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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM H. SHERIFF, wagonmaker, and farmer of Silver Spring township, Cumberland county, and a man widely respected, is a native of this community, having been born in the vicinity of his present home Sept. 29, 1854. We have but little record of his ancestry. The family came originally from Germany, and his father, Conrad Sheriff, was born in Perry county, Pa., where he was reared. Attaining his majority, he learned the trade of a mason, and followed it for about thirty years. He married Mary Comp, and to them were born children as follows: William H. is mentioned again; Catherine married D. A. Stoner, a carpenter and miller of Cumberland county, and had children — Mary (married John Campbell, of Perry county, and who had Lee, at home, and Emelia, who died recently), and George Stoner (who married Miss Elizabeth Cap, of Silver Spring township, and had children — Muryl Adams, Catherine, Frances and Cletus).

William H. Sheriff received his education in the common schools of Silver Spring attending until he was fifteen, at which time he was employed as a laborer, continuing thus for six years. He then began learning the trade of wagonmaking, and has followed it up to the present time; he and his family reside upon a well-cultivated farm of sixteen acres.

On May 20, 1876, Mr. Sheriff married Mrs. Mary Ann (Hartman) Williams, daughter of John and Mary (Burns) Hartman, of York county. Two children have blessed this marriage: Florence, wife of Herman Smith, of Perry county, has had two children, Elsie (at home) and Jessie Belle (who died in infancy); Mary, wife of John Stoner, of Cumberland county, has one child, Alma, at home. Mrs. Sheriff was born in York county Feb. 11, 1854, and obtained her education in the schools of that county. After leaving school she was employed for several years, and then married Josiah Williams, also of York county. One child was born to them, John, who married Bessie Stevens, of Cumberland county, and has four children, Zelma, Mary, Gladys and Ruby, all at home.

While not affiliated with any religious denomination Mr. Sheriff has a leaning toward the United Brethren, supporting that church and attending its services. Mrs. Sheriff is a member of the Bethel Church of God. Mr. Sheriff has been a lifelong Democrat, but has never aspired to any political office. He is a man widely respected for his many excellent traits of character, and is hardworking and industrious, while his wife is a model housekeeper and a tender and loving wife and mother.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

View additional Cumberland County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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