I am going to offer a preliminary report because help researching a new finding will be appreciated.
The DNA project has shown us a very clear branching of the Poe family out of Essex County, VA from 1704. One branch is represented by marker #458=16. This is a group descended from or closely related to Simon Poe SR (1707-1793). Another branch is represented by marker #458=15. This group does not descend from Simon Poe SR and is not "closely related" but still the same Poe family. These men probably descend from a contemporary (William Poe or Benjamin Poe especially who were active from about 1726 on).
Since they settled in Essex County, though, these two branches clearly had close ties. Now we find that members of both branches came together in Fayette County, AL.
Until the DNA results, the James Poe (born 1797) who married Mary "Polly" McMillan was assumed to be a "JR" son of Major James S. Poe (c. 1740-1727). But Willim Moody Poe, a descendant, shows marker #458 = 15 putting him in the 'non-Simon" group. And that forced us to take a good look at the records. It turns out that the records make it clear this James Poe is not the JR son of Major James Poe. That son already appears in Chatham County records showing he must be born in the 1760s. Also, the Anson County, NC census lists both Major James Poe and James Poe JR (when the James under discussion was only three). That 1800 census has Poe spelled Powe.
A recent uncovered "note" from a researher on this line posits that James Poe (b. 1797) came "with his brother" from Wake County, NC. This is an area where, indeed, we find a Benjamin Poe settled. This Benjamin Poe is the on listed in the 1771 Joab Books Muster Roll alongside other men from Culpeper County, VA (where the marker 15 men's line all seem to trace back to). Also, we see other Poe family in Wake County associated with the Hutchens family (there is possibly a Quaker connection with this Hutchens / Poe group).
What made is seem that James Poe (b. 1797) was of the family of Major James Poe is that a son of Major James Poe named Simon Poe married Margeret McMillan.
Clearly, the Poe story is more complex than the records have led us to imagine.
Anyone with research on James Poe (b. 1797) who married Mary "Polly" McMillan or research on the Wake County Poe family -- could you offer what you know?
DNA Project Group Administratorhttp://www.mindspring.com/~poefamily/