An American Family History

Walter Powers

“He depended on strong sinew and sterling good sense to establish a home for himself and family."

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

Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts was settled early by the English as a frontier outpost of  the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Walter Powers was born about 1639 in England or Ireland.

Henry Swan Dana said

the New England Powers family descended from Thomas and Walter Power, brothers, born in Waterford, Ireland, who came to this country somewhere near the year 1680. In Ireland the name of the family was Power, but these men, on coming to this country, added an s to their name.

Other sources say that Walter Powers emigrated from Essex, England, to Salem, Massachusetts in 1654.

Walter appeared as a witness in a trial in Middlesex County in 1654. He was a boy of fourteen at that time.

He married Trial Shepard in 1660 when he was about 27 years old. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on Walter and Trial Shepard.

He ran a sawmill in Littleton, Massachusetts and died there on February 22, 1708.

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
  • 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.
    A sawmill was an important developmental step in a community. Before sawmills, boards could only be sawn by two men with a whipsaw. In a sawmill, the circular motion of a water wheel was changed to the back-and-forth motion of the saw blade with a pitman arm.


    Dedham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts was settled in 1635 by English Puritans.

    from New England Families by William Richard Cutter

    Walter Powers, the immigrant ancestor, was born in 1639, in England, and died February 22, 1708. in Littleton, Massachusetts. He settled in Concord, in what is now Littleton, and in 1694 bought of Thomas Waban and some Indians a quarter of the town of Nashobe.

    He married. March 11, 1661, Trial, daughter of Deacon Ralph and Thankful Shepard; she was born February 10, 1641. Ralph Shepard came from England in the ship Abigail, in July, 1635. He gave his age as twenty-nine, his wife's age as twenty-three, and daughter Sarah as two years. Shepard was a tailor by trade, settled at Charlestown, afterward a pioneer at Dedham, removed to Weymouth, of which he was a town officer in 1645, removed to Maiden, and after 1653 to Concord.

    Children of Walter and Trial Powers, recorded at Littleton:
    William, 1661, died March 16, 1710, had the homestead;
    Mary, 1663, married Lieutenant Joseph Wheeler;
    Isaac, 1665;
    Thomas, 1667;
    Daniel, May 10, 1669;
    Increase, July 16, 1671;
    Jacob, December 15, 1679;
    Sarah, February 8, 1683, married Moses Barron.

    Some Puritans gave their children hortatory names (from the Latin for “encourage”) like Thankful, hoping that the children would live up to them. The names were used for several generations.

    Read about the Wheelers on your Kindle.

    In 1688, during the Glorious Revolution, the Protestant king and queen,William and Mary, took the English throne from Catholic King James II. The bloodless revolution profoundly impacted the American colonies.

    from The Records of Littleton Massachusetts
    Walter Powers came to America 1653 a. 14 m. March 11,1660 Triall dau. Ralph and Thankslord Shepard. Walter Powers d. Feb 22 1707-8 leaving widow.

    1 William m. about 1688 Mary, b. Jan 7 1670, probably dau. John and Hannah Bank of Chelmsford.
    2 Mary m. Jan 1st 1681 Joseph Wheeler....
    3 Isaac m. 2d Apr 14 1701 Mary Winship of Cambridge, widow of Samuel Winship and dau. John Poulter of Medford. Samuel Winship [Jr.] nominated his beloved father in law I. Powers of Cambridge Farms for his Guardian during his minority.
    4 Thomas probably m. 1st Elizebeth d. May 25 1698, m. 2d Oct 25 1702 Mary Harwood, probably dau. Nathaniel Mary (Barron).
    5 Daniel b. May 10 1669, m. Apr 8 1702 at Concord ElizebethWhitcomb dau. Jon, m. 2d about 1710-11 Martha. Removed to Lancaster, d. in Hollis.
    6 Increase b. July 16 1671. He or Increase s. Daniel and Martha Powers m. Hepsibah Sawyer of Bolton, dau. Wm and Mary Sawyer.
    7 Walter Jr. b. 28-6-1674 m. Dec 16 1696 Rebecca b. July 41673, dau. Joseph and Martha (Gould) Barrett of Chelmsford. He d. 1738. She d. 1753 a. 80.

    8 Jacob b. 16-12-1679 m. 1st Sarah d. April 15. 1705, m. 2d Edith Adams, probably dau. Jonathan and Leah (Gould) Adams of Chelmsford.
    9 Sarah b. Feb 8 (or 8-2) 1683 m. Apr. 8. 1702 at Concord Moses Barron, brother of Mary (Barron) Harwood, wife of Nathaniel Harwood. Moses b. Mar 26 (Oct 23) 1669

    Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.
    Colonial Maryland
    Colonial New England
    Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
    Quakers & Mennonites
    New Jersey Baptists
    German Lutherans
    Watauga Settlement
    Pennsylvania Pioneers
    Midwest Pioneers
    Jewish Immigrants

    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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