Power History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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."

Early Origins of the Power family

The surname Power was first found in Devon, where they were descended from Rivalon, Lord of Poncar, in Brittany. Bartholomew Poher was granted lands in Devon and was Lord of Blackborough and was father of Robert Poher (sometimes called Sir Roger or Robert le Poer) who accompanied Strongbow in the Irish invasion in 1172. They were granted the county of Waterford by Strongbow and became active in the Government of Waterford and the whole of Ireland. [1]

The original settler Robert was killed in 1188 but his many sons and grandchildren established a name which would eventually become as Irish as the native Irish. Another source provides more details: "The immediate descendant of Norman Le Poer, or Power, was Sir Roger Le Poer, Knt., who accompanied Strongbow to Ireland, and obtained for his services three considerable territorial grants. He was ancestor of the Lords de la Poer, now represented by the Marquess of Waterford, and the many eminent families of Power in the South of Ireland, the Powers of Clashmore, Faithlegg, Kilfane, Belleville, etc." [2]

"The name of Poer or Power is widely spread in Ireland. The Poers of Belleville Park, near Cappoquin ; the Powers of Affane and Mount Rivers, in the same vicinity ; the Powers of Gurteen, midway between Clonmel and Carrick, are the chief representatives of this honourable name in the county of Water­ford. Several branches remained seated in England. " [3]

Early History of the Power family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Power research. Another 66 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1630, 1690, 1666, 1649, 1654 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Power History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Power Spelling Variations

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, le Poer and others.

Early Notables of the Power family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was Richard Power (1630-1690), 1st Earl of Tyrone was the eldest son of John, Lord de la Power of Curraghmore, co. Waterford who died in 1666. "The lords justices and council directed that no one should molest the Curraghmore family, and when Cromwell came to Ireland he issued an order on 20 Sept. 1649 setting forth that Lord Power and his family were 'taken into his special protection.' None of the Powers were excepted from pardon in the Cromwellian Act of Settlement, but...
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Power Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Power World Ranking

In the United States, the name Power is the 2,665th most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [4] However, in Canada, the name Power is ranked the 267th most popular surname with an estimated 15,646 people with that name. [5] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Power is the 4th popular surname with an estimated 1,490 people with that name. [6] Australia ranks Power as 226th with 14,934 people. [7] New Zealand ranks Power as 535th with 1,302 people. [8] The United Kingdom ranks Power as 555th with 11,716 people. [9]


United States Power migration to the United States +

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 United States in the 17th Century
  • Inocent Power, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [10]
  • John Power, who landed in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1643 [10]
  • Morris Power, who arrived in America in 1654-1679 [10]
  • Edmond Power, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [10]
  • Henry Power, who arrived in Virginia in 1692 [10]
Power Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anthony Power, who arrived in Virginia in 1713 [10]
  • Clement Power, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [10]
  • Richard Power, a fisherman of Trinity in 1759
  • Latrie Power, aged 43, who landed in Louisiana in 1797 [10]
Power Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Francis Power, who arrived in America in 1807 [10]
  • James Power, who landed in America in 1812 [10]
  • Lawrence Power, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 [10]
  • Manuel Power, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1823 [10]
  • Michael Power, aged 21, who landed in Missouri in 1840 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Power migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Power Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Andrew Power, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
Power Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • George Power, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1803
  • Eleanor Power, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1819
  • Bridget Power, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1822
  • Joanna Power, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1824
  • Judith Power, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Power migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Power Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Matthew Power, British convict who was convicted in Kent, England for 14 years for forgery, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Miss Mary Power, (b. 1774), aged 39, Irish needle woman who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Catherine" on 8th December 1813, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Mr. Michael Power, (b. 1791), aged 27, Irish labourer who was convicted in Kilkenny, Ireland for life for house robbery, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 9th August 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1854 [13]
  • Mr. William Power, Irish labourer who was convicted in Kilkenny, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 9th August 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1839 [13]
  • Miss Eleanor Power, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Buffalo" on 4th May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Power migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Power Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard Power, aged 36, a mason, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • Eleanor Power, aged 35, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • Eleanor Power, aged 11, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • Mary Power, aged 8, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • Mr. Mark Power, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand via Nelson and Wellington on 1st March 1852 [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Power migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [16]
Power Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John and Joan Power, who settled in Jamaica in 1654
  • Walter Power, who settled in Jamaica in 1685
  • William Power, who settled in Barbados in 1685

Contemporary Notables of the name Power (post 1700) +

  • Tyrone Edmund Power III Jr. (1914-1958), American film and stage actor born in Cincinnati, Ohio, known for his swashbuckler roles or romantic leads in films like The Mark of Zorro, Blood and Sand, The Black Swan, Prince of Foxes, Witness for the Prosecution, The Black Rose, and many more
  • J. D. Power III (1931-2021), born James David Power, American founder of the marketing firm J.D. Power and Associates
  • Taryn Stephanie Power (1953-2020), American Saturn Award nominated actress, daughter of Tyrone Power and Linda Christian
  • Frederick Tyrone Edmond Power Jr. (1869-1931), English-born American stage and screen actor, who acted under the name Tyrone Power
  • General Thomas Sarsfield Power (1905-1970), American Commander in Chief Strategic Air Command (1957-1964) [17]
  • Samantha Power (b. 1970), American journalist, writer, academic, and government official awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
  • First Lieutenant John Vincent Power (1918-1944), American soldier, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • Ted Power (b. 1955), American Major League Baseball player
  • Tyrone Power (1797-1841), born William Grattan Tyrone Power, Irish comedian, born near Kilmacthomas, co. Waterford, ancestor of Tyrone Power Sr. and Tyrone Power Jr
  • 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
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. William  Power (1869-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [18]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Alfred Power (b. 1912), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from West Derby, Liverpool, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [19]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Daniel Power, English Fireman from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [20]
SS Newfoundland
  • Mr. John Power, Newfoundlander from St. John's, who on the 30th March 1914 he was part of the Seal Crew of the "SS Newfoundland" leaving the ship to intercept the Stephano which took him to the hunting grounds, he disembarked to begin sealing, but was caught in a thickening storm, attempting to return to the Newfoundland he and the 132 crew made camp for two days the sealers were stranded on the ice in a blizzard attempting to return to the ship, he survived
SS Southern Cross
  • Mr. Frank Power (1895-1914), Newfoundlander from Low Point who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
  • Mr. Edward Power (1900-1914), Newfoundlander from St. John's who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Abner Franklin Power, American Private working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [21]


Suggested Readings for the name Power +

  • 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.

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  6. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  8. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  9. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  10. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  12. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 2nd January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/catherine
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/buffalo
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  17. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) Thomas Power. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Power/Thomas_Sarsfield/USA.html
  18. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  19. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  20. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  21. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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