About Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
I'm originally from Southern California, but have also lived in Florida, Northern California, Oregon, New Jersey and now Texas. My third great grandfather, James Henry Rollins, was one of the original settlers of San Bernardino, California, when the Mormons were sent there from Utah in 1851. Another branch of my tree includes a second great grandfather, James Joseph Eubank, a carpenter from Tennessee who enlisted in Company C of the 124th Illinois Infantry in1862 and was wounded in the battle of Vicksburg during the Civil War, fighting for the Union. His father, Stephen Green Eubank, was supposedly a friend of Abraham Lincoln, and built cabinets and a desk for Lincoln that was on display at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. Ironically, Stephen's father-in-law, James Branch, owned seventeen slaves per the 1840 U.S. Federal Census! Thank goodness Stephen did not keep slaves after his wife Susannah Q. Branch Eubank died in 1833 in Palmyra, Missourii, during a cholera epedemic.
I'm told my third great grandfather, Samuel Walker West, was descended from English Royalty. According to Geni, here is the path from me to Samuel Walker West and then to his English royal ancestors: Me, Della Dale Smith; Frances Amelia Eubank Smith, my mother; Dorthea Evelyn Eubank, her mother; John Henry Rollins, Jr., her father; Nancy Malinda Rollins, his mother; Samuel Walker West, her father; John West, his father; Isaac West, his father; John West, Jr., his father; John Thomas West, Sr., his father; Thomas West, Sr., his father; then four (4)! William West's; Nicholas West, his father; Richard West, his father; John West, his father; Richard West, 7th Baron de la Warre, his father; Sir Reynold West, 6th Baron La Warr; his father; Sir Thomas West, 1st Baron West of Oakhanger, his father, who is my 18th Great Grandfather, that is if the Geni records are accurate! Supposedly, the state of Delaware was named after one of these ancestors. Samuel Walker West's wife, Margaret Cooper West, was from a prominent southern family who owned a 1,000 acre plantation in the early 1800's Tennessee, and they also owned slaves but gave them up when they joined the Mormon Church in 1834.
My second and third great grandfathers, Christian and Jacob Christensen Madsen came to the USA from Denmark in the 1850's. Christian married into the Welker family, who arrived in the USA from Germany in the late 1700's, and the Welker's married into the Dustin family, who came to America in the 1640's.
My father's family, the Smith's, were Quakers who had migrated from Pennsylvania to Indiana and then later on to Kansas where my grandfather Smith worked as a farmer from about 1895 to 1925 when the family moved to Venice, California, for his health. Supposedly he had asthma and could not tolerate the "Dust Bowl Days" according to stories told me by my father. My father's mother, Mattie Estella Scott Smith, was a Christian Scientist whose family had moved to Kansas from North Carolina in about the 1870's. Her father, Thomas Benton Scott, was born in North Carolina in 1845.
One of my most interesting ancestors was Hannah Dustin, who lived in Haverhill, Massachusets, in 1697, when she was captured by Indians. They killed Hannah's six-day old baby daughter by bashing her brains out against a tree. Later Hannah killed her Indian captors, took their scalps, and went back home to Massachusetts to claim a bounty for the scalps. There are two different statues commemorating her bravery in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. It is believed she was the first woman ever immortalized by a statue in her honor in the United States.
For the last five years, I've been working as an Exhibits Manager for a conference management company in Bryan, Texas. We manage international conferences for The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and other organizations. Before that I was in real estate for twelve years, and marketing communications for twenty five years in both the computer and trade show/museum exhibit industries.
I'm looking to complete my family tree in order to help my second cousins, Meili and Tai Eubank , who are half Chinese, know more about our family history.