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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the Irish Power family come from? What is the Irish Power family crest and coat of arms? When did the Power family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Power family history?

The surname Power came from a nickname for a poor man or a pauper. This name implies a voluntary vow of poverty rather than involuntary destitution. The surname Power is derived from the Old French word "povre," which comes from the Latin word "pauper," which means "poor". The Gaelic form of the surname is "de Paor," although the proper prefix would be "le."


Medieval scribes and church officials spelt names simply the way they sounded, which explains the various name spelling variations of the name Power that were encountered when researching that surname. The many spelling variations included: Power, Powers and others.

First found in Devon, where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Power research. Another 375 words(27 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1188 are included under the topic Early Power History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Power Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Irish immigration to North American began in the late 18th century as many Irish families desired to own their own land. This pattern of immigration grew slowly yet steadily until the 1840s. At that time, a failed crop and a growing population in Ireland resulted in the Great Potato Famine. Poverty, disease, and starvation ravaged the land. To ease their pain and suffering the Irish often looked upon North America as a solution: hundreds of thousands undertook the voyage. Their arrival meant the growth of industry and commerce for British North America and the United States. For the individual Irishman, it meant survival and hope, and the opportunity for work, freedom, and ownership of land. The early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Power:

Power Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Inocent Power, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • John Power, who landed in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1643
  • John and Joan Power, who settled in Jamaica in 1654
  • Morris Power, who arrived in America in 1654-1679
  • Edmond Power, who landed in Virginia in 1664

Power Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Anthony Power, who arrived in Virginia in 1713
  • Clement Power, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • Richard Power, a fisherman of Trinity in 1759
  • Latrie Power, aged 43, landed in Louisiana in 1797

Power Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Francis Power, who arrived in America in 1807
  • James Power, who landed in America in 1812
  • Lawrence Power, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817
  • Manuel Power, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1823
  • Michael Power, aged 21, landed in Missouri in 1840


  • Ted Power (b. 1955), American Major League Baseball player
  • Tyrone Edmund Power Jr. (1914-1958), American film and stage actor
  • First Lieutenant John Vincent Power (1918-1944), American soldier, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • Samantha Power (b. 1970), American journalist, writer, academic, and government official awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
  • General Thomas Sarsfield Power (1905-1970), American Commander in Chief Strategic Air Command (1957-1964)
  • Harold Littledale Power (1833-1901), Irish actor, wine merchant, mine agent & engineer
  • Sir James Power, High Sheriff of Dublin, founder of John's Lane Distillery in 1791, whose Powers Gold Label Irish whiskey is still brewed today
  • Sir Arthur John Power GCB, GBE, CVO (1889-1960), Admiral of the Fleet, British Navy in 1952
  • Charles Gavan Power (1888-1968), Canadian politician, who served in the Canadian House of Commons (1917-1955)
  • Patrick Power (b. 1947), New Zealand operatic tenor



  • A Genealogical Record of the Power(s) Families by Franklin E. Powers.
  • Descendants of Alexander Power of Laurens County, South Carolina by Lucien L. McNees.
  • Parke-Reitz and Erwin-Powers Families of Kansas by Elva Griffith Reitz.

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  1. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  4. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  7. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  11. ...

The Power Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Power Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 31 May 2014 at 10:27.

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