Della Dale Smith-Pistelli

Brenham, Washington, Texas, USA

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Della Dale Pistelli (Smith)

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

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

Occupation: CEO at DS & Associates
Last Updated:
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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 my birth. The church bought thousands of acres of land from the Mexican government for their settlement.

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, who 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, Utah, California, back to Utah, and finally Wyoming 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, an English 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 arriving in Utah in 1851. At the request of the church John Henry, 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 and a German girl from Ohio, 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 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 4th child, Joseph Madsen McKinney died before his 3rd birthday.

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 from Tennessee. James Joseph Eubank enlisted in Company C of the 124th Illinois 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 for the Gold Rush in the 1850's leaving his first wife and two young sons behind, and did not return to Illinois until about 8 years later around 1861. He was surprised to learn his first wife had remarried, thinking he died out in California, and she had four more children with her second husband. James then went off to the Civil War and afterwards went to Kansas to visit his father who had moved there from Illinois in about 1859. There he met and married his second wife, Elsie Jane Rouser of Ohio, who was my great grandmother. They had 3 children around Sedalia, Missouri, and moved to San Diego, California, in 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. Ironically, Stephen's 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 Soldiers Army. Thank goodness Stephen did not keep the slaves given to him by his Branch in-laws after his 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 children, the last being born only two years before Stephen's death in 1872. Stephen received two patents for improvements to a clothes washing machine he designed in 1869 and 1870. His religion was Swedenborgian according to family papers. His wife, Susannah Branch's family were all Southern Baptists, and 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.

My 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 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 1894, where they worked as farmers from about 1894 to 1922 when the family moved to Venice, California, due to my grandfather's health. Supposedly he had asthma and could not tolerate the "Dust Bowl Days" of Kansas according to my father. Sadly, he 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, was also born in North Carolina 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. 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.

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 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. 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 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 the 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.

Edward I "Longshanks", King of England, 21st great grandfather.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Constance Snow, Mayflower Passenger, 8th great grandmother.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, 11th cousin once 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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