According to Fernando Marti Camps, Diocesan Archivist in the island of Minorca, in a letter to 'Miss Wilson' on October 7, 1975:
First, the place of origin of the Canovas is not Leon, but Alayor, a city with an Arabic name, situated in the center of the Island, with some 6,000 inhabitants. My maternal grandmother was born there. To the Minorcans, this is like a name (Canovas) found in Leon, but this is without doubt an error.
Canova, in effect, seems at first sight to be Italian because all of us recall the famous Neo-classic Italian sculptor of the same name, but it is not so; it is a corruption of the name "Canaves" found frequently in Majorca, from where it passed to the neighboring island of Minorca. The name appears to come from the Greek "Kanabos", "alo delgado", or fine or delicate pole, from which is derived the Latin "Canava", or a small shed.
One line of the Canoves of Majorca were of the nobility. Their crest was "on a field of green, a silver dog walking, and a silver start on the flank of the Chief".