Miss Mary Canavan was born in Tonacrick, Addergoole, Co Mayo, Ireland on 18 June 1889.
She was the eldest daughter of Anthony Canavan (b. 1853), a farmer, and Mary Earley (b. 1860), Mayo natives from Tonacrick and Massbrook, respectively who were married in Lahardane on 3 April 1884.
One of nine children, her siblings were: Patrick (b. 1887), Thomas (b. 13 October 1891), John (b. 28 April 1894), Michael (b. 14 April 1896), twins Bridget and Anthony (b. 22 January 1900), William (b. 19 June 1901) and Richard (b. 17 February 1905).
Mary and her family appear on the 1911 census living at house 5 in Tonacrick, Addergoole and Mary was described as an unmarried farmer's daughter. The family were Roman Catholic and spoke both Irish and English.
Mary's elder brother Patrick had emigrated to the USA only shortly before her own departure; he arrived in New York aboard Olympic on 11 April 1912 with a friend Michael Cummins. Mary intended on joining him, making plans to stay with a cousin in Manhattan, Anthony Flynn. Mary travelled with a large group from her area, now referred to as the Addergoole Fourteen, led by Catherine McGowan. Also travelling with her were her cousins Patrick Canavan and James Flynn, the latter whose brother she was intending to stay with in New York. Mary boarded the Titanic at Queenstown on 11 April 1912 as a third class passenger (ticket number 364846, which cost £7, 15s).
Mary Canavan died in the sinking and her body, if recovered, was never identified.
Her parents remained in Tonacrick; her father died 23 August 1931 and her mother on 21 July 1933.