I remember seeing an e-list of canonical Orthodox churches and it listing one as "semi-canonical". I think it may have been the Orthodox Church in America. Or am I wrong? Is this a canonical church? How exactly was it founded and which older jurisdiction authorized/recognized its autocephalousness?
Well, depending on who wrote the e-list it could have meant several things. All of the Orthodox world that is in communion with the patriarchates considers the OCA a canonical church in that they are fully Orthodox. The Russian Orthodox Church granted the OCA Autocephaly in 1970. The OCA has been operating as an autocephalous Church prior to this as it was cut off from the Russian church in 1917. Here
is an informative series of questions and answers on this process.
That said, there are several extremist groups out there that consider none of the churches to be canonical except for themselves and sometimes other like minded extremist groups. They refer to the rest of the church as "World Orthodoxy" and see themselves as the last carriers of true Orthodoxy. They would say that the OCA is not canonical, along with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, The Ecumenical Patriarch, and nearly everyone else in the World aside from one or two bishops and a monastery somewhere.
To sum up, while many members of the Orthodox world(including Constantinople, Greece, etc) do not recognize the OCA as autocephalous(they view it still as a dependant to the Russian Church), they fully accept the OCA's Orthodoxy.