The following data is extracted from Genealogy and Biography of Ontario County, New York.
James Cavanaugh, the founder of the family at present under consideration, was born in Dublin, Ireland, and was killed in a railroad accident at Phelps Junction, Ontario county, New York, February 15, 1888. At first he was destined for the Roman Catholic priesthood and he began his studies with that end in view. Finding, however, that he had no vocation, he ceased his studies and took a position as bookkeeper and overseer to a large estate. Later, he emigrated to America and settled in Auburn, Cayuga county, New York, where he worked for forty-three years for the New York Central railroads. He finally settled in Phelps, Ontario county, New York, where he was for many years a devout communicant of St. Francis church. He married Rose Burns, who was born in Ireland, and died in Phelps, New York, May 28, 1889. Children : 1. Margaret, married F. H. Spray. 2. Mary. married Edward Benham of Clifton Springs. 3. John, living in Boston, Massachusetts. 4. Thomas, deceased. 5. Elizabeth, married Charles O'Connor. 6. James Francis, referred to elsewhere. Four children died in infancy.
Source: Genealogy and Biography of Ontario County, New York