According to the Winters family Bible, my 3rd-great-grandmother Anna "Ann" Walker was born on 28 February 1842. The family Bible does not give her place of birth, but according to census records (the 1855 New York State Census, the 1860 United States Census, and the 1870 United States Census), she was born in Ireland. When the 1855 New York State Census became available online, I finally learned more about Ann's family. Because she was only 17 when she married John Bennet Winters in Tonawanda, Erie County, New York on 10 October 1859, I thought it was likely that she had come to the United States with family. I found an Ann Walker of the right age and birthplace and in the right geographical area, and when I located her family in the 1860 United States Census, she was not with them, which fit well with her being Ann Winters, enumerated in the household of her husband John Winters, and married within the year.
I got really lucky when I found two enumerations for the Walker family in the 1855 New York State Census; they moved at the time that the census was taken, and were enumerated before and after they moved. The first enumeration was in Seneca, Ontario County, New York. Ann was enumerated with her widowed mother Ann, her older brother James, her younger brother William, and her younger sister Dora. William and Dora were the same age, apparently twins. The twins were born in Ontario County, New York, and the family had lived in Seneca for 9 years.The family was living with Miranda Waters, born in Otsego County, and her daughter Matilda, born in Ontario County. Miranda and Matilda had lived in Seneca for 7 years.
The second enumeration was in Buffalo, Erie County, New York. The family had lived in Buffalo for 1/12 of a year. According to this census record, William and Dora were born in Canada. Although it is possible that the enumerator confused Ontario County with Ontario, Canada, I suspect that they were actually born in Canada. According to the 1860 United States Census, they were born in Canada. I could not find the Walker family in the 1850 United States Census. The family may have come to North America 9 years earlier and settled in Canada (probably Ontario) first, and then gone to New York.
By 1866, Ann had moved to Chicago, Illinois with her husband and children. After losing three of her four children and probably being displaced by the Great Chicago Fire, Ann died at the young age of 30. According to the Winters family Bible, she died on 19 September 1872 at Lake Side between Highland Park and Glencoe, State of Illinois and was buried at Lakeside Cemetery, close by the head of Lake Michigan. I have not found a Lakeside Cemetery in that area. I am not sure if the cemetery name is correct, and the cemetery may not exist any more. It may have been in the area that is now Lincoln Park. I am still trying to determine precisely where the Winters family lived in 1872, and I am looking for more information on her burial site.