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Della Dale Pistelli (Smith)

Current Location:: Brenham, Washington, Texas, United States
Birthplace: St. Francis Hospital, Lynwood, Los Angeles, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Halley Dale Smith and Frances Amelia Smith
Wife of Daniel Hugo Pistelli

Occupation: 1968-72 Los Angeles Dept. of Public Social Services; 1973-80 MARCOM in computer industry; 1980-98 Greyhound/Exhibitgroup; 1998-2009 real estate sales & management; 2010-15 conference management services; retired 2015--now CEO DS & Associates
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Immediate Family

About Della Dale Smith-Pistelli

I'm originally from Southern California, but have also lived in Pompano Beach-Florida, the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California, Portland-Oregon, North Hanover-New Jersey, and now Brenham-Texas, a small town about half way between Houston and Austin. 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, one hundred years before I was born. The church bought thousands of acres of land from the Mexican government for their settlement. They were called back to Utah by the LDS Church in 1857 due to the coming of Johnson's Army.

When James Henry was about 4 years old his father, John Porter Rollins, died in a shipping accident on Lake Erie while taking a boat load of cattle from New York to Canada in 1820. James Henry's mother, Keziah Katurah Van Benthuysen, was a Dutch girl whose ancestors came from Holland to New Amsterdam (New York) in the 1650's. After her husband died, she sent James Henry and his two sisters to live with her sister, Elizabeth Van Benthuysen and her husband, Sidney Algernon Gilbert, since they had no children of their own.

James Henry Rollins and his sisters, mother, aunt and uncle joined the Mormon Church in Ohio in the 1830's and moved from Ohio to Missouri, then Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and finally in 1848, Utah, then in 1851 to California, back to Utah in 1857, and finally Wyoming in about 1896, where James died in 1899. His wife, Eveline Walker Rollins, lived another 13 years and died in 1912. They were both buried in the Lyman City Cemetery in Lyman, Uinta County, Wyoming.

James had 9 children with his first wife, Eveline, who was the daughter of Oliver Walker and Nancy Cressy of New York and New Jersey. When the church sent James to San Bernardino, California, in 1851 they instructed him to take a plural wife, a 16-year old orphan girl, Hannah Hulme, who had been assisting James and Eveline in their home with household duties and raising of their children. James married Hannah before departing for San Bernardino, and together they had 13 children.

James and Eveline's son, John Henry Rollins, Sr., married Nancy Malinda West, daughter of Samuel Walker West and Margaret Cooper of Tennessee, who were also early Mormon pioneers having joined the church in the 1830's and arriving in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1843. They all went to Utah in 1848. At the request of the church John Henry, his wife Nancy, their children, and her mother Margaret, along with other extended family members, left Utah in about 1879 and settled in Snowflake, Arizona, in 1880 when it was the wild frontier. They encountered lots of problems with outlaws, Indians, and the natural disasters common to those times. They had eleven children, but sadly four of them died young, including my great grandfather, John Henry Rollins, Jr., who was killed at the age of just 24 years old when he fell from a wagon in which he was riding and his head was crushed.

John Henry Rollins' 20-year old widow, my great grandmother, Dortha Roxana Madsen, (the daughter of a Danish immigrant who came to America in 1853 at the age of 9, and a girl of German ancestry born in Iowa), was left with two children to raise alone, her daughter, my grandmother, Dortha Evelyn Rollins, and son John Delbert Rollins. Eight years later she married an Arizona Sheriff, Joseph Thomas McKinney, and they had four more children, but they later separated, and Dortha moved to California sometime between 1915 and 1920, along with her children with Mr. McKinney, Dan Carroll McKinney, Thelma Josephine McKinney, and Gladys Violet McKinney. Their 3rd child, Joseph Madsen McKinney, died when he was just 3 years old about 2 weeks before the birth of his baby sister, Gladys.

It's rumored that my third great-grandfather, Samuel Walker West, was descended from English royalty, and supposedly, the state of Delaware was named after one of his ancestors, one of the Lords of de la Warre. Samuel's wife, Margaret Cooper West, was from a prominent southern family who owned a 1,000 acre plantation in Tennessee in the early 1800's. Their plantation in Tennessee was given to Margaret by one of her mother's uncles for his service in the Revolutionary War. They owned slaves but gave them up when they joined the Mormon Church in 1834 and moved from Tennessee to Kentucky briefly before gathering with the Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois, in about 1842. Samuel was also an LDS polygamist and had 3 wives, with whom he had 17 children, 11 with Margaret and 6 with one of his plural wives, Christiana, a Danish immigrant.

Another branch of my family tree includes an interesting great-grandfather and second great-grandfather, James Joseph Eubank, and Stephen Green Eubank, who were carpenters and cabinet makers from Tennessee. James enlisted in Company C of the 124th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in 1862 and was wounded in the battle of Vicksburg during the Civil War, fighting for the Union. Prior to the war, James had gone to California during the Gold Rush in the 1850's leaving his first wife and two young sons behind near Petersburg, Menard County, Illinois.

James did not return home to Illinois until about eight years later in 1861, but was surprised to learn his first wife, Nancy Ann Trent Eubank, had remarried thinking he died out in California. She had four more children with her second husband William Peter Shult. James then went off to the Civil War and afterwards to Kansas to visit his father who had moved there from Illinois about 1859. There James met and married his second wife, Elsie Jane Rouser of Ohio, my great grandmother. They had three children around Sedalia, Missouri, Stephen James, also known as Euzell, his brother, Lee Edward, and sister Elsie Laura, and moved to San Diego, California, about 1883.

James Joseph Eubank's father, Stephen Green Eubank, was supposedly a friend of Abraham Lincoln, who built cabinets and a desk for Lincoln which was on display at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. He also received patents in 1869 and 1870 for improvements he made to the clothes washing machine. I even found the sketches he made of the device along with a copy of his patent application.

Ironically, Stephen's first father-in-law, James Branch, owned seventeen slaves per the 1820 U.S. Federal Census. Perhaps that is why his grandson fought on the side of the Union and not the Confederacy in the Civil War, although several of his Branch cousins fought for the Confederate States Army. Thank goodness Stephen did not keep the slaves given to him by his Branch in-laws after his first wife Susannah Q. Branch Eubank died in 1833 in Palmyra, Missouri, during a cholera epidemic. He and his daughter moved to Illinois after her death and he sent his son, James, back to Tennessee to be raised by Susannah's Branch family members for about 15 years.

Stephen's second wife, Mary Ann Phillips, with whom he had two daughters in 1836 and 1838, died in 1841 from consumption, but his third wife, Sarah Armstrong Waggoner Eubank, who was 24 years his junior, bore him 13 more children, the last being born only two years before Stephen's death in 1872. Stephen's religion was Swedenborgian according to family documents. His wife, Susannah Branch's family were all Southern Baptists, and possibly some were also Quakers. Stephen's grandson, my grandfather, Euzell or Stephen James Eubank, believed in the concept of Theosophy, which was developed by a Russian woman in the 1880's. He said in some letters to his sister that it was the only religion in which he could believe.

Other second and third great-grandfathers, Christian and Jacob Christensen Madsen, came to America 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 moved from North Carolina to Ohio in about 1800. The Welker's had also married into the Dustin family, who came to America from England in the 1640's and lived near Haverhill, Massachusetts. The Madsen, Welker, Dustin, West, Cooper, Rollins, Van Benthuysen, Walker and Cressy families were all early members of the LDS Church. Many of them served as bishops for the church including John Welker, Samuel Walker West, and James Henry Rollins.

My father's family, the Smith's, were Quakers who had migrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio and then to Indiana, and later he and his brother moved to Kansas around 1890 where they worked as farmers until about 1922 when my grandparents and their family moved to Venice, California, due to his health. Supposedly he had asthma and could not tolerate the "Dust Bowl Days" of Kansas according to my father. Sadly, Isaac Randall Smith died just a few years later in 1928 when my father was only 18 years old.

My father's mother, Mattie Estella Scott Smith, was a Christian Scientist whose family moved to Kansas from North Carolina two years after the Civil War ended. Her father, Thomas Benton Scott, was born in North Carolina in 1845, and her mother Luzinia Elmina Couch Scott, in 1846. They were married in North Carolina in 1866, had one son in 1867, and then moved to Kansas where they had two more daughters, Lelia, who died at age 12, and Mattie. Luzinia Elmina died in Kansas in 1898, but Thomas lived another 23 years and died in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1921. The following year Mattie Estella Scott and her husband Isaac Randall Smith left Kansas and moved to Venice Beach, California, with their 4 sons and 1 daughter.

One of my most interesting ancestors was my 8th great-grandmother, Hannah Dustin, who lived in Haverhill, Massachusetts, in 1697, when she was captured by Indians. They killed Hannah's twelfth child, a six-day old baby daughter, by bashing her brains out against a tree. Later, with the assistance of other captives including her friend/midwife and a 14-year old boy, Hannah killed her Indian captors, took their scalps, and returned to Massachusetts in one of the Indian's canoes and claimed a bounty for the scalps. There are two different statues commemorating her bravery, one in New Hampshire and another in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It is believed she was the first woman in the United States ever immortalized with a statue in her honor. She had one more child, a daughter, about a year after she returned from her capture. Had she not escaped, the Indians had planned to take her and other captives to Canada where they would have been sold into slavery.

I graduated from John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley, California, when I was 16 years old and in December of 1968 took a job with the Department of Public Social Services of Los Angeles County. After about 5 years, I decided I'd had enough of government work and went to work for the Los Angeles County Employees Association, where I was the assistant to the legal advocate to the Civil Service Commission. After that I ended up spending most of the remainder of the 1970's in Marketing Communications (advertising, public relations and sales promotion) in the computer industry, working for Pertec Computer Corporation in the San Fernando Valley, Modular Computer Systems in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Intel Corporation and Commodore Business Systems in Silicon Valley until 1980.

Through the 1980's and 1990's, I worked for a trade show exhibit and museum interior design and production company for eighteen years. The travel got too intense, so in 1998, I went into real estate sales and management and worked for two of the largest real estate brokerage firms in the country, Coldwell Banker and Prudential Real Estate. After moving to Texas, I worked for 5 years in real estate and for another 5 years with a conference management company in Bryan-College Station, the home of Texas A&M University. Since June of 2015, I'm the CEO of DS & Associates of Brenham, Texas, and basically retired, and pursuing my hobbies, mostly genealogy.

I'm working to expand my family tree in order to help my second cousins, Meili and Tai Eubank, who are half Chinese, know more about their American family history. A few other interesting ancestors in my family tree were:

William "The Conqueror", King of England, 24th great-grandfather.

Isabella of France, Queen consort of England, 20th great grandmother.

Edward I "Longshanks", King of England, 19th great grandfather.

Edward III, King of England, 19th great grandfather.

Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel, 19th great-grandfather.

Sir Thomas West, 1st Baron West of Oakhanger, 18th great grandfather.

Reginald West, 6th Baron De La Warr, 17th great grandfather.

John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, 17th great grandfather.

Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scots, 17th great grandmother.

Edward IV Plantagenet, King of England, 14th great grandfather.

Sir Thomas Mirfyn, Lord Mayor of London, 14th great grandfather.

John Howland "Mayflower" Passenger, 11th great grandfather.

Thomas Prence, Governor of Plymouth Colony, 10th great grandfather.

Sir Thomas Leigh, Lord Mayor of London, 9th great grandfather.

Constance Snow, Mayflower Passenger, 8th great grandmother.

Henry VIII, King of England, Ireland and France, 1st cousin 14 times removed.

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, 10th cousin, 4 times removed.

Lady Diana Frances Spencer, Princess of Wales, 10th cousin, thrice removed.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, 10th cousin 4 times removed.

William J. Clinton, 42nd President of the USA, 13th cousin once removed

Barack H. Obama, 44th President of the USA, 13th cousin once removed.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the USA, 11th cousin once removed.

John Sidney McCain, III, U.S. Senator from Arizona, 12th cousin twice removed.

Laura Welch Bush, 1st Lady of the USA, 13th cousin once removed

Mamie Eisenhower, First Lady of the United States, 10th cousin once removed.

Tea Leoni, American Actress, 9th cousin 4 times removed removed.

Marlon Brando, American Actor, 14th cousin.

Jeffrey Leon Bridges, American Actor, 14th cousin trice removed.

Marilyn Monroe, American Actress, 13th cousin once removed.

Steve McQueen, American Actor, 11th cousin once removed.

Tom Selleck, American Actor, 10th cousin twice removed.

Sir Mick Jagger, English Rolling Stones Vocalist, 16th cousin once removed.

Reba McEntire, American Country Music Singer/Actress, 12th cousin.

Brian Wilson of American music group The Beach Boys, 10th cousin once removed.

Cher, American Singer, Actress, Director, Producer, Activist, 9th cousin once removed.

Matt Damon, American Actor, 9th cousin twice removed.

Glen Close, American Actor, 9th cousin.

Clint Eastwood, American Actor, Director, Producer, Composer, 7th cousin twice removed.

Alexander Hamilton, 1st Secretary of the United States Treasury, 10th cousin 7 times removed.

Stephen F. Austin, Father of Texas, 9th cousin, 7 times removed.

George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the USA, 8th cousin 3 times removed.

George Washington, 1st President of the USA, 7th cousin 5 times removed.

Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the USA, 7th cousin 5 times removed.

Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the USA, 7th cousin 4 times removed.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the USA, 7th cousin 4 times removed.

Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the USA, 6th cousin 3 times removed.

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the USA, 6th cousin 2 times removed.

Aaron Burr, Jr., 3rd Vice President of the USA, 6th cousin 6 times removed.

John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the USA, 4th cousin 7 times removed.

William Howard Taft, 27th President of the USA, 4th cousin 5 times removed.

Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the USA, 4th cousin 4 times removed.

Elizebeth Smith Friedman, Codebreaker, 4th cousin once removed.

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