Raphael Bartolome Canova

by: halsema.org editors

Raphael Bartolome Canova:

His granddaughter, our beloved Iva Canova, married Bernard (Ben) Halsema at that is why we have some information featured on him:

Iva Canova’s family seemed to have a history of living just outside St Augustine in Green Cove Springs where she was born.

Today that is Clay County.

Iva Canova’s grandfather:
Rafael Bartolome Canova

Rafael B. Canova owned the “Murat” House. (I don’t know where that is.)

He was the St Johns County Sheriff 1849-1853


Raphael Bartolome Canova, Sheriff – 1848-1853. A number of St Johns County’s Sheriffs descended from the Minorcans and Sheriff Canova would not be the last. The 1850 census shows Raphael Canova, 29, as Sheriff and Tax Collector who owned real estate valued at $300. He was the father of four children and was elected Mayor of St Augustine on November 17, 1860, serving until 1867.

He was Elected Mayor of St Augustine November 1860. (St Augustine Examiner 11/17 1860) and (The Awakening of St Augustine, Thomas Graham, Page 267)
Resigned from Mayor 1867 (St Augustine Examiner 1/12 1867)

According to: People in Lawmaking, Florida House of Representatives, April, 2002, an R. B. Canova served in the Florida House for St Johns County in 1881.

The below is from: Old Hickory Grove Cemetery, Clay County, Florida. Susan listed below was Raphael’s wife, but I’m not sure who Mary was.

From Green Cove Springs, FL. turn West on S.R. 16 and travel 1.1 miles to the cemetery on the right.
Susan CANOVA————2 Jan. 1883 Aged 63 Years
Raphael B. CANOVA——–6 Apr. 1894 Aged 73 Years
Mary E. CANOVA———–9 Aug. 1883 Aged 78 Years

For some varied and conflicting information on Raphael’s lineage, seeĀ “Lineage of Raphael B. Canova”. We need to verify all of this, and get it “right.”

The 1870 Census Page 10 Outside St Augustine, St Johns Co. lists:

Canova, Rapheli B. age 49 Male white farmer
Susan age 49 female white keeps house
Ralph 17 male white at home
Maggie 17 Female white athome
Phillip 15 male white at home
Matthew 10 male white at home

Iva Canova’s father:
Dr Matthew J. Canova
Matthew J’s siblings listed in the bio files at St Aug Hist Lib.:
Philip J
Philip has a Son named Francis J

Matthew J Canova
Married Nellie Mickler 3 Jan 1885
Matthew J was a medical doctor who was very active during a hugh typhoid epidemic in the late 1880’s. He worked tirelessly helping those stricken. He came home one day to deliver his son, Iva’s younger brother. After delivering the baby he laid down to rest never to rise again. He died shortly thereafter of typhoid fever. (Information given to Jackie Green Halsema (our Mom) by Iva Canova. Mom told be about it during my interview with her on 1-1-02.) I have a reference to a CPR death record for Matthew J Canova for 6 Jan 1988 and a CPR reference of birth as 21 Sept, 1860, but I have not verified them.

His wife Nellie Mickler Canova died about 8/8/1939. The date I have is actually 8/8/34, but it is hand written on top of a news paper obit. The obit states says she died after living with Bernard Halsema and Iva for 1 and 1/2 years. Iva and Ben were married in Nov 1937. I’m guessing that the one who wrote the date mistook a 9 for a 4. I think the obit is from the St Augustine Record, so I’ll check it next time I go there, but 1934 cannot be correct. Perhaps someone can check for a grave marker at San Lorenzo cemetery where the obit says she was buried. Then we would have a date we could verify.

The obit lists Her age at date of death is given as 79 years. Survivors are listed as:

Mrs X. Lopez and Mrs Hattie Masters, both of St Aug; two brothers V.J. Mickler of St Aug and Ernest Mickler of Savannah, GA.

Iva Mary Canova Halsema died 10 march 1984 at 97 years of age. Survivors are listed as two cousins Dan Mickler and Louise Mickler Thompson of St Augustine. The obit is in the St Aug Record 12 March, 1984

The various St Aug City Directories for the early 1900’s list Iva first as a teacher and later as a Stenographer (secretary) for the Florida East Coast Railway and Nellie Canova as a Sales Lady for the Surprise Store. I sent you the newspaper article a few weeks ago about Nellie and Iva’s move into their home on 168 Marine Street. As you know the Leonardi’s lived on 63 Marine Street and in a few houses around 63.

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