Are global pointers to dynamically changing widgets necessary?

If I make a number of Gtk+ widgets in a sub function and do not keep any
pointers to them, but later wish to say update list items or label text,
is there a way to ask for a particular widget, perhaps 
"pointer = gtk_get_widget_by_name("myList") or is my best bet to keep
global pointers to any objects that may be changed during execution.
I'm hoping the first is possible as why else do i need to have names for
each widget ala (gtk_object_set_data_all(...))

thanks for your time


Warning, I am very new to Gtk and this may be obvious.  Please do not
flame (unless absolutely necessary)

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