The Paternal Ancestry of Linus Pauling

The Pauling family tree.  Certain annotations courtesy of Linda Pauling Kamb.

The Pauling family tree. Certain annotations courtesy of Linda Pauling Kamb.

Linus Pauling’s earliest known ancestor was Andreas Pauling, born ca. 1630.  Records indicate that Andreas’ grandson, Johann Christoph Pauling, married and started a family in Preusslitz, Prussia.  There the Paulings remained for at least two generations, until Johann Andreas Pauling (perhaps the grandson of Johann Christoph) move to Golbitz, in what is now western Germany.

In 1842 a son of Johann Andreas’, Christoph Friedrich (born 1808), immigrated to the United States with his wife and two daughters.  A son, Frederick, was born during the family’s passage across the Atlantic, and two additional sons, William Frederick and Charles Henry (whom everyone called “Carl”), were born in the U. S.  The Paulings settled as farmers in Concordia, Missouri, though Christoph Friedrich and all three of his sons would eventually fight on behalf of the Union during the American Civil War.

In 1868 Carl Pauling married Adelheit Blanken and the couple started a family of their own.  Carl and Adelheit’s fourth child, Herman Henry William (born 1876), is Linus Pauling’s father.

In 1877 Carl moved his family from Missouri to California and then, five years later, to Oswego, Oregon, where he worked in the iron wholesale business.  Herman Pauling was raised in Oswego and apprenticed with a local druggist.  As part of his work, Herman would often travel to communities well-outside of the Portland area, for purposes of selling pharmaceuticals in rural areas.  On a trip to Condon, Oregon, some 150 miles east of Portland, Herman met Lucile Isabelle Darling, one of Linus Wilson Darling’s (a local shopkeeper) five daughters.  Lucy Isabelle, known to everyone as “Belle,” is Linus Pauling’s mother. [The Darling family lineage is discussed in this blog post]

After a brief long-distance courtship, Herman and Belle married on May 27, 1900.  Though Herman would die just ten years later — suddenly, at age 34, of a perforated ulcer and peritonitis — he and Belle would have three children:  Linus Carl, born February 28, 1901; Pauline Darling, born August 7, 1902; and Frances Lucile, born January 1, 1904.

Lucile, Linus, Belle and Pauline Pauling, Portland, Oregon, 1916.

Lucile, Linus, Belle and Pauline Pauling, Portland, Oregon, 1916.

Page 1 of a letter sent by Linus Pauling to Ava Helen Pauling, August 16, 1942.

Page 1 of a letter sent by Linus Pauling to Ava Helen Pauling, August 16, 1942.

Health and longevity were not necessarily in Linus, Pauline and Lucile’s DNA; their father’s life was quite short and Belle’s not much longer — she died at age 45 of pernicious anemia.  Nonetheless, all three lived well into old age:  Lucile died at age 88 on January 18, 1992; Linus died at age 93 on August 19, 1994; and Pauline, a colorful woman who married four times (the last to Linus’s boyhood friend and Caltech first-year roommate, catalysis chemist Paul Emmett), lived to the age of 101, passing on October 19, 2003.

Linus Pauling’s papers contain ample documentation of his family geneology.  While much of this was compiled by other family members or the various biographers who have written on his life, Pauling himself pretty clearly maintained a long-standing interest in his roots.  Page one of a letter sent by Linus to Ava Helen in August 1942 (reproduced below) is an early example of the geneological work that might fairly have been termed a minor hobby — or, at least, intellectual interest — of Pauling’s throughout his long and illustrious life.

Oregon 150

4 Responses

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  4. […] at the colorful characters residing further down Pauling’s family tree.  We also featured Pauling’s paternal ancestry as well as Ava Helen’s lineage in separate […]

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