IRISH CANADIAN ANCESTORS IN MONO TOWNSHIP
Site of St. Cyprian church and cemetery at Granger community location
Burial location of great great grandfather Huge Devlin.
Hugh and Margaret Devlin
The most logical assumption is that Hugh Devlin arrived in Canada with his wife Margaret around 1834-35 from County Down in Ireland. The latter fact is engraved on his grave marker. County Down as can be seen in Appendix A is in todays. Northern Ireland, but in 1834-35 there was only one Ireland. The first Canadian record of him appears to be on Dec. 1835 with the the purchase of 100 acres, the west half of Lo21 C2 east, Mono Township, Dufferin County from a Charles Devlin.. There is a similar record of Charles Devlin purchasing both the east and west halves of this lot from the Crown on Oct. 15, 1835. Charles is thought and assumed to be a brother to Hugh.
Hugh and Margaret had six children as best that can be determined. This information has been assembled through various records as follows. A grave marker at the St. Cyprian cemetery records the death of their 17 year old daughter Eleanor on Nov.17th 1857, as likely their second child born in 1840. As things turned out the births of all of the Devlin children were recorded in the Deverell family bible. Eleanor was born Feb 20th 1841 A similar marker at the same cemetery records the death of a second and older daughter Margaret Ann, wife of James Mullin on Nov. 1, 1862 age 28. She was most likely born Sept 22nd 1834 possibly in Ireland although the bible entry contains no location, so it would seem more likely to be in Canada. Margaret married James Mullin on April 7th, 1858 and the couple had two sons and a daughter before her untimely death. Hugh and Mrgaret’s last child was born Aug 16th,1862 according to the bible record.
A page from the Deverell Family Bible showing births.
Next we turn to the 1871 census which has Hugh Devlin with three children Mary, James and Sarah. Mary is the oldest at 28 making her birth in 1843, however the bible says Jan 20th 1838. Mary appears never to have married, living with sister Sarah and her husband William in her later years in Dundalk. She is buried in St. Patrick’s cemetery Melancthon with Annie, William and Sarah’s 16 year old daughter who died in 1902. According to the grave stone she died May 2nd 1913 aged 75. which ties in perfectly with the bible record.
In the 1871 census son James is 25, and the bible puts his birth as May 26,1846. Sarah is 22 and her birth is July 14th,1848 which ties directly with other records. Land records show Hugh Devlin selling the West half of Lot 21 to son James in 1869 and the East half to son in law William Deverell in 1874, two years after William and daughter Sarah’s marriage.
The final record is the Will of Hugh Devlin who died March 2nd 1876 aged 68. The Will leaves the West half Lot 21 to son James and money to another son. No other records of this son are available except the bible which places his birth as June 2nd,1843.
Hugh’s wife Margaret died at the age of 46 on Nov.27, 1858 and is buried in the St. Cyprian cemetery in Mono Township. Her passing is commemorated on the same gravestone as her daughter Eleanor who passed away almost one year earlier as noted above. The inscription is contained on her gravestone remnant which is incorporated in the Granger St. Cyprian monument as described below.
Huge Devlin died on March 12th 1876 age 68 years and is similarly buried and commemorated at St Cyprian cemetery.
Gravestones of Hugh and Margaret Devlin in Monument at St. Cyprian Cemetery
at Granger church cemetery site
St. Cyprian Roman Catholic Church
Around the mid 1930’s as Irish migrants settled in Mono Township, their attention turned to the establishment of a Catholic church. So it was that in 1837 the first record appears regarding the establishment of a small log church on a two acre square lot on the farm of Hugh Devlin. The site was at the north-east corner of Lot 21, C2, E.H.S. (East of Hurontario Street) about one mile north of Mono Centre.The church was called St. Cyprian and was a mission of St. James, Colgan which at the time served all the Catholics in the South Simcoe County area to the immediate west.
Never a large prosperous Catholic community, this St Cyprian church is remembered as the first Catholic church established in Dufferin County. The site was on the Niagara Escarpment and never very accessible, especially to the people that attended from the north. The site is still detectable today marked off by clusters of trees in the corners of the lot, although all traces of the building and cemetery graves stones have long since disappeared
Original site of St. Cyprian R. C. church near Mono Centre. Burial location of
great great grandmother Margaret Devlin May 2006
Around 1860 a decision was made to relocate the church much further north, possibly to Mulmer Township. However Thomas McCabe offered a site in Lot 25 about two miles further north of Mono Centre near the community of Granger. A new St Cyprian church was thus established there with a wooden frame structure erected in 1861. As was the normal practice a cemetery was located adjacent to the church and the tombstones moved from the old location.
The new church was initially listed in the Church directories as a Mission of St. Cyprian Mono West. It was a mission of Colgan until 1865 when the new parish of North Adjala administered it, first from Arlington until 1883 and then from Alliston until 1885. It is probable that it was in this somewhat confusing administrative context that the wedding of Sarah Devlin and William Deverell was held in St. James Catholic church in Colgan in 1872.
When Orangeville became a parish in 1885, St. Cyprian became its mission. Visited only once a month, it was by now a dying Mission, many of the families having departed for the larger centres. The Mission was closed around 1900 and for reasons not known the tombstones of about 20 burials became broken and scattered. By the 1960s the cemetery was completely overgrown with trees and shrubs so that it was unrecognizable as a burial ground. In 1966 the Mono Township Cemetery Board requested the transfer of the cemetery to its jurisdiction. Seven years later this was agreed to by the Toronto Catholic Cemetery Board.
During the summer of 1975 the Mono Cemetery Board arranged for the cleaning of the graveyard and collected two upright stones and 16 other fragments which they covered and protected. In 1977 the grounds were tilled and seeded and a fence erected. In 1979 Carmen Good of Guelph erected a cairn and mounted the remnants of 18 stones plus a few footstones. The Toronto Catholic Cemetery Association paid the cost of the cairn at $3875. A plaque was designed and mounted on the cairn. On Sept 30, 1979, one hundred years after the Granger mission church was dedicated the cairn was blessed.
The information above regarding the St. Cyprian churches and cemeteries I and II was assembled from material believed to have been prepared by the McCabe family and from archival records obtained from the Dufferin County Museum.
St. Cyprian Cemetery at Granger as it appeared in Sept. 2002