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Author Topic: Jones / Corbett: Murder / execution Do I have any living relatives?  (Read 14354 times)

Offline Ange39nz

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Jones / Corbett: Murder / execution Do I have any living relatives?
« on: Wednesday 25 January 06 08:17 GMT (UK) »
I would love to find relatives of my late father CHARLES ARCHIBALD CORBETT, b. 1918.

My father's birth was registered in Pontypridd, GLAMORGAN, Wales. Very little has been spoken of his family due to tragic circumstances, ending in murder and execution, that occurred in 1931.

As for my father's family, I have only found this information after his death as he wouldn't speak of it. There was a rumour and he had confirmed this to my mother. I looked into it further and have since received newspaper reports from the British Library:

His parents were WILLIAM JOHN CORBETT, a coal miner - hewer in Glamorgan, Wales and ETHEL LOUISA JONES. The address on my father's birth certificate was 3 SOUTH PANDY Rd, CAERPHILLY. I don't know their exact birth dates but am estimating it to be in the mid 1890s.

Ethel had an daughter at the time of their 1917 marriage. She was unaware that William was not her father until 1931.

Some time around late 1930 William lost his job and became mentally unstable with not being able to provide for his family. Apparantly he made a few suicide attempts.

In March 1931 an domestic dispute broke between William, Ethel and the oldest daughter. It escelated to the extreme where William had a razor to the daughter's throat and was certainly about to kill her. Ethel, who was pregnant, intervened and WIlliam cut her throat. He then went for the daughter. However, with a severed wind pipe and jugular, Ethel managed to throw herself onto William and pull him off her daughter before falling back, dead. The daughter was able to make her escape.

William was tried at SWANSEA and executed by hanging at CARDIFF PRISON in August 1931.

Ethel and WIllilam had 6 children, my father Charles, being the oldest. From newspaper clippings and Ethel's obituary I have found that the names of his siblings.  I also know 2 of his siblings names.

Witnesses at William's trial were DOROTHY WELL (neighbour) and JOHN VENN (friend). The arresting constable was WILLIAM BOWEN.

Ethel's funeral was attended by: EDGAR JONES (brother), HAROLD JONES (brother) MRS JOHN JONES (mother - who also appears in the court records as Mrs M JONES), BRINLEY CORBETT (brother in law and his wife), RICHARD CORBETT (b-i-law), LIONEL JONES (nephew) and a number of other relatives (nieces, aunts, etc) with names such as LAWRENCE, LYNES, GLEE, HOWELLS, WALTERS, MORGAN, DAVIES, NASH, WILLIAMS and WALL.

Sorry this is so long. I know it's a long shot but I have very little to go on other than the newspaper reports. I would love to find out if I have any close relatives still living. I believe one of his sisters lived in Canada and the other (Sally) died in Spain. They are the only ones I remember my father having any contact with at all.

MODERATOR COMMENT: Original post edited to protect identity of living people or their offspring.

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There are many ways to trace living relatives using publicly available telephone directories, "friends" websites (e.g. alumini sites, school sites etc), local newspapers.  There are also services provided in the UK by the Salvation Army to help trace close relatives.

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Especially looking for CORBETT / JONES connections.† Would love to find living relatives on my father's side.† Mother's side: HOLDING, GILBY, EVANS, WILDING etc. Have tree on Genes Reunited.

Offline piedstilt

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Re: Jones / Corbett: Murder / execution Do I have any living relatives?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 25 January 06 21:13 GMT (UK) »
Hi Ange, and welcome to RootsChat.

I can't shed any light on your immediate questions, but I was intrigued by the story and tried to see if I could find anything about any of the participants.

This is SO speculative that I'm almost embarrassed to report it ::) but here goes, anyway!

Jones, of course, is a very difficult name to find in Wales, so I thought I'd start with the most unusual name amongst those you mentioned: Brinley Corbett.

There is just one birth on FreeBMD: Brinley Ewart Corbett, born Dec q 1905 (11a/83) in Bedwelty, Monmouthshire (district includes Aberystruth, Aberystruth Brynmawr, Bedwelty, Rock Bedwelty, Tredegar).

Too late for the 1901 census, alas, but I looked for Corbetts living in the general area and came up with the following:

1901
87 Queen St, Aberystruth, Monmouthshire

Edward Corbett, 26, Hereford, Herefordshire, Head, haulier in mine below
Sarah Corbett, 24, Herefordshire, Wife
Charles Corbett, 6, Herefordshire, Son    
Richard H Corbett, 4, Nantyglo, Monmouthshire, Son
William J Corbett, 1, Blaena, Monmouthshire, Son

Arthur Denman, 18, Manchester, Boarder, labourer in mine below
Edwin Wall, 17, Herefordshire, Boarder, labourer in mine below

Two of the names match (Richard and William J) and I noticed there was a Wall in the household (another of your names at the funeral).

Found the following marriage:

Sept q 1895, Hereford 6a/914

Corbett, Edward
Wall, Esther Sarah

As I say - sheer speculation, and make of it what you will!!

Cheers,

Ros

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk


Offline piedstilt

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Re: Jones / Corbett: Murder / execution Do I have any living relatives?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 25 January 06 23:18 GMT (UK) »
Hi again,

I believe I have found the Jones family in 1901.

I found the following at

http://www.murderfile.net/names/corb31.htm

William John Corbett
Age:-   32
Date of Execution:-   Wednesday, 12th August, 1931
Location of Execution:-   Cardiff
Hangman:-   Not Known
Assistants:-   Not Known
Tried At:-   Swansea
Trial Dates:-   2nd July, 1931
Trial Judge:-   Mister Commissioner Walker
Crime:-   Murder
Victims:-    
Name:-   Ethel Louisa Corbett
Age:-   39
Location of Murder:-   48 Caer Bragdy, off Lawrence Street, Caerphilly
Date of Murder:-   Wednesday, 25th March, 1931
Method of Murder:-   Cut Throat
Relationship to Killer:-   Wife


This gives their ages (William's ties in with the census entry I gave earlier).

Found on 1901:

1901
Bradford St, Caerphilly, Eglwysilan, Glamorgan

John Jones, 56, Dixton, Monmouthshire, Head, general labourer
Matilda Jones, 46, Cwmcarvan, Monmouthshire, Wife
Francis Jones, 18, Dixton, Monmouthshire, Son, coal miner
Edgar Jones, 13, Raglan, Monmouthshire, Son, grocerís assistant
James Jones, 11?, Dixton, Monmouthshire, Son
Thomas Jones, 11, Mynyddislwyn, Monmouthshire, Son
Ethel Jones, 9, Mynyddislwyn, Monmouthshire, Daughter
Winifred Jones, 6, Dingestow, Monmouthshire, Daughter
Harold Jones, 2, Raglan, Monmouthshire, Son


Birth from FreeBMD:

March q 1892, Newport M 11a/280
Jones, Ethel Louisa

District Newport M includes Mynyddslwyn.

Cheers,

Ros
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline piedstilt

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Re: Jones / Corbett: Murder / execution Do I have any living relatives?
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 25 January 06 23:25 GMT (UK) »
Me again,

Marriage March q 1882, Monmouth 11a/29

John JONES
Matilda NASH (another of the names from the funeral!)

 8)
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Ange39nz

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Re: Jones / Corbett: Murder / execution Do I have any living relatives?
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 25 January 06 23:56 GMT (UK) »
Hiya Ros!  YES!!!  You have come up with names that are on the obituary.  I've had some insight into the census records too and have managed to come up with the same things so this confirms it nicely for me.  Names, places, dates...all match!  I've also found that Matilda Jones / Nash was a servant at one point called Matilda Nash, and she was a widow.  Ten years later she's living with her husband, John Jones (am I remembering the names correctly?  My head is buzzing!) and there was also a step daughter to the head called Gertrude Nash.  It seems that Gertrude was Ethel's half sister - Matilda's daughter.  We're still trying to find out where she was in the earlier census because she had been born at the time.

I see you've included the summary from murderfile.net.  I contacted the author last year and he kindly sent me the full chapter that he'd written in the book and pointed me in the direction of the British Library.  It was a shock to find out just what had happened.  My father was a very distant, eccentric man (we put it down to being a POW of the Japanese) and never talked about his family.  It was my mother who let slip a few years ago that his mother had been murdered and his father hanged.  Up until last year, that was all I knew. 

Dad died December 2004 and my goal, if at all possible, is to return his ashes to Wales and maybe even scatter them where his mother is buried.  The obituary from the newspaper clippings says where she's buried.  It's a long way off yet though as I'm in New Zealand and my children are still young.  But one day....

I must write this down correctly!  I have scraps of paper with notes scribbled down everywhere!

Thank you so much for looking into it for me.  You've been VERY helpful!

God bless
Angela
Especially looking for CORBETT / JONES connections.† Would love to find living relatives on my father's side.† Mother's side: HOLDING, GILBY, EVANS, WILDING etc. Have tree on Genes Reunited.

Offline piedstilt

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Re: Jones / Corbett: Murder / execution Do I have any living relatives?
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 26 January 06 00:08 GMT (UK) »
Hi Angela,

Happy to have been some help.

What a ghastly thing for your father to have lived with and I think it is a lovely idea to take his ashes back to Wales.

Good luck with finding your half sister!

Ros

PS I'm in NZ too ...
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline piedstilt

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Re: Jones / Corbett: Murder / execution Do I have any living relatives?
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 26 January 06 00:46 GMT (UK) »
Hi again,

I notice that Gertrude Nash was born in Sheffield c 1877. There is a marriage Dec q 1874 (9c/800) between George Nash and Matilda Williams (another of the names - though hardly surprising to find a Williams at a Welsh funeral!).

Found the following (your Matilda, do you think?):

1861
Cwmcarvan, Monmouthshire

Luke Williams, 30, Lanishen, Monmouthshire, Head, labourer
Eliza Williams, 34, Langoven, Monmouthshire, Wife
Emma Williams, 13, Cwmcarvan, Monmouthshire, Daughter
Elizabeth Williams, 8, Cwmcarvan, Monmouthshire, Daughter
Matilda Williams, 6, Cwmcarvan, Monmouthshire, Daughter
Mary Williams, 3, Lanishen, Monmouthshire, Daughter
John Williams, 1, Cwmcarvan, Monmouthshire, Son

Now I really must go and do some work!

Cheers,

Ros

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Ange39nz

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Re: Jones / Corbett: Murder / execution Do I have any living relatives?
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 26 January 06 00:54 GMT (UK) »
Oh my GOSH!  How did you DO that??!!?  I'm gob smacked!  I will check back through all my scraps of papers, my untidy computer files and my family tree on Genes Reunited and double check if all the dates and places tie in with Matilda nad Gertrude. 

My GOSH!  If this is correct you've just found an extra SEVEN PEOPLE for me!!  I'm really impressed!

Thank you so much for all your help and yes, I will let you go and do some work now - I should do the same :-))

Ange
Especially looking for CORBETT / JONES connections.† Would love to find living relatives on my father's side.† Mother's side: HOLDING, GILBY, EVANS, WILDING etc. Have tree on Genes Reunited.

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Re: Jones / Corbett: Murder / execution Do I have any living relatives?
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 26 January 06 02:38 GMT (UK) »
I hunted for a marriage between ? Nash and Matilda? between 1870-77 in Sheffield. Sheer luck! Hope it pans out - though researching a Williams is going to be nearly as bad a researching a Jones!

Cheers,

Ros

 
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk