Friday, October 21, 2016

A Few Words About the Walkers

After reposting my piece on the 20th Century Callin Clan, I wanted to take some time to share what I've learned about the parents and siblings of Amanda Walker Callin since that piece was originally written. Strictly speaking, this extended Walker family isn't part of the Callin Family History, but they have presented several tough puzzles and brick walls over the years, and I wanted to document what I know for sure.

William Walker was born on 24 July 1833 in Ithaca, Tompkins county, New York. He died on 27 December 1915 in Perrysburg, Wood county, Ohio. He was known in Webster township as "Yankee Walker," according to one obituary. He farmed and had raised his family in Scotch Ridge, and was buried in the Webster Township Cemetery there. Here is a detailed obituary I found in the Perrysburg Journal:
Found on

He married Lydia Bowen in Fairfield, Huron county, Ohio, on 13 May 1856 (note the erasure of her identity from the obituary), and we find their young family in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census living in Webster township, Wood county, Ohio - the post office listed is Scotch Ridge.

There are three people listed who ought to give us important clues to identifying the parents of both William and Lydia:

Household members:
Name Age
William Walker 32
Lydia A Walker 28
Lydia A Walker 3
Martina Walker 2
William Walker 1
Adelade Bowin 14
Elizabeth Walker 60
Jesse Walker 21

This 1860 record has a few details wrong - this is the only record I've found that puts William's birthday around 1828 instead of 1833 - but it is definitely our William Walker. The 3-year-old "Lydia A" is our Amanda (referred to as "Mrs. Mandy Collin of Elyria" in his obituary), and Martina and William (age 1) match her two eldest siblings. While the 1860 Census does not identify relationships the way more recent Censuses do, Elizabeth Walker (60) is most likely William's mother, and Jesse Walker (21) could be a brother or nephew.

Looking at the 1840 Census for Ithaca, there is a Richard Walker listed who had two sons between the ages of 5 and 9; they could well be William and Jesse There are also three other Walker men listed in Tompkins county, all living in Lansing: Edward, James, and William. Each of them have sons who could plausibly be our William Walker. The 1850 Census does not seem to have any records that would tie the 1860 Walker family to anyone in the 1840, and I have not found anything that indicates when Elizabeth Walker might have died.

Jesse Walker, though, left a lot of records behind. He enlisted in the Union Army on 1 July 1863, in Webster, Wood county, Ohio. According to his Veteran's Headstone application, he reached the rank of Sergeant. After the war, he married Anna Samantha Fox (1844–1918), and they established a farm in Swan Creek, Fulton county, Ohio. They raised five sons and three daughters, and in the early 1900s, they relocated to Michigan. Annie and Jesse each died in Coldwater, Branch county, Michigan. Jesse died on 25 March 1925 and was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery. His death record (which puts his birthday on 13 March 1838) does not name his mother, and only gives his father's surname.

Lydia A. Bowen (1828-1879) leaves almost as many questions as her husband. A lovely Ancestry user uploaded a scan of their 1856 marriage certificate, which confirms the date and location - Huron county, Ohio - and based on that, I think we can safely identify her in the Bowen family listed in Fairfield, Huron county, on the 1850 Census:

Household members:
Name Age
William Bowen 67
Mary Bowen 62
John Bowen 25
Lidia Bowen 23
Edward Bowen 18
Edwin Ball 26

Clearly, Lydia would have aged more than 5 years between 1850 and 1860, but that just tells us that the 1860 record has misstated her age, the way it misstated William Walker's age.

I have high confidence that the William (67) and Mary (62) Bowen listed here in 1850 are Lydia's parents, and her brothers are John (25) and Edward (18). I am slightly less confident that the same family is listed in Fairfield in the 1840 Census (the enumerator's handwriting could say "Brown"), but there are about six children listed in that record whose ages would accommodate John, Lidia, and Edward.

There is a Mary Bowen buried in the "Old" Cemetery in North Fairfield. The marker (pictured to the right) gives her date of death as August 2, 1863, and her age: 80y 6m 13d. The 1850 record approximates her birth in 1788 in New Jersey.

There are at least two men named William Bowen who have records in Ancestry's Wills & Probate database, but they died in Stark and Jackson counties, respectively, and neither will mentions people who match our Bowen family. Mary is listed in the 1860 Census, living with their son, Edward, and his wife and daughter in Fairfield, but William is not; I would expect to find a record of his death in the 1850s, but so far, no luck.

But, we still have the mystery of who Adelade Bowin might be. She is listed in the Walker household in 1860; she would seem not to be Lydia's sister - otherwise, she ought to have appeared in the 1850 record as a girl between the ages of 4 and 6. Unfortunately, none of the records for Adelaide or Adeline Bowen (or similar spellings) turn up any clues that match what we already know about the Bowen family.

The children of William and Lydia Bowen Walker

     I. Amanda Lydia Walker (1857–1933) married John Henry Callin, and you can learn more about their family in the previous post. I'll be posting about their descendants over the following weeks, too.

     II. Martina D. Walker (1858–1922) married Frank Springstead (1860–1935) on 14 May 1894; they divorced in 1910. They had two sons and a daughter. Martina lived in Quincy, Branch county, Michigan, but she died while in Missouri; she was probably there in February to prepare for the May wedding of her youngest son, Russell.

     III. William Riley Walker (1859–1925) married Amy Ann Grim (1868–1912) in 1888. They raised two sons and two daughters. After Amy's death in 1912, William went to live with his eldest daughter, Goldie, in Sherwood, Michigan, where he died in October 1925.

     IV. John Bowen Walker (1861–1937) married Amanda Warner (1860–1932) in 1884. They had four daughters, and were lifelong residents of Wood county.

     V. Mary Annette "Nettie" Walker (1862–??) married William J Dennis (1853–1928) in Monroe, Michigan, on 14 June 1881. They had four daughters and three sons over the next 15 years, mostly while living in Wood county. The family settled in Jackson, Paulding county, Ohio, around 1896, and remained there at least through 1910. In 1920, they were living in Detroit, Michigan. That is where William died in 1928.

     VI. James Perry Walker (1864–1954) married Anna Bell Keiser (1866–1932) in 1887, and they raised three sons and three daughters in Madison, Sandusky county, Ohio. Perry died in 1954, in Denver, Colorado; but he was buried back in Gibsonburg, Ohio, with Annabell.

     VII. Henry Franklin Walker (1867–1939) married Lottie Belle Younkin (1878–1937) in 1896, and they raised a daughter and a son in Bowling Green. They retired to Toledo, where they were living in 1930.

     VIII. Jane Alice (Algany) Walker (1868–1943) married William F Budd (1867–1922) in 1888, and they had 14 children over the following 24 years. In most of the records, she is referred to as "Jane," but "Algany" or "Algania" appear in the 1880 and 1910 Census records, respectively. Her 1943 Michigan death record gives her full name as "Jane Alice."

     IX. Emma E. Walker (1869–1947) married Oscar Fremont Kelly (1864–1946) in 1888, and they had seven children. Some time between 1915 and 1920, when she was approaching her 50th birthday, Emma was committed to the Toledo State Hospital, where she spent the remainder of her life.

After Lydia's death in 1879, William remarried in 1885. His second wife was Louisa Klinger (1843–1918), the widow of a Civil War veteran named Samuel T. Defrehn (1844–1876). Louisa had a daughter named Kittie (Catherine S.) Defrehn (1874-1925) would married Charles E. Muir in 1893. Louisa and William Walker also had a son.

     X. Herold Eugene Walker (1890–1966) married Nellie E Dennis (1893–1974) around 1917. (She does not seem to be related to William J Dennis, the husband of Herold's half-sister, Mary Annette Walker.) Herold and Nellie had three sons together, but at some point, Herold left the family in Toledo, and moved to Barnstable, Massachusetts. He was an artist, by occupation, and he settled in Provincetown by 1930, which is where he died in 1966.

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Thanks for sticking with me on this one! I hope it helps clear up some of your mysteries - and if you happen to be a Walker or Bowen researcher with more information, let me know!

Also, my DNA profile is on, if you're researching that way. I'm still pretty lost when it comes to navigating alleles and sequences, but I've got the paper trail!

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