The Power Family

Power family crest

(Crest No. 16. Plate 69.)

THE Power family is of Norman origin, and came to Ireland in the year 1177. King Henry the Second, A. D. 1177, gave a grant of Desies, or the territory embracing the whole of the present County of Waterford, together with the city, to Robert Le Poer, who was his marshal. The Le Poers were, at various periods from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century, created Barons of Donisle and of Curraghmore, Viscounts of Desies, and Earls of Tyrone, and many of them changed the name to Power, and some of them to McShere. Branches of this family were also settled in the Counties of Kilkenny, Wexford, and Kerry.

The Le Poers, or Powers, were from the earliest times among the most distinguished of the Anglo-Norman families in Ireland.

At the outbreak of the Revolution of 1688 the head of the Power family, Richard Power, Lord Baron of Curraghmore, Viscount Desies, Earl of Tyrone, and Lord Lieutenant of the County of Waterford, supported the cause of King James the Second, sat in James’ Dublin Parliament in 1689, and raised a regiment of foot, of which he was colonel, the following year. Taken prisoner at the capture of Cork by the Williamite forces in 1690, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he died the same year. There were, besides the head of the family, several Powers in the Irish army in the War of the Revolution holding various ranks from that of lieutenant to colonel.

Many members of this family were officers in the Regiments of Dublin, Dillon, Berwick, and Bulkeley, of the Irish Brigade in the service of France. Colonel John Power, who served as lieutenant-colonel to Sir Michael Creagh in Ireland during the Williamite Revolution, was appointed to the command of the Regiment of Dublin in the brigade in France, and another John Power served in the same regiment at the same time as lieutenant-colonel.

Another distinguished officer of this name was Colonel Power, who entered the Spanish service, where he became adjutant-general to the Infante Don Philip in the war of the Austrian Succession. He was also a writer of merit and the author of two valuable historical works.

In the United States the name is numerously represented, especially in the clerical order, among whom may be mentioned the Very Rev. James D. Power of St. Joseph, Missouri, the Rev. Charles J. Powers of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Rev. James W. Power of New York City, and Rev. Walter Powers of Brooklyn, N. Y. In the business and professional lines we may mention the Hon. Maurice J. Power, a distinguished representative of both, a man whose long official career, business enterprise, and character have gained him respect and honor.