Walter Farnandis (1782-1856)


Origin. BORN: on May 9th 1782, in Charles County, Maryland; second son. NATIVE: third generation. RESIDED: at St. John’s College in Annapolis, by 1799; Baltimore City, by 1800 until death; in the Star Fort at Fort MᶜHenry, periodically during 1814; summered at “The Homestead” near Bel Air, in Harford County, from 1816 until death. Family Background. FATHER: James Farnandis (c1755-1790), son of Peter Farnandis junʳ (c1700-1775) & Benedictor MᶜAtee (c1727-1783). MOTHER: Elizabeth Wallace (c1758-c1788), daughter of Whiddon Wallace (c1729-1770) & Elizabeth Johnson (c1733-1777). UNCLE: Peter Farnandis III (c1740-1790), who married Elizabeth Grant (c1740-?), the daughter of James Grant (c1706-1777) & Elizabeth Brawner (c1710-1792). AUNTS: Eleanor Farnandis (c1760-by 1794); Mary Farnandis (by 1760-after 1791); Sarah Farnandis (c1763-after 1790), who married John Maddox (c1759-after 1779); and Benedictor Farnandis (c1766-after 1791), who married Benjamin Maddox (1760-after 1782). BROTHER: Samuel Farnandis (c1779-1854), who married Anne Bowly Steuart (c1791-1853). SISTERS: Amilla “Milly” Farnandis (c1785-after 1796); and Anne Farnandis (c1787-1859), who married James Biscœ (c1776-1853). FIRST COUSINS: Elizabeth Farnandis (c1764-?); Jane Farnandis (c1768-1846), who married John Norris (c1756-1845) and removed to North Carolina; Henry Farnandis (c1769-1823), who removed to South Carolina and married Elizabeth Henderson (c1776-1844); Peter Farnandis IV (by 1772-after 1792), who married Mildred Gooly (c1776-after 1792) in St. Paul’s Parish, King George County, Virginia; and James Farnandis II (1784-1843), who removed to South Carolina, and then subsequently Mississippi. Married on June 20th 1816 by Rev. Daniel Stevens, a minister of the Gospel, in Bel Air, Maryland, to Mary Elizabeth Dorsey (1795-1888), daughter of Henry “Harry” Dorsey of Edwᵈ (1768-1846) & Elizabeth Smithson (1777-1846). Children. SONS: Henry Dorsey Farnandis (1817-1900), who married Hannah Tunis Poultney (1831-1888), the daughter of Thomas Poultney (1808-1832) & Jane Tunis Ellicott (1813-1887); Walter Farnandis junʳ (1820-1889), who married Mary Eleanor Elizabeth Griffith (1828-1910), the daughter of Isræl Griffith (1799-1875) & Sarah Ann Griffith (1803-1877) [first cousins prior to marriage]; James Dorsey Farnandis (1822-1900), who was paralyzed from the waist down in 1848, and never married; William Farnandis (1824-1856), who married Frances Lloyd Van Wick “Fanny” Tilghman (1828-1873) of “The Grasses,” the daughter of Richard Cooke Tilghman (1772-1853) & Elizabeth Van Wick (?-before 1850); Samuel Farnandis junʳ (1825-1851), who died young and unmarried; Edward Farnandis (1828-1891), who remained a lifelong bachelor; Dr. George Gibson Farnandis (1829-1909), who remained a lifelong bachelor; and Juan Farnandis (1835-1844), who died in childhood. DAUGHTERS: Elizabeth Dorsey Farnandis (1832-1912), who married Richard Hanson Mitchell (1825-1904); and Mary Farnandis (1835-1835), who died in infancy. Private Career. EDUCATION: graduated with an A.B. from St. John’s College in the Class of 1800. RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Episcopalian, held a pew at Old St. Paul’s Parish in Baltimore City. SOCIAL STATUS AND ACTIVITIES: Esq., by 1833; was one of the Proprietors of Green Mount Cemetery, 1839 until death; served on the Board of Directors for the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad Company, 1850 until death. SPECIAL PROJECTS: oversaw the construction of Calvert Street Station in Baltimore City, 1850. OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE: dry goods dealer, 1800 to 1848; iron master, 1853-’54. Public Career. MILITARY SERVICE: private in Joseph Hopper Nicholson’s volunteer artillery company, the Baltimore Fencibles, 1814. Formally enlisted on August 19th 1814, when the company was raised into Federal service. Present inside Fort MᶜHenry during the British bombardment on the “memorable September 13th & 14th 1814.” Discharged in Baltimore City on November 30th 1814. Wealth During Lifetime. PERSONAL PROPERTY: 1 slave, 1820; 5 slaves, 1840; and 3 slaves, 1850. Wealth at Death. DIED: January 9th 1856, at his residence № 48 Hanover Street in Baltimore City. Buried on January 11th 1856, at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore City. PERSONAL PROPERTY: TEV, at least $130,000.00, including real estate holdings valued at $50,000.00.

Baltimore City Directories

1800. Fulford & Farnandis, merchants, 68, Market ſtreet
Fulford & Farnandis, merchants, 68, Market ſtreet
Fulford & Farnandis, merchants, 79 Baltimore st
1804. S. & W. Farnandis, dry goods merchants, 94 Baltimore-Street
1805. No Baltᵒ City Directory, but № 79 Market st [Baltᵒ st]
1806. No Baltᵒ City Directory, but № 79 Market st [Baltᵒ st]
1807. Farnandis Samuel & William, merchants, 79, Baltimore st.
1808. Farnandis Samuel & William, merchants, 79, Baltimore st.
1809. No Baltᵒ City Directory, but № 79 Market st [Baltᵒ st]
1810. Farnandis, Saml. and Walter, drygood store, 113, Baltimore st.—dwel. Holiday-st. extended.
1811. No Baltᵒ City Directory, but № 113 Baltimore st
1812. Farnandis, Samuel, dwelling, Chatham-st. corner of St. Paul’s-lane.
1813. No Baltᵒ City Directory
1814. Fernandis, Walter, merch. 129 Baltimore st
1815. Fernandis, Walter, merch. 129 Baltimore st
1816. —Unlisted—
1817. —Unknown—
1818. —Unknown—
1819. —Unknown—
1820. No Baltᵒ City Directory
1821. No Baltᵒ City Directory
1822. Farnandis, Walter, dry goods merchant, SE corner of Baltimore and Light; dw. Hanover, W side N of Barre
1823. Farnandis, Walter, dry goods merchant, SE corner of Baltimore and Light; dw. Hanover, W side N of Barre
1824. —Unknown—
1825. No Baltᵒ City Directory
1826. No Baltᵒ City Directory
1827. Farnandis Walter, dry goods merchant, SE corner of Baltimore and Light; dw Hanover. E side, S of Camden
1828. No Baltᵒ City Directory
1829. Farnandis Walter, dry goods merchant, 141 Baltimore, dw Hanover s of Camden
1830. No Baltᵒ City Directory
1831. Farnandis Walter, dry goods merchant, 141 Baltimore st; dw 91 Hanover st near Camden st
1832. No Baltᵒ City Directory
1833. Farnandis Walter, dry goods merchant, 141 Baltimore st, dw Hanover bet. Pratt & Lombard
1834. Farnandis Walter, dry goods merchant, 141 Baltimore st, dw Hanover bet. Pratt & Lombard
1835. Farnandis Walter, dry goods merchant, corner Light and Baltimore sts, dw 44 Hanover st
1836. Farnandis Walter, dry goods merchant, corner Light and Baltimore sts, dw 44 Hanover st
1837. Farnandis Walter, dry goods mt. 141 Balt st dw 44 Hanover st
1838. Farnandis Walter, dry goods mt. 141 Balt st dw 44 Hanover st
1839. No Baltᵒ City Directory
1840. —Unknown—
1841. —Unknown—
1842. Farnandis & Co. dry goods mer’ts. 141 Baltimore st cor Light—Farnandis Walter, firm ditto, dw Hanover st w side, betw Pratt and Lombard sts
1843. No Baltᵒ City Directory
1844. No Baltᵒ City Directory
1845. Farnandis Walter & Co., dry goods mers., 185 W. Balto. st.—Walter, of firm, h. 48 Hanover st.
1846. No Baltᵒ City Directory
1847. Farnandis Walter, dry goods dealer, 185 Baltimore st. dw Hanover st. between Lombard and Pratt
1848. Farnandis Walter, dry goods dealer, 185 Baltimore st. dw Hanover st. between Lombard and Pratt
1849. Farnandis Walter, dw 48 Hanover
1850. Farnandis Walter, dw 48 Hanover
1851. Farnandis Walter, dw 48 Hanover
1852. No Baltᵒ City Directory
1853. Farnandis Walter, iron master, dw 48 Hanover
1854. Farnandis Walter, iron master, dw 48 Hanover
1855. Farnandis Walter, h 48 Hanover
1856. Farnandis Walter, h 48 Hanover

Newspaper Articles

The commencement proceedings for Walter Farnandis’s college graduation, as printed in the November 24th 1800 edition of The Telegraphe and Daily Advertiſer:[1]

ANNAPOLIS, November 20.
On Wedneſday the 12th inſtant, a commencement for conferring degrees in St. John’s college, was held in the college hall, before a very large and reſpectable audience, conſiſting of the honorable the legiſlature of the ſtate, and the gentlemen and ladies of the city. The vice principal opened the buſineſs of the day with a ſolemn prayer to the Supreme Being, after which the candidates proceeded with the public exerciſes in the following manner: 1. A latin ſalutatory oration, by Mr. Richard Brown, of Virginia. 2. An oration on the character of a good citizen, by Mr. C. Stone, of Maryland. 3. An oration on the modern philoſophy, by Mr. Walter Fernandes, of Maryland. 4. An oration on the advantages to be derived from the ſtudy of hiſtory, by Mr. James Boyle, of Maryland. 5. An oration on ridicule, as the teſt of truth, by Mr. John Sanders, of Maryland. 6. An oration on party ſpirit, by Mr. Philip Thomas, of Maryland. The degree of bachelor of arts was then conferred by the principal of Meſſrs. Richard Brown, Robert C. Stone, Walter Fernandes, James Boyle, John Sanders, Philip Thomas, and Thomas Rogers—Meſſrs. James S. Grant and Thomas Dorſey, who were prevented from attending the commencement with their claſs, were alſo admitted to the ſame degree. At the ſame time, Meſſrs. Charles Alexander, Thomas Chaſe, John B. Ducket, John C. Herbert, John J. Tſchudy, Richard Harwood, William Cooke, Robert H. Goldſborough, Francis Key, Daniel Murray, John Shaw and Carliſle Whiling, alumni of St. John’s college were admitted to the degree of maſter of arts. 7. Valedictory oration by Mr. Thomas Rogers, of Maryland. The principal then cloſed the buſineſs of the commencement with a ſhort addreſs to the graduates reſpecting their future conduct in life, and concluded by commending them to the care of the Almighty Governor of the Univerſe.

This notice ran in the August 14th 1849 edition of The Baltimore Sun:[2]

STRAY COW.—Strayed away from Walter Fernandis’ stable, in Hanover st., on Thursday last, a light-brindle COW, with white back. A suitable reward will be paid on information being given of the Cow, or her return as above.

This article ran in the September 23rd 1854 edition of The Daily National Intelligencer:[3]

A LITTLE MATTER OF HISTORY.—Soon after the commencemnt of the last war with England, more than forty years ago, between eighty and ninety of the citizens of Baltimore enrolled their names in a volunteer artillery company, called the Fencibles, and elected JOS. H. NICHOLSON Captain, JOHN BARNEY and NATHANIEL F. WILLIAMS Lieutenants. Being thus organized, a tender of their services was made to the General Government to be placed in Fort McHenry in case of need as a part of its defence. The offer being accepted, the company was ordered to the fort for drill in the year 1813, and in 1814 occupied a part of the Star Fort, and during the bombardment lost two officers killed and several of the privates wounded. Of the men composing the entire company it is believed only sixteen are now living, viz. Samuel Harris, John Barney, Walter Farnandis, Nathaniel F. Williams, Wm. Child, John F. Poor, Chas. F. Mayer, Jacob I. Cohen, Jr., Isaac Munroe, Thomas Spicer, Samuel Etting, George Douglass, Mendis I. Cohen, Philip Reigart, Wm. O. Eichelberger, and Wm. S. Cooper.—Baltimore Patriot.

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The Homestead in Bel Air - Home of Walter Farnandis and Mary Elizabeth Dorsey

“The Homestead” in Bel Air, summer residence of Walter Farnandis (1782-1856).

His death notice, which ran in the January 11th 1856 edition of The Baltimore Sun:[4]


On the 9th instant, WALTER FARNANDIS, in the 74th year of his age.
The friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral, on tomorrow Saturday morning, at eleven o’clock, from his late residence, 48 Hanover street, without further invitation.

His obituary, which ran in the January 14th 1856 edition of The Baltimore Sun:[5]

Death of an Old Citizen.—The death of Walter Farnandis, Esq., in this city, last week, removes from amongst us one of our old and highly esteemed fellow citizens. He was for a great many years a merchant on Baltimore street, but some years since retired from active life, on an ample fortune, and has spent his life since in the social enjoyment of domestic life. He was in the 74th year of his age.

[updated September 24th 2017]

 The Telegraphe and Daily Advertiſer. 24 November 1800. p. 3, cols. 1 & 2.
2. The Baltimore Sun. 14 August 1849. p. 3, col. 1.
3. The Daily National Intelligencer. 23 September 1854. p. 2, col. 4.
4. The Baltimore Sun. 11 January 1856. p. 2, col. 5.
5. The Baltimore Sun. 14 January 1856. p. 1, col. 7.