The trails we take today are the paths that shape tomorrow

BETTYSTRAILSBetty's BooksOur RootsTrails West RetreatEagle's Nest LodgeNew Ulm Ranch HomeMap & DirectionsMore Lodge picturesBetty's Trails



It's all about TEXAS--told in the books I've written or seen at the beautiful, tranquil RETREAT in the hills of central Texas that we are developing.






The links on the book titles direct you to the publisher or you may special order through Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your favorite bookseller. 

Hello friends! Welcome to my website devoted to my love for the great state of TEXAS. I have been researching Texas history for more than thirty years. As I got deeper into my study, I began to realize how many of my Austin County Texas families had their roots anchored in Colonial Virginia, some going all the way back to the early 1600's in the Jamestown colony at the very beginning of America. This comprehensive research resulted in my first book From Jamestown to Texas. This collection of history was soon followed by two novels, both entitled Trails West. These novels are based on the historical roots described in From Jamestown to Texas (with a little poetic license, of course, for spice!), a love story here and there, a fist fight or two thrown in for color but I really did not have to change history too much. Their real life stories were exciting enough.
The novels are based on the real life adventures of my ancestors, starting with the Bell brothers, their journey to Texas in 1821, the initial struggles to carve Texas from the wilderness and their involvement in the revolution that changed American history. The connections to my family with Colonel William Barrett Travis of the Alamo are factual and fascinating.
This quest began many years ago when I was searching for a lost ancestor in Austin County, Texas, the colonial capitol of Texas--and my home for most of my life. Those trails led back to a fascinating story of conflict, struggle and nation building. History is linked from decade to decade. What happens today is history tomorrow and it affects everything in the future. No matter whether one is a general, a famous explorer or just a poor farmer, each person has an impact on everyone else and the way in which the chain of historical events take place.

Since I came to love these rolling hills of Texas so much, I felt the desire to carve out some of my own trails in a little wilderness in Washington County, Texas right on the border of both Austin, Washington and Fayette Counties. In each of these counties, my ancestors received original land grants from the Mexican government in the 1830's.  Therefore, our latest project TRAILS WEST RETREAT has once again been carved from the wilderness.

My husband Del and I found a lovely, little rocky creek with a series of small waterfalls on a sleepy back road near Round Top, Texas. The live oaks along the county road stretch their branches across so that you have a feel of entering a deep-woods Sleepy Hollow. There are camping facilities, and places for family reunions, parties and small weddings.
PS.  If you have questions or comments, please contact me by clicking here on Bettys Trails West...I'd love to hear from you.

Trails West: Tejas the Promised Land

The Secret Order

Trails West: Trail to San Jacinto

From Jamestown to Texas Revised Edition 2010

Virginia: The Cradle of America


Betty Smith Meischen

I have dedicated many years of research to this project. Many families, their origins and their routes of migration are described on these webpages. So enjoy exploring the past with me.


Click on Awesome History above to check out the different families and places covered in From Jamestown to Texas. Many of these families go back to the blue blood of Europe. In the continuing study of these colonial families, my newly published book, a follow-up to From Jamestown to Texas, Virginia, The Cradle of America documents the close relationship of these original American colonists, their English, French, Irish and Scottish ancestors and their migration routes. A dedicated study of original land patents in early Virginia and placement of these families along rivers, streams and swamps shows their intricate association.

Write to me at:
Betty Meischen
10900 Mayer Cemetery Rd Burton, Texas, 77835


Betty Meischen is a seventh generation Texan who was born and raised in Bellville, Austin County, Texas.  She and husband Del have been married for forty one years.  Betty and Del have three grown children, Jeffrey Layne of San Marcos, TX, Michael Scott of Dallas, TX and Rebecca Lynn Malone of Spring, TX.  They have three grandsons, Jacob Ryan Malone, born March 2, (Texas Independence Day), Jackson Lee Meischen, born March 2006, Samuel Zachary Malone born September 2006.  They also have three step-grandkids, Jenna 16, Ariel 17 & Josh 23.
Betty and Del raised their family in Austin County, living 32 years on the Cummings Hacienda at the southern edge of Bellville.  This land once belonged to Rebecca Cummings, fiance of Col. William Barret Travis, Commander of the Alamo.  Their love story is told in the second Trails West novel sequel.  Rebecca's family and Betty's also intermarried.  It was Betty's 3rd great grandfather James Stephenson who called for the probate of Travis' will in Austin County.  Stephenson and his good friend Buck Travis had adoining property in both Austin and Washington counties.  The family relationship between Travis and Betty's family can be traced all the way back to the Jamestown Virginia settlement in the early 1600's.
But the story goes beyond that.  One family member has traced our family roots back to the signers of the Magna Carta, and even beyond that to an association with Robert the Bruce of Scotland.  Some have even traced a branch back to King Alphin of Scotland and Ireland in the 800's.  Well, there are always elements of uncertainty, and we are always looking for the proofs.  The detective work never ends and that is part of the fun of tracing your roots.

Betty, Del, Jeff, Scott and Becky all graduated from Bellville High School as did Betty's parents, AJ and Sibyl Smith and her two brothers AJ Jr and Ricky Smith.  Betty's father, AJ Smith started a flooring business in Bellville in 1946 which lasted 62 years.

The roots of this family go back to 1822 in Texas when Betty's ggg-grandfather James Bell and his brother Thomas came to Stephen F. Austin's brand new colony and founded the town of Bellville. Betty has 13 direct ancestors who were in Austin County prior to 1836 and many more who came shortly thereafter. Her last immigrant ancestor to come to Texas was Fred Smith of England who came about 1880 to Dallas.

Husband Del was born in Bellville also. He grew up on a farm near Industry, Texas. Industry recently celebrated its 175th anniversary. It has the distinct honor of being the first German settlement in Texas. The Meischen brothers came from Oldenburg Germany and settled in Shelby, Austin County, Texas in 1869. Shelby is only 4 miles away from our Retreat. Del's Haedge roots trace back to the 1850's in the area of Nelsonville, Austin County.  Nelsonville is also where Betty's ancestor George Grimes received an original league of land.



A handful of heroes died here in March 1836. The roots of many of these fallen patriots lead back to Jamestown, Virginia or the battlefields of Scotland and Ireland. Their stories are told in the books I have written.