Editor’s Note: In 1987, I sat down with my uncle John Casey, a grandson of Anthony Canavan, Sr. and Ann Hughes. He was the son of their 13th and their last child, Margaret Elizabeth Canavan. We were talking about the Canavan family as he read my mother’s 1970 genealogy book, The Families. In this clip, he recalls that his grandparents crossed the Atlantic in a sailing ship in a voyage that lasted nine weeks and three days. On arrival his grandfather, deathly sick from the voyage, was saved only by the care given to the impoverished immigrant by a hospital in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Canavan family spent nine years in Philadelphia before the moving west near Anthony’s brother Austin’s farm in Kankakee County, Illinois. There Anthony Senior and Ann adopted farm life, worked hard and the family prospered. In later years Anthony also took an active role in Kankakee County politics. Over the years he served as Township Treasurer, Supervisor, Trustee, Assessor and Collector.
Mindful of how much he and his family were helped upon arriving in Philadelphia, upon his death he left a substantial bequest to the Philadelphia hospital that had taken him in as a penniless immigrant and nursed him back to health.