*

Powers Coat of Arms Walter Powers

BORN: c. 1639 - Waterford, Ireland (or, Bedford, Essex County, England)
DIED: 22 Feb 1709 - Littleton, Middlesex, Mass.
AGE AT DEATH: 70 years, 2 months, 22 days
MARRIED: Trail Shepard - MAR 11 1660 - Malden, Middlesex, Mass.
OCCUPATION: Millowner, farmer
BURIAL: Power Burying Ground, Littleton, Middlesex, Mass.

Walter Powers is a key figure in the North American branch of the Powers clan, as many can trace their lineage back to him. He was 14 when he left the Old World in 1654, and settled on land in Concord Village, now within the town of Littleton, Mass., adjoining the Indian plantation of Nashoba. He is listed in the Middlesex County, Mass., records in 1654 as a boy of 14 years of age. Although I have not been able to locate a birth certificate to unquestionably place his birth in Waterford, Ireland, it appears more than likely that Walter was an indentured servant who escaped famine in Ireland to settle in the New World. The reason this is fairly certain is because "Powers" is very much an Irish name (please see the Powers History page), and the ship Goodfellow sailed from Waterford in 1654 (the same year Walter landed in the New World), along with many other Irish refugees. Unfortunately, a roster listing those who sailed the Goodfellow that year also has not been located.

After settling in Concord Village (now Littleton, Mass.), Walter worked for Ralph Shepard, a Puritan minister who escaped religious persecution in England. After six years (about the time it took to work off the cost of forced transportation from Ireland), Walter married his master's daughter, Trial Shepard. County records list the date on "ye eleventh day of ye first month, 1660, to Trial, daughter of Deacon Ralph and Thankes."

Because the Town of Littleton, and the Shepard family, have very strong ties to Essex, England, and because of the documented Powers that begin to appear in English records around the time of the Norman invasion in 1066, there is some speculation that Walter was born in Bedford, England, and not Ireland. A very interesting account of early colonial life that addresses this issue can be found in Thomas Kree's historical account of the origin of Powers and Kree families (many thanks to Lorrie Scott for making this work available).

At any rate, we do know that Walter and his new bride, Trial, established a large family of seven sons and two daughters, many of whom lived in and around the Littleton, Mass., area for nearly five generations, with very active involvement in the civic and economic activities of their communities. Walter established a family household and sawmill on a tract of land that consisted of one fourth of the Indian village of Nashoba. Walter obtained this land from his former master and now father-in-law, Deacon Ralph Shepard, who purchased the whole village of Nashoba from Thomas Waban and other Indians.

The land and timber served as an economic opportunity for Walter, an uneducated Irish immigrant. He and his sons built the Powers homestead with hard work, clearing the land, farming and establishing a sawmill to help build houses and other structures for their fast-growing colonial town. The house was built on the north side of Quagony Hill, which was near Magog Pond, an ideal location for a sawmill. Trial, his wife, appears to be a woman with some education, and from the positions their sons took in the developing township, we can presume they were fairly well educated for their times. Their son, Isaac, served as the moderator of the very first town meeting of Littleton.

The old Powers homestead is no longer standing, and the old Power burying ground has been robbed and converted into a field, with the old stone markers removed and used in a stone fence. However, many of the tombstones, including Walter's, have been relocated to a nearby cemetery. He died at home on the family homestead on 22 Feb 1709. Walter's will is recorded in the book of the Register of Deeds, Middlesex County, Mass.

Descendants

     William Powers                                           Born:  MAR 16 1661
     Mary Powers                                              Born:      c. 1663
     Isaac Powers                                             Born:      c. 1665
     Thomas Powers                                            Born:  MAY 25 1667
       | Jeremiah Powers                                      Born:      c. 1710
       |   | Jeremiah Powers                                  Born:      c. 1730
       |   |   | Polly Powers                                 Born:      c. 1756
     Daniel Powers |                                          Born:  MAY 10 1669
     Increase Powers                                          Born:  JUL 16 1671
     Walter Powers, Jr.                                       Born:  JUN 28 1674
     Jacob Powers  |                                          Born:  DEC 15 1679
       | Jonas Powers, Sr.                                    Born:  JUL 19 1719
       |   | Jonas Powers, Jr.                                Born:  JUN 13 1742
       |   |   | Esther Powers                                Born:      c. 1773
       |   |   | Jerusha Powers                               Born:      c. 1774
       |   |   | Reuben Harmon Powers                         Born:      c. 1775
       |   |   | Oliver Powers                                Born:      c. 1776
       |   |   | Jonas Harmon Powers                          Born:      c. 1778
       |   |   |   |    | Eunice Powers                       Born:  SEP 25 1791
       |   |   |   |    | John Powers                         Born:  APR 12 1793
       |   |   |   |    |   | Preston (Pressley) John Powers
       |   |   |   |    |   |   | Samuel Powers 
       |   |   |   |    | Forrest Meaker Powers               Born:  SEP 24 1794
       |   |   |   |    |   | Nancy Powers
       |   |   |   |    |   | Oliver Powers 
       |   |   |   |    |   | Frances Powers                  Born:      c. 1818
       |   |   |   |    |   | Jonas Powers                    Born:      c. 1821
       |   |   |   |    |   | Sallie Powers                   Born:      c. 1827
       |   |   |   |    |   | Rachel Powers                   Born:  FEB 28 1828
       |   |   |   |    |   | George Washington Powers        Born:   DEC ? 1831
       |   |   |   |    |   |   | Lucy Jane Powers            Born:   JAN ? 1854
       |   |   |   |    |   |   | Reuben Harmon Powers        Born:  JUN 26 1855
       |   |   |   |    |   |   | Frances (Fanny) Powers      Born:      c. 1857
       |   |   |   |    |   |   | Mary (Polly) Powers         Born:      c. 1859
       |   |   |   |    |   |   | Henry Hobart Powers         Born:  OCT 27 1861
       |   |   |   |    |   |   | Robert Powers               Born:   OCT 8 1867
       |   |   |   |    |   |   | Rachel Powers               Born:      c. 1868
       |   |   |   |    |   | Joseph Draper Powers            Born:      c. 1833
       |   |   |   |    |   | Wade Harmon Powers              Born:      c. 1838
       |   |   |   |    | Jonas Harmon Powers, Jr.            Born:  APR 15 1799
       |   |   |   |    | James Powers                        Born:  JUN 26 1801
       |   |   |   |    | Henry Powers                        Born:   FEB 5 1808
       |   |   |   |    | Wesley Powers                       Born:  JUN 25 1810
       |   |   |   |    | Francis Asberry Powers              Born:  NOV 20 1818
     Sarah Powers  |    |   |   |    |                        Born:  FEB  8 1683
       |   |   |   |    |   |   |    |
       |   |   |   |    |   |   |    |
       |   |   |   |    |   |   |  GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GRAND CHILDREN
       |   |   |   |    |   | GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GRAND CHILDREN
       |   |   |   |    | GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GRAND CHILDREN
       |   |   |   | GREAT GREAT GREAT GRAND CHILDREN
       |   |   | GREAT GREAT GRAND CHILDREN
       |   | GREAT GRAND CHILDREN
       | GRAND CHILDREN
     CHILDREN

Notes:

William Powers was born 16 Mar 1661 in Littleton, Middlesex, Mass., and died 16 Mar 1710. He married Mary Bank. Being the oldest son, William inherited the family homestead and sawmill operations until his death when his brother, William, Jr., inherited them.

Mary Powers was born c. 1663 in Littleton, Middlesex, Mass. She married Joseph Wheeler on 1 Jan 1680 in Concord, Middlesex, Mass.

Isaac Powers (Capt.) was born c. 1665 in Littleton, Middlesex, Mass, and died in 1724. He married a widow, Mary Poulter, on 14 Apr 1701. Isaac was a leader and prominent citizen. He was a captain in the military, petitioner for town incorporation, moderator of the first town meeting, held several town offices, and was twice elected to great and general court. In 1723, Isaac's pew place, which reflected the amount of pew tax he paid, was by the "right hand side of the south door."

Thomas Powers was born 25 May 1667 in Concord, Middlesex, Mass. He first married Elizabeth, who died May 1698, then married Mary Howard, b. 5 Feb 1676. Thomas moved from Littleton, first to Wellington, then Hardwick, Quobbin, Greenwhich and Woodstock, VT. In all of these places he owned land and was a man of some note. His most famous descendant was Hiram Powers, a neoclassical sculptor, born in Woodstock, VT, in 1805.

Daniel Powers was born 10 May 1669 in Lancaster, Worcester, Mass., and was christened 16 Jul 1671 in Concord, Middlesex, Mass. He married Elizabeth Whitcomb on 8 Apr 1702 in Lancaster, Worcester, Mass., and Martha Bates in 1711. He died in 1730. He lived on the westerly side of Littleton, and all of his children were probably born there, although some of them are recorded in Groton, Mass. He owned a tract of land one mile wide and extending the length of the township of Littleton.

Increase Powers was born 16 Jul 1671 in Concord, Middlesex, Mass. He married Hepzibah Sawyer.

Walter Powers, Jr. was born 28 Jun 1674 in Concord, Middlesex, Mass., and died in 1700. He married Rebecca Barrett. He located in the northern part of town after the death of his father, and after his brother, William, died, Walter inherited the family homestead and sawmill. In 1723 in awarding the pews, the second pew place was awarded to him as paying the next to largest pew tax.

Jacob Powers was born 15 Dec 1679 in Concord, Middlesex, Mass. He married Sarah Meriam on 18 Sep 1703 and Edith Gould Adams in 1711. He located his farm in Littleton on the south side of Harvard Rd. near the town line and adjoining that of Jonathan Adams, whose daughter he married for his second wife. He held some of the minor town offices.

Sarah Powers was born 8 Feb 1683, and married Moses Brown on 8 Apr 1702.


[ Home ] [ Photos ] [ Powers Tree ] [ Powers History ]
[ Money Tree ] [ Knosalla / Baxter Tree ] [ Contact Us ]

*
*