The Ancestry of Ava Helen Pauling

Ava Helen Miller, Pearl Miller, LuGorgo Miller, Lillian Miller, Nora Gard Miller, Pat Miller, unidentified, Mary Miller and Blanche Rogers.

The Miller women with the family car, 1914. From left: Ava Helen Miller, Pearl Miller, LuGorgo Miller, Lillian Miller, Nora Gard Miller, Pat Miller, unidentified, Mary Miller and Blanche Rogers.

Ava Helen (Miller) Pauling’s ancestry is less-rigorously documented than is the case for Linus Pauling. We have, however, been able to piece together a family tree and have unearthed a few interesting facts in the process.

On Ava Helen’s mother’s side, we are able to trace the family lineage back to Philip Edmond Linn, a third generation American born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania on November 25, 1811. According to Genealogy of the Philip E. Linn Families (Albert B. Shankland, compiler; 1965) Philip’s father was a “minute man” who fought in the war of 1812 and who, following the conclusion of hostilities, moved his family to Kentucky, where Philip was raised.

In 1831 Philip married Mahala McDannald and the couple eventually moved to Illinois where Philip worked a series of jobs, mostly in timber mills. In the meantime, Mahala gave birth to fourteen children.

Shortly after Mahala’s death in 1859, Philip remarried and, in 1865, set out west for the young state of Oregon. He, his second wife, and many of his sixteen children settled in Clackamas County, near the present-day community of Eagle Creek. Evidently a man of reasonable means, Philip donated the land and materials needed to build the area’s first Southern Methodist church as well as the first bridge to span the Clackamas River at what is now Estacada, Oregon.

The seventh of Philip’s children was a daughter, Mary Ellen, born on October 8, 1844. Little is known about Mary except that, during her family’s westward migration, she walked from Missouri to Oregon (at the age of 17) to help save the strength of her father’s oxen. On April 11, 1867, Mary wed John Jay Gard, an Illinois native who had also traveled to Oregon with his family via covered wagon. John and Mary would have eight children, the eldest of which was Elnora Ellen Gard, born February 19, 1868, and Ava Helen Pauling’s mother.

Ava Helen’s father was George Richard Miller, born on March 5, 1856 in Hindern, Germany. In an interview with Thomas Hager, Linus Pauling recounts a few sketchy memories of his father-in-law

[George] had come from Germany, Hamburg, when he was in his teens, perhaps….And he was a schoolteacher in the elementary school, primary school, in the Willamette Valley, and met Nora Gard in the school. She was a student….So they were married and I suppose that he homesteaded a 160-acre farm.

It was on this farm that Ava Helen Miller and her eleven siblings were raised. In his Force of Nature, Hager describes the hugely-influential setting in which the Miller children grew up

Politics was a part of life in the household. Ava Helen’s mother had been a suffragist, and her father was a liberal Democrat with leanings toward socialism. Her parents divorced when Ava Helen was eleven, and she and her younger brothers and sisters were raised by their mother; the combination of socialist discussions around the dinner table and the example of her self-sufficient mother engendered in Ava Helen a lifelong concern for social justice and a strong feeling that women were capable of anything they set their minds to.

Following her parents’ divorce, Ava Helen kept in close contact with her mother – Nora, in fact, cared for the infant Linus Pauling, Jr. during his parents Guggenheim trip to Europe in 1926-1927 – but seems to have fallen out of touch with her father. In his discussions with Hager, Linus Pauling again notes

The father seems to have been rather…dictatorial, working everyone hard on the farm….I don’t know what his history was after the divorce, but he was living in Chicago in…March of 1926. Ava Helen and I were on our way to Europe and we managed to see him for 15 minutes or 20 minutes perhaps.

An abbreviated family tree of the Miller family is available after the jump, and much more information about Ava Helen’s genealogy, including dozens of letters between the Miller siblings, can be accessed in subseries 3 of the Ava Helen Pauling Papers.

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The Darlings: Maternal Ancestors of Linus Pauling

William Darling, William Darling Jr. and Linus Wilson Darling, ca. 1870.

William Allen Darling III, William Allen Darling Jr. and Linus Wilson Darling, ca. 1890s.

Before her wedding to Herman Pauling on May 27, 1900, Linus Pauling’s mother, Belle, was known as Lucy Isabelle Darling.  The Darling family history is a rough and tumble one, indicative of the pioneer environment in which Linus Pauling was raised.

Earliest Ancestors

Brothers Dennis and John Darling, the family’s earliest known ancestors, settled in Braintree, Massachusetts, just south of Boston, sometime around 1660.  Records are slight for at least one or two generations, but it is known that John R. Darling, born in 1750, established himself as a farmer in the mid-Hudson Valley region of New York state.  We also know that John R. Darling was a Tory loyalist who, in response to the outbreak of revolution in the American colonies, moved his family to the Bay Quinte region of Ontario, Canada, where he remained until his death at age 98.

The Darlings resided in eastern Canada for some time.  John R. Darling’s son William Darling, born 1800, married and raised eight children in the Bay Quinte region.  One of William’s sons, William Allen Darling (1826-1900) would become Linus Pauling’s great-grandfather.

Great-Grandfather William Allen Darling

William Allen Darling’s biography is the first in which we find documentation of what might be described as “Wild West” behavior.  Having married in 1850 and, in ten years, fathered six children, William Allen Darling left both eastern Canada and his family behind in 1863, bound for Chicago, apparently for purposes of fighting in the American Civil War on the side of the Union.

During this time he cut off communication with his family, who eventually presumed him to be dead.  Four years later he married again – a bigamous marriage, technically – and settled on the western shores of Lake Huron in Tawas City, Michigan.  [He and his second oldest child, William Allen III, would later relocate to the Pacific Northwest] Around this same period, Darling’s first wife died and all six of her children were moved into foster homes.

Grandfather Linus Wilson Darling

One of those six children, Linus Wilson Darling (1855-1910), ran away from his foster parents in New Jersey, worked for a spell as a mule-driver on the Erie Canal and, at the age of fifteen, found his way to Chicago, where he both worked and lodged in a bakery. (he slept in a large bakery barrel)

A year later Linus Wilson Darling left Chicago and, for two years, roamed westward.  He eventually settled in western Oregon, near the state capitol of Salem, and found work as a school teacher.  It is here that he met his future wife, Alcy Delilah Neal, who was one of his students – she was nineteen at the time of their marriage, he was twenty-three.

The newlyweds stayed near Salem for two years, before finally moving to Lonerock, on the east side of the state, where Linus opened a drugstore and Alcy gave birth to four daughters.  The second, Lucy Isabelle, born April 12, 1881, would become Linus Pauling’s mother.

Linus Wilson Darling and his third of four daughters, Estella, early 1900s.

Linus Wilson Darling and Estella Darling, the third of his four daughters, early 1900s.

Four years later the Darlings moved to Condon, where Linus opened a General Store and where Belle would later meet Herman Pauling – a traveling pharmacist, her future husband and the father of Linus, Pauline and Lucile Pauling.

It is worth noting that The Oregon Historical Society includes among its holdings a thoroughly entertaining diary kept by Linus Wilson Darling during his time in Lonerock and Condon.  In it Darling notes, among other events, his first experience of catching a fish by shooting it with a gun…

More information on the Darling family can be found in subseries 5 of the Pauling Biographical materials and a previous blog post on Linus Pauling’s paternal lineage is available here.

Oregon 150

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