Nancy Poe's Ancestors

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John Brown Poe Sr. was born October 16, 1800 in Wayne County, Kentucky. John Adams was president and Kentucky had been a state for eight years. He was the fourth of eight children born to Alexander Poe at age 30 and Sarah (Brown?) at age 27. John married Sarah B. “Sally” Holladay on May 1, 1819 in Lawrence County, Indiana when he was 18 years old and she was 15. There is a Lawrence County 1820 US Census that includes a John Poe that seems to fit his family. On this same page there is also an Alexander Poe, who could be John’s brother. Unfortunately, the entire census is hand written, hard to read and does not include details as to township or family member names, just age groups. Both John and Alexander Poe are also listed as Poll Tax Payers in 1822 in the book, Lawrence County Indiana: Records. This book tells us that there was “a tax list book, compiled by Moses Fell, the second County Sheriff, in 1822-23, while the court house was still at Palestine. It shows 986 poll tax payers in Lawrence county, and the leaf bearing the names beginning with the letters X, Y, and Z is lost, which would probably raise the number to about 1,000.” This book tells how Lawrence County thrived during this period, “The Census of 1820 showed Lawrence County to have 4,116 inhabitants within its borders, which was a lot of people for those days. . . Folks lived in log cabins on the forest-encircled farms.

John moved his family to Jasonville, which was in Clay County, but now is in Wright Township in Greene County, Indiana, probably in the late 1820s or early 1830s. There are several public land purchase records from the US government for John Brown Poe of Clay County, Indiana (click on image right). The first was on October 7, 1835 for a total of 80 acres of lands, 40 acres in each Clay and Greene Counties. On March 20, 1837, 80 acres in Clay County; and another 80 acres in Clay County and 40 acres in Greene County on August 1, 1837. This would indicate that John and his family were living in Clay County at this time. An excerpt from the History of Peavey Cemetery written by J. Wesley Edmonson (1888-1971):

John B, Poe, an early settler of Lewis Township (Clay County, IN), entered the land on February 18, 1836, at which time Andrew Jackson was President. Included in his plot of land was the land on which the Peavey Cemetery is now located which was known in the old days as the Poe Cemetery. Tradition has it that this ground had been used by the Indians as a burial ground. Mrs. David Inman is believed to have been the first woman buried in the Poe Cemetery, but there is no record of verification. Minerva Cooprider, who died August 8, 1847, is the first burial recorded on the monuments.

This burial plot did not become public property until 1863, when John B. Poe deeded the plot to A.J. Baker, who was trustee of Lewis Township at that time. Mr. Poe left Lewis Township, but in August. . . at the age of 99 years, he was returned to be buried. Some years later, a Mr. Hazen Peavey obtained the farm on which the Poe Cemetery was located, and seeing the cemetery was nearly filled, gave additional ground enlarging the cemetery to about three acres.”

Among other people buried here were 4 Mayfields and 4 Holladays. This last name has also been spelled Holliday and Holloday in other places.

The first mention of John in Greene County is found in an ad in the Worthington White River Valley Times newspaper for Friday, April 24, 1857. (Worthington is on the Eel River about 14 miles east of Jasonville.) The ad reads “On Saturday, the 25th day of April, I will sell at Public Auction, at the residence of John Poe, in Worthington, formerly owned by me, all my Personal Property, consisting of Household and Kitchen Furniture . .” which indicates that John purchased the house of the writer of the ad shortly prior to April 17, 1857 the date the ad was composed. On Friday, August 7, 1857, the same newspaper reports that John was elected one of the Directors of the Working Mens' Institute. Two months later that newspaper reported on Friday, October 16, 1857 that “Messrs. Howes Have sold out their interest in the Saw Mill on Eel River, to Mr. John Poe. The Mill is now owned by K. B. Osborn and John Poe. It is an excellent mill, and we hope the proprietors may realize money out of it.” A month later on Friday, November 13, 1857, John’s ad appears in the paper stating, “Any amount of Poplar Saw Logs wanted by the undersigned, at the Pratt Saw Mill, on Eel River, for which the highest price will be in paid in Cash. JOHN B. POE.” John ran this ad thru December of 1857. On Thursday, April 8, 1858, the newspaper reports that “There is now at the mouth of Eel River twenty-four hundred saw logs. Sixteen hundred are owned by John Poe, . . .” The next week on Thursday, April 15, 1858, John runs another ad which read, “LUMBER, LUMBER, LUMBER! I AM now Sawing, and have on hand, every description of Lumber, and am ready to fill all orders on short notice, and as at low figures as any other Mill. House Patterns furnished at prices to suit purchasers. I want all my old friends to call on me when they want anything in my line. JOHN B. POE.” This ad ran at least until August 5, 1858. In the Valley Times newspaper for Thursday, February 17, 1859, Poe & Osborn are looking to purchase 5,000 Saw Logs. A month later on Saturday, March 19, 1859, that same newspaper runs an ad written by Poe & Osborn which tells of “Lumber taken from our Lumber Yard without any authority.” Then in the Worthington White River Gazette for Friday, January 18, 1861, we find a letter is sitting in the Worthington Post Office for John B. Poe. This letter is not picked up by John, as this same notice runs until July 11, 1861, and is assumed to go to the Dead Letter Office, Washington, D. C. There is no other mention of John in the newspapers until after his wife’s death. In his Wheel and Chair Shop ad written on January 24, 1866 (click to enlarge image right), John writes “JOHN B. POE would announce to his friends and customers that after several months of sickness and death in his family, he has again resumed his business, and hopes that he will be excused for not doing his work promptly. But he notifies all that their Chairs and Wheels are now repaired and ready for delivery. Having fitted up some hew Machinery he is now prepared to carry on his business more extensively. He has just put up a new Lathe, and he is prepared to do all kinds of Turning on short notice. Shop on the East side of the Canal near the old Saw Mill JOHN B. POE. Worthington, Jan. 24.” Being that none of his children died during this period it can only be assumed it was his wife’s death that affected him so badly. This ad ran in the Worthington Gazette for three consecutive weeks from Wednesday, February 14, 1866. After that, only the second half of the ad ran until April 25, 1866.

John married Amanda Rogers Miller on November 6, 1868 in Greene County. He was 68 and she was 32. They are said to have had at least 4 more children! – Daniel Voorhees September 8, 1870; James Harvey November 5, 1872; Rebecca 1875; and Eliza Elizabeth 1878. All born in Indiana except Eliza, who was born in Texas. On the 1870 census, they were living in Jasonville, Wright Township in Green County, Indiana and had a 13 year old boy named Lewis Poe living with them. His son John Brown Poe Jr.'s family is listed on the same page of that census, just three families above his father's listing. On the 1880 census they are all still in Wright Township, but we learn that Lewis is their servant! John now 79 years old, and Amanda are listed right under John B Jr’s family, but in another home. Also listed are their 2 sons Voorhees age 9; James age 6; and a 12 year old daughter Eliza. According to the Inman Compendium John Brown Poe Sr. went to Garfield, Benton County, Arkansas in the early 1880‘s to visit his daughter Mary Ann.

On Friday, August 8, 1890, The Bloomfield Democrat newspaper reported under the Home News section, “Uncle John Poe, probably the oldest citizen of Wright township, died on July 23rd, at his old homestead. Mr. Poe had arrive at the ripe age of 95 years, and was ever an ardent and interested worker for the success of Democracy. The news of his death will sadly received by many as he was well known throughout the state.”  Wright Township includes the town of Jasonville and is the most north-western township in Greene County, whose county seat is Bloomfield.

This seems to support the theory that his body was shipped to be buried in the Peavey Cemetery in Howesville, Clay County, Indiana. There is a Greene County, Indiana death record, which has a John Poe dying on July 24, 1890 at 98 years old. His modern day engraved tombstone has a death date of August 9, 1890, which may be the date he was buried in the old section of the Peavey Cemetery.

An announcement in the Brazil Democrat for Thursday, August 28, 1890, reads “On Sunday, the 21st of September, Dr. Ab. Briley will preach the funeral of John B. Poe, one of the old settlers of Lewis township; his daughter, Fanny Cooprider, and her daughters, Sarah Huddleston and Aleatha Cooprider, at the Baptist church at Middlebury . - Clay City Truth.” John’s daughter Frances had died on August 4th that same year, and apparently her two daughters also died during this time.

A legal notice in the Bloomfield Democrat for Friday, November 21, 1890 reads,

Notice to Heirs of Petition to Sell Real Estate In the Circuit Court of Greene county, Indiana. February Term, 1891, Probbae Cause No. ----
Lewis E. Letsinger, administrator of the estate of John B. Poe, deceased, vs. Amanda Poe, et al.
To Amanda Poe, John B. Poe, Jr., Emaline Poe, William Poe, Charles Poe, Daniel V. Poe, James H. Poe, Ellza E. Poe, Amanda B Poe, Merritt Cooprider, Elisha Cooprider. Joseph Cooprider, Eurastus Cooprider, Arinda Harbaugh, Adie Harlow, Sarah Cooprider, Johnathan Cooprider, Marlah A Wilks. Henry Wilks. Eudosa lnman, Rachel Inman, Charles J. Inman, Nancy lnman, Madison Inman, you are severally hereby notified that the above named petitioner, as administrator of the estate aforesaid, has filed in the Circuit Court of Greene county, Indiana, a petition, making you defendant thereto, and praying therein for an order and decree of said Court, authorizing the sale; of certain real estate belonging to the estate of said decedent, and in said petition described, to make assets for the payment of the debts and liabilities of said estate; and that said petition, so tiled and pending, is set for hearing in said Circuit Court, at the court house in Bloomfield, Indiana, on the first Judicial day of the February term, 1891, of said Court, the same being the 9th day of February, 1891.
Witness, the Clerk and Seal of said Court, this 17th day of November,1890.

This notice confirms the children and grandchildren of John who were still alive at the time. Note that ancestor Charles J. Inman is listed with his siblings, as their parents were already dead.

Many years later on Thursday, May 17, 1906, The Sullivan Democrat newspaper wrote an article about a 13,000 acre coal field found in the New Clay County Town of Howesville. In it, they speak of artifacts and human remains being dug up in the area and they mention John. “The skeletons exhumed were of gigantic proportions. John B. Poe, one of the earliest pioneers, himself six feet in height, who made many excavations and tests, found the tibia (bone of lower leg) in all cases from one to two inches longer than his own and could place the maxillary (lower jaw ) over his own, flesh and all.

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Sarah Sally Holladay was born to unknown parents on April 11, 1804 in Bracken County, Kentucky, which is now part of Tennessee. (Many researchers have said she is the daughter of James Robert Holliday Sr and Marcia Scholl, but after in-depth research this proves to be untrue.) A possible father (or brother) is a man named Robert Holladay, who, according to the Lawrence County, Indiana First Land Owners list, in 1816 acquired land just south of Popcorn, along Popcorn Creek in Perry Township. The land is described as “Lots of hills and valleys down these winding country roads!” Unfortunately, the Holladay name does not appear on the 1820 census for Lawrence County.

Sarah was known as Sally. Her name on the 1850 census is listed as Sarah, but on her marriage certificate it is Sally (click cert to enlarge in another window). She married John Brown Poe on May 1, 1819 in Lawrence County, Indiana. They had at least ten children, the first two were born in Lawrence County and the rest in Clay or Greene County – Nancy, born March 11, 1820; Charles Harvey born April 18, 1822; John Alexander born November 24, 1824; Frances Ann on January 24, 1826; Sarah born on February 8, 1832; Mary Ann J. born October 8, 1835; Margaret on January 8, 1837; John Brown Jr. born on August 10, 1839; Rachel on October 18, 1841; and Minerva on April 20, 1846. Their home was in what is now Jasonville, Greene County, IN, which wasn’t established until 1858 and was once a part of Knox County, Kentucky.

Prior to 1810 no white man resided within the borders of what is now Greene County. In 1816 Indiana was admitted to the Union; in 1819 the last Indians left the area; and in 1821 legislation was passed to create Greene County. It was probably around this time when Sarah and John arrived in the area. During this period, county and township borders changed frequently as can be seen by their census records. The 1850 census has them living in Lewis Township, Clay County, Indiana with children Mary, John and Rachel. Minerva is not on this census and may have died. On the 1860 census they are in Jefferson Township, Greene County, Indiana, and their own children are all out of the house. But two of there grandchildren are living with them – Amos M. Inman and his sister Rachael, children of their deceased daughter ancestors Nancy and her still-living husband Davis Inman.

Sarah Sally Holladay Poe probably died prior to January 24, 1866 in Greene County, Indiana. She may have taken ill much earlier as her husband’s interest in building his business lessened after 1859 and did not regain strength until 1866, when he mentions in his ad “several months of sickness and death in his family.” (Click on the ad above in John's bio to read it.) Some researchers say she died on April 25, 1867, but none give documentation or source for this date. It is not known where she is buried, but there is a gravestone in the Worthington Cemetery that could be hers. (Mouse over photo left.) The transcription as stated in Volume 1 of the Cemeteries of Western Greene County, reads “Poe, Dellie, d. 14 Feb 1860. 22Y 8M 7D; w/o John Poe.” Reading the actual stone is difficult, but it does seem to say Dellie in a box with what seems to say wife of John Poe. The John Poe is clear, but wife could be an abbreviation for daughter or even child. The next line clearly says Died Feb. 14 186? The last digit cannot be read, so it may say 1865 or 6. The next line says Aged and under it seems to be a breakdown, but it’s hard to read. To this researcher, it looks like 62 years. If this is Sally, she would have been about 62 years old and died in 1865 or 6. The stone was probably in much better shape when the Greene County Genealogy Society did the transcriptions for their book in the mid 1980‘s, so this remains a mystery.


Alexander Poe was born in 1770 probably in England. His parents are unknown, but some researchers believe he came from the same line as Edgar Allan Poe. Unfortunately there is no documentation to support this. When he was 23, he married Sarah Brown. They had eight children, see Sarah Brown below for details. Alexander served in the War of 1812 in Slaughter’s 15th Regiment, Kentucky Militia. He was inducted as a private and discharged as a private. Alexander Poe died in 1814, perhaps of wounds received in the War. His wife Sarah and son Cummings also died in 1814 (see Sarah below), so maybe they died together or of an illness. An estimated 17,000 American soldiers died of disease.


Sarah Brown was born 1773 in Wayne County, Kentucky, which was then part of Virginia. Her parents are unknown. When she was about 20 she married Alexander Poe. They had eight children, all born in Wayne County, Kentucky – Sarah, called Rachel, on September 20, 1794, died on February 25, 1856 in Arkansas; Alexander Carnes on September 1, 1796, died in the late 1850s in Iowa; David born on April 14, 1798; ancestor John Brown; Cummings McNeal born on August 15, 1802, died in his teen years in Wayne after 1814; James Marshall born on March 22, 1803, he died in Otter Creek, Kentucky in 1881; Margaret, called Peggy, was born on February 8, 1804; and Harvey born on January 20, 1806, died after1880 in Alabama. Sarah Brown Poe died on January 20, 1814, on her son Harvey's eighth birthday.

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