Submitted by Descendants: John WHALTON
Felicia Buchani was born 20 January 1794in St Augustine, East Florida. Her ancestors were among the first settlers of New Smyrna having arrived from Minorca in the late 1760’s. Though we do not know how Felicia met her future husband John Whalton, we do know that it was a marriage of love. They were married in a Catholic ceremony on 8 June 1819 at St Augustine.
When Florida passed from under Spanish rule, Felicia along with her husband and children left St Augustine for the port of Key West where they took up residence in the mid-1820s. We do not know exactly how many children Felicia had by her marriage to John Whalton but we do know that in 1837 she was left a widow when Indians killed Capt. John at Key Largo. Three years after the death of her husband, the 1840 Federal Census reports that Felicia was the head of a household that consisted of 5 males and 3 females less than 20 years of age. We do know that at least four of her children survived to adulthood, married and raised families in Key West.
Felicia never remarried after Capt John’s death. She died in 1885, 48 years after John’s death at the hand of the Indians, remaining true to her life’s love until she succumbed at the age of 91 and finally rejoined him in paradise. Her long life was one of devoutness, kindness, and charity towards others. In Jefferson B. Browne’s book about Key West he wrote that Mrs. Whalton often left her home to nurse the sick during the frequent yellow fever epidemics that plagued the island. There were no nurses in Key West until after the Civil War, and Browne credits Felicia with saving many that were afflicted by the disease.
Felicia Buchani was first established as a Florida Pioneer in 2011