Re: Acton clan - North-West England/Ireland
Not sure if your Actons are related to mine. I don't have any Edwards, or Herberts in my notes but lots of Johns/Williams & Thomases. My ancestors were living mostly in the Blackrod area, but there were a number of Actons in Wigan itself. You might be interested to check out the messages from Bruce Cortwright lower down, (re: Joe and Matthew Acton who were boxers in the USA and his predecessors) They both came from Wigan and emigrated in the late 1800/early 1900's.
If I find anything relating to the names you've given me I'll let you know. :)
Meantime, if your dad knows of a John Acton in his family tree who married into an Irish Catholic family called Brannan/Brannin, I'd be interested to hear of it.
Best of luck,