An American Family History

Increase Powers

Middlesex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643. The county originally included Charlestown, Cambridge, Watertown, Sudbury, Concord, Woburn, Medford, Wayland, and Reading.

Increase Powers was born on July 16, 1671 in Littleton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. His parents were Walter Powers and Trial Shepard.

He married Hepzibah Sawyer. Hepzibah was born in 1673 and was the daughter of William Sawyer and Hannah Houghton of Bolton, Worcester County, Massachusetts.

Increase did not have any children.

Mary White Rowlandson,Talcot
was captured by Native Americans
during King Philip's War (1675-1676).

Littleton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts was first settled in 1686 by English settlers and was the the location of the Native American village called Nashoba Plantation

Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.
Children of Walter Powers
and Trial Shepard
  • William Powers
  • Mary Powers Wheeler
  • Captain Isaac Powers
  • Thomas Powers
  • Lieutenant Daniel Powers
  • Increase Powers
  • Walter Powers, Jr.
  • Jacob Powers
  • Sarah Powers Barron
  • American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.



    Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts by Ellery Bicknell Crane

    William Sawyer, son of Thomas Sawyer (2), married Hannah Houghton, daughter of John Houghton (2d). His homestead was south of the present village of Bolton, and their garrison assignment was with John Moore, near Fryville. He owned land in other places; had one hundred acres on the west slope of Gates Hill, now known as Sawyer Hill, and one hundred and twenty acres on the eastern slope. His son, Deacon Josiah Sawyer, settled on these lands.

    Children of William Sawyer:
    1. Benjamin.
    2. Israel.
    3. Joseph.
    4. William.
    5. Josiah.
    6. Uriah.
    7. Aholiab.
    8. Mary, married Phineas Willard.
    9. Hannah, married John Snow.
    10. Hepzibah, married Increase Powers; Thankful Fairbanks.
    11. Martha, married Charles Wilder.

    Some Puritans gave their children hortatory names (from the Latin for “encourage”) like Thankful, hoping that the children would live up to them. The names were used for several generations.

    Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.
    Estate inventories give us a glance into the home life of Colonial Americans.

    from A Munsey-Hopkins Genealogy: Being the Ancestry of Andrew Chauncey Munsey by Daniel Ozro Smith Lowell

    William Sawyer (Thomas , was a child of the second marriage (with Hannah Lewis). He was born in February, 1679, and in 1700 married Mary Houghton (John). Some say his first wife was Hannah Houghton; but he left a widow Mary, at his death, in 1741.

    He raised a family of twelve children, as follows:
    1. Mary Sawyer; married Phinehas Willard.
    2. Hannah Sawyer; married John Snow.
    3. Hepzibah Sawyer; married Increase Powers.
    4. Aholiab Sawyer; "eldest son," baptized 1711.
    5. William Sawyer; "second son."
    6. Josiah Sawyer; "third son."
    7. Thankful Sawyer; married Jonathan Fairbanks.
    8. Benjamin Sawyer.
    9. Dr. Israel Sawyer.
    10. Martha Sawyer; married Charles Wilder.
    11. Joseph Sawyer.
    12. Uriah Sawyer.

    Lush forests in Colonial America allowed settlers to build wooden homes.

    King Philip’s War was a bloody and costly series of raids and skirmishes in 1675 and 1676 between the Native American people and the colonials. King Philip was the Native American leader Metacom.
    A blockhouse or garrison house is a small, isolated fort. The typical blockhouse was two stories with the second story overhanging the first. It had small openings to allow residents to shoot attackers without being exposed.
    New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Volume 2 edited by William Richard Cutter

    John [Houghton] (4), son of John (3) Houghton, was born in Dedham, died February 3, 1737, aged eighty-six years. During King Philip's war, after the massacre, he, his wife and her parents fled to Woburn, Massachusetts, where Jacob Farrar, her father, died August 14, 1677, and in 1700 John bought his father-in-law's lands. In the division of his father's estate, he kept the homestead on the Common and gave land for a meetinghouse there. He and his brother Jonas signed the petitions from the town to the legislature during Queen Anne's war. He was a fine penman, and was a prominent man in Lancaster. For fourteen years, between 1693 and 1724, he was deputy to the general court, and he was often called Justice Houghton. He was a skilled conveyancer and writer of legal papers. In 1704 he commanded a garrison house on the east side of Nashua river, in Lancaster. For the last twelve years of his life he was blind.

    He married (first) January 22, 1671, Mary Farrar, born in England in 1648, died April 7, 1724, daughter of Jacob and Ann Farrar. He married (second) at the age of seventy-five, Hannah Wilder, who was seventy-two years old.

    Children, born in Lancaster:
    John, December 13, 1672;
    Jacob, February 17, 1674;
    Henry, February 23, 1675;
    Joseph, February 26, 1678;
    Mary, June 18, 1680;
    Mercy, 1682;
    Anna, May 8, 1684;
    Jonathan, February 20, 1685;
    William, 1695.

    Queen Ann’s War was between 1702 and 1713. It was part of the War of Spanish Succession. England, Austria, the Netherlands, and Portugal joined forces to prevent France from becoming too powerful. The war waged on the New England frontier was called Queen Ann’s War.
    1677 Map of New England
    click to enlarge
    The New England Meetinghouse was the only municipal building in a town. Both worship and civil meetings were held there. It was customary for men and women to sit separately and the town chose a committee once a year to assign seats according to what was paid, age, and dignity.
    Queen Anne ruled England and Great Britain from March 8, 1702 to August 1, 1714.
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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