|Birthplace:||LeRoy, Genesee, New York, United States|
|Death:||Died in Safford, Graham, Arizona, United States|
|Cause of death:||Asthma and rheumatism|
|Occupation:||Rocksena Mahala or Roxana Mahalia Dustin married John Welker April 2, 1850, in Pleasant Grove, Pottawattamie, Iowa, and had 3 children.|
|Managed by:||Della Dale Smith-Pistelli|
Matching family tree profiles for Rocksena Mahala Dustin Welker
About Rocksena Mahala Welker (Dustin)
Rocksena Mahalia Dustin, daughter of Bechias Dustin and Aseneth Hurlbut, was born in 1833, LeRoy, Genesee County, New York. She married John Welker, (1826 - 1913), son of James Welker and Elizabeth Stoker, on 2 April 1850; they had three children. Roxanna Mahalia Welker died March 11, 1904 in Safford, Graham, Arizona, of asthma and complications of rheumatism; she was 70 years old.
Marriage and Children
- John Welker, born March 16, 1826, Madison Township, Jackson County, Ohio, died, June 1, 1913, in Safford, Graham County, Arizona. He was the son of James Welker (1804-1844) and Elizabeth Stoker (1800-1868). John and Rocksena were married April 2, 1850, Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa. Their children were:
- Louisa Roxana Welker, born August 20,1851, in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, died January 26, 1918, in Safford, Graham, Arizona. Louisa Roxana married October 10, 1867, Christian Madsen, born Brondon, Hedegaare, Aaborg, Denmark, November 14, 1844, and died March 9, 1921, in Safford, Graham, Arizona. He was the son of Jacob Christian Madsen and Dorothea Christina Jensen. Louisa Roxana and Christian had ten children, seven of whom lived to adulthood.
- John Eller Welker, born July 12, 1853, Willard, Box Elder, Utah, died November 29, 1918 , in Salem, Fremont, Idaho. He married February 2, 1875 Sarah Ann Thornock, born April 16, 1856, in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, died April 29, 1921, in Drummond, Fremont, Idaho. John and Sarah had eleven children, nine of whom lived to adulthood.
- Mary Amelia Welker, died young, birth and death location unknown.
The Dustins came to New England before 1640, and at that time their surname was Durston. They fought in the Revolutionary War. In the early 1800s the Dustins entered the wilderness of western New York and lived in settlements among the six nations of the Iroquois in Genesee County. Roxanna Mahalia Dustin was born in that area, LeRoy, Genesee County, New York, in 1833. Her uncle, Caleb Dustin, was among the first Methodist ministers in New England. The Dustins lived just miles away from Palmyra, New York. Certainly Caleb attended the large Methodist Genesee Conference revivals. Caleb Dustin preached to John Young, father of Brigham Young.
On 9 June 1830, Peter Dustin became the first member of the Dustin family to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, just two months after the Church was organized on April 6th. Bechias Dustin, Roxanna's father, and his niece, Cyrena Dustin, soon followed. Hannah Loveland Dustin and her brothers Chester and Levi gathered in Missouri and forged their faith in the fires of persecution. Roxanna's brother, Seth Dustin, witnessed with his father-in-law, Chauncey Loveland, the death of the prophet Joseph Smith.
The Dustin family later moved from New York to Ohio and met the Welker family there. Further migration of the Dustin and Welker families took them to Missouri for four years, then to lllinois by the mid 1840s. After the murder of Joseph Smith in the Carthage Jail on June 27, 1844, the Dustin's and Welker's moved again to Council Bluffs, Iowa, while they prepared to migrate across the plains to Utah with the Mormons.
Roxanna married John Welker, son of James Welker and Elizabeth Stoker, in Council Blulffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa on April 2, 1850, before the trek west started. They had three children, but little Mary Amelia died young. Their first child was Roxana Louisa Welker (later Madsen); their son, John Eller Welker, was born after the family arrived in Willard, Box Elder, Utah. Then in 1863 the Church called the family to settle an area north of Utah, just over the border in Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho. This mission was led by Charles C. Rich.
The families lived in Bear Lake for about twenty years. In 1883 they decided to move south to a warmer climate, because Roxanna had asthma and the family wanted a longer growing season for their crops. John Welker had been a pioneer and a farmer all of his life, so they once again moved to a more promising area.
Move to Arizona
The following is an excerpt from Dortha Roxana Madsen Rollins McKinney's diary, written in 1940 when she was about 70 years old, recalling the family move from Idaho to Arizona in 1883. Dortha was the first-born daughter of Louisa Roxana Welker Madsen (John and Roxanna Dustin Welker's daughter) and her husband, Christian Madsen, who emigrated from Denmark in 1853 when he was just nine years old. At the time of the move, Dortha was only 14 years old and her brother John was 12 years old:
"Grandma was afflicted with asthma and some times would almost choke to death. How often we children have cried and prayed and feared each attack would be her last, which was before the move to Arizona in 1883. So for some reason or other of which I do not know, (I was about 14 years old at the time) one or two families from our town drifted into Arizona and began to write back about the land of milk and honey! Yes, they said that very thing! Where the sun shone more than 12 hours a day, fruit tress bloomed in February, raised 5 crops of alfalfa. November days were like summer, when in Idaho we had several feet of snow. There were many other breathtaking descriptions about this fairyland. This was along about 1881 and from then on this correspondence rolled in. So is it any wonder that a large number of families, mostly relatives, began to pull “the stakes” they had driven so many years before, and prepare for the big move, starting out again with a covered wagon cavalcade.
Then on September 23, 1883, they started for Arizona, sun kissed land, and it lived up to its reputation as far as sunshine was concerned. And when on November 5th we pitched camp in the suburbs of the little town of Safford, Arizona, where we made our home, the sun was warm, trees were green, acres of growing alfalfa greeted our eyes, but some how the picture had faded in a degree through the dangers and hardships we were subjected to as we traveled all those weary miles. It looked different to what we expected. We were tired and homesick. Never the less, every man, still a true pioneer, began to build a home and grandfather and grandmother Welker were among the first to begin. In their passing they left hosts of friends and a better world for having lived in it.
Grandma Welker drove a team and light spring wagon all the way from Bear Lake County Idaho to Safford, Graham County, Arizona, a distance over mountain trails as such they were. (NOTE: the total distance was nearly 1,000 miles from Bloomington, Bear Lake County, Idaho, to Safford, Arizona.) In some places the men had to cut trees and break a way through. After several days of travel, the company would camp to let the teams rest for a day or two. Then the washing and baking was done and the load repacked. All the money that was received for possessions sold was carried in the wagons. Three thousand dollars in gold was put some where among their things. We were never molested although we met some very suspicious characters and traveled through Indian territory and at times Indians on horse back rode along for some distance, filled with curiosity, and had they desired, could have made a tremendous haul of everything.
On that long trip from September 23 to November 5th, there were no serious illness or accidents or loss that I remember. God’s protecting care sheltered us and as was the habit at home, our parents knelt in prayer morning and night and gave thanks for this protection and asked for guidance in the great task they had undertaken again as pioneers in a new and strange land."
NOTE: Some members of the Welker and Dustin families chose not to leave Idaho for Arizona, and a few that did make the move, ended up returning to Idaho or Utah later after they found that Arizona was not to their liking. Obviously, John Eller Welker and his wife, Sarah Ann Thornock Welker, did not stay in Arizona, as they both ended up back in Idaho and they both passed away in Idaho.
In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Safford, Graham County, Arizona, John Welker, and his wife, Rocksena Mahalia Dustin Welker, are living next door to John's younger brother, Adam David Welker, and his family. John and Rocksena are 74 and 66 years old. This record indicates John and Rocksena had been married for 50 years and had 3 children, 2 of whom are still living.
It's odd but in this census record, both Adam and his brother John indicate both of their parents were born in Pennsylvania, which I do not believe is correct, as previous census records showed their parents came from North and South Carolina. Rocksena indicated both her parents were born in Vermont, but her father, Bechias Dustin, was born in Enfield, Grafton, New Hampshire. The census record also indicates that John Welker is an invalid, but I'm not aware that he was an invalid 13 years before his death. Both John and Adam owned their own farms free from a mortgage.
Sadly, Rocksena passed away four years later in 1904. She is buried in the Union Cemetery in Layton, Arizona. Nine years later, her husband John Welker passed away at the age of 87 from a stroke, and is buried in Safford, Arizona. Why they were not buried together is unknown.
Fourteen years later, their daughter Louisa Roxana passed away in 1918 and her husband, Christian Madsen, in 1921. Ironically, her brother, John Eller Welker, also died in 1918, and his wife, Sarah Ann Thornock Welker, also died in 1921, the same as her brother-in-law, Christian Madsen. Unfortunately, I do not know when their third child, Mary Amelia Welker, was born nor when or where she passed away.
Louisa Roxana Welker Madsen and her husband Christian had 10 children, 7 of whom lived to adulthood. John Eller Welker and his wife, Sarah Ann Thornock, had 11 children, 9 of whom lived to adulthood.
Sources and Further Information
- More about the Dustin/Durston family
- Thomas Durston was among the signers of a letter to the governor of Massachusetts, dated Northam, and (Dover) March 4, 1640. They subscribe themselves. "We, the inhabitants of Northam." Thomas Durston was also among those admitted freemen at Kittery, in November, 1652.
- Thomas Durston was a soldier in King Phillips War with Lieutenant Benjamin Swett and his men as of June 1676. This is likely Thomas Durston born 1652, rather than his father or grandfather. To quote George Wingate Chase in reference to the name Durston: "It was originally written Durston and changed to Duston about the time of the above named Thomas Duston. This is shown, not only by our town records, buy by Duston's petition to the General court in June 1697."
- Because of the notoriety of Hannah Duston/Dustin (1657-1738), wife of Thomas Durston/Duston (1652), much is known about this generation of Dustins. Roxanna and her siblings were raised hearing stories about their ancestors, especially Thomas and Hannah Duston. Their grandfather, Ebenezer, and great-grandfather, James Dustin, were Revolutionary War Soldiers.
- Personal Diaries of John Welker and his granddaughter, Dortha Roxana Madsen Rollins McKinney.
Rocksena Mahala Dustin Welker's Timeline
July 3, 1833
LeRoy, Genesee, New York, United States
April 2, 1850
Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States
Rocksena Mahalia Dustin was married to John Welker on April 2, 1850 in Council Bluffs, Pottawatamie county, Iowa. Roxanna's home in Navoo, IL, was one that was set afire by townspeople opposed to the Mormons. The home was saved, however, In 1851 after she married John Welker, their home was flooded and they lost everything in their home, their crops and many other things. The were left with a little farm house, a pair of 3 year old colts, two cows, a hog and a few chickens on which to start over. Just a few weeks later, their first child, Roxanna Louisa, was born on August 20, 1851. By June of 1852, they left in the 9th company from Kanesville, Iowa, with Isaac M. Steward as their wagon train captain, headed for Salt Lake City. They were sent to Alpine, UT when they arrived, which was a small town 40 miles south of Salt Lake City. The families probably lived in a dugout in the side of a mountain during that winter. It was there that 2 events_new_new took place, Adam Pugh, 5th child of Wilburn was borm on Feb.4, 1853, and on March 27, Mary Catherine, Elizabeth's oldest daughter married Thomas Bilington Nelson. The only other children in Elizabeth's family at that time were Jacob, 24, Rebecca, nearly 18, and Adam, 12 years old. In the Spring of 1853, the Welkers were sent to Willard, Box Elder, UT to live. Wilburn started the first molassas mill in town. In Feb. 1855 Jacob married Harriet Angeline Lish. We don't know when Rebecca married Alexander Roswell Stevens, but she died in 1863 at the age of 28. This left Adam to care for his mother. In 1863 the Dock family from Paisley, Renfrew, Scotland arrived in town. Robert and Agnes had 2 girls, Agnes, 16, and Euphemia 13, and Robert, 5. Adam began enjoying the company of Agnes, but that was interrupted in 1864 when Adam was called with others to take ox teams to the Missouri River to assist other Mormon Saints on their journey across the plains to Utah. While Adam was doing this, his brother, Wilburn, decided to go with other Saints to colonize the Bear Lake area. On Feb. 22, 1865 Adam and Agnes were married. Wilburn talked his brother Adam into starting his married life in Idaho. The town they settled was Bloomington, Bear Lake County, Idah. Here the brothers started all over again. Elizabeth lived with Adam and Agnes until her death on Jan. 2, 1868 at the age of 67.
August 20, 1851
Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, USA
July 12, 1853
Willard, Box Elder, Utah
March 31, 1857
March 11, 1904
Safford, Graham, Arizona, United States
Layton, Graham, Arizona, United States
February 14, 1955