmers

 St. John’s United Church Session Book (1925-1931)

 Minute Book (annual meetings, church council) (1967-1978)

Church Register (1976-1992) (1993-present)

Official Board Minutes (1965-1986)

 Church Register:        

Baptisms 1962-1975

Marriages 1970-1988

Burials Nov. 1961 – Mar. 1976

Cash/Treasurer’s book 1925-1942                 

The following  records are  housed at the church.  The church phone number is (519) 762-3411, or contact the minister’s home at the number given above.  An appointment is necessary to view the records.

Treasurer’s Books: 1961-1977; 1978-1986; 1986-1996

Sunday School Financial Records & Minutes: 1951-1982

United Church Women Minutes: 1982-1986

Friendly Circle Treasurer records: 1965-1992

Friendly Circle Minutes: 1980-1992

 Church Council Minutes: 1981-1994

Women’s Missionary Soc. Minutes/Membership: 1935-1940; 1951-1961

Women’s Missionary Soc. Treasurer’s Book 1944-1946

Women’s Association Secretary’s Book 1957-1961

Mission & Maintenance Treasurer’s Book 1929-1942

Sunday School Attendance, Treasurer’s, Minutes: 1918-1925

Unit 1 Secretary’s Books: 1965-1967; 1968-1971

 History:    In 1872, several Wesleyan Methodist families began holding weekly prayer and class meetings under the leadership of Mr. Joseph Lacey.  In 1873, Rev. Mr. Hannah, the minister of the Tyrconnell circuit preached the first service to the Dutton congregation.  In 1875, services were held in the old school house that stood on the site of the present church.  A church was built and dedicated on August 11, 1878.

Dutton St. Johns Church 1890

This church was destroyed by fire on January 4, 1890. A new site was secured  on the corner of Mary and Nancy Streets, and a new church was dedicated on October 26, 1890. In 1935, Townline Church (Aldborough & Dunwich) affiliated with Dutton as a charge, and when Townline closed in 1961, their members joined the Dutton Church.  Cowal (Chalmers) church became part of the circuit in 1964, and in 1965, Wallacetown was added to form the Dunwich Pastoral Charge.

Further history:   -“Commemorating 75 Years of Worship in St. John’s United Church, Dutton 1890-1965″ (Elgin OGS has a copy)

– article in Dutton Advance, Oct. 10, 1940 re 50th anniversary 


Rev. Mr. Hannah (1873-1874)                                   

Rev. H. Godfrey (1920 – 1924)

Rev. Ebenezer Teskey (1875 – 1877)

Rev. F. J. Rutherford (1924 – 1925)

Rev. James Watson (1877 – 1879)                             

Rev. E. Medd (1925 – 1927)

Rev. Wm. McCann (1879 – 1881)                             

Rev. Geo. C. Mitchell (1927 – 1931)

James Kennedy (1881)                                              

Rev. Joseph Jones (1931 – 1935)

Rev. J. G. Fallis (1882 – 1884)                                   

Rev. Clayton H. Searle (1935 – 1938)

Rev. Erne (1884 – 1885)                                            

Rev. Walter L. Nichol (1938 – 1948)

Rev. R. D. Hamilton (1885 – 1888)                           

Rev. Grant Mills (1948 – 1952)

Rev. E. Middleton (1888 – 1892)                              

Rev. Clarence Beacom (1952 – 1961)

Rev. C. T. Scott (1892 – 1894)                                  

Rev. J. W. Shaver (1961 – 1967)

Rev. J. E. Moore (1894 – 1897)                                 

Rev. Murray Barnet (1967 – 1975)

Rev. Wm. C. Beer (1897 – 1900)                               

Rev. David Northey (1975 – 1980)

Rev. Ezra. G. Powell (1900 – 1903)                           

Rev. J. Ernest Fellows (1981 – 1985)

Rev. George Jewett (1903 – 1906)                             

Rev. Barbara Laing (1985 – 1988)

Rev. A. I. Brown (1906 – 1908)                                

Rev. Lloyd Carver (1988)

Rev. James Husser (1908 – 1912)                              

Rev. Evelyn McLachlan (1990 – 1998 )

Rev. John Kennedy (1912 – 1916)                             

Rev. Jane Hallett (1998 – 2000)

Rev. A. McGibbon (1915 – 1916)                              

Mr. Bob Karn (2001 – 3 mos)

Rev. Harvey F. Kennedy (1916 – 1919)                    

Barb Dawson (2001 – 3 mos)

Rev. J. A. Snell (1919 – 1920)                                   

Diane McPherson (2001 – )      


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Methodist (became United Church of Canada in 1925)

Name of Church:      Wallacetown United Church

Location:       Corner of Gordon and Argyle Streets, Wallacetown (North half lot 12, concession 8)  Wallacetown United New

Date of Formation:   1875

Date of Closing:         active

Affiliations:                Tyrconnell circuit with Bismark (West Lorne) and Garbutts (1868-1878)

Tyrconnell and Dutton (1878-1925)

Tyrconnell (1925-1929)

Dutton (1951-1965)

Dutton and Chalmers, Cowal (1965-present) (Dunwich Pastoral Charge)

The United Church Archives lists the following records for Wallacetown:

Official Board / Congregational Minutes (1925-1963)

At the minister’s home in Dutton: Church Register: 1978-present (see St. John’s listing for details of availability & other records for the charge)

For many years, services and classes were held by Methodist Circuit riders in homes and in the Town Hall.  In 1875, the Wesleyan Methodists built a church, on the corner of Gordon and Argyle streets.  The site was donated by Colin Henry.  In  1878, Wallacetown became part of a three-point charge including Tyrconnell and Dutton. In 1925, many families from the Presbyterian church joined the Wallacetown United Church.  Soon the church became too small, and in 1928 the church was raised and a basement put under it.  Also added was a vestry, choir loft and two anterooms, the church being also bricked at this time.Wallacetown United Church 1875 When Tyrconnell closed their church they  joined with Wallacetown. In 1959 further renovations took place including new Sunday School rooms, washrooms, improved front entrance, modern kitchen and a parlour.

Further history:    “Wallacetown United Church 1875-1975″, by Margaret Welch, 1975 (Elgin OGS has a copy)

– article in Dutton Advance, Apr. 5, 1967 re burning of mortgage

Ministers:      see affiliated congregations


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Methodist (became United Church of Canada in 1925)

Name of Church:      Tyrconnell Methodist (later United Church

Location:                    Lot 8, Concession 10  Tyrconnell Methodist Church

Date of Formation:   ca 1823

Date of Closing:         1929

Affiliations:                a mission from London (1823-1836)

a mission on St. Thomas Circuit (1836-1854)

Watson’s, Sharon and Garbutt’s (1854-1868)

Tyrconnell Circuit (West Lorne, Garbutt’s, Wallacetown) (1868-1878)

Wallacetown Circuit (Wallacetown, Dutton) (1878-1925)

Wallacetown (1925-1929)

Records:     see listing for Dutton (St. John’s) United Church, and above affiliated congregations.

History:   This Wesleyan Methodist congregation began with services in the home of Henry Coyne in the early 1820’s, being visited by early circuit riding preachers, one of whom was John Ryerson. Rev. George Ferguson also preached in the early 1820’s in the schoolhouse at Tyrconnell, one of his stops on a mission from London.  Later services were held in the home of Andrew Backus on Concession 9, it serving also as the school house for the district.  In 1836, Tyrconnell became part of the St. Thomas circuit until 1854 when it was made part of a circuit from Fingal.  The building of the first church began in 1855 and was opened in 1858.  After 75 years of service, the church was closed in 1929 and its congregation joined the church at Wallacetown. A deed exists dated May 30, 1857 for 1/4 acre, part of lot 9, concession 10 from George Macbeth to the Trustees of Tyrconnell congregation of the Wesleyan Methodist church. The same deed also lists village lot 2, Mill Street, north east side, Tyrconnell. (Perhaps the parsonage built the same year as the church)

Ministers:   see affiliated congregations


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Methodist

Name of Church:      Garbutt’s (also known as Coyne’s)

Location:                    in the schoolhouse, lot 5, concession 8

Date of Formation:   ca 1823

Date of Closing:         1878

Affiliations:        a mission from London (included Tyrconnell) (1823-1836) a mission, part of St. Thomas circuit (1836-1854) Fingal Circuit (Tyrconnell, Watson’s & Sharon) (1854-1868) Tyrconnell Circuit (Wallacetown & West Lorne) (1868-1878)

Records:   see listings for above affiliated congregations

History:   Henry Coyne and his family settled in Dunwich in 1817 at what has since been known as Coyne’s Corners on the Talbot Road (Highway #3).  He ran a hotel on his property for many years and here John Baxter, Asahel Hurlbut, and later Ryersons and Ephraim Evans found accommodation while preaching in the schoolhouse one mile west of Coynes and located on the Garbutt farm.  The congregation was Wesleyan Methodist. It was too close to both Tyrconnell and later Wallacetown to warrant another church building.

Ministers:     see affiliated congregations


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Presbyterian (became United Church of Canada in 1925)

Name of Church:      Chalmers Presbyterian Church (later Chalmers United Church)

Location:    32316 Chalmers Line (at Cowal Road)  Chalmers Church

N ½ lot 24, concession 2 (1853-1876)

S ½ lot 24, concession 3 (1876 – )

Date of Formation:   1853

Date of Closing:         active

Affiliations:                included South East Ekfrid, Middlesex County (1853-1873)

Cook’s Church, Caradoc Twsp. (1873-1876)

Duff’s Church, Largie (1876-1900)

McBride’s, Southwold (1901-1925)

McBride’s, Lawrence Station (1926-1964)

Dunwich Pastoral Charge (Dutton, Wallacetown, Chalmers) (1964-)

Records:   The United Church Archives lists the following records for Chalmers Presbyterian/United Church:

Marriage Register (photocopy) (1897-1933)

Session Minutes of Duff & Chalmers Presbyterian Church (photocopy) (1877-1894)

The following records are available for research, by appointment, by contacting the minister of the Dunwich Pastoral Charge (Dutton): 250 Main Street, Box 147, Dutton, ON N0L 1J0. (519) 762-3821

Baptisms (photocopy) (1902 – 1964)

Marriages (photocopy) (1897 – 1933; 1934 – 1964)

Membership List (original & photocopy) (1855 – present)

Minutes (original & photocopy) (1859; 1876-1894; 1894-1959)

Church Register: 1976-present

See also listing for Dutton (St. John’s) United Church

History:     The history of this congregation actually begins in the 1830’s and 1840’s when a large number of Highland Scots settled in Dunwich and across the river in Ekfrid Township, Middlesex County.  The first Presbyterian church that was built within walking distance was Knox Church in Ekfrid Township.  Several Dunwich families were members of this church, even though it was a distance of 10 miles or more. On July 6, 1853, a resolution was passed that a church be built on Hugh Fletcher’s farm.  It was to be 45 X 30 and was to be a Presbyterian church in connection with the Free Presbyterian Church of Canada. A deed exists dated Nov. 7, 1868 for 1/8 acre, part of  the north half of lot 24, concession 2 from Hugh Fletcher to John Fletcher & David Crosson in trust for Chalmers Canada Presbyterian Church.  A deed dated March 26, 1866 exists for property in the northeast corner of the north half of lot 23, concession 2, from Angus Murray to Thomas Campbell & Angus McTavish, in trust for Chalmers church. This is the lot a parsonage was built on. A white frame church was built in 1853, but was not dedicated until June 21, 1856. The first list of members was drawn up in 1855, many transferring from Knox Church, Ekfrid.  Presbyterian Missionary records held in the United Church Archives show Chalmers (originally called East Dunwich), one of the many churches under the care of Rev. Daniel Clark. In 1873 the people from Ekfrid decided because of the distance they had to travel, they would withdraw from the Chalmers congregation.  Three years later, the congregation at Chalmers was joined with Duff Church, Largie.  At this time it was decided to move the church to a more central spot, and New Montreal, now Cowal, was chosen as the site.  By 1901 the church was too small to accommodate the congregation, and a cornerstone was laid for the present church building on June 26, 1901, on property donated by Daniel Thomson. The new church was opened and dedicated in February 1902. The old church building was later used as a barn on the farm of John A. Patterson. In 1925 when the United Church was formed, Chalmers was considerably weakened when a number of members and many adherents withdrew and set up a separate Presbyterian congregation.  To save building another church, an arrangement was worked out so the Presbyterians had the church Sunday afternoon and certain times during the week, sharing the costs of heat and cleaning.  This continued for about 15 years when the few remaining Presbyterians joined Knox Church, Dutton. In 1925 the Methodist Church at Lawrence Station joined with Chalmers and McBride’s. Chalmers church celebrated the 125th anniversary of its dedication in 1981.

Further history:         – article in Dutton Advance, June 6, 1958 re 100th anniversary


Rev. W. R. Sutherland 1858
Rev. John Stuart 1865-1870
Rev. Malcolm McKenzie 1871-1873
Rev. Alexander Urquhart (14 years)
Rev. Alexander McKay (1 year)
Rev. John McNeil (1894 – 1900)
 Rev. Samuel Lawrence (1901-1907)
Rev. Donald McKay (1907-1917)
Rev. Gustaves Munroe 1917-1919
Rev. Thornloe
Rev. C. A. Malcolm 1920-1925
Rev. Neil A. Campbell 1926-1929
Rev. R. Watson Langdon 1929-1937
Rev. O. Glen Taylor 1937-1943
Rev. T. C. Wilkinson 1943-1949
Rev. Bruce Guy 1949-1953
Rev. J. Harrower 1953-1957
Mr. A. G. Pearce 1957
Rev. Charles Badger 1958-1960
Rev. Cecil A. Dukelow 1960
Mr. J. Earl Burr 1961-1964
Rev. Charles Lewis 1963
Rev. J. W. Shaver 1964-1967
Rev. Murray Barnet 1967-1975
Rev. David Northey 1975-1980
 Rev. Ernest Fellows 1980-1985
Rev. Barbara Lang 1985-1988
Rev. Burton
Rev. Lloyd Carver (1988)
Rev. Evelyn McLachlan 1990-1998
Rev. Jane Hallet 1998-2000
Mr. Bob Karn 2001 (3 months)
Barb Dawson 2001 (3 months)
Diane McPherson 2001-


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Baptist

Name of Church:      Dutton Baptist Church

Location:                    218 Main Street, Dutton (lot 12, Concession A)  Dutton Baptist Church

Date of Formation:   August 1, 1876

Date of Closing:         active

Affiliations:                First Southwold Regular Baptist (Iona) (1876-1880)

Iona Station Baptist Church (1914-1925)

West Lorne & Rodney (1925-1963)

Iona Station (1963-present)

Records:   The Canadian Baptist Archives lists the following records for Dutton Baptist church in their collection:

Minute Book (1894-1940)

Marriage Register (1900-1915)

Treasurer’s Records (1890-1904)

History of Church

It has not been determined if there are later records. Contact the church at (519) 762-0706

History:   In the spring of 1875, Rev. L. M. Randall, pastor of the First Southwold Regular Baptist church, Iona, held services every two weeks in the school house in Dutton, which at that time had only a few houses.  A church council met at Dutton on Aug. 1, 1876 and organized a Baptists church with ten members. In 1877 a church was built, which was very commodious and used by all the denominations in the village until they built their own buildings. In 1880, Mr. W. D. Rees became the first pastor. For the next 23 years the wood framed church faced King Street, and served as the worship house for the Baptist congregation which had swelled to 102 members.  In 1900 the building underwent extensive renovations.  It was lifted up and turned 90 degrees to sit upon a new cement foundation facing Main Street.  Electric lights, oak seats, and leaded stained glass windows were installed at the same time.

Further history:     “The Baptist Church in Dutton – 100 Years of Service 1876-1976″, by Rev. E. A. Lorimer, 1976

-article in Dutton Advance, Oct. 18, 1900 regarding moving Baptist church to present location


Rev. L. M. Randall, 1876-1879                                 

Mr. W. D. Rees, 1880-1881                                       

Richmond, 1882-1883

Mr. Herrington, 1883-?   

Mr. O. C. Carey

Mr. William Grant, – 1888

Rev. J. Roney

Mr. (Elder) Randall

Mr. G. H. Sneyd, – 1895

Mr. T. T. Shields, 1895-1897

Mr. J. Atkins, 1898

various students, 1898-1899                                           

Rev. Robert Scott, 1899-1903

Rev. C. H. Emerson, 1903-1905

Rev. James Grant, 1905-1906

Mr. A. C. Bingham

Rev. E. A. Orton, 1906-1909

George A. Clark, 1910

Mr. O. E. Rutledge, 1910-1912?

various students, 1912-1914

Rev. R. W. Kelly, 1914-1915

Rev. F. Oliver, 1915

Rev. Thomas Bingham, 1915-1917

D. Priddle, 1917

various students, 1917-1918

Rev. John Pollock, 1918-1923

various students, 1923-1925

Rev. Hisey, 1925

Rev. W. E. James, 1925-1932

Rev. C. R. Gower, 1932-1937

Mr. Ralph P. Clark, 1937-1943

Mr. J. Frank Ward, 1943-1948

Mr. Bruce Jackson, 1948-1951

Rev. Arthur Homer, 1951-1958

Rev. William Glenn, 1958-1963

Mr. John Russell, 1963-1965

Mr. Roy Latimer, 1965-1967

Rev. Charles Burtch, 1967-1972

Rev. E. A. Lorimer, 1972-1978

Rev. David Stamp, 1978-1982

Rev. Peter Burritt, 1983-1995

Rev. Stephen Self, 1996-2000

Rev. James Lewis, 2000-2002

Pastor Deane Proctor, 2002-


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Baptist

Name of Church:      Second Southwold Regular Baptist Church

Location:     Lot C, Concession A, Dunwich   

Date of Formation:   1850

Date of Closing:         1903

Affiliations:    First Southwold Regular Baptist (1850-1903)

First and Second Southwold Baptist churches amalgamated to become the Iona Station Baptist church in 1903-present

Records:      The Canadian Baptist Archives lists the following records for Second Southwold Baptist Church in their holdings:

Minute Book (1893-1901)

See also listing for First Southwold Regular Baptist in Southwold volume

History:     A deed exists dated Nov. 18, 1872 for 3/10 acre in lot C, concession A, from John C. Shipley to the Trustees of the Baptist church. This church was organized when the parent church, the First Southwold Regular Baptist church in 1850 set aside more that 20 of its members to organize the Second Southwold church.  While the actual building was located in Dunwich township, this church as well as the one at Iona, had members from both townships.


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Baptist

Name of Church:      Iona Free Will Baptist Church

Location:      Lot C, Concession 8, Village of Iona  Iona Free Will Baptist Church

Date of Formation:   1822

Date of Closing:         ca 1895 (now the Community Hall – 8851 Iona Road)


Records:     no known records

History:    A deed exists dated Feb. 22, 1862 for property in lot C, Concession 8, from William Taylor to the Trustees of the Free Will Baptist church. As early as 1818, evangelists Herman Jenkins and David Marks from New York state travelled through this part of Upper Canada preaching the Gospel.  In 1822, Jenkins arrived at the home of Andrew Banghart in Westminster and founded a church. In the same year, Banghart founded the church at Iona.  Regular services were held for many years and several huge revivals took place there, but eventually services were held only intermittently and finally one once each year.  On that Sunday, all the other area churches would close so everyone could go to the Free Will service.  The beautifully proportioned old timber frame church still stands on high ground in the old village of Iona, now used for many years as the community hall (8851 Iona Road).  From about 1895-1910, ministers of the St. Thomas Disciples of Christ Church and students from the Sinclair College in St. Thomas held services at Iona and at Eagle in Aldborough Township.

Further history:         “A Pioneer History of Elgin County”, ca 1896, from an essay on S. S. #5 Dunwich, by J. W. Brown


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Baptist (Particular Covenanted Baptist Church of Christ)

Name of Church:      Particular Covenanted Baptist Church, Wallacetown

Location:       Lot 10, Concession 8 (log church built about 1827)  Wallacetown Particular Covenanted Baptist Church

Lot 16, concession 7; 30504 Talbot Line (one mile east of Wallacetown)

Date of Formation:   1818

Date of Closing:         only occasional services

Records:    there are believed to be registers of baptism and marriage, from perhaps the beginning of the congregation in 1818, and are believed to be kept at the home of the widow of the last elder.  The records are not accessible at the present time.

History:    The first church of this faith in West Elgin was located in Aldborough, but after a number of these settlers moved into Dunwich, a log church was erected about 1827 on part of lot 10, concession 8. The first preacher was Elder Dugald Campbell, and later Thomas McColl, who became an ordained minister.  In 1852 Elder McColl gave land for the church building, and the log church was replaced by a frame structure in 1852, built on the front of lot 16, concession 7, one mile east of Wallacetown on Highway #3. The present red brick church was built on the same location and opened in 1911.  The old frame church was moved to a farm for an implement building and still stands on the south part of lot 13 in concession 5, south of Concession A., Dunwich.  A deed exists dated May 2, 1859 for property in the southeast half of lot 16, concession 7, from Thomas McColl to the Trustees of the Covenanted Baptist Church.  McKillop Cemetery is located beside the church.

Further history:         -article in Dutton Advance, Nov. 9, 1911 regarding opening of new church


Elder Dugald Campbell 1818- 1857                           Elder H. M. Curry 1901-1906

Elder Thomas McColl 1852-1868                               Elder John B. Slauson 1914-1925

Elder William Pollard 1868-1901                               Elder George Ruston 1929-1972

Elder Wm. L. Beebe 1877-1881                                 Elder D. Alex McColl 1972-1982

Elder W. I. Carnell 1901-1906                                   Elder J. Stewart McColl 1972-


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Disciples of Christ

Name of Church:      Iona Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Location:                    Lot C, Concession 8   

Date of Formation:   ca 1895

Date of Closing:         ca 1910

Affiliations:                St. Thomas Disciples Church (1895-1910)

Records:      see listing for above affiliation in St. Thomas volume

History:                      From about 1895 to 1910, ministers of the St. Thomas Disciples of Christ church and students from the Sinclair College in St. Thomas held services at Iona, in the former Free Will Baptist church building.


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Presbyterian

Name of Church:      Knox Presbyterian Church, Dutton (from 1883 to 2000) now called Knox – St. Andrews Presbyterian Church

Location:                    162 Nancy Street, Dutton; south half lot 13, Concession A  Dutton Presbyterian Church

Date of Formation:   1883

Date of Closing:         active


St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, Wallacetown (1883-1888)

Chalmers Presybterian Church, Cowal (1925-1940)

Knox Church West Lorne, St. Andrews Wallacetown (1964-1998)


The following records exist for Knox Church Dutton, and are available for genealogical research. Contact the Clerk of Session of the church (Albert Ford or Ann MacDonald; church phone is (519) 762-0040):

Congregational Minutes (1898 – 1950; 1950 – 1992)

Marriage Register (1940-1985)

Session Minutes (1888-1930; 1931-1963)

History:    This church was organized as a branch of the Wallacetown congregation, with services being conducted in the Dutton Baptist Church in 1877.  Rev. J. A. McDonald, minister of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at Wallacetown preached the first sermon to a Dutton congregation in March 1877.  Services were held at intervals after that, in the school house and the Baptist church.  In 1884, a church was brick church was built.  By 1920 this church was much too small, so it was town down by the congregation and the present red brick church was built.  In 1964, Knox Dutton, Knox West Lorne and St. Andrew’s, Wallacetown were united into one pastoral charge, each having been single charges of their own for many years. In 1998, the churches at West Lorne and Wallacetown closed temporarily.  In 2000, the church at West Lorne was sold and the congregation joined Crinan church.  The Wallacetown church was put up for sale, and the congregation joined the Dutton church.  Since that time, the congregation in Dutton is now known as “Knox – St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church”.

Further history:         “1883-1893 – Centennial Souvenir, Knox Presbyterian Church, Dutton, Ontario”, by Herb Campbell & Alastair McKellar

Ministers:                   see affiliated churches for earlier ministers

Rev. David Stewart (1977-1980)
Rev. Fairlie Ritchie (1981-1983)
Rev. Sabrina Caldwell (1983-1986)
Rev. Tom Godfrey (1988-2001)
Robert W. Karn (2001-2003)


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Presbyterian

Name of Church:      St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Wallacetown

Location:                    Wallacetown; 9552 Currie Road  Wallacetown Presbyterian Church

Date of Formation:   1852

Date of Closing:         1999 (amalgamated with Knox, Dutton to become Knox – St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church)

Affiliations:                Duff’s Presbyterian Church, Largie (1855-1875)

Knox, West Lorne (1925-1999)

Knox, Dutton (1964-1999)

Records:     The following records are in original format and on  microfilm for Wallacetown & Duff’s Presbyterian Church, Dunwich.  Since amalgamation with Knox Church, Dutton,  these records are now kept there.  An appointment is required for research.  See listing for Knox church for details.

Baptisms (1878-1880)

Baptisms (1917-1993) (original format only)

Death Notices (1859-1869)

Communion Roll (1878-1884)

Session Minutes (1859-1926)

On microfilm at the Elgin County Archives (MF #124) are the following records:

Baptisms (1859-1880)

Deaths (1859-1869)

Communion Roll (1859-1883)

Session Minutes (1859-1958)

History:   A few scattered pioneer Presbyterian settlers in Dunwich held a meeting in 1851 and emerging from that meeting was a decision to build a church.  This was undertaken in 1852, and the church was opened in 1853.  A deed exists dated May 12, 1852 for property in the southeast half of lot 13, concession 7, from Thomas Talbot to Donald McPherson, et al, Trustees of the Presbyterian congregation of Dunwich. For a number of years, until 1875, the church was united with Duff church under one pastoral charge, but it was not until 1859 Rev. Archibald McDiarmid became the first resident minister. The church was later practically rebuilt and changed into a brick veneer building with a basement, and re-opened in April 1903.This congregation was originally part of the Free Church or Canada Presbyterian, before union of all Presbyterian churches in 1875.The church was closed in 1999 and the building was sold in 2002.

Further history:         – article in the Dutton Advance, April 16, 1903 regarding re-opening of renovated church

– article in Dutton Advance, Oct. 29, 1942, re 90th anniversary


Rev. Brown

Rev. Clark

Rev. McColl

Rev. John Fraser

Rev. Archibald McDiarmid (1859-1866)

Rev. Neil McDiarmid (1868-1874)

Rev. John A. McDonald (1877-1880)

Rev. Donald Stewart (1880-1888)

Rev. Donald Kelso (1888-1916)

Rev. James McIlroy (1917-1921)

Rev. Stanley Owen (1921-1922)

Rev. J. R. Douglas (1923-1925)

Rev. T. deCourcy Rayner (1925-1932)

Rev. J. H. Moore (1932)

Rev. R. Russell (1939-1942)

Rev. T. R. Maxwell (1943-1946)

Rev. Robert Bruce (1946-1953)

Rev. Carlyle Webster (1953)

Rev. Charles Wesley Quinn (1954-1958)

Rev. James Fleming (1958-1963)

Rev. A. Clements (1964-1974)

Rev. Andrew Duncan (1975-1977)

Rev. David Stewart (1977-1980)

Rev. Fairlie Ritchie (1981-1983)

Rev. Sabrina Caldwell (1983-1986)

Rev. Tom Godfrey (1988-till close)


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Presbyterian (previously Free Church or Canada Presbyterian)

Name of Church:      Duff Presbyterian Church, Largie

Location:                    Lot 11, Concession 2, south ½  (1855-1895)  Largie Duff Presbyerian Church

Lot 10, Concession 3, north ½  (1895-present) 13125 Largie Road (at Duff Line)

Date of Formation:   1855

Date of Closing:         active

Affiliations:                Wallacetown Presbyterian Church (1855-1875)

Chalmers Presbyterian Church, Cowal (1876-1900)

Tait’s Corners Presbyterian Church, Ekfrid Twsp. (1900-1925)

Argyle Presbyterian Church, Crinan (1925-present)

Records:   The following records exist for Duff Church. Contact the church for accessibility:

Marriage Register (Feb. 12, 1908 – Sept. 17, 1918)

Marriage Register (Oct. 27, 1928 – Sept. 2, 1972)

Register of Baptisms (1894-1972)

Communion Register (1900-1958)

The Presbyterian Church Archives lists the following records on microfilm:

Baptisms, 1882-1883; 1894-1972

Marriages, 1908-1915; 1928-1972

Session Minutes, 1882-1883; 1876-1894; 1894-1976

 Session Roll, 1882

Communion Roll, 1883; 1901-1931

See also affiliated congregations for possible records relating to Duff Church.

History:   A deed exists dated Feb. 17, 1860 for part of lot 11, concession 2, from Donald Gillies to the Trustees of Duff’s church.  The area was settled by Highland Scots from Argyleshire, beginning in the 1840’s. They were mainly residents of the communities of Largie, Campbellton and Bennett’s Corners.  They were visited by Presbyterian missionaries where meetings were held in Galbraith’s woods and later in the schoolhouse. In 1851-1852, a charge was organized with a church built at Wallacetown in 1853, and one at the River Station (early name of Largie church) in 1855.  In 1875, Wallacetown had a large enough congregation to be self supporting, so Duff Church (as it was known after 1860) was joined with Chalmers Presbyterian church a few miles to the east. In 1900 the Presbytery of London joined Chalmers church to McBride’s Presbyterian church further east in Southwold township, and Duff church was joined with Tait’s Corners Presbyterian Church in Ekfrid Township, on the north side of the Thames River.  In 1925 Tait’s Corners church joined the United Church of Canada, and Duff Church joined Argyle Presbyterian Church at Crinan, a few miles to the west. The old church, built on lot 11, concession 2, served the congregation for 40 years, and in 1895 it was decided to build a new church on lot 10, concession 3.  The new church was dedicated on Sept. 29, 1895. 

Further history:         – “The Station at the River – A History of Duff Presbyterian Church, Largie, Ontario”, by Norman McWilliam, 1989

– article in Dutton Advance, June 16, 1955 re 100th anniversary


Rev. Archibald McDiarmid (1859 – 1866)

Rev. Neil McDiarmid (1868 – 1874)

Rev. Alexander Urquhart (1877 – 1891)

Rev. Alexander McKay (1891 – 1892)

Rev. John McNeil (1894- 1900)

Rev. D. I. Ellison (1900 – 1907)

Rev. W. L. Nichol (1907 – 1915)

Rev. J. H. Stewart (1915 – 1918)

Rev. John McKillop (1918 – 1921)

Rev. C. H. Cook (1922- 1925)

Rev. S. V. Williams (1925 – 1928)

Rev. Frank Hutchinson (1929 – 1930)

Rev. J. A. MacLean (1930 – 1946)

Rev. Wm. Sutherland (1946 –


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Presbyterian (Church of Scotland)

Name of Church:      St. John’s Presbyterian Church of Canada, in connection with the established Church of Scotland (“Auld Kirk”)

Location:                    South half Lot 7, Concession 2

Date of Formation:   March 4, 1862

Date of Closing:         1889

Affiliations:                St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Glencoe (1862-1875)

Records:                     no known records exist separately for this church

contact London-Middlesex OGS for information on St. Andrew’s Church, Glencoe

History:     A deed exists dated March 17, 1870 for 1/4 acre in the west part of the southerly half of lot 7, concession 2, from Robert Campbell to the Trustees of the Presbyterian church.

St. John’s church was established in the same community as Duff Presbyterian church, by people who were opposed to the Free Presbyterian church, of which Duff was a part.  From 1862 to 1875, it was affiliated with St. Andrew’s Church in Glencoe, under a joint session. In 1875 when the different branches of the church joined to become “The Presbyterian Church in Canada”, St. John’s decided to carry on alone and joined a synod of ten other continuing congregations of the “old Kirk”.  Never strong enough to support their own minister, they carried on with intermittent services and occasional visits of a few weeks’ duration by ministers of the Old Kirk.  A church was built in 1869 or 1870 at Campbelltown, a fine timber frame church, and the fact that it was so new in 1875 may have been one reason they did not join with Duff Church at that time.  When the church closed in 1889, the building was moved to the McPherson farm, north half lot 7, concession 2, where it is still used as part of the farm barn, by present owner Norman McWilliam.

Further history:         “The Station at the River – A History of Duff Presbyterian Church Largie, Ontario”, by Norman McWilliam, 1989


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Roman Catholic

Name of Church:      St. Helen’s

Location:                    Wallacetown; 29519 Talbot Line  St. Helens Church

Date of Formation:   1902

Date of Closing:         active

Affiliations:                St. Mary’s, West Lorne (1902-present)


Baptisms (1902-present)

Marriages (1902-present)

Burials (1902-present)

Communion Roll (1902-present)

Confirmations (1902-present)

The above records are part of St. Mary’s, West Lorne.  The original registers are located at the Rectory of St. Mary’s, 132 Main Street, West Lorne.  Microfilmed copies are located at the Diocese of London, 1070 Waterloo St., London

These records, up to 1910, have also been microfilmed by the LDS, and are found on film number 1312179.  Elgin OGS has a copy of this film in their library collection.

History:    In 1850, Catholic people began settling in Dunwich township, near where Wallacetown now stands. They were almost entirely of Irish origin. Pioneer Priests visited their settlement, and as their number grew, Mass was celebrated at irregular intervals.  For seven years, these services were held in the home of Michael Hooley, concession 9 Dunwich.  Mr. Hooley donated a piece of property for a church to be built (on concession 9), and the church was called St. Columbia after the missionary who travelled from Ireland to Iona, Scotland in 563 A.D. [note: this church is listed separately, as “St. Columkill’s].

This church served the community until 1902, until a larger and more centrally located building was desired.  A site was chosen on what is now Highway #3 in Wallacetown, and the cornerstone was laid on Sept. 21, 1902.  The church was named St. Helen’s.  Although the pioneer families were almost totally Irish, by 1952 newcomers to the parish were Dutch immigrants.

St. Helen’s Cemetery is situated on the 6th concession of Dunwich, on 1 1/8 acres of land donated by Timothy D. Crowley in 1887.  The first burial took place in 1894.

Further history:         – “St. Helen’s Catholic Church”, by John D. Casey, 1952 (for their 50th anniversary)

– article in Dutton Advance, Sept. 25, 1952 re 50th anniversary


Rev. Fr. Flannery (prior to 1894)

Rev. Fr. Quinlan (1894-1905)

Rev.  Thomas P. Hussey (1905-1910)

Rev. Augustine Fuerth (1910-1921)

Rev. J.A. Finn (1921-1929)

Rev. J. P. Gleason (1929-1933)

Rev. J. H. Chisholm (1933-1947)

Rev. Wilfred T. O’Rourke (1947-1949)

Rev. A. M. McHugh (1949-1955)

Rev. J. B. O’Donnell (1955-1959)

Rev. John McMaster (1959-1965)

Rev. W. G. Smith (1965-1977)

Rev. J. G. Denys (1977-1981)

Rev. E. A. Morris (1981-1988)

Rev. R. Paquette (1988-1997)

Rev. J. Nevett (1997-2002)

Rev. Jan Konieczny (2002-    )


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Roman Catholic

Name of Church:      St. Colomkill’s [some references say “St. Columba”]

Location:                    Lot 17, Concession 9

Date of Formation:   July 28, 1884 (dedicated)

Date of Closing:         1902


Holy Angels, St. Thomas (1859-1894)

St. Mary’s, West Lorne (1894-1902)

Records:      At Holy Angels, St. Thomas, 502 Talbot Street, St. Thomas: (and on microfilm at Diocese of London, 1070 Waterloo St., London)

Baptisms (c1870-1894)

Marriages (c1870-1894)

Burials (c1870-1894)

Communion Roll (c1870-1894)

Confirmations (c1870-1894)

 At St. Mary’s Rectory, 132 Main Street, West Lorne:

(and on microfilm at Diocese of London, 1070 Waterloo St., London)

Baptisms (1894-1902)

Marriages (1894-1902)

Burials (1894-1902)

Communion Roll (1894-1902)

Confirmations (1894-1902)

Both the records of Holy Angels, St. Thomas and St. Mary’s West Lorne have been microfilmed by the LDS (up to 1910).  Elgin OGS has a copy of these microfilms in their library collection, as follows:

Holy Angels, St. Thomas (Film numbers 1312034 & 1312035)

St. Mary’s, West Lorne (Film number 1312179)

History:     see history of St. Helen’s Church, Wallacetown


Township:                  Dunwich
Denomination:           Salvation Army 

Name of Church:      Salvation Army

Location:                    Station Street, Dutton

Date of Formation:   1880’s

Date of Closing:         before 1903

Records:                     no known records

History:   Not much is known about the Salvation Army in Dutton except for references in the local paper to changes in the officers every few months.  They had a two-story building on Station Street behind the Dutton Advance office and beside the local lock up before 1900.  The earliest reference to them in local papers is found in the Dutton Enterprise, July 21, 1888 when they held a banquet and jubilee.  A reference in that article to “since the army came to Dutton much good has apparently been done”, indicates that they may have commenced their services there around that time. Several references are made in various articles to the people in charge of the work in Dutton: Capt. Scarr (before 1893); Lieut. Pedler (left in 1893); Lieut. Huntington (1893).  An article in the Dutton Advance, Nov. 5, 1903 about an unrelated topic, makes reference to a residence over “the old Salvation Army Barracks”.  This may indicate that the Salvation Army was no longer holding services in Dutton by 1903.