Powers Coat of Arms Powers History

Powers Coat of Arms The name Powers originally began as Le Poer and later was changed to Poer, Power and finally Powers. Though not Gaelic in origin, Powers may be regarded as one hundred per cent Irish. It is derived from the old French word "povre" (Latin pauper, poor). ("Irish Families," by Edward MacLysaght, 1957, pg. 247)

The Le Poers were Normans who came to England in 1066 with William the Conqueror and the name is found on a tablet at Battle Abbey listing prominent survivors of the battle of Hastings. ("Our Heritage: a Record of Information about the Hynes, Waite, Powers, Chenault, Maxey, Brewster, Starr and McIntosh Families," by Lee Powers Hynes, 1957, p. 59)

This ancient family claims descent from Sir Robert De Poer, who, it is said, came to Ireland with Strongbow in 1172 A.D. ("Irish Pedigrees," Vol. 1, 5th ed., by John O'Hart, 1892, pp 252-254) Strongbow, whose name was Richard FitzGilbert, was an important Norman landholder and knight. He and a number of other Norman knights, including Sir Robert De Poer, were recruited by the exiled King Dermot of Leinster. King Dermot, acting as a proxy for King Henry II of England, was given the task of invading and securing Ireland for King Henry II. (BBCi history website, Anglo-Normans: Henry II and Ireland 1170, September 2002).

King Henry II's authority for invading Ireland rested on Pope Adrian's Bull Laudabiliter, which granted Ireland to King Henry II. In this Papal Bull, the Pope, the only Englishman ever to occupy St. Peter's chair, refers to the king's purpose "to enlarge the boundaries of the Church, to proclaim the truths of the Christian religion to a rude and ignorant people, and to root out the growths of vice from the field of the Lord." The Papal Bull was granted during the pontificate of the English Pope, Adrian IV (1154-59), probably in 1155 but was not acted upon until 1172. ("Sons of the Conqueror: Descendants of Norman Ancestry," by Leslie G. Pine, 1973, pp 249-250)

In 1172, King Henry II granted by charter to the said Robert De Poer, by the name of Robert Puber, the City of Waterford, with "the whole province thereabouts;" and made him marshall of Ireland. In the year 1179, this Robert De Poer was joined in commission with Sir Hugo De Lacy, as lords justices of Ireland. ("Irish Pedigrees," Vol. 1, 5th ed., by John O'Hart, 1892, pp 252-254)

"Waterford" comes from the Nordic word "Vethrafjorthr" which means "weather haven." The City of Waterford was founded by Vikings and was used as a naval base. Seven watch towers are still visible around the city today. Waterford is famous for its crystal products which count as a major export for the southern county of Waterford. The City of Waterford is still a thriving port today. (County of Waterford website, September 2002.)

The Norman Powers settled in County Waterford where they are still more numerous than anywhere else; in fact nearly half their total is in that county and Power heads the statistical list for County Waterford. The remainder, apart from the city of Dublin, which contains people from all the provinces, are for the most part in the counties which adjoin Waterford, viz. Cork, Tipperary, Kilkenny and Wexford. ("Irish Families," by Edward MacLysaght, 1957, pg. 247)

The Town of Littleton is a prime example of a colonial town built on the dismantling of a Praying Indian Town, Nashobah, founded in 1654. The adjacent area to the east was part of the “New Grant of 1655” to the Town of Concord. The southeastern section of Littleton, called Nashoba Farm and later Nashoba, was the part first settled by colonists. All settlement was abandoned during King Philip’s War. Intense competition over desirable land after the end of hostilities generated diffused settlement without a town center. (Town of Littleton website, August 2002.)

The simple, unadorned family shield you see upon this page is the foundation upon which all the various heraldic devices (helmet, mantling, torse, crest, etc.) is built upon in our family's coat of arms. You may see considerable variation in the various devices, because coats of arms are registered to individuals, not to families. There are other, more elaborate, full coats of arms for the Powers family, but they all have this simple shield in common. The simple Powers shield is what has been shared with other individual Powers coats of arms, and may be thought of as the "family crest," although, technically speaking, the crest is the heraldic device found above the helmet, which itself is traditionally placed above the shield in a coat of arms.

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