Virginia E. Clemm

Is your surname Poe?

Research the Poe family

Virginia E. Clemm's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Virginia Eliza Poe (Clemm)

Also Known As: "Poe", "Sissy"
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Death: Died in Bronx County, New York, United States
Cause of death: tuberculosis
Place of Burial: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Clemm, Jr. and Maria Clemm (Poe)
Wife of Edgar Allan Poe
Sister of Henry Clemm
Half sister of Josephine Emily Poe

Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Virginia E. Clemm

Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe (née Clemm; August 15, 1822 – January 30, 1847) was the wife of American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The couple were first cousins and married when Virginia Clemm was 13 and Poe was 27.


Virginia was Edgar's Cousin and 14 years old at the time of marriage.

Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe ... Birth: Aug. 15, 1822 Baltimore Baltimore County Maryland, USA Death: Jan. 30, 1847 Fordham Bronx County New York, USA

Literary Folk Figure. She was the first cousin and the wife of Edgar Allan Poe. Virginia, the daughter of Poe's aunt Maria ("Muddy") Poe Clemm, was raised in Baltimore under conditions of poverty and first met Poe at age seven in 1829 shortly after he left the Army; Edgar lived with the family intermittently and once even used the child as a go-between in his romantic advances to a neighbor. Just when the great writer developed a romantic interest in Virginia is uncertain but by the time he moved to Richmond in 1835 to take a job with the "Southern Literary Messenger" he was, with encouragement from her mother and despite her youth, considering marrying her. Poe wrote to his aunt offering to support the family if they would move to Richmond. A marriage license was applied for in Baltimore on September 22, 1835, though the wedding ceremony did not occur until May 16, 1836, performed by a Presbyterian minister in Richmond; Edgar was 27 while his bride was 13. The exact nature of their marriage remains clouded and while some have speculated that theirs was a big brother-little sister relationship (Poe's pet name for her was "Sissy"), most accounts describe them as a happy, devoted, couple. The family was forced to move several times due to Poe's struggle for financial success as a writer with his employment taking them to several cities including Philadelphia and Baltimore. By January 1842 Virginia was showing signs of tuberculosis that led to her progressive disability and in May of 1846 Poe moved Virginia and Muddy to their final home which still stands in Fordham, New York. Poe was chronically broke but provided as well as he could and though there were scandals involving his attention to other women none at the time doubted his devotion to Virginia. Edgar suffered a prolonged depression after Virginia's death and relapsed for a time into alcohol use, though the persistent stories of him being a habitual drunkard are exaggerated. Virginia's influence on Poe's literary output is questioned; it is speculated that poem "Ulalume" is a memorial to her and she may have been the inspiration for "Annabel Lee" (1849) or the "lost Leonore" of 1845's "The Raven", though there are certainly other candidates. The most accepted representation of Virginia occurs in the short sketch "Eleonora" (1842) which deals with a man marrying his cousin who lives with her mother. (bio by: Bob Hufford)

Family links:

 William Clemm (____ - 1826)
 Maria Poe Clemm (1790 - 1871)

 Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849)


Burial: Westminster Burial Ground Baltimore Baltimore City Maryland, USA

Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

Maintained by: Find A Grave Originally Created by: Bob Hufford Record added: Jan 20, 2009 Find A Grave Memorial# 33076902

view all

Virginia E. Clemm's Timeline

August 15, 1822
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
January 30, 1847
Age 24
Bronx County, New York, United States
Baltimore, Maryland, United States