Austin Canavan (1821-1913)
In 1987, at the age of 80, John Dominic Casey was interviewed by Bill Bowe about the Canavan family. John’s mother was Margaret Canavan Casey, the last of 13 children born to Anthony Canavan, Sr. and Ann Hughes.
John begins with his mother’s uncle, Austin Canavan, the son of Anthony Canavan and Catherine Kirby. This Austin Canavan is not to be confused with Austin Augustine Canavan (1852-1917), his nephew Anthony Canavan, Sr.’s sixth child with Ann Hughes.
The first Austin Canavan got to Kankakee County before his nephew and Ann Hughes. According to John Casey’s recollection, Austin settled in Momence, where he worked a farm laborer, and later married his employer after she was widowed. He encouraged his nephew Anthony to move his family with Ann from Philadelphia and pursue life as a farmer in northeastern Illinois, as he had done.