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Simon Poe (1708 – 1793)


This page is an attempt to bring together references to Simon Poe in Virginia and in North Carolina, the two places we know he lived.


Nothing in the historical records seems to indicate where Simon Poe was born. He first appears in the court records of Caroline County, Virginia on September 9, 1737 – he was almost thirty years old. At the time, William Poe (married to Lydia), and Benjamin Poe also lived in Caroline County.


The Poe family in Nottinghamshire, England used the first name Simon, as evidenced by the records below. It is possible that the Samuel Poe, shown baptized in Nottingham in 1659 was the same Samuel Poe who died in Essex County, Virginia in 1725. Three years earlier, in 1722, a Robert Poe died in Essex County. Robert Poe appears to have left a widow named Katherine. While DNA testing of descendants points to the possibility that William and Benjamin were closely related (perhaps brothers), William and Benjamin do not seem to be closely related to Simon Poe, although the men definitely were of the same Poe surname.


So far, no record has been uncovered that mentions the name of Simon Poe’s wife (or wives), the mother of his children. He married Rhoda Marsh, a widow,  in 1792, one year prior to his death. The marriage was announced in the local newspaper for Chatham County, North Carolina.



Nottinghamshire: - Register of Marriages, 1562-1812

 "Marriges P[er] Licenes in 1725."--

  Marriages at St. Nicholas's, Nottingham. 1562 to 1812.

   Volume 1.

County: Nottinghamshire

Country: England

Simon Poe & Issabel Cooke 04 Jul 1626


Nottinghamshire: Nottingham (St. Mary) - Register of Marriages, 1566-1763


  Marriages at St. Mary's, Nottingham. 1566 to 1813.

   Vol. 4.

County: Nottinghamshire

Country: England

Robt. Marson of Peeters p'ish & Isabell Poe daug: to Simon Poe of this p'ish publ. 12 Feb 1653 & 19 Feb 1653 & 26 Feb 1653 married 28 Mar 1654 by Ald: Huthwit Witnesse Mr. Richard Grante & Samuel Barkston.



All known Nottinghamshire Baptisms from the seventeenth century


Sarah              11 July 1654                          Edward / Mary

Samuel          26 June 1659                        Edward / Mary

An                   15 July 1666 Parents           Simon / Ann

Elizabeth        7 Feb 1671                            Simon / An.

Sarah              30 November 1685               Edward. (margin note says Baptised when she was about 14 yrs of age)*

Hannah           7 January 1691                     Edward / Hannah

John                20 August 1691                     Joseph/Susan (see Sheriffs)

Mary                9 December 1693                Joseph / Susannah

Edwd              12 April 1696                         Joseph / Suzannah

Samuel           18 April 1699                         Joseph (see Sheriffs)

Jane                12 November 1700               Joseph / Suzannah


* a researcher in Nottingham examined the original and reported this note


In this first mention of Simon Poe (1708-1793), it appears he is a landowner, already challenging the authorities over his right to plant tobacco as he sees fit. The Herndon family served as constables and minor officials in the county. Simon is often seen opposing them.


Simon Poe, plaintiff

p. 450 [9 Sept. 1737]

Action of trespass. Simon Poe agt. Philip Herndon. The defendant not appearing an attachment is awarded agt. His estate for what shall appear due.


p. 457 [12 Nov. 1737]

Action of trespass. Simon Poe agt. Philip Herndon. Dismissed, being agreed.


As mentioned, Simon Poe lived in Essex County and seems to have been nearby, or on the same land as Benjamin Poe and William Poe. Benjamin soon relocates to Spotsylvania County, Virginia, where the following record appears. William Poe moves to Culpeper County, Virginia, where he gains a joint grant will William Watson, who is in several records with the Poe men in Essex County. One suspects he was connected to one of the Poe families through marriage.


Simon Po (Poe)

4 October 1738

At the motion of Simon Po, he is allowed for four days attendance & for twenty five miles coming & going four times having sworn to the time as an evidence for James White agst Joseph Brock Gent, it is therefore ordered that the sd White pay the sd Po two hundred pounds of Tobacco for the same as the Law directs.


Benjamin Wood also compensated for testimony & travel of 23 miles coming and going four times.


Two years after the first complaint against Philip Herndon, we see another one. Among the names here, Burck (Burc), Clark and Bradley appear later in associated with the Simon Poe family in Chatham County, North Carolina. Additionally, the Bradley family is connected to a younger Samuel Poe who remained in Essex / Caroline County, Virginia with the Simon Poe family after the departure of Benjamin and William. The records suggest that this younger Samuel Poe was married to Elizabeth Bradley.


Simon Poe, plaintiff

p. 526 [9 March 1739]

Action of trespass. Simon Poe agt. Philip Herndon. Jury, Wm. Southworth, Francis Bearding, Timo. Chandler, Oliver Towles, William Lawson, Thos. Forson, Bryant Edmondson, Saml. Norment, Henry Burk, John Bradley, John Clark, and Peter Claybrook, find for the plaintiff 20 shillings sterling. Wm Lawson, foreman. And the court being of opinion that the battery is well and sufficiently proved, it is considered that the plaintiff recover the said 20 shillings sterling.


Clearly, Simon Poe is willing to confront the authorities in order to be successful in growing tobacco. He also has considerable land holdings in order to produce the amounts he is forced to pay. There are no existing records indicating that Simon purchase lands. One assumes he inherited part of the 905 acres along the Peumensend which had belonged to Samuel Poe who died in 1725.



Order Book page 228 [9 September 1743]

Here is the entire page:


It is ordered Peter Williams pay Simon Poe 50 pounds of tobacco for two days’ attendance … Sarah Poe 25 pounds of tobacco for one day’s attendance … John Hoomes 50 pounds of tobacco for two days’ attendance ads. Pitman


[Note: This is the only record anyone has found associating Simon Poe (SR) with the name of a woman who could be his wife. This record does not at all make it clear that Sarah is Simon’s wife. She could very well be a widow of another Poe man who had something to offer in the case against Peter Williams. This record is cited as proof that Sarah was Simon’s wife by McDonald Poe, deceased, of Waldron, Arkansas, in his self-published book of 1975 entitled, Biographical Studies: Samuel Poe of Essex County, Virginia, Family Lineage in United States of America 1704-1975. On page 92 of this book, the author claims that a 1743 Caroline County court record mentions that Simon Poe and Sarah Poe serve as witnesses on a case. Then on page 97, he presents this alleged evidence, but the information is garbled. I don’t think anyone can be comfortable that this record proves anything except that a Simon Poe and a Sarah Poe were alive on this date.


Simon Poe

10 Nov. 1749

Upon the information of Wm. Herndon, constable, agt. Simon Poe for tending seconds, it is ordered that Zacha. Lewis Gent, King's attorney, prosecutes him.


9 December 1749

Simon Poe confessed judgment unto our sovereign Lord the King on an information for 2000 pounds.


Simon Poe

11 July 1751

Action of debt. Coleman's executors agt. Simon Poe, the defendant not appearing judgment is granted agt the defendant and James Taylor Gent. Sheriff for pounds 4.12. - unless he answer the suit.


Simon Poe

9 November 1752

p. 334

On the information of William Herndon, constable, it's ordered the King's attorney prosecute Simon Poe, John Smith, Thomas Pitman, Mordica Abraham, William Deshaza, James Masters & Titus Stevens for tending seconds.



The following record pertaining to Samuel Poe is offered to indicate a contrast of wealth between he and Simon. While Simon is fined, and apparently pays, thousands of pounds of tobacco in fines, Samuel Poe struggles to come up with 105 shillings. This sort of contrast also exist when comparing Robert Poe who died in Essex County, VA in 1722 leaving a minimal estate with Samuel Poe who died in 1725 intestate with 905 acres of prime tobacco growing land.


Note: No record found to date mentions a name for Simon’s wife, the mother of his children. McDonald Poe, deceased, of Waldron, Arkansas, self-published book in 1975 entitled, Biographical Studies: Samuel Poe of Essex County, Virginia, Family Lineage in United States of America 1704-1975. On page 92 of this book, the author claims that a 1743 Caroline County court record mentions that Simon Poe and Sarah Poe serve as witnesses on a case. Then on page 97, he presents this alleged evidence, but the information is jumbled and until independently verified should be regarded as highly suspect. McDonald Poe refers to information not abstracted in any source found to date. He claims, in error, that the record below is dated “1743” and further says the amount ordered to be paid is 10 shillings. He then seems to say there is an “Attachment” that reads “Benjamin Poe 80 inspecting road; Sarah Poe 34 they were witnesses, 25 pounds of tobacco; Simon Poe 34 50 pounds for 2 days. Samuel Poe 89 --- I have no idea how to interpret this information. I have not seen this referenced in any abstracts of county records. Even if this is yet to be abstracted or transcribed, nothing seems to suggest that this “Sarah Poe” is the wife of Simon Poe.


Samuel Poe

13 September 1753

p. 422

Suit on Attachment. Roger Madison agt. the estate of John Wright. The plaintiff proving his account. judgment is granted him for pounds 7.12.11 current money. The Sheriff served the attachment in the names of James Jemson and Samuel Poe. Poe declared he had 105 shillings which he ordered to pay the plaintiff. Jemison declared he has a hogshead of uninspected tobacco which when inspected he is ordered to deliver to the Sheriff to sell.


The following is almost certainly is the “my son William” mentioned in the 1793 will of Simon Poe. 


William Poe

15 June 1754

p. 179

Matthew Boyle agt. Thomas Pannel. on an attachment. Judgment is granted the plaintiff for pounds 13.15.8 current money. It's considered by the court that the plaintiff recover the money and his cost. The Sheriff made return that he attached in the hands of William Poe and William Poe being sworn as garnishee declares that he has in his hands of the defendant's estate pounds 9. It's ordered that the garnishee deliver the same to the Plaintiff and he be discharged.


Samuel Poe is now a debtor


Samuel Poe, debtor

p. 36 [14 Feb 1755]

Suit on attachment. Peter Copland Gent. Agt the estate of John Wright. The Plaintiff proving his account, judgment is granted him for pounds 32.12.9. The Sheriff made return he levied the attachment in the hands of Samuel Poe who declared he has 10 shillings which he is ordered to pay to plaintiff in part of his debt.


While Simon Poe is doing well


Simon Poe

8 April 1756

Upon the complaint of Jeremiah Pearce against John Herndon, its ordered William Bullard, Simon Poe, Samuel Chapman, Robt. Robertson, John Bohannon, Francis Hoomes, Jas. Herndon and Mary Dismukes be summoned to next court.


p. 163 Court 13 May 1756

Samuel Haws jr is appointed overseer of the road in the room of William Bowler and to have Bowler’s home house people, John Hart, James Coleman, Simon Poe, Richd. Curd and John Dawson’s people to assist him in keeping the road in repair.


Here we learn of other sons of Simon Poe besides William Poe, namely Simon Poe, Jr. and Stephen Poe (both of whom die in 1773) leaving orphans.


Simon Poe, Jr.

Stephen Poe

Rachel Bradford,

Elizabeth Bradford,

Saphiah Poe*


* "Sophia" Poe, wife of Simon Poe, JR, whose brother Captain Stephen Poe is married to her sister Hannah.


(This may have been one of the major divestitures of the land originally acquired by Samuel Poe who died in 1725. The land mentioned here presumably would be Simon Poe, Sr.'s share. Only 105 acres of the original 905 was in Poe hands by 1778)


9 Nov. 1758

p. 395

Rachel Bradford, Elizabeth Bradford, Stephen Poe, Hana Poe, Simon Poe Junr, Saphiah Poe, Rachel, Eliza., Hanah and Saphiah being first privately examined, acknowledge their deed of release indented to John Thilman. Sarah Bradford* acknowledged her deed of release indented to John Thilman.


* Without evidence that I have seen, many researchers claim that Sarah, wife of Simon Poe, SR was a Bradford. It is interesting to not the name Sarah Bradford here, as Simon was married to a Sarah already. 


William Poe

11 May 1759

Eusebius Stone Gent is appointed overseer of the road from John Baylor, Esqr. to the fork of the road by the Ivy Church and to have the following hands. Colo. Baylor's home house and mill quarter, Jno. Bowin, Ben Gatewood, Jos. Ballard, John Walden's quarter, Willm. Ballard, Armistead's quarter, John Eubank, Abram Wood and William Poe*, to assist him in keeping the road in repair.


Sarah Herndon*

William Herndon

13 September 1759

Sarah Herndon, relict of William Herndon declar'd she would not take or received the legacy to her given by the last will of William Herndon.


Mary Herndon returned an account against Joseph Herndon estate.


* Sarah Poe, daughter of Simon Poe, SR


Samuel Poe

14 September 1759

p. 76

Ordered Ben: Walden pay Saml. Poe 100 pounds of tobacco for four days' attendance as an evidence for him against Stone..


Stephen Poe*

10 April 1760

p. 99

Suit in Chancery Adam Byrd agt . Stephen Poe Dismissed.


* the next year, Stephen can be found in North Carolina


It is unclear whether the following record pertains to William Poe, son of Simon Poe, or the William Poe who remains in Caroline County and probably is a son of Samuel Poe and Elizabeth (Bradley). This Samuel is deceased by 1766. 


William Poe

13 June 1761

p. 227

Action of Debt. Wm. Spiller agt. William Bullard, James Bullard, Frederick Fortson and Wm. Poe. The defendants not appearing the judgment of last court is confirmed against Frederick Fortson and James Bullard and George Peay security for Jone for pounds 32.12.2 1/2 current money. To be discharged in the defendant's paying pounds 11.5.7 farthing with interest from 8 May 1760


Feb. 1764

p. 43

On the motion of William Poe and Thomas Reynolds, securities of Elizabeth Charles for the administration of the goods and chattels, rights and credits that were of Oliver Charles. [She to] be summoned to next court to give them counter security.


10 March 1764

p. 76

On the Petition of William Poe and Thomas Rennolds for Elizabeth Charles giving counter security and she failing to comply with the order, its ordered she deliver up the whole estate of Oliver Charles, deceased, to William Poe and Thos. Rennolds.



William Poe

12 May 1764

p. 145

William Johnston agt. William Poe. Tresspass on the case. Judgment is granted the plaintiff for his costs.


12 May 1764

p. 158

Jacob King agt. William Poe. Case. Upon the defendant's acknowledging that he does not remember that ever he called the plaintiff a mullato or that he knows that he is one and on the defendant paying cost, this suit is dismissed. (see suit in 1773 between these parties)



Chatham County, North Carolina


Nearly all the records seem to refer to Simon Poe, Jr. The only record after the death of Simon Poe, Jr that may indicate Simon Poe Sr’s residence is the following. All the Simon Poe sons appear to have acquired lands around New Hope Creek off the Haw River, not far from the city of Pittsoborough.


p. 186 –

Registered 1 November 1779 – State of North Carolina to James Poe – 50 sh. for every 100 a. – 25 a. on the Crooked Branch – joins Simon Poe’s line, Clarks corner and Stewarts line.


p. 318

1 July 1779

State of North Carolina to Joseph Readinour - 50 sh. for every 100 a. -- 200 a. on the Redfield Road on Simon Poe's line - joins Charles Stewart, James Massey* on the Red Hill Branch

J. Glasgow Sec.                                Rd. Caswell


* David Poe, orphan of Stephen Poe, chooses James Massey his guardian in record below. James Massey was married to Jane Poe, daughter of Simon Poe, JR.


31 March 1780

State of North Carolina to William Howard – 50 sh. For every 100 a. – 230 a. – joins Simon Poe and Charles Stewart.

Wm. Sheppard Sec.                         Rd. Caswell


p. 416 (bottom)

13 February 1781 – Alexander Clark and Pheby his Wife to James Howard – 4700 pds. – 350 a. – all that tract or parcel of land whereon Simon Poe formerly lived – joins Mrs. Hannah Poe, William Poe, Junr. and the land formerly belonging to Morton (Morten) and Richard Kennon and the land whereon Younger Neal (Neil) now lives.

Wit: John Auld                      Alexander Clark

Jacob Dardin                         Pheby Clark (x)


pg. 629  states: Simon Poe (Sr) to Reuben Poe, 2-8-1790. Land was in Chatham County, but formerly part of Orange County. 50 acres. Deed signed in presence of Robert Thompson, son-in-law of Simon Poe, Sr.




5 January 1791

Page 270

James Stewart for 50 pds to Sarah Neill, land on waters of Robertson's Creek beginning at a hickory at the Redfield road in Simon Poe's line running W 163 poles to his corner a red oak thence S 36 1/2 poles to Charles Stewart's corner in Massey's corner thence along Massey's line S 12 1/2 poles to a post oak

James Stewart

Wit: Phil Meroney


It is this announcement that lets us know when Simon Poe was born.


Simon Poe - In North Carolina, Mr. S. P. aged 84 to Miss Rhoda Marsh, aged 58. The bridegroom has now living 186 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Wednesday October 3, 1792.


Chatham County, North Carolina


9 April 1793

North Carolina State Archives

Will of Simon Poe, dated 9 April 1793


Image of the Will

Transcript of Simon’s will at Rootsweb’s USgenWeb


Volume of Chatham County Records (File No. 22, 018) labeled "Deeds, Bills of Sale, Inventories of Estate and Wills, 1782-1794

States on page 146. Sales - Simon Poe, SR, page. 137, 1793 Inventory - Simon Poe


Vol.1 of Chatham Co. NC wills, file #22.018 pg.146


This is taken from a typewritten transcript of the will contained in the DAR application of Marilyn Poe Laird. I am accepting Ms. Laird’s spelling corrections from the original with a few exceptions where the original is retained.




Last Will and Testament of Simon Poe. From Records - Chatham County, North Carolina.


In the Name of God, Amen: I, Simon Poe, of Chatham County, and State of North Carolina, being of sound and perfect mind and memory, Blessed be God, do this 9th day of April in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred ninety three, make and publish this my last will and testament, in manner and from following, that is to say:


FIRST. I give and bequeath to my well beloved wife, Rhoda Poe, one negro girle named Weney, one feather bed and furniture, pigs, one desk and three plates pewter, three knives and three forks, ten barrels of corn to be paid this fives day of next December, together with one hundred acres of land on Pigs Branch where on the said Rhoda Poe formerly lived on during her windowhood.


All the rest of my estate to be equally divided between these my children: Sary (Sarah) Herndon, Mary Barry (Berry), Jane Madsey (Massey) and one child’s part to be divided between Mary George and Lucy Straughn (Straughan), daughters of Lucy Straughn (Straughan), deceased. Stephen Poe, son of Simon Poe*; one other child’s part: Also William Poe, the son of Stephen Poe* one other child's part; my son William Poe and my son James Poe and daughter Frances Thompson having had their part of my estate already


And I hereby make and ordain my worthy friends Richard Straughn (Straughan), Robert Thompson (Thomson) and James Massey Executors of this my last will and testament.


In Witness I the said Simon Poe, have to this my last will and testament set my hand and seal the day and year above written.


His Mark 'X'

Simon Poe


Witness Present.

Elijah Foushee (Fooshee),

B.S. Manley


* This has to refer to Simon Poe (so-called the third). Simon Poe, JR died in 1773. His son Simon was bound to Simon Poe, SR. This explains why Stephen was singled out for a child’s part among others. I think that William Poe who received a child’s part is the son of Stephen Poe – the son of Captain Stephen Poe,  who is believed to have been a son of Simon Poe, SR. Both Capt. Stephen and Simon Poe, JR died in 1773.


Chatham County, August 1793

The execution of this Will was duly proven in open court by the Oath of Basel Manley, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto and on motion ordered to be recorded whereupon Richard Straughan, Robert Thomson and James Massey, the executors named duly qualified.  John Ramsey, Clk.

Recorded in the Clerks office in Book E, page 147  Simon Poe will  Aug. 1793


North Carolina,

Chatham County.

I, Alma T. Fields, Deputy Clerk Superior Court in and for the County of Chatham, State of North Carolina, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the Last Will and Testament of Simon Poe as the same is taken from and compared with the original on file in this office.


Estate Sale Papers of Simon Poe (transcribed by Karen Hammel)


Record of Estates
1782-1788, Chatham Co., NC
Inventory of
Simon Poe deceased, dated Aug. 9, 1793
1 negro woman "Fan", and 3 negro children.

3 heads of horses, 14 head of cows, 21 head of Hogs, 11 head of Sheep, 3 beds of furniture, 3 bedsteads,
6 sides of leather, & 6 forks, 1 pair of cart wheels, 1 grinding stone, 4 casks 1 Runlet, 2 bridles, 2 pair of harnes, 3 bels 1 loom, a quanty? off wheat in the sheef, 1 parcel of flax, not dresed, 1 tumbler, 1 pair of stillards, 6 pieces of crockery ware, 2 mugs, 2 piggins, 4 Tins, 1 washing tub, small parcel of leather, 2 augers, 1 handsaw, 1 gouge, 1 froe, 4 jugs, a small parcel of Ba... ? 1 parcel of sope, 1 note of hand on John Foshee to the amount of 2 pounds 2 shillings, a small parcel of Corn , cash 2 pounds 13 shillings, 8 pence, 4 3/4 (skeins ?) of spun yarn, 2 iron wedges, a small parcel of oats, 1 iron ladle, 1 pair of flesh forks, 1 brush, a crop of corn and tobacco now a growing.



Robert Thompson,

James Massey,

R. Straughan

John Ramsey,


CC Pg. 146b, 147a,b, 148a-
Record of Estates 1782-1799, Chatham Co., NC
of the Sale of the Estate of Simon Poe Sr., deceased. ( This is a four page account and would take
forever to transcribe word for word, so will give the shortened version)
Robert Thompson bought a negro woman "Fan" and 5 hogsheads

James Massey bought negroes Jesse, and Daniel and a "lot" of corn
William Poe bought negro Moses and a "lot" of flax
George Truas bought a bay horse
Stephen Poe  4 Ceers [ have no idea what these are, possibly meant "shears"], 2 mugs and tumbler, 1 tray, 2 "lots" of corn and 3 "lots" of tobacco.
Henry Ward bought 2 cows, calves and bells
James Brownlow, Cthouse [ probably meant where he lived] bought 1 cow, calf and bell 2 hogs, 3 small hogs,
William Poe, Jr.& bell, Flatt irons, 1 Rundlet, 3 pewter basons
John Morton bought 1 Heiffer, 2 Hogs,
James Poe bought 1 Heiffer
Nathan Stedman 1 fatt shoot (shoat?) bought 4 Hogs, 2 axes, 1 Bell, 2 small books, Sundries, 1 "lott' of sope (soap)
Joseph Burchet bought 3 small Hoggs
John Foshee a potato patch, 1 grindstone, 2 pewter dishes, 3 pewter plates, 1 Dutch Oven

Col. Thomas Brown (marked "paid") bought 1 Ewe and 2 Lambs, 3 sheep

Thomas Brinkley bought 2 Rams
Harris George bought 1 Wheel, 2 Tables, 3 bushells of corn, 1 Brush, 1 Sifter and 1 fatt tub.
George Dismukes bought 2 plow hoes, 2 weeding hoes, 5 hogsheads,
James Bullard bought 2 grubbing hoes, 4 Pins
Richard Straughan, Jr. bought 1 hammer hand saw 2 augers, 4 pewter basons, 1 Jugg,

Richard Straughan, Sr. bought 1 Saddle and Bridle, 1 pair of artwheels, 2 casks, 2 pair padded harness, 3 bushels wheat, 1 cow hide, 1 plow hoe, 2 piggins, small lott of leather, 1 Froe, 1 Jugg, 3 bushels of corn, 1 Lott of Oats, 2 lotts of corn and 1 Bagg.
Richard Straughan ( no Jr. or Sr. after his name) bought 3 bushels of wheat, 1 Lott of Corn
Rhoda Poe

Tamsen Straughan bought 1 Loom, 4 3/4 of Yarn,
John Petty furniture
William Foshee bought 1 Beadstead
William Hammock ( this may be William Wommack, as I haven't see a Hammock before) bought 2 sides of
Josiah Copeland Jr. bought 1 side of leather
Hosea Straughan bought 1 side of leather
Burwell Williams bought 1 tea kettle, 1 Lott of Crockery, 1 Bedstead
Solomon Smith bought 1 large Bible

Peter Moyer bought 1 Iron Pott and hooks
William Crain bought 1 Iron Pott and hooks
John Bull bought 1 Skillet
William Poe Sr. bought 1 Frying Pann
Robert Poe bought 1 Lott of Brandy
Phillip Meroney bought 1 pair of Stillards
William Poe (gentleman) bought 1 Washing Tub,
Joseph Harman bought 1 pair of Iron Wedges, 1
ladle and flesh forks