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Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, p 645

William E. CANNIFORD was born in Devonshire, England, 07 Feb 1836.  He is at the present time residing in Winnebago Village [Winnebago County, IL], engaged in the manufacture of pumps, windmills, etc., and is making a success of this line of work.   William CANNIFORD, the father of our subject, is a native of Exeter, Devonshire, where the grandfather was also born and spent his entire life.  The latter named gentleman was a contractor on public works, and apprenticed his son, the father of our subject, to a farmer, when a lad of seven years.  After reaching his majority, William CANNIFORD was turned out into the world penniless, and with no education, having had to work on the farm both summer and winter.  Being desirous of gaining an education, he secured books and taught himself.  Later he filled the position of a teacher in his native shire for two years, and then going to Gloucester, taught in the National school at Ebrington for 14 years.  He was then appointed city missionary to Cheltenham and Bristol, which position he resigned and became connected with the Ratcliff Gaslight Company, of Wapping, London, as inspector of gas meters.  He continued in the employ of that company for 22 years, when he was retired on half pay for life, his decease occurring in 1888, when 79 years of age.

The mother of our subject was known in her maidenhood as Elizabeth EVERY, also a native of Devonshire.  Her father was a farmer, in addition to which he also kept a public house.  Mrs. CANNIFORD died in Bristol while her husband was engaged as a missionary.   She reared three sons, of whom our subject was the oldest, the others being named John and Herman.

The father of our subject, appreciating the value of a knowledge of books, gave his children a good education, teaching them himself.  Our subject at the age of 14 was apprenticed to learn the trade of a carpenter and joiner.  He served until he was 20 years and 6 months of age, when, being given the last 6 months of his time, he went to London, and was engaged in journeyman work until 1857.  On Good Friday of that year [10 Apr 1857 - by calculation from Easter, which was on 12 Apr 1857], he set sail in the vessel "Pearl," commanded by Captain DAVIDS, and landed in Quebec eight weeks later.  From that place he went to Ottawa, where he was engaged at his trade for two years, when he came to the States, and at Whitewater [Walworth County], WI, worked at the carpenter's and joiner's trade until 1860.

Returning to London in 1860, our subject spent two years in his native place, and then accompanied by his bride, returned to America, and came immediately to IL, stopping for a time in Chicago.  In May 1863 he came to Rockford and devoted a part of his time to his trade until February 1871, when he came to Winnebago, and engaged in his present business, that of making pumps.  He ranks among the well-to-do upright and honest citizens of the county, always casting his influence on the side of progress and reform.   Mary A. GARDNER became the wife of our subject at Shadwell Church, East London, in 1862.  To them have been born three children:  William J., Lizzie, and Ada.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.