Edgar Poe's mother dies and he is adopted by John Allan
His father abandoned their family in 1810, and his mother died a year later from consumption.
Poe was then taken into the home of John Allan, a successful Scottish merchant in Richmond, Virginia, who dealt in a variety of goods including tobacco, cloth, wheat, tombstones, and slaves. The Allans served as a foster family but never formally adopted Poe, though they gave him the name "Edgar Allan Poe".
The Allan family had Poe baptized in the Episcopal Church in 1812. John Allan alternately spoiled and aggressively disciplined his foster son. The family, including Poe and Allan's wife, Frances Valentine Allan, sailed to England in 1815. Poe attended the grammar school in Irvine, Scotland (where John Allan was born) for a short period in 1815, before rejoining the family in London in 1816. There he studied at a boarding school in Chelsea until summer 1817. He was subsequently entered at the Reverend John Bransby’s Manor House School at Stoke Newington, then a suburb four miles (6 km) north of London.
His son David Poe was bred as a lawyer, but deeply offended his family by marrying an actress of English birth, Mrs. Elizabeth Hopkins, neé Arnold, and by himself going on the stage. In 1811 he and his wife died, leaving three children -- William, Edgar, and a daughter Rosalie -- wholly destitute. William died young, and Rosalie became mad. Edgar was adopted by John Allan, a tobacco merchant of Scottish extraction, seemingly at the request of his wife, who was childless. The boy was indulged in every way, and encouraged to believe that he would inherit Allan's fortune. Allan, having come to England in 1815, placed Edgar in a school at Stoke Newington, kept by a Dr. Bransby.
By the time the young Poe was two years old, his father had abandoned the family. In 1811, Elizabeth moved Edgar and his sister, Rosalie, to Richmond, Virginia, where she died in December of that year. The two children were placed in the care of a wealthy English merchant, John Allen, and his wife, Frances. In 1815, the Allens, who never officially adopted the two children, moved the family to England for an extended business trip. Though considered rather frugal, John Allen recognized the importance of a good education. Thus, Edgar received the best education while in England, spending time at prestigious boarding academies.
From 1810 on, Mrs. Poe continued, although in failing health, to appear in various roles in Norfolk, Va., Charleston, S. C., and Richmond. In the winter of 1811 she was overtaken by a fatal illness and died on December 8th in circumstances of great misery and poverty at the house of a Scotch milliner in Richmond. She was buried in the churchyard of St. John's Episcopal Church in that city two days later, but not without some pious opposition.
Mrs. Poe was survived by three orphaned children. Two of these, Edgar and Rosalie, were with her at the time of her death and were cared for by charitable persons. Edgar, then about two years old, was taken into the home of John Allan, a Scotch merchant in fairly prosperous circumstances, while the infant Rosalie was given shelter by a Mr. and Mrs. William Mackenzie. The Allans and Mackenzies were close friends and neighbors. The children remained in these households, and the circumstances of their fostering were, as time went on, equivalent to adoption.