The Powers Family

The Name of POWERS is of Norman French Origin from the ancient descriptive name of le Power, meaning “the poor.”  The family however as far back as the record extends has been one of wealth and power.
Even as early as 1066 they had acquired such a degree of prestige and power, wealth and influence, that they were given important positions of leadership in the armies of William the Conqueror in his conquest of England and Ireland in that year.  The most plausible explanation of the name “le Poer” is that the masses generally in England and Northern France, at the time surnames began to be used about the year 1000, were extremely poor.  The privileged and ruling classes in Europe at that time were in possession of most of the wealth of the country, money, houses and lands.  The poor however were plain, steady , honest, industrious folk, the class that later peopled America.  The name is found in ancient English and early American records in various forms of Poer, Puher, Poher, Power and Powers.

It is said that one family went to England as an officer of William the Conqueror in 1066.  Another of the family, Sir Roger le Poer, evidently of Norman-French Origin, held a high command under King Henry II when that monarch invaded Ireland in 1171.  For his service he was given large quantities of land in the county of Waterford, Ireland.  Some family historians say that King Henry II, granted unto Sir Robert/Roger le Poer the city of Waterford, Ireland with all its superjacent provinces.

Walter Powers

Walter Powers, born 1639 in England, married Trial Shepard, daughter of Dea Ralph & Thanks Shepard from Stephy Parish, London in Essex.  Walter left his home in England and settled in Maulden, Mass., around 1660.  Walter & Trial Shepard were married  March 11, 1661.  Trial Shepard was born February 10, 1641. Walter Powers died, February 22, 1708.  They had issue of nine children: William, Mary, Isaac, Thomas, Daniel, Increase, Walter, JACOB and Sarah.

ISAAC POWERS, son of Walter & Trial (Shepard) Powers, born 1665, died 1735, married April 14, 1701 at Lexington, Mass., to Mary (Powter) Winship, born April 9, 1665, daughter of John Poulter.  Their children were: Isaac, Jonathan, Luce, Gideon, Hannah, Tryphena, Ephriam, and Mary, all born in Mass.

THOMAS POWERS, son of Walter & Trial (Shepard) Powers, married 2nd. to Mary Harwood in 1702 and had issue of Phineas, Ephrim, James, and Jeremiah.  Thomas’ son Jeremiah had a son named Aaron, who was the father of Benjamin, who was the father of George Herman, who had sons George Herman, Jr., Ned, Walter and Harry, born in Mass.  George Herman Powers was the father of at least two sons: Dr. George H. Powers, Jr., Boston, Mass., and Dr. Allen R. Powers, Tracy, California.

DANIEL POWERS, son of Walter & Trial Shepard Powers, had a son named Peter, who was the father of Sampson, who called one of his sons, Peter, who was the father of Joel.
Walter Powers, the immigrant purchased a farm and lived in Concord some years and then bought of several Indians a place, by them, called “Neshoba,” now the town of Littleton, where he resided the rest of his life.  He died Feb., 22, 1798.

JACOB POWERS, the youngest son of Immigrant Walter Powers married in 1703 to Sarah Merriam.  They had one daughter, Sarah.  Jacob was born December 15, 1679. Sarah, his wife, died April 15, 1705 and he married 2nd. to Edith Adams, born December 1, 1683, daughter of Jonathan and Leah (Gould) Adams of Littleton.  Jacob & Edith lived at Littleton.  Their children were: Lydia, born 1713, Esther, born 1716, JONAS, born 1719, Edward, born 1725. Jacob’s wife, Edith Adams, is a descendant of Henry Adams of Braintree and is said to be a relative of President Adams.  A Jacob Powers or members of his immediate family came to Virginia and settled in Bland County.

Jonas Powers

Jonas Power,(whether son of above Jonas or Jacob is not known) married January 31 1765 to Jerusha Harmon, (Mother’s name “Meek”).  This family is said to have came from Vermont and settled on Walker’s Creek in Bland County, Va.  They had issue of: Eunice, Esther, Jerusha, Reuben, OLIVER, and Jonas.

EUNICE POWERS, born 1771, died Feb., 18, 1852, married 1800 to “Rev” Samuel Newberry II, born December 25, 1775, died February 18, 1857 in Bland Co., Va., who was the son of Samuel Newberry 1, the Irish Immigrant, who came to America and settled in Augustia Co., Va., which later became Wythe.  Eunice and Samuel had issue: Mary, Henry, Jerusha, Allen Taylor, Elizabeth, Julia, Nancy, Jane, Lucinda, Ester.

ESTHER POWERS, second daughter of Jonas & Jerusha Powers, married Robert Newberry, son of Immigrant Samuel and brother to Samuel II, who married her sister, Eunice. One descendant of Esther Powers and Robert Newberry is Dr. J.N. Hillman, (who was) president of Emory & Henry College, Emory , VA.

JERUSHA POWERS, third daughter of Jonas & Jerusha (Harmon) Powers, married Samuel Steele, son of Robert and Mary Keeling Steele.  They lived in Whitley Co., KY. The children of Jerusha and Samuel Steele were: Reuben, b. Sept 29, 1802, Alexander Pleasant, b. 1804, James, born 1806, Oliver, b. Dec., 31, 1807, Robert, b. 1810, Rhoda, b. 1811, Easter, b. 1812, Jonas, b. 815, Hezekiah, b. 1817, Samuel G., b. 1820, Nancy, b. 1821, Jerusha Powers Steele died in Whitley Co., Ky., 1850.  Samuel Steele died 1822, Whitley Co., Ky.
REUBEN STEELE, son of Samuel and Jerusha Powers Steele, born September 29, 1802, Wythe Co., Va., was a Methodist Minister and circuit rider, a member of Holston Conference.  He was Chaplain in the Confederate Army, in 1863-1865. He married first to Miss Elizabeth Newberry, daughter of Samuel and Eunice Newberry.  Reuben settled in Russell County, Va., now Wise County at what is know as the Wick Nash place on Coeburn/Wise Mountain. Children of Reuben and Elizabeth Newberry Steele are: Samuel, Harvey G., Jane, Julia Ann, Elizabeth.  Elizabeth died in 1837 and is buried in the old Nash Graveyard.  

Reuben married 2nd. to Elizabeth Faulkner, daughter of Isaac and Sarah Forkner/Faulkner.  They had issue of: Isaac Forkner Steele, George Alexander, William T., Robert L., Charles Emmett, Sarah Miranda, and Francis Cornelia.

REUBEN POWERS, son of Jonas & Jerusha (Harmon) Powers was said to have been listed in the act of the legislature forming Wise County and a member of the committee to  select a site for the county seat to be located somewhere on the lands of Daniel Ramey at the Big Glades.  His nephew, Reuben Steele, was evidently named for him.

Jonas H. Powers & Lucy Sperry 

Jonas H. Powers, son of Jonas and Jerusha Harmon Powers, m. Feb 1, 1791 to Lucy Sperry, with his brother Reuben as surity.  Lucy moved with her family from Vermont to Montgomery Co., Va.  Jonas & Lucy moved to Ohio and lived near Scoitsville on Iris Creek where Jonas H. became a preacher.  Jonas & Lucy were married in Botetourt County, Va., on South Branch.  Lucy is a daughter of Samuel Sperry.  In 1795 Jonas received a land grant for 165 acres on Elliots Creek in early Botetourt County.  He sold the land in 1798 to Francis Gardner.  Jonas and Lucy then moved to Louisa, Ky., and later to Scott Co., Virginia on Sinking Creek.  
One Jonas Powers, probably Jonas H. Powers, Jr., son of Jonas H. and Lucy Sperry, taught the first black “Free School” in Wise County, which was in Coeburn.

Children of Jonas H. and Lucy Sperry Powers are:

1.  Eunice Powers

2.  John Powers

3.  Forest M. Powers

4.  James S. Powers

5.  Reuben H. Powers

6.  Wesley Powers

7.  Jonas H. Powers, Jr.

8.  William B. Powers

9.  Henry Powers

10.  Francis Powers

Several of this family; sons, sons-in-law and grandsons were in the Civil War–some for the North and others for the South.  Rueben H., son of Jonas was a Corporal in the 39th Kentucky regiment in the Federal Army.  He married Naomi Richie in 1829 in Lawerence Co., Ky. John Wesley Powers, a grandson of Jonas H. Powers and son of James S. Powers, served as a Sheriff and Jailer of Wise County and was in charge of the jail when the notorious criminal, Talt Hall, was under sentence to hang.  He was still in charge of the jail when Dr. Doc Marshall B. Taylor was being tried for the Pound Gap massacre of Ira Mullins and others, and when he was convicted and hanged.  Jonas was on the tax list, Russell County, Va., 1810.

Oliver & Susan Powers

Oliver Powers, son of Jonas & Jerusha Harmon Powers, married Susan, whose last name is unknown.  Oliver was born 1776.  He owned land in Tazwell County, Va., and lived in Russell County, Va. Their children were:
1. Jeremiah Powers, b. Nov 29, 1807

2. Lucy Powers, b. ca. 1808

3. Nancy Powers, b. ca. 1810

4. Meeker Powers, b. ca. 1812, Russell Co., Va.

5. Reuben H. Powers, b. June 19, 1814, Russell Co., VA.


Oliver Powers married 2nd. to Judia Fraley of Scott County, va., and had issue of William R. and Harmon Powers.  Judia (Julia) is probably the daughter of Frederick and Chloe Fraley of Russell Co., Va. Oliver was on the tax list, Russell Co., Va., 1810.
6.  William R. Powers, b. 1836

7. Harmon Powers, m. Lucy Powers

Jerremiah Powers & Nancy Ritchie

Jeremiah Powers, son of Oliver & Susan Powers, married July 15, 1827 in Scott Co., Virginia, to Nancy Ritchie, born Feb. 25, 1809, daughter of John and Nancy Hutchinson Ritchie.  Jeremiah and Nancy settled in the Birchfield section of Wise County, on Dotson Creek, at what is know as the Harmon Adams place.  Jeremiah was a signer of the petition in February 1854, asking for a new county to be formed from parts of Russell, Lee and Scott counties to be called Dunn.  A new county was formed in 1856 but was named Wise after Henry A. Wise.
Jeremiah was appointed a Justice of the Peace the day the new county was formed, July 28, 1856.  He died February 28, 1890 and is buried in the Lewis Dotson Cemetery in the Hurricane section of Wise County.

Nancy Ritchie Powers died Feb 13, 1884, and is buried in the Duncan Gap section of Wise County near Round Top.  Their children are:

1.  Susanna Powers, b. July 30, 1829, Married William Alec Powers

2.  Sarah Jane Powers, b. Jan 30, 1831, married Joseph Freeman

3.  James R. Powers, b. Sept  8, 1833

4.  Oliver Powers, b. Jul 5, 1836, m. Rebecca Gilliam, Apr 10, 1861

5.  John W. Powers, b Mar 9, 1839
6.  Mary “Polly” Powers, b. Oct 4, 1841, m. Richard Skeen

7.  Lucy Powers, b. Oct 4, 1841, m. Flem Burchett

8.  George W. Powers, b. June 4, 1845, m. Easter Green

9.  Naoma Powers, b. Dec 10, 1845, m. Harmon Adams, May 11, 1872

10.  Reuben Powers, b. Jun 17, 1849, m. Elizabeth Stallard, Jan 5, 1874

LUCY POWERS, daughter of Oliver and Susan Powers, married Feb., 25, 1830 to George Bond, born Aug., 1798, died 1878 at Bondtown, Wise Co., Va.  He was a Carpenter and a Miller in Bondtown, which town was named in honor of him.  They had eight children:
1. Susanna Bond, b. Dec 19, 1830

2. James Bond, b. Sept 18, 1832

3. William H. Bond, b. Feb 14, 1835 “Uncle Buck Bond,” (Methodist Preacher)

4. G.W. “Dick” Bond

5. Oliver P. Bond, b. Feb 25, 1837

6. Nancy Virginia Bond, b. Aug 29, 1844, m. F. M. Powers

7. Henry H. Bond, b. May 6, 1851 


WILLIAM R. POWERS, son of Oliver and Susan Powers, married Aug 23, 1866, Wise Co., Va., to Mary “Polly” Roberson, b.  Feb 17, 1844, daughter of Matthew S. & Nancy (Russell) Roberson.  Issue:
1. Ibbie Powers

2. Malissa Powers

3.  Missouri Powers

4.  Lucy E. Powers, b. May 22, 1874, m. Oct 23, 1893 to George H. Stallard.

5.  Gernade Powers

6.  Phoebe Powers 

For further information on the Powers family, see Reuben Powers Bio. 
Reuben H. Powers and Katherine Estep Lane


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