Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker

Is your surname Welker?

Research the Welker family

Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Roxana Mahala Welker (Dustin)

Also Known As: "Rocksena Mahalia Duston"
Birthdate: (70)
Birthplace: LeRoy, Genesee , New York, United States
Death: March 11, 1904 (70)
Safford, Graham, Arizona, United States (Asthma & Rheumatism)
Place of Burial: Plot: Old Layton Section, North End, Safford, Graham , Arizona, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Bechias Dustin and Aseneth Cecila Dustin
Wife of John R. Welker
Mother of Roxana Louisa Welker Madsen; Mary Amelia Welker and John Eller Welker
Sister of David Dustin; Fornatus Dustin; Bechias Dustin; Seth Dustin; Joseph Dustin and 7 others

Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker

Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker, 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, in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. She died at the age of 70 on 11 March 1904, in Safford, Graham, Arizona, of asthma and complications of rheumatism. She was buried in the Safford City Cemetery in the Old Layton Section, north end.

Marriage and Children

  1. John Welker (16 March 1826 Madison Township, Jackson County, Ohio - 1 June 1913 Safford, Graham County, Arizona), the son of James Welker (1804-1844) and Elizabeth Stoker (1800-1868). John and Roxana were married 2 April 1850 Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa. Their children were:
    1. Roxana Louisa Welker (20 August 1851 Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa - 26 January 1918 Safford, Graham County, Arizona), married 10 October 1867, Christian Madsen (14 November 1844 Brondon, Hedegaare, Aaborg, Denmark - 9 March 1921 Safford, Graham County, Arizona), the son of Jacob Christian Madsen and Dorothea Christina Jensen. They had ten children, seven of whom lived to adulthood.
    2. John Eller Welker (12 July 1853 Willard, Box Elder County, Utah - 29 November 1918 Salem, Fremont County, Idaho), married 2 February 1875 Sarah Ann Thornock (16 April 1856 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah - 29 April 1921 Drummond, Fremont County, Idaho(; they had eleven children, nine of whom lived to adulthood.
    3. Mary Amelia Welker, died young, birth and death location unknown.

Biographical Sketch

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 27 June 1844, the Dustins and Welkers moved again to Council Bluffs, Iowa, while they prepared to migrate across the plains to Utah with the Mormons.

Roxana married John Welker, son of James Welker and Elizabeth Stoker, in Council Blulffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa on 2 April 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 County, Utah Territory. Then in 1863 the Church called the family to settle an area north of Utah, just over the border in Bloomington, Bear Lake County, 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 Roxana 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 the diary of Roxana Louisa Dustin Welker's grand daughter, Dortha Roxana Madsen Rollins McKinney which was 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 Roxana Louisa Welker 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 14 years old and her brother John was 12:

"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. [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."

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.

Census Records

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Safford, Graham County, Arizona, John Welker, and his wife, Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker, were living next door to John's younger brother, Adam David Welker, and his family. John and Roxana were 74 and 66 years old. This record indicates John and Roxana had been married for 50 years and had three children, two of whom were still living.

In this census record both Adam and his brother John indicate their parents were born in Pennsylvania, which is probably incorrect, as previous census records showed their parents came from North and South Carolina. However, their grandfather, Adam Welker, may have been born in Pennsylvania. Roxana 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 was an invalid. Both John and Adam owned their own farms free from a mortgage.

Sadly, Roxana passed away four years later in 1904. She was buried Safford City Cemetery, in the Old Layton Section, north end. Her headstone was inscribed as follows: "Sacred to the Memory of Roxana M. Welker, born July 3, 1833, Died March 11, 1904, Gone but not forgotten", with a rose shown at the top of the stone. Nine years later, her husband John Welker passed away at the age of 87 from a stroke, and was buried with his wife in the same cemetery.

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) 4 March 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.
view all

Roxana Mahala Dustin Welker's Timeline

July 3, 1833
LeRoy, Genesee , New York, United States
August 20, 1851
Age 18
Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States
Age 18
July 12, 1853
Age 20
Willard, Box Elder, Utah
March 31, 1857
Age 23
March 11, 1904
Age 70
Safford, Graham, Arizona, United States
March 1904
Age 70
Safford, Graham , Arizona, United States
February 14, 1955
Age 70