Last name: Power

This interesting surname has two distinct possible origins, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, the name may be locational from the Old French "Pohier", indicating a native of Pois, a town in Picardy, North France, so called from the Old French "pois", fish, because of its well-stocked rivers. Locational surnames were originally given to the lord of the manor, or as a means of identification to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere. The surname from this source was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It entered Ireland in 1170 when a bearer of the name le Poer took part in Strongbow's invasion of Wexford. The name, initially Gaelicized "de Paor", and later Anglicized "Power", became one of the most completely Hibernicized of the surnames introduced at the time of the Anglo-Norman invasion. Poore may also have originated as a nickname for a poor man, or ironically for a miser, from the Middle English and Old French "povre, poure", poor. In the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, dated 1296 to 1332, the name appears as "le Poer, le Power", and "Power", and Richard le Poor, Poore or Poure (deceased 1237), was successively bishop of Chichester, Salisbury, and Durham. A Coat of Arms granted to the Poore family of Oxfordshire, is a silver shield with three black bars nebulee, over all a gold bend. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Drogo Poher, which was dated 1127, in the "Ancient Charters of Gloucestershire", during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2015

Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA!

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.
PayPal Acceptance Mark
Surname Scroll

We are currently experiencing a technical fault with our comments system we hope to have it working again shortly, sorry for any inconvenience. (19th of May 2015)

Joy McNabb

My Great-grandmother, Ellen Power, and her cousin, Joseph Power, immigrated from Colyton, Devon, UK, to New Zealand in the 1880s. We are lucky enough to still be in touch with a Power cousin in Devon. However, the family tale is that our Power was originally de la Poer or de Poer from France. There is lots of family research online about the de la Poers who went on to Ireland. Does anyone have any information about the de la Poer or de Poer (Power) who remained in Devon? Or a link I can go to? Or website? here's hoping!

Bob Powers
hello all- My name is Robert (Bob) Powers Jr. I live in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. My family line traces back to Irish Immigrants who moved to Prince Edwards Island Canada and then made their way to Chicago. We have been here ever since. My great great grandfather worked for the wealthy and powerful Isham family. He was their coachman. The Isham family was great friends and business partners with the Lincoln family (yes, honest Abe's family). Abe's son Robert was a lawer in Chicago for a period of time. If anyone has any information on James Powers b1850 PEI Canada d 1892 Chicago. He was married to Louisa Powers (nee Slattengren) of Sweden. They have 5 children. Please contact me at bpowers24@hotmail.com

Rebecca Power
Hi! My maiden name is Power. I am descended from the Alexander Power branch that came over before the American Revolution. I am trying to discover the truth about intermarriage with a native american woman at some point in the branch. Jim "Roe" Power is part of the line about that time and I descended from there directly. Anyone have any info on Powers intermarriage with native americans about the time of the Great Removal?

Richard Power
I am Richard Dean Power, a native Texan now living in Southern California. Many years ago I traced my family back to the early Texas settlements around Goliad and up to the Brazos River 1824-1833, when James Power was an Irish Empresario who had been granted Mexican title to issue land in Texas around the area of Mission Refugio (Goliad, TX). We know we came to Texas with James Power in 1834 from Ireland with a total of 350 Irish immigrants and most likely from the County Wexford, James Power home. My grandfather was Joseph Power from the area of Conroe/Cleveland, Texas; born 1886. I am continuing to research material to make connections with family in Ireland and hope one day to visit and catch up on the last 2 plus centuries.

JocyC923
The Waterford Power family is related to the American matinee idol Tyrone Power (1914-1958) who was the son of actor Frederick Tyrone Power (who went by Tyrone Power). There was recently a documentary about Tyrone Power on Channel 4 in Ireland.

amthompson.thompson2
Hi. My name is Margaret Am trying to find my husband's family in Ireland. His great grandmother was Marie Josephine Power, born in Queensland Australia. Her parents were William Power & Marie Josephine Bourke, at least one of whom we believe was born in Waterford. This is the extent of our knowledge and we would appreciate any info.

Sean Powers
Hello! fellow Powers! I have the surname of powers, and all I can say is this is so awesome! My Heritage is that of Irish/Welsh Decent. Everything I have read seems to have come full circle. My Family are farmers in Michigan, although sadly most are gone...I really love this History about our name, and it's origins. Although it seems to be associated with poor, that often meant a form of piety, and giving more than taking...Caring people. I am proud to carry the name of this clan!!!

mercedes powers
My family is all screwy... Wish I could find something out about myself :(

laura Power
anthony from limerick. hello i tihnk i am your actual cousin as i have a cousin anthony who stays i limerick but i've never met him. i went over to ireland and my brother wet out with anthony to a rave. he was alex power and if it is you you will know julie, who is my dad alex powers cousin and kathy and eddie who own the bed and breakfast. they all stay in waterford. lol. let me know if it is you Read more: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Power#ixzz1MVTyDIDJ

Dean Wang-phat Power
Hello, fellow family members I am Dean Power, son of Michael William Power, son Of Phillip Power Co. Waterford.. I do believe are name means 'the poor' but not in the common sense from what I have read the name is a voluntary made poorness, meaning our ancestors had no need for riches beyond their needs, I'm planning soon to take a trip to the village of Picardy where Ive followed the name and see what I can find out. Any family who can shed light to my family Ill be happy to share bread and shelter with. At present I reside in Co,Galway Ireland

Richard Power
Le sire DE Poer which is most likely the first mention of us, invaded England with the Duke of Normandy and is named on the battle Abbey roll..

Conan Power
Just to let you all know about the planned Power Clan Gathering 2013 in Co. Waterford, Ireland. Sure to be a great time for all the Powers.

Conan Power
oops - the website never came up - its http://www.powerclangathering.com

Declan Power
Hi, I live in Waterford city, and there are lots of Powers here! Those of you around the world should come and visit your ancestral home. My mothers name was Power also ! She wasnt related to my father!! but i suppose if you go back far enough maybe theres a small percentage of it! I have become more interested in the name and what I have gathered so far is that the original Powers settled in Co Waterford. They were origianlly from South West England and were given land as a payment for service they provided. I also think going back further we would have an element of french in us. I need to do further research!

Carol jansons
I am seeking information on my4th great grandmother..Anna Powers b.15sep1758 m. 28 May 1773 to James Call (1728-1809). She d.30 Jul 1837, Perry, lake co., OH. I have Not been able to verify her birth or any info as to her parents.. Tradition sez she was the dau of Andrew Powers b. 1725 Greenwich,Worcester,MA..m. 27oct 1740 (proven by vital records)Lois (Lowis) Emons. D 1 Jan1807, Woodstock, VT. He was in the American Revolutionary War. Tradition sez he was son of Claude Poire (1700-?) Alenoon, Normandie,France m.1720, Jeanne Duval. Died in Georgia? I would so appreciate any information and location of said documation.

Dawn Gorman (nee power)
Looking fit information on powe family from kilmacthomas.Dunabrattin, annestown. Relations too michael and ellen mooney