An American Family History

Jacob Powers

Childbirth was was perilous. Around 1.5 percent of births ended in the mother's death. Since women gave birth to many children, chances of dying in childbirth were quite high.
The town common (commons) was a small, open field at the center of the town which was jointly owned. It was used as a marketplace, a place for the militia to drill, or for grazing livestock.

Jacob Powers was born on December 15, 1679 in Littleton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. His parents were Walter Powers and Trial Shepard.

When he was 23 years old, he married his first wife, Sarah Merriam, on September 18, 1703. Sarah was the daughter of Joseph Merriam and Sarah Jenkins

Jacob and Sarah had at least one child; Sarah Powers (1705).

Sarah, the mother, died April 15, 1705 when she was 29 years old. She probably died due to complications of childbirth.

He married his second wife, Edith Adams, in 1705 in Chelmsford. Edith was born December 1, 1683. Her parents were Jonathan Adams and Leah Gould.

After they married, Jacob and Edith lived in Littleton on the south side of the Harvard road near the town line adjoining Edith's parent's land.

Jacob and Edith's children included:
Lydia Powers (1713, married Eleazer Robbins),
Esther Powers (1716),
Jonas Powers (1719, married Mary Tyron), and
Edward Powers (1725, married Mary Nurse).

Jacob died when he was 88 years old in 1768 in Littleton. Edith died on November 26, 1776.
Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

Littleton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts was first settled in 1686 by English settlers and was the the location of the Native American village called Nashoba Plantation

Children of Walter Powers
and Trial Shepard
  • William Powers
  • Mary Powers Wheeler
  • Captain Isaac Powers
  • Thomas Powers
  • Lieutenant Daniel Powers
  • Increase Powers
  • Walter Powers, Jr.
  • Jacob Powers
  • Sarah Powers Barron
  • Middlesex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643. The county originally included Charlestown, Cambridge, Watertown, Sudbury, Concord, Woburn, Medford, Wayland, and Reading.


    Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.

    Merriam Genealogy in England and America by Charles Pierce Merriam, James Sheldon Merriam

    Joseph4 [Merriam] (William,3 Joseph,1 William1), born in Lynn at date not discovered; married 19 Aug., 1675, Sarah Jenkins. Resided at Lynn; was made freeman 18 April, 1691. He died 21 Oct., 1702.

    i. Joseph,5 b. 10 July, 1676; d. young.
    ii. Benjamin, b. 23 April, 1678; d. young.
    iii. Sarah, b. 21 Feb. 1680-1; m. (intention Sept. 18, 1703) Jacob Powers, of Concord.
    iv. Elizabeth, b. 2 July, 1683.
    22. v. Ebenezer, b. 11 Feb. 1685-6.
    23. vi. Theophilus, b. 16 July, 1688.
    vii. Mary, m. in 1711 David Potter, of Ipswich.

    Any man entering a colony or becoming a a member the church, was not free. He was not forced to work, but his movements were carefully observed to see if they followed the Puritanical ideal. After this probationary period, he became a "freeman." Men then took the Oath of a Freeman where they vowed to defend the Commonwealth and not to overthrow the government.

    Lush forests in Colonial America allowed settlers to build wooden homes.


    Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine by George Thomas Little, Henry Sweetser Burrage, Albert Roscoe Stubbs, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1909

    Jacob [Powers], born December 15, 1679, marriage published September 18, 1703, with Sarah Meriam, who died April 15, 1705 and he married (second) Edith, daughter of Jonathan and Leah (Guild) Adams, of Chelmsford and Littleton, and a descendant of Henry Adams, of Braintree. She was born December 1, 1683.

    Jacob Power lived in Littleton on the south side of the Harvard road near the town line and adjoining lands of Jonathan Adams, his father-in-law. He held minor town offices.

    The New England Meetinghouse was the only municipal building in a town. Both worship and civil meetings were held there. It was customary for men and women to sit separately and the town chose a committee once a year to assign seats according to what was paid, age, and dignity.

    from The Powers Family

    Jacob [Powers] b. Dec. 15, 1679; m., p., Sept. 18, 1703,

    1st, Sarah Meriam, d. Apl. 15, 1705;
    2d, Edith, dau. of Jonathan and Leah (Gould) Adams of Chelmsford and Littleton, b. Dec. 1, 1683.

    Jacob Power located his farm in Littleton, on the south side of the Harvard Road, near to 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, and although we see no mention of his "pew place," we will presume that from the time Rev. Benjamin Shattuck was settled, April, 1717 , at "50", to be advanced 20£ pr. year until it reach 70£,like a good citizen, he had his "pew place" in the meeting-house at Littleton. Edith was a descendant of Henry Adams of Braintree.

    The child of Jacob (Walter ) and Sarah (Meriam) Powers of Littleton, was:
    i. Sarah, 3 b. Apl. 8, 1705.

    The children by his 2d wife, Edith (Adams), were:

    ii. Lydia b. Oct. 6, 1713.
    iii. Esther, b. Sept. 13, 1716.
    iv. Jonas b. July 19, 1719; d. 1755; m - April 12, 1739, Mary Tryon; d. Nov. 26, 1776.
    v. Edward 3 b. May 3, 1725; d. Nov. 10, 1790; m. 17? , Mary Nourse, b. Nov. 30, 1726; d. Aug. 15, 1802.


    American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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