Search billions of records on

Corbett Pioneers of Perth County , Ontario


Report prepared by:

Kathy and Richard Corbett

504, 2285 Atkinson Street

Penticton , BC V2A 8R7



Three Corbett brothers arrived in Canada before 1847 from County Down , Ireland . They first came to Hastings Co, Ontario . Then around 1850 they settled in Downie Township, Perth Co., Ontario . These brothers were John, Isaac and William Corbett.


Immigration: In “Memories of Downie” it is stated that John Corbett emigrated in 1834 from Ireland . Based on the ages of the children listed on the 1851 census they were definitely in Canada before 1847. However, John's obituary states he came to Canada in 1845 and lived in Hastings County for five years before coming to Downie. He came from County Down , Ireland .


Land: Lot 2 Concession 13 (100 acres), Downie Township , Perth County , Ontario . The three Corbett brothers shared land within lot 2. In 1854 William Isaac Corbett leased all 100 acres. By 1858 Isaac Corbett had the W 20 acres of N ½ . By 1860 John Corbit had the E 30 acres of N ½ . By 1860 William Corbitt has the S ½ 50 acres. The date of patent may not be the actual date of settlement. Sometimes settlers didn't patent the land until later in order to avoid taxes.


Census: On the 1851 census there are 3 male Corbetts living close together in Downie, Perth Co., Ontario . They are John Corbett b. abt. 1818, William Corbett b. abt. 1821 and Isaac Corbett b. about 1818-1822 (Isaac is listed twice).

In 1861 they are together again sharing the same piece of land: Isaac Corbit age 44 b Ireland, United Presbyterian and Martha age 26 b. Ireland, United Presbyterian; John Corbit age 46 b Ireland and Mary age 46 b Ireland, United Presbyterian; and William age 42 b Ireland and Ellen age 34 b. Scotland, United Presbyterian.

In 1871 John and Isaac were together in Perth County , Ontario and William had moved to Peterborough Victoria Co., Ontario .

In 1881 John (66) and Mary (65) are still on their land in Downie twp, Perth County . They are living with their son Joseph and their son John (30) is living next door. Isaac and Martha Corbelt (?) are in Huron Co, Grey township, Ontario . William has passed away but his widow Ellen is in Minden , Peterborough East, Ontario .

In 1891 John Corbert (?) age 77 b Ireland with Mary 76 b Ireland, Presbyterian are living next to their two sons Joseph 40 and Ellen 32 and John 40 and Mary Ann 32. They are on the family land in Downie Township, Perth Co, Ontario .

In 1891 Isaac Corbet (72) and Martha (58) b Ireland Presbyterian are living in St Marys. The census states that Martha has 4 children at home. Their one son Jake (30) is also living in St Marys. His wife is listed as Mary but her name was Susannah (28). They are Methodist.


Moving On: In 1862 William Corbett sold his land to John McCully and William and Ellen moved their family to Victoria County . In 1877 Isaac Corbett sold his land to John Corbitt (his brother) and moved to Huron Co, Grey Township (Concession 1 Lot 16). However, Isaac didn't stay there very long. Sometime after 1881 he moved his family back to St Marys and worked there as a labourer. Why did these two brothers move? Maybe they thought there was better opportunity elsewhere. Maybe there was a family dispute. The plots of land that they had in Downie were not very big for a growing family. When other land became available Isaac and William moved for a better opportunity.


John Corbett and Mary


b. John abt. 1813-1816 Ireland and Mary b. abt 185-1820 in Ireland


John Corbett Sr.'s land was on lot 2, concession 13 in Downie Township. It was registered in 1860 and a Hamilton Corbett was living there in 1967. This land was passed down for several generations in the Corbett family.


On the 1851 census John is in Downie Twp, Perth County , Presbyterian, farmer b. 1818 Ireland . In 1861 he is in the same place. John Corbit age 46 and Mary age 46 both born in Ireland . Also, they are on the reconstructed immigration lists based on the 1871 census. He was in Perth Co. in 1871 (John Corbett b. abt 1813)


John Corbett, Sr. and Mary are on the 1881 census in Downie Twp., Perth Co. John is 66 b. 1815 Ireland , farmer, Reformed Presbyterian. Mary is 65 and their son Joseph age 24 b. Ontario is living with his parents. They are also on the 1891 census.


Death records:

There is a death record for a Mary Corbett b. about 1815 who died at age 78 on Sept 22, 1893 in Perth Co, Downie Twp. reported by Joseph Corbett of Downie Twp. Died of cerebral apoplexy. Presbyterian.

There is a death record for a John Corbett b. about 1813 in Ireland who died on 29 Dec 1896 in Downie Twp., Perth County . 83 years old, lot 6 ??, Con 13, farmer. Died of old age. They are both buried in the St Marys cemetery Section A Row 11 no. 27:

John Corbett (1813-1896) and wife Mary Corbett (1815-1893)


From “Memories of Downie Township”: In 1860 John took title to 30 acres on the north half of this lot, where he and Mary built a log house. In 1890 they sold those 30 acres to their son Joseph. In the same year they sold the remaining 20 acres on the north half to their son John Jr. The 30 acres part has remained in the Corbett (Corbitt) name, while the rest of the lot was bought by the Mccully family of Lot 2, Concession 14.


St Mary's Journal, Dec 31, 1896


Death of John Corbett


On Monday ( Dec 29, 1896 ) John Corbett an old and well-known resident of Downie, died, at the ripe age of 83 years, 4 months. The deceased was born in the County Down , Ireland . He came to America in 1845, lived in the County of Hastings for five years and since that in Downie. His brother, Isaac, of St. Marys and three sons, Joseph and John of Downie, and Isaac of Birtle, Man. , survive him. He was a Presbyterian in religion and Conservative in politics.


Children of John and Mary based on 1851 census and “Memories of Downie Township”:


•  Mary b. 1835 (not on 1851 census – probably died young)


•  William b. 1839 (not on the 1851 census)


•  Elizabeth Jane Corbett b. about 1845 Canada (no further record)


•  Thomas Corbett b. 1847 Canada (no further record)


•  Isaac Corbett b. 1848-1850 (June 5, 1849 Ontario from 1901 census) At age 24 he marries Margaret Graham age 21 on 25 Mar 1874 , in Perth Co. Margaret (b. May 2, 1854 in Ireland –from 1901 census, immigration 1869) is the daughter of William and Fanny Graham. In 1881 Isaac and Margaret's census is in Stratford , Perth North with one child Mary F born Feb of that year. They also have Sabina Graham19 and Francis Graham15 living with them. They are listed as Presbyterian. In 1901 they are living in Birtle, Marquette , Manitoba . Isaac is a grain buyer. They are Presbyterian. Isaac died in Winnipeg May 1, 1904 . In 1911 Margaret is a widow living in Vancouver , BC with William, Harvey, and Grace. Margaret may have died in Vancouver on Jan 31, 1925 . Based on the 1901 and 1911 census their children are:

•  Mary Francis Corbett b. July 19, 1880 , Ontario

•  William H Corbett b. Aug 18, 1883 , Manitoba

•  Harvey R Corbett b. May 13, 1889 , Manitoba

•  Margaret Grace Corbett b. Aug 23, 1892 , Manitoba



•  John Corbett b. abt. 1850 (based on 1851 census) Canada . (This doesn't quite fit: There is a John who marries at age 33. He marries Mary Ann Todd age 26 on Mar 15 1886 ?? in Oxford co. Mary Ann's parents were Alex?? Todd and Mary Brown. John Corbett says his birthplace is Hungerford, Hastings.) This fits: There is a John and Mary Ann who are on the 1881 census in Downie, Perth Co. John is 30 b. Ontario , farmer, Reformed Presbyterian. Mary Ann is 24 b. Ontario . They have James Wilton Corbett age 3 and Florence May Corbett age 1. If John and Mary Ann were married in 1886 they were living together before they were married. Humm! They are living next to John Sr and Mary in 1881 and 1891. John, Jr., took over John Sr land in 1890. – W 20 acres of N1/2 Lot 2 Concession 13. They are buried in the St Marys Cemetery Section L Row 4:

“John Corbett born Mar 29, 1851 / died Apr 7, 1940 and his wife Mary Ann Todd born Feb 8, 1857 died Aug 31 1943 ”. In addition there is John Henry A. Corbett son of John and Mary born Nov 1, 1892 died Jan 29, 1912 : “Sleep brother dear and take your rest/God called you home, he thought it best”.

Section A, Row & no 16 :

In memory of Evaline Elizabeth daughter of John and Mary Corbett who died Sept 25, 1894 aged 3 years, 7 ms & 8 ds


Based on the 1901 census Mary Ann Todd was born 8 Feb 1844 (??)


Children of John and Mary Ann based on 1901 census:

•  James Wilton Corbett b. 1 May 1878 d. 1953

•  Florence May Corbett b. 7 April 1880

•  Rose Corbett b. 6 Sep 1884

•  Robina Corbett b. 28 Sep 1888

•  John H Corbett b. 1 Nov 1892 d. Jan 29, 1912

•  Winnifred Corbett b. 19 Mar 1894

•  Ida G Corbett b. 1 Oct 1897

•  Orela Corbett b. 20 Apr 1900



•  Joseph b. May 20, 1855 in Downie Twp. At age 26 Joseph married Ella Majory Browne age 27 in Perth Co on 20 Dec 1882 . Her parents were James and Eliza Browne. Ellen died 16 April 1922 in Downie Twp. Perth Co. Joseph died on June 5, 1934 at age 79 in St Mary's of myocarditis and senile dementia. He lived on lot 5, concession 13 of Downie Twp., Perth Co. Their children based on “Memories of Downie”:

•  Mary Jane b. Jan 3 1886 -1984 – married Alfred Houlgate, lived in London

•  Eliza Sarah, b. Mar 10, 1888 died 1979 – never married, suffered from dementia, buried in St Marys cemetery

•  Matilda Ellen (Ella) b. Sept 18, 1890 – married Alex Bodfield

•  Hamilton (Ham), b. Oct 9, 1893 -1967- never married, farmer here (Downie)

•  James b. 1896- died after six weeks

•  Kingsley, b. 1902 – Dec 5,1904 died of pneumonia

•  Wilbert b. 1904-1977 married Mabel Rose Newman, then Jessie Mae Nelson, lived in Toronto , then London , Ontario .

From “Memories of Downie”: “Joseph was a weaver but farmed for most of his life. He and Ellen (1854-1922) married in 1882… Until Eliza eventually moved to Toronto , she and her brother Ham helped their parents with the farm. As Joseph aged, he suffered from dementia and was often seen roaming the countryside in a dog-skin coat”. Pg 544 volume 2

From the St Marys cemetery:

Section A, Row & no 16 :

In memory of Evaline Elizabeth daughter of John and Mary Corbett who died Sept 25, 1894 aged 3 years, 7 ms & 8 ds

Kinsley died Dec 5, 1904 aged 1 year 9 m. & 7 days

Section M Row 3 no 14 : CORBETT: In loving memory of Joseph Corbett May 20, 1855 – June 5, 1934/ his beloved wife Ellen Brown/ Feb 25, 1854 – April 16, 1922/ Hamilton Corbett 1893-1967.


•  Eliza Ann Corbett b. 1859 (no further record)




William Corbett and Ellen Williams


Land: In 1854 William Isaac Corbett held a lease on Lot 2 Concession 13 (100 acres) Downie Township , Perth County , Ontario . This land was then split between John, Isaac and William. By 1860 William Corbitt held 50 acres in the S ½. But by 1862 this land is sold to John McCully and William left for Victoria, Peterborough Co, Ontario to farm or work there.


On the 1851 census for Downie Twp, Perth Co are:


William Corbett b. abt 1821 in Ireland age 30

Ellen b. abt 1826 Glasgow , Scotland age 25


These children are one the 1851 census:


•  Mary b. 1843 Scotland age 8 (There is a Mary Corbett b. Scotland about 1841, who lists her parents as John and Mary Corbett??. She married William Reay in May 15, 1865 in Grey co. They resided in Bentinick Twp. – I don't know if this is the same Mary) Perhaps William's brother John raised Mary as his own. This Mary may be a child by Ellen Williams from a first husband who died after arriving in Canada and then Ellen married William Corbett.


•  Sarah b. 1850 Canada age 1


They are listed as Presbyterian. Because Ellen was born in Scotland and had one child born in Scotland in 1843, it is likely that Ellen was a widow with one child before William Corbett married her (perhaps around 1848).


They are still in Downie Township, Perth Co in 1861. William 42 b. Ireland , Ellen 34, b Scotland , United Presbyterian.


I could not find a good match for William and Ellen on the 1871 census index.

However, I found a William Corbett b. 1822 on the 1871 census (reconstructed immigration list) living in Peterborough , Victoria . So this William was still alive in 1871.


One other possible daughter, Helen, states on a marriage certificate that William and Ellen are her parents.

•  Helen Corbett b. about 1858 m. Robert Lindsay in Sept 21, 1880 in Peterborough . They had one son Richard Lindsay b. 1881.


William Corbett must have died between 1871 and 1881. I could not find a good match on the death records.


On the 1881 census there is a widow Ellen Corbett age 58 b. Scotland abt 1823. The children all consider themselves Irish and Presbyterian even though their mother is Scottish.

They are living in Minden , Peterborough East, Ontario . She has three children:


•  William age 21 b. Ontario March 27, 1859 born in St Mary's, died 1933. He is buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Lindray Ontario . He died from gastric carcinoma. He married Eliza Jane Walker in April 15, 1889 in Haliburton , Ontario . They had 16 children: Walter 1889, Maggie 1891, Nellie 1892, Stuart 1893, Ella Rebecca 1894, Ernest 1896, Jenny 1897, Florence 1899, Eugene 1900, Jessie 1901, Minnie 1902, Harold 1903, Elsie 1905, Bertha 1906, Jessie 1907, Clayton 1909.

•  Elizabeth age 17 b. Ontario 1864 (no further record)

•  Sarah age 27 b. Ontario 1854 (This may be the same Sarah on the 1851 census listed as b. 1850- lying about ones age seems to be very common., This Sarah never marries. She is on the 1911 census in Halibuton, Anson. She is single and has no occupation. She dies in Minden , Haliburton , Ontario in Feb 3, 1932 at age 78. She died of senility. Her birth date is given as Sept 15, 1853 . The name of the informant was John Walker – nephew, she was buried in Minden .)



There is a death certificate for an Ellen Corbett b. abt 1821 Scotland who died Sept 14, 1906 , 85 years old, Lot 25, Con A twp, Farmer's Widow. Died of old age. Presbyterian Informant William Corbett. Place: Haliburton Co., Anson and Hindon.


William Corbett, the son of William and Ellen, died in Victoria Co in 1933 but he was born 1859 in St. Mary's . That would definitely tie this family together with the William and Ellen in Perth Co in 1851 and the Ellen who is a widow in Peterborough in 1881.


Isaac Corbett and Martha Tait


b. Isaac Abt 1818- 1822 Ireland

d. 23 Jan 1905 St. Mary's Perth , Ontario (death certificate)

m. Martha Tait

b. abt 1832-1833 Ireland ( possibly Antrim , Ireland )

d. 29 Mar 1897 , St Mary's, Perth Co, Ontario (death certificate)

m. bef 1855, probably St Mary's, Perth , Ontario

Residence: census 1851, Downie Twp., Perth Co., Ontario (on census twice) Lot 2 Concession 13 W 20 acres of N ½ - leased in 1858.

Residence: census 1861 Downie Twp. Isaac Corbit age 44 Martha age 26 both born in Ireland , United Presbyterian

Residence: 1871, Perth Co., Ontario – (on reconstructed immigration list)

1877: Isaac sells his land to his brother John in 1877 and moved to Huron Co, Grey Township , Concession 1 lot 16.

Residence: 1881 census, Huron Co, Grey Township , Listed as Isaac Corbelt (?) ages are way off – must have been guessed at by a neighbour.

Residence: 1891, St Mary's Perth Co., Ontario . Isaac Corbett age 72 Presbyterian, Martha age 58 b Ireland , Methodist – 4 children at home

Residence: 1901, St Mary's, Perth Co., Ontario . Isaac Corbett b May 14, 1816 ?? Age 84 b in England ??. Religion: Methodist – census paper is very difficult to read.


Isaac Corbett Sr. is first listed on the 1851 census. Actually, I believe he is listed twice.

•  Isaac Corbett age 30, farmer, born in Ireland, Perth Co, Downie Township next to lots of Wilsons , actually home is in St Mary's)

•  Isaac Corbett age 28, labourer, born in Ireland next to William and John Corbett and some McCutcheons, all in Perth Co, Downie Township )


There may have been two different Isaacs but I believe he was counted twice and his age was estimated.


In 1851 Martha Tate is listed as a servant of the Bennet family in West Zorra, Oxford Co. Her parents were John and Maria Tate who were living on a farm in Blanchard Twp, Perth co., next door to West Zorra . John and Maria were both born abt 1768 in Ireland. We need to do further research on the Tate's (Tait). The Taits came from Antrim, Ireland. This is based on the death certificate of Martha's uncle William J. Tate and brother John Tait.


Isaac and Martha were probably married around 1854. Isaac would have been about 32 and Martha would have been about 21. They appear to have been farmers and labourers all their lives. They probably worked hard for very little. They may have had more children than the ones listed below. Some may have died young and there are no records of them.

In 1897 tragedy struck the family. Martha Corbett died 29 March 1897. She was 67 years old and living on M 15, Con 18, St. Mary's, Perth Co., Ontario. She was born in Ireland about 1832. Her maiden name was Tait (Tate). Her occupation was charwoman. She was run over by a railroad car and had both legs amputated. She died of shock from the accident. She was listed as a Methodist. She is buried in the St. Marys cemetery. This would have left Isaac a widower. Isaac moved in with his oldest daughter, Lucy Jane Wilson. She was a widow with four boys. Isaac, her father, and Isaac, her brother, moved in with Lucy. In the 1901 census she is listed as the head of the household in St Mary's.


In 1901 Isaac is living with his daughter, Lucy Jane Wilson in St. Mary's as a boarder. His birth is given as May 14, 1816, age 84 years old. Born in England??. Religion: Methodist (??).


Isaac Corbett, Sr. died in 23 Jan 1905, in Perth Co, St. Mary's, Ontario age 87. He lived on Queen St., East, St Mary's, Ontario. Occupation: labourer. He had a broken leg for one month before death. He is listed as a Methodist.


From the St Marys cemetery records: - Section A Row 13, no 24.


“In memory of Martha Tait wife of Isaac Corbett/ died Mar 29, 1897 AE 65 yrs and their son/Samuel/ died Apr 23, 1893, AE 18 yrs & 8 mos./ To them, we trust a place is given/ Among the saints with Christ in heaven.” We assume that Isaac Sr and Isaac Jr are buried in the same plot but no mention is made of their names. According to their death certificates they are buried in St Marys.


Martha Tait Corbett


St. Marys Journal, Thursday, April 1, 1897


Corbett: In St. Marys on March 29 th , Martha Tait, wife of Isaac Corbett, aged 65 years.


Killed in St. Marys

Mrs. I. Corbett struck by a shunting engine on Elgin Street Crossing.

A sad accident occurred on Monday forenoon when Mrs. I. Corbett, was struck by the engine of a way freight while crossing the track on Elgin St. and had both legs run over necessitating their amputation by Drs. Mathieson, Irving and Smith. So severe was the shock to her system the woman never rallied and died between 4 and 5 in the afternoon.

A coroner's jury was summoned consisting of Mears. R. Shepperd (foreman), S. Dunseith, John Johnston, Thos. Richards, W. R. Butcher, R. Clyde, Cottie, Fairlees, Hoyt, Stone, Ogglesby, Northgreaves, Mayle and Fletcher and an inquest was held on Tuesday afternoon before Coroner Rankin of Stratford. W. C. Moscrip representing the family of the deceased and Mrs. Judd, of London, the Grand Trunk.


Mrs. C. Babensee witnessed the affair and gave evidence to that effect. Her account of what she saw was given in a calm, clear, logical, and intelligent manner. The deceased was about 4 yards from the track when witness saw her, the engine being down near the other crossing. To her it appeared the engine increased in speed as it neared the woman as if an attempt were being made to pass ahead of her. She couldn't say whether engine whistled at two different times but there was a sharp, shrill whistle when about 10 or 12 ft from the woman. Mrs. Corbett did not appear to know engine was coming. She didn't think engine were in the habit of passing this point at a fast speed when shunting. The engine seemed to lift her up and throw her to the N. track.


Dr. Mathieson described the condition of the body when he came up; both limbs were crushed and she was suffering from pain about the body; the wheels evidently passed over her legs; they amputated the limbs; she was suffering very much from shock; never rallied after the injury and died about 4 o-clock; cause of death, shock to nervous system.

Mr. Egan, GTR Engineer, Stratford, told how the conductor had forgotten his book at the Town Station; that on reaching the junction the engine was sent back light for it; the conductor sat on the fireman's seat ringing the bell, the firemen shoveling coal. When he saw the woman coming toward the track he gave one or two sharp whistles; she didn't seem to notice so he reversed engine; the woman seemed to look up and notice, so he threw lever back again; he had to pull in his head to do this as engine was running backward; on looking out again she was just stepping on track. He reversed again and stopped in about two engine lengths, but did not see her until she was taken from cattle guard. The speed for running was 10 miles an hour through Stratford. At St. Marys there was no time limit, instructions were “Run slow”.


Conductor Frost and Fireman Patton gave similar testimony.

C. Ward told of taking her from cattle guard. A. Thompson, Jos. Cousins, J. M McIntryre and H. Babensee were other witnesses.


The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, exonerating train hands from all blame, but recommending that the speed of trains over these particular crossings be not more than four or five.


Isaac Corbett, Sr.


St. Marys Journal, Thursday, January 26, 1905


Death of Isaac Corbett


Mr. Isaac Corbett, one of the oldest residents in the town, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Wilson, east ward, on Sunday, Jan 22, aged 87 years. Mr. Corbett fell down stairs a few weeks ago and broke his thigh. He has been in poor health for a long time and the injuries he sustained in his recent fall and his advanced age made recovery impossible. His wife was killed while crossing the G.T.R track here some years ago. He leaves a family of four sons and three daughters. They are: Isaac, Jacob and Mrs. Wilson of St. Marys; Abram of London; William of Omaha, Neb; Mrs. McCutcheon and Mrs. Knox of London. Mr. Corbett was a native of Ireland and came to Downie township over fifty years ago. He lived on a farm there for many years before moving to St. Marys.



Children of Isaac and Martha Corbett:


•  Isaac Corbett: b. Apr 1855 (based on 1901, 1911 –Sept 1856??, and death certificate) d. Dec 16, 1933 in Toronto (48 Leopold St.) age 78 and 8 months. He died of myocarditis and senility. The report was given by John Wilson, his nephew (son of Lucy Jane Corbett Wilson). Isaac had been living with John and Lucy. He was buried in St. Mary's. His father's name is given as Isaac Corbett. Isaac never married. In 1901 and 1911 he is living with his widowed sister Lucy Jane Wilson. He is a labourer in 1901. One interesting fact is that, while the rest of the family considered themselves Irish and Methodist, Isaac says he is English and Anglican. He must have been the maverick of the family. He never married.


  1. Lucy Jane Corbett b. June 11, 1856-1858 (based on 1911 census) Lucy married Johnston Wilson on Oct 16, 1878 in St Mary's. Johnston was a farmer in Downie Twp., Perth Co, Ontario in 1881. He was killed in a railway accident in Feb 6, 1888 in London, Ontario. He is buried in St Marys' cemetery Section A Row 8, no 3. (In memory of Johnston Wilson who died Feb 6, 1888 aged 37 years.) This left Lucy Jane to raise their four boys by herself. (James 1879, Johnson 1880, John 1882, and Isaac Wilson 1887). She also took in her widowed father Isaac and her brother Isaac. She was in St Mary's in 1901 and 1911 but she moved to Toronto between 1914 and 1918. We don't have her death date at this time.


  1. Sarah W Corbett b. 1858?? (on 1881 census age 23– no further record)


  1. Martha Corbett b. abt 1863 at age 23 married Thomas Knox age 48 (b. 1838???) a widower on 15 Jul 1886 in Elgin, Port Stanley. Thomas Knox is a widowed farmer from Blanchard Twp and Martha is from St Mary's. Thomas Knox's parents are Thomas Knox and Mary Mills. Thomas was born 1838 in Fermanagh, Ireland. Thomas Knox died 22 Feb, 1900 at age 70. Blanshard, Perth Co. Lot 12, Con 8. He is listed as married, a pedlar, born in Ireland, died of a clot on the brain, 48 hours, Methodist. I don't know if this is the Thomas Knox that Martha married. The only reference I could find in further records was for a Mrs. T.H Knox who was an inmate of the Western Hospital in Toronto in 1901. (b. 1863, Methodist). I don't know if this is our Martha.

Thomas Knox and Martha Corbett had three daughters who are on the 1891 census: Ida b. 1884 Alice b. 1887 and Mabel b. 1889. Alice was adopted by the Scott family in Caldwell Twp, Peel Co., Ontario. There were no further records for Mabel or Ida Knox. There was no death record found for Martha Corbett Knox but she was mentioned in Isaac Corbett's obit in 1905 as being “of London”. No further record.


Why would Martha have married such an old man? Well… one reason could be this: Our Martha Corbett had an illegitimate child (Martha Wilson) by her brother-in-law, Johnston Wilson around 1879-1881. She was 16-18 at the time of Martha Wilson's birth. Martha Wilson was raised by Lucy Corbett Wilson. Martha Wilson married Thomas Ogglesby in 1897 in St Marys.


New article on Thomas Knox's death:


St. Mary's Journal, Thurs Mar 1, 1900, pg 5


Thomas Knox dies of injuries sustained from a fall on the Pavement on Queen Street North, Circumstances Attending the accident:


Thomas Knox, who lived in St. Marys some years ago, died at the residence of his cousin, Mr. Alex. Knox, of Blanshard, on Thursday, Feb 22 nd aged 70 years. His death was due to injuries sustained by a fall on the granolithic pavement on Queen Street North on Monday, Feb 19. It is alleged that Knox was intoxicated when the accident happened which caused his death.

He was found lying on the sidewalk by Chief Constable Young on Monday afternoon, Feb 19, and was taken in charge and confined in the lockup. On Tuesday morning he was discharged and it is presumed, left town at once. Some hours later he arrived at his brother's home in Blanshard in an exhausted condition. He was unable to talk and Dr. Lang of Granton was summoned as soon as possible. It was found that the man's skull had been fractured in such a manner that his recovery was impossible and his death occurred as above stated.

Chief Young says that he visited Knox in the lockup during the evening after his arrest and asked if he could do anything to make him comfortable. The man said he wanted nothing and was left alone. In the morning the Chief again called and Knox told him he did not feel like going out at that time. He was left for an hour or two longer and then discharged.

It was, of course, not known that he had been injured when he was taken in charge by the police. There was no evidence of injury visible as his head was not cut and he made no complaint himself.

Knox lived in Stratford for some years, but has recently been living in London. His three sons, who are residents of Toronto, attended his funeral, which was held last Saturday. "


Interestingly, no mention is made of his second wife, Martha and the three children he had by her. Martha may have been in an institution in 1901. Alice Knox was adopted by another family and I found no further record of Ida or Mable Knox. Alice married in 1916 to John Archibald McGregor who was a dentist from Saskatchewan.



  1. Jacob Corbett b. 10 Feb 1866 Downie Twp., Perth, Ontario. At age 22 he married Susannah McCutcheon on 04 Feb 1885, St. Marys, Perth, Ontario. He was listed as a farmer on the marriage certificate. He was from St Mary's, Downie Twp, Perth Co and a Methodist. Susannah was age 20 from Grey Township and a Presbyterian. Her parents were James and Dinah McCutcheon. Jacob and his family were living in St Mary's in 1901 and 1911. Jacob was a labourer and a carpenter and a pump maker. Jacob died 1934 and Susannah in 1955. They are both buried in St. Mary's cemetery: (Section A Row 9 no 30: Corbett/ In loving memory/ Jacob Corbett 1862-1934/ his wife/ Susannah McCutcheon/ 1864-1955/ until the day break).


Jacob and Susannah had at least 4 children:


• i. Edward : March 11, 1889, St Marys, Ont, d. 08 Mar 1960, Calgary Alberta

• ii. Albert: 08 Feb 1898, Perth Co., Ontario d. aft 1960 Toronto

• iii. Sarah Ann: 04 Feb 1887, Perth Co., Ontario (died young)

• iv. Adaline Pearl: 16 Feb 1893, Perth Co., Ontario (no further record, not on 1901 census, probably died young)


  1. Mariah or Maria Annie Corbett b. 15 Feb 1868 in St Mary's, Perth Co.

At age 16 she married James McCutcheon on the 25 of Feb 1884 in Stratford, Perth Co. He was 34 years old (b. 1850) and the son of Joseph and Sarah McCutcheon who were neighbours of the Corbetts. The Church was Presbyterian. The witness are not relatives. (an elopement perhaps??) They are living in Downie Twp in 1891. James McCutcheon 48, b. Ont, Methodist, Maria age 21 b. Ont. Sarah McCutcheon widow (James's mother) is living next to them age 77 b. Ireland, Methodist. Joseph and Sarah McCutcheon are buried in St Marys cemetery Section A Row 15 no 18. “ In memory of Joseph McCutchan/ died July 27, 1881 age 77 yrs/ Gone to a better land/ his wife/ Sarah/ 1812- 1894”. James and Mariah had two sons: Millie Augustus b. Aug 1885 d. Dec 1885 of lung congestion; Andrew Wesley McCutcheon b. 1887 – moved to Detroit to work in the auto industry. James McCutcheon died in 1911 of stomach cancer. Maria Annie then married Charles Marion who lived in Sault St. Marie. Later she moved to Detroit.


  1. Abram Alfred Corbett b. Jan 1870 in Perth Co., married Sarah Ann Cook on 10 Aug 1898 in London City, Middlesex Co., Ontario. In 1911 there is an Alfred Corbett age 40 living with Anna age 33 with a son Harold age 12 b. 1899. They are in London, Ontario. They had one other child, Royal Victor Corbett but he died of cholera at 2 mo. Sarah Ann Corbett died Oct 19, 1921 in London, Ontario. She died of a diabetic coma. She was living with Alfred at 135 Bathhurst St., London, Ont. She is buried in Mt. Pleasant Cem. Alfred was alive at this time. No death record was found for Alfred but he is buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, London, Ontario along with his wife and both sons.
  1. Samuel Corbett b. abt 1875 probably in Perth Co., worked as a labourer, died at age 18 on the 28 April, 1893 in St. Mary's. He died of bowel obstruction and peritonitis. He is buried next to his mother, Martha, in the St Marys cemetery.


  1. William Harry Corbett b. 1866. He is on the 1881 census age 15. He moves to Omaha, Nebraska. Married Augusta from Norway abt 1899 but no children.



Samuel Corbett


St. Marys Argus, Thurs May 4, 1893


In St. Marys, on Friday, April 28 th Samuel Corbett, aged 18 years and 4 months.


Isaac Corbett, Jr.


The St. Marys Journal-Argus, Thursday, December 21, 1933


Died in Toronto

Isaac Corbett was Born in Downie and lived most of his life in St. Marys.


Isaac Corbett, a former well-known resident of this town and district, died suddenly at Toronto on Saturday morning. He was in his seventy-eighth year.


The late Mr. Corbett, who was unmarried, left St. Marys in 1915 to make his home with his sister, Mrs. L. J. Wilson, 48 Leopold St., Toronto, who is also a former St. Marysite. He is survived also by Mrs. Marion, a sister of Detroit; and by three brothers: Alfred, of London; Jacob of Toronto; and William of Omaha, Nebraska.


The remains were brought to St. Marys on Monday for interment, being accompanied here from the city by Mr. And Mrs. James Wilson, John Wilson, Mr. And Mrs. Wilbert Corbett, and William Wilson. Rev. S.R. McClung, pastor of the Baptist Church, conducted the funeral service. The pall-bearers were: Joseph, Sidney and Norman Cousins, Wm. Dunseith, David Brown, A. McCaulley.



Jacob Corbett


St. Marys Journal Argus July 26, 1934


Jacob Corbett: Former well known St. Marys Resident succumbed in Toronto On Thursday. Remains Brought here for interment on Saturday.


The remains of the late Jacob Corbett, former well known native of this town, who passed away at his home 408 Euclid Ave. , Toronto on Thursday last, were interred in St. Marys Cemetery on Saturday morning. The funeral was attended by a number of friends and relatives from this district and Re. S.R. McClu?? Of the Baptist Church conducted the service.

Jacob Corbett was born in St. Marys sixty-nine years ago, and learned the carpentry and pump making trades here. For a good many years he lived in the house on Queen Street East, now occupied by Joseph Albert, Sr. and conducted a pump business there. Sixteen years ago he moved to Toronto where he has since resided. He had been ill for the past ten weeks.


He is survived by his wife, formerly Miss Susan McCutcheon and two sons, Edward of Calgary and Albert of Toronto; also two brothers and two sisters, namely, William of Oregon and Abraham of London. Mrs. Johnston Wilson of Toronto and Annie of Detroit. Among those from out of town who attended the funeral were Mrs. Johnston of Listowel, Jack Wilson and Cecil Ogglesby of Toronto.


Susan McCutcheon Corbett


Stratford Beacon Herald, Mon. Nov 14, 1955


Mrs. J. Corbett Passes, Funeral at St. Marys

St. Marys, Nov 14 – Mrs. Jacob Corbett, the former Susannah McCutcheon, widow of Jacob Corbett, died Sunday at her home at Willowdale, Ont. She was born 92 years ago in Grey Township, a daughter of the late James McCutcheon and Diane Catten. Her husband, who predeceased her in 1934, operated a pump business in St. Marys until he and his wife moved to Willowdale in 1918. Mrs. Corbett was a member of the Untied Church in St. Marys. Surviving are two sons, Edward of Calgary and Albert of Willowdale; two sisters, Mrs. William (Ellen) Hamilton, St. Marys and Mrs. William (Eliza) Johnston, Listowel; one grandson and one great grandson. The body is at the Marriott funeral home, St. Marys, where a funeral service will be conducted by Rev. R.D. Crosby, St. Marys Untied Church, at 2:00 P. M. Tuesday. Burial will be in St. Marys cemetery.



One more cemetery record at St Marys:


Section A Row 15 no 17:


“John Tait died Nov 27, 1897/ aged 75 yrs/ native of Co. Antrim/ Ireland/ Blessed are the dead/ who die in the Lord/ his wife/ Elizabeth/ died Mar 25, 1905/ aged 80 years.”


This John Tait (b abt 1822) is a brother of Martha Tait who married Isaac Corbett. There are two groups of Taits (Tates) in the area. One group came from Scotland and the other from Ireland. Martha was born in Ireland abt 1833.



Death notice in St. Marys Argus, Dec 2, 1897 pg 3

TAIT - In east Nissouri, on Saturday Nov 27th, John Tait, age 73 (cemetery stone says he was born in County Antrim, Ireland)


Death Notice: St. Mary's Journal Thurs Mar 30, 1905 pg 6

TAIT - At Woodstock, on Saturday March 25th, 1905, Elizabeth Tait, relict of the late John Tait, aged 80 years.

New Article on Elizabeth Tait

St. Mary's Journal, Thurs Mar 30, 1905, pg 5



An old resident of this district called home.

Death removed another of the old residents of this district on Monday in the person of Mrs. Elizabeth Tait, widow of the late John Tait. For many years Mr. and Mrs. Tait lived on lot 36 Con 10 East Nissouri. He died on November 27, 1897. They had no children. Mrs. Tait lived on the farm for a while but in October last went to Woodstock to live. The body was brought to St. Marys and the funeral took place on Tuesday from the residence of her neice, Mrs. Johnson Wilson, east end. The services were conducted by the Rev. Thomas Manning. By her husband's will the Methodist church and the English church each came into the possession of five hundred dollars, he having left these sums to them to be handed over after his wife's death. The deceased lady was eighty years of age and greatly respected in this district. "


Note: Elizabeth Tait's neice was Mrs. (Lucy) Johnson Wilson who was Martha Tait Corbett's daughter. This makes John Tait and Martha Tait Corbett brother and sister.


Another brother was Joseph Tait.


Obituary: St. Marys's Journal, Thurs Sept 25, 1902 pg 6



Mr. Joseph Tait Passes Away at a Ripe Old Age

Mr. Joseph Tait, whose death was announced in last week's Journal, was one of St. Marys oldest residents, being in his eighty-eighth year. The deceased was born in the county of Antrim, Ireland and emigrated to Canada with his parents over fifty years ago. He at first settled in Zorra, where he lived for forty years, afterwards moving to the South Boundary, Blanshard. In 1870 he was married to Anne, daughter of the late Samuel Robinson, of Blanshard, who survives, and of this union there is living two sons and three daughters: Joseph, of St. marys; John of Manitoba; Mrs. Murray of St. Pauls, Mary and Lucy in Manitoba. The deceased had five brothers and five sisters. Only one brother survives, Mr. James Tait, of the South Boundary, Blanshard.

The immediate cause of his death was a complicated stomach trouble, but he had been in feeble health since an attack of la grippe fifteen years ago.

In religion he was an Episcopalian and in politics a Conservative. He was of a very cheerful disposition and possessed a very buoyant nature for one is old and enfeebled. Kindness to his fellowmen was one of his chief characteristics. The funeral took place from his late residence, Jones street, east to St. Marys Cemetery. The Rev. W. J. Taylor conducted the funeral services. The pall bearers were John Barrie, John Routley, John Hepburn, Wm Pearn, Wm Wood and Thomas Pearn.