Phoebe Ann Lincoln Walker has been one of those women that has made me insane over the years. We found her full name in the baptismal record. She was born 28 Jul 1865 and baptized 8 Nov of that year in the Church of the Redemption. Like many children that year, she received Lincoln’s name after his assassination. She appeared on the 1870 census as Phoebe and on the 1880 census as Annie L. As with many women, she disappears after 1880. The marriage records aren’t helpful and the twenty year gap between census records adds to the problem.
I have searched for Phoebe Ann dozens of times under both names, but never found her. Based on her mother Ann (Orme) Walker’s 1900 census I knew Phoebe Ann was still alive and out there just waiting to be found. This last week, I was writing about the Walkers, and I decided to go through all the documentation one last time. Phoebe was still a dead end, but I worked through all her siblings again hoping for a clue.
With the addition of the Pennsylvania Wills and Probate by Ancestry in 2015, there was finally an easy way to work through the wills for all the family members. There was no will for Phoebe’s brother, Ralph Orme Walker, but on a whim, I decided to check for a will for his second wife Kate who died 29 Jan 1901. I hoped that I might find a sibling or something that would lead me to Kate’s maiden name. She had a will, but she didn’t name any siblings. However, God bless Kate, she did name all of Ralph’s surviving siblings—including Annie Barrett.1
Phoebe Ann Lincoln Walker BARRETT. Finally, a name to work with.
1. Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993, Kate Walker, 7 Feb 1901, Philadelphia, Case #230, Wills, No 218-245, 1901; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 11 Aug 2017).