The Cannings

John Canning

John Canning is the earliest "verifiable" Canning ancestor we have. John was born around 1804 in Duns Tew, Oxfordshire, England. John grew up in Duns Tew where he was a farmer and married Elizabeth (Betty) Thornton there in 1826. John and Betty had four children, the oldest one being Charles Canning. Many researchers show John's father as Valentine (which looks correct) but we have not been able to make that connection to date.

Charles Canning

Charles Canning was born in 1828 in Deddington, Oxfordshire England. He married Hannah Whitlock (born 1831) of North Ashton, Warwickshire, England in 1850. Charles and Hannah had six (5 to adulthood) children; Ann Elizabeth, Sarah Hannah, Benjamin, Laura and Charles. After marriage the family lived in Duns Tew, Oxfordshire, England where Charles worked as an agriculture labourer and wagon driver. Charles died in 1909 and Hannah in 1812, both 81 years of age.

Benjamin Canning

Benjamin Canning was the son of Charles Canning and Hannah Whitlock. He was born, November 12, 1857, in Deddington, Oxfordshire, England. He received his early education and spent several years of his early childhood in Deddington and later the family moved to Loxley, Warwickshire, England, where Charles was employed as a teamster and caretaker of horses.

In Loxley, with Charles Canning and William Gomm employed for the same work, there developed a little jealousy between them for each was trying to care for his horses a little better than the other. This jealousy did not remain with the men alone and entered the families. This feeling in the two families prevented them from visiting one another more than seldom and as such had an effect on the children by keeping them somewhat apart. However Benjamin's sister Laura became very friendly with Hannah Gomm and throughout life they remained vast and dear friends even though they lived in distant lands. Benjamin became friends with Hannah through this relationship and eventually married her.

During his early youth Benjamin came in contact with missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Sa1nts and was converted, being baptized, August 24, 1877. Due to the feelings of his parents and his employer toward the church and the converts, it was necessary for him to keep his membership a secret (which he did until after he arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah). After being baptized into the Church he desired to go to Zion, as it was then called. His girlfriend Hannah Gomm, also a member of the church, likewise had the desire to go to America, so as their friendship grew they planned together to make such a trip. To prepare for this they each saved from their earnings whatever they could and placed it together in a small wooden box. When the time came for them to go they had saved enough to be able to pay their transportation in gold.

On 19 May 1878, they were married at Kirtlingon, Oxfordshire, England. The following day they were taken by carriage to the railroad station about four miles away, where they took the train to Birmingham, then the District Headquarters or the Church where a company of Saints were assembling for the trip to America and the Rocky Mountains of Utah. From here they took the train to Liverpool where they embarked for America on the steam ship "Nevada" 25 May 1878.

Just as they were to embark, an incident happened that was quite unique in those days (and currently for that matter). Just as they were leaving, a man and woman with two small children approached them with tears in their eyes and pleaded that their children be taken as Benjamin and Hannah's children to America. Every effort to persuade them to keep their children until the day they too could make the trip was to no avail. Apparently nothing but a straight refusal would be of any effect and this, Benjamin and Hannah could not do under the strange circumstances. They granted the request and accepted the responsibility. The little girl being cared for by the Cannings under the name Rose Canning, while the little boy went with Thomas Judd who was in charge of the company. With tearful eyes and evidence of joy, the parents with a hug and a kiss for their children, and with an expression of thanks in their hour of sacrifice bid them a fond goodbye. What a sacrifice to make; how painful yet noble and beautiful.

Benjamin was very active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Sa1nts and was a section forman for the railroad. His devotion to his work most likely cost him years of his life. Not seeking help for typhoid fever he had contracted, he died at age 40.

What is your guess as to how much time it took in 1878 to travel from Liverpool to Salt Lake City... a year, 6 months, 2 years, 3 days... A day by day log of their journey from Liverpool to Salt Lake City is captured in the diary of Hannah Canning.....it's amazing!!

Ben William Canning

Ben W. Canning was born June 26, 1881 in Mona, Utah. He married Millie Melville Leonard Forman November 12, 1904. Ben and Millie had three children; Ivy Lavon, Benjamin Leonard and Forman Delos Canning. Millie was the granddaughter of Henry Grow, Jr. who was the architect of the Salt Lake Tabernacle (generally known as the Mormon Tabernacle).

As an adult, Ben worked as a conductor for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad up to his death Feburary 15, 1922 at 40 years of age (same as his father).

Ivy Lavon Canning

Ivy was born April 1, 1904 in Midvale, Utah. She grew up there and finished "normal" school in June 1922. After high school she was nominated for a scholarship to the University of Utah. About this time she met and was smitten by a young army man (Carl La Vo) stationed at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City. He mustered out of the army on February 19, 1923 and they were married in Salt Lake City two months later on April 16, 1923. Ivy left the area and the church (Carl was not a Mormon) as they settled in the San Francisco area. Their first born, Carl Palmer La Vo, was born on June 15, 1924 and their second Bennie Delores La Vo on July 20, 1926. Ivy and Carl migrated to Hayward, California where both lived for many years until their deaths; his May 13, 1969 and Ivy on September 14, 2000. According to Ivy, she had 96 great years.

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