An American Family History

Captain Isaac Powers

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.
Guardianship is when a court gives an adult custody of a child and/or the responsibility of managing the child's property. Before women could own property, guardians were appointed for their minor children if their husband died.

Captain Isaac Powers was born on April 9, 1665 in Littleton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. His parents were Walter Powers and Trial Shepard

He was captain of the militia and was active in civic affairs. He petitioned for the incorporation of the town of Littleton and moderated the first town meeting. He held various town offices for many years. He served as a member of the general court twice. He was the colonial agent for conveying lands.

He married Mary Poulter Winship, on April 14, 1701. Mary was born in 1668. She was the daughter of John Poulter and Rachel Eliott of Medford.

Mary was the widow of Samuel Winship of Lexington. Samuel was born on October 24, 1658 and was the son of Lieutenant Edward Winship and Elizabeth Parks. Mary and Samuel lived in Lexington and had at least one son, Samuel Winship, Jr. Samuel, Sr. died on June 18, 1695. Isaac Powers was appointed as Samuel, Jr.'s guardian.

Isaac and Mary's children included:
Isaac Powers, Jr. (August 26, 1701 to December 15, 1729),
Jonathan Powers (February 20, 1703/04),
Gideon Powers (December 31, 1706),
Lucy Powers Powers (Luce—March 9, 1705, married Ephriam Powers son of William Powers and Mary Bank),
Hannah Powers (March 21, 1709, she may have married Barnabas Davis),
Tryphena Powers Laurence (May 22, 1711),
Ephraim Powers, and Mary Powers Davis (1724). 

The Powers Family by Amos Powers has both Mary the daughter of Joseph Powers and Hannah Whitcomb (p. 24) and Mary the daughter of Captain Isaac and Mary Poulter the wife of Simon Davis, Jr. (p. 15).

Isaac was a member of the committee which assigned seating in the meeting house when it was completed in 1723.

Isaac died in 1735. Mary died in 1743.

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
  • Middlesex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643. The county originally included Charlestown, Cambridge, Watertown, Sudbury, Concord, Woburn, Medford, Wayland, and Reading.
    Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.



    From the tombstone of Isaac Powers
    (son of Captain Isaac Powers and Mary Poulter)

    Her lyeth the body of Isaac Powers,
    One of the sweet and pleasant flowers;
    Let this be a lesson unto the rest,
    When God doth take from us the best,
    Who was a pattern to us all.
    But God can give a louder call,
    And earthly parents now behold,
    The price of grace is more than gold;
    Prepare to meet your children first,
    At the resurrection of the just.


    Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, John W. Jordan, Edgar Moore Green, & George T. Ettinger, eds., 1905

    Samuel Winship, son of Lieutenant Edward and Elizabeth (Parks) Winship, born October 24, 1658, was a resident of Lexington all his life. He was selectman of the town, and subscriber to the meeting house and for the purchase of the common. He married, April 12, 1687, Mary Powers [sic Poulter], of Medford. (He died June 18, 1696).

    A militia is a military unit composed of citizens who are called up in time of need.

    Boston was founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England.

    from New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: Volume 2 edited by William Richard Cutter

    Lieutenant Edward Winship, son of Lyonel Winship, was born in England, March 13, 1612-13, died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, December 2, 1688. He arrived in Boston October 3, 1635, on the ship Defence, which sailed from Harwich, August 10, 1635, and he settled in Cambridge.

    In 1638 he purchased land on the corner of Mason and Brattle streets, extending to the commons. He was for many years an energetic citizen, a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston, 1638; commissioned ensign of the Cambridge militia in 1647, lieutenant in 1660; deputy general of the court in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1663-4 and 1681-86.

    He married (first) Isabell, daughter of Jane Wilkinson, and she died February 28, 1656. He married (second) in 1657, Elizabeth Parks, who died in 1690.

    Sarah, born April, 1638, died December 20, 1659, married, September 29, 1655, James Hubbard; Mary, born July 2, 1641;
    Ephraim, June 29, 1643, died October 19, 1696, married, October 7, 1670, Hannah Raynor;
    Joanna, August 1, 1645, clied November 19, 1707, spinster;
    Edward, June 8, 1648, died in infancy;
    Elizabeth, April 25, 1652, died September 16, 1652;
    Abigail, February 13, 1656, married William Russell, March 18, 1683 (see Russell);
    Samuel, October 24, 1658, died June 18, 1696, married April 12, 1687, Mary Poulter or Powers, of Medford;
    Joseph, June 21, 1661, selectman of Charlestown for three years, died September 15, 1705, married Jane Harrington;
    Margery, December 11, 1665, married May 12, 1687, John Dixon;
    Mehitable, November 17, 1667. This daughter was for many years a school teacher, and the following odd epitaph appears upon her tombstone:

    This good dame no longer school must keep,
    Which gives us cause for children's sake to weep.

    The town common (commons) was a small, open field at the center of the town which was jointly owned. It was used as a marketplace, a place for the militia to drill, or for grazing livestock.

    From The History of Littleton

    Isaac [Powers] m. 2d Apr 14 1701 Mary Winship of Cambridge, widow of Samuel Winship and dau. John Poulter of Medford. Samuel Winship [Jr.] nominated his beloved father in law I. Powers of Cambridge Farms for his Guardian during his minority. . .

    Children of Isaac and Mary (Winship) Powers:
    Isaac d. young
    Isaac Jr. d. Dec. 17 1729 a. 29 (see p. 369)
    Jonathan m. Dec 25 1725 Elizebeth Kidder of Chelmsford
    (children on pp. 11, 36, 37)
    Gideon m. Lydia, probably Russell
    Ephraim m. Lucy (children on p. 37)


    from Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine, by George Thomas Little, Henry Sweetser Burrage, Albert Roscoe Stubbs, Lewis Historical Pub. Co., 1909

    Isaac [Powers], born 1665, married, April 14, 1701, Mary, daughter of John Poulter and widow of Samuel Winship Sr. Isaac Power was captain of the militia, a petitioner for the incorporation of the town, moderator of the first town meeting, held various town offices for many years, was twice a member of the general court and was colonial agent for conveying lands. With his brother, Walter, he was on the pew committee to convey pew-rights in the meeting house when completed in 1723. His wife and the wife of Benjamin Shattuck, the first settled minister of the town, were of the same family.


    John Poultner [Poulter], Billerica, 1658; from Rayleigh in Co. Essex, married, 1662, Rachel Eliot of Braintree, daughter of Francis; died at Cambridge, 1676, aged 41, as inscription on gravestone is given by Harris, Epit. 6. His widow married, 1677, John Whitmore...


    from Genealogical and Personal Memoirs, Volume 2 edited by William Richard Cutter

    The Poulters were of German descent, although they came to this country from England. John Poulter was from Raleigh, Essex. In 1668 he bought an eight acre right in Billerica and lived there until the beginning of King Philip's war in 1675, when the family went to Medford, where John died, September 18, 1676.

    His first wife, whom he married December 29, 1662, was Rachel, daughter of Francis Elliot, of Braintree, Massachusetts.

    Their son Jonathan [Poulter], with his brother, John, (said to have been his twin brother), appeared at Cambridge farm in 1693, and he and his wife Elizabeth [Coolidge] were admitted to the church in Lexington in 1697.

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

    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.

    Gideon [Powers] m. Lydia Russell.

    He probably lived in Lexington, as his name appears on the rolls of that town as a soldier in an old French war. Lydia, his wife, was a sister of Nathaniel Russell, Esq., and probably daughter of Deacon David Russell of "Nashoba Farms."

    Gideon Powers is the first name on the first church records, without date, the previous records supposed to be lost;

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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