Power (No.1) family genealogy

("Ginel Puerach")

County Waterford

Arms: Ar. chief indented sa.

THIS ancient family claims descent from Sir Robert De Poer, who, it is said, came to Ireland with Strongbow, A.D. 1172; but, according to MacFirbis, the family is of Irish descent.

Risdeard, a brother of Iusdas who is No. 109 on the "Eustace" pedigree, was the ancestor of O'Poir,[1] normanized Le Poer, and anglicised Power.[2]

109. Risdeard: son of Bened of Raithear Beneudaigh.

110. Seonin: his son.

111. Maigcin: his son.

112. Seonin: his son.

113. Daibhi: his son.

114. Nioclas: his son.

115. Risdeard: his son.

116. Piarus (Pierce): his son.

117. Risdeard: his son.

118. Seon (or John) Power or De Poer: his son. (See Note, infra, "Earl of Tyrone.")

119. John Oge: his son.

120. Richard Power: his son.

As above mentioned, Robert "De Poer," whose ancestor it is said came into England with William the Conqueror, was, we are told, the first of this family that, A.D. 1172, came into Ireland with King Henry the Second, who, by charter, granted unto the said Robert, by the name of Robert Puber, the City of Waterford, with "the whole province thereabouts;" and made him marshal of Ireland. In the year 1179, this Robert De Poer was joined in commission with Sir Hugo De Lacy, as lords justices of Ireland. In the year 1177, John De Courcy, with the aid of Roger Poer (who was likely the brother or one of the three sons of the said Robert), conquered Ulidia. We read that this Roger (or Sir Roger) Le Poer was the friend and companion in arms of Sir John De Courcy and Sir Armoric St. Lawrence, and was the standard-bearer and marshal of Ireland; of him Giraldus Cambrensis writes:—

"It might be said, without offence, there was not one man who did more valiant acts than Roger Le Poer, who, although he was a young man and beardless, yet showed himself a lusty, valiant, and courageous gentleman; and who grew into such good credit that he had the government of the country about Leighlin, as also in Ossory where he was traitorously killed."

And Cambrensis says that Sir Roger Le Poer was "the youngest, bravest, and handsomest of all the Anglo-Norman knights." This Sir Roger married a niece of Sir Armoric St. Lawrence (ancestor of the earls of Howth), and by her had a son, John Le Poer, living A.D. 1197, whose grandson, Sir Eustace, sat in Parliament in 1295. He was succeeded by lord Arnold Le Poer, who slew Sir John Boneville in single combat; and was one of the commanders in the Army of King Edward the First of England, against Edward Bruce, in Ireland, in 1315. Lord Arnold Le Poer was succeeded by lord Robert Le Poer, seneschal of the co. Wexford, and treasurer of Ireland. To him succeeded Matthew; after him John; and after him, Richard, whose son Nicholas was summoned to Parliament by Writ, dated 22nd November, 1375, and "three times afterwards." Of those Writs, Lodge says: "These are the most ancient Writs of Summons to Parliament that remain on record in the Rolls Office of Ireland." Richard, lord Le Poer, grandson of the said Nicholas, married Catherine, second daughter of Pierce Butler, eighth earl of Ormond (and hence, probably, the Christian name Piers, Pierse, or Pierce, came into the "Power" family).

In 1673, Richard, lord Le Poer, was created "viscount of Decies" (or viscount De Decies) and "earl of Tyrone;"[3] whose grandson had an only daughter, the lady Catherine Le Poer, who married Sir Marcus Beresford, baronet, and carried into the "Beresford" family (now represented by the marquis of Waterford) the ancient barony by "Writ of Summons" of the lords Le Poer. It may be well to observe that, among the modern nobility of Ireland, no "barony" is so much prized (because of its antiquity) as that of Writ of Summons to Parliament.

So early as A.D. 1368, the Le Poers (or Powers) were very numerous in the county Waterford, and in possession of a very large portion of the county called "Powers' Country;" and, besides the family of Curraghmore (the seat of the marquis of Waterford), there were those of the baron of Donisle, and the house of Kilmeaden—both of which were destroyed by Oliver Cromwell, during his "Protectorate."

Of the Le Poer family (which has existed in the county Waterford for the last seven centuries) there have been many branches and offshoots; one or two of which we are able to trace down to the present time. I. The following is one of them as far as we can trace it:

1. John Power, of Kilmeaden.

2. Nicholas: his son.

3. Piers: his son.

4. Sir William: his son.

5. John (2): his son.

6. David: his son; died A.D. 1696.

7. John (3): his son; had two brothers; died (before his father) in 1693.

8. David Power: his son; living in 1709; had one brother.

II. Pierce Power,[4] by his second wife, Grace, daughter of Sir T. Osborne, was the ancestor of the following branches of the Power family:

1. Pierce Power; had three younger brothers—1. Richard, of Carrigaline, county Cork; 2. Breine; 3. Robert.

2.Pierce (2): son of said Pierce; had six younger brothers—1. Milo, 2. Richard, 3. David, 4. John, 5. Thomas, and 6 Anthony.

3. Nicholas: son of Pierce; had a brother, the Rev. John, who died s.p.

4. Pierce, of Ballyhane, near Whitechurch, county Waterford: son of Nicholas; had three sisters—1. Penelope, 2. Eliza, 3. Alicia; married, in 1762, Elizabeth, dau. of Valentine Browning, son of Major Browning, who came to Ireland with Cromwell. The male issue of that Major Browning having failed, the said Elizabeth Browning became the heiress of Affane, near Cappoquin; and thus the Affane property came into the possession of the said Pierce Power, who died in 1815.

5. Rev. William Power: his fifth son; had four brothers—1. Samuel,[5] 2. Nicholas (who died young, s.p.), 3.John,[6] 4. Pierce; and three sisters—Alice, married to John Drew, Esq., of Frogmore, county Cork, 2. Catherine, married to Sir Christopher Musgrave, Bart., of Tourin, county Waterford, 3. Jane, married to Rev. George Miles. This William succeeded to Affane, in 1815; married, in 1807, Mary-Araminta, dau. of the Rev. Thomas Sandiford; and died 1825, leaving issue—1. Samuel Browning, 2. Edward, 3. Rev. Thomas.

6. Samuel Browning Power: eldest son of William; succeeded to Affane in 1825; was a J.P. for county Waterford; in 1831 married Mary, daughter of Thomas Woodward, Esq., of the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire; died in 1867, leaving issue three sons and three daughters: the sons were—1. William, 2. Richard-Charles, 3. Frederick-Edward; the daughters were—1. Frances-Susanna, 2. Mary-Araminta, 3. Susanna-Louisa.

7. Captain William Power, of Affane: eldest son of Samuel-Browning; in 1869 married Catherine-Mary, only surviving child of Captain Jervois, E.N., of Winifred Dale, Bath; living in 1880.


[1] O'Poir: See No. 107 on the "Eustace" pedigree, for the derivation of O'Poir.

[2] Power: We are indebted to the courtesy of Count Edmond de Poher de la Poer, of Gurteen, co. Waterford, for an elaborate Pedigree of "The Family of Pohar, Poer, or Power," which gives this family a French origin. It is but right, however, to say that the Irish origin of the family as given by MacFirbis is also that given in the MS. Vol. F. 4. 18, in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.

[3] Earl of Tyrone: The following extract from Lodge's Peerage of the "Earldom of Tyrone" may be of interest to members of the Power family: " John, lord Le Poer, being only eight years and a half old at his grandfather's death, became the ward of King James the First, who, 7th December, 1606, granted his wardship to his mother; but, 30th March, 1629, he had a special livery of his estate (he became a lunatic before the rebellion of 1641), and marrying Ruth, daughter and heir of Robert Pypho, of St. Mary's Abbey, Esq., had five sons and four daughters: viz., 1. Richard, created earl of Tyrone; 2. Pierse, Killowan, county Waterford, who married Honora, daughter of John, the second lord Brittas (having issue Richard, who died there in February, 1635, leaving, by Ellen, daughter of William Butler, of Balliboe, county Tipperary, gent., 1. John, his heir, which John married Ellen, daughter of Daniel Magrath, of Mountaincastle, in the county Waterford; Pierce, whose daughter Judith was married to Mr Ducket; James, Ellen, and Anne, and founded the family at Rathcormac, in the county Waterford); 3. Robert; 4. John, who died unmarried in Dublin; 5. David, who died there, 17th August, 1661, and was buried at St. Michan's; 1. Ellen, married to Thomas Walsh, of Piltown, sen., Esq.; 2. Catherine, married to John Fitzgerald, of Dromana, Esq. (whose only daughter, Catherine, was mother of John, late earl Grandison); 3. Margaret; and 4. Mary.

In Notes at foot of the foregoing, Lodge gives the following references: MS. Pedig. Trin. Coll., 1676; and again MS. Pedig. Trin. Coll. Plea and Ans. Villers to Poer. 14th November, 1676.

[4] Pierce Power: This Pierce was twice married: by his first marriage he had a son named Roger.

[5] Samuel: This Samuel Power was married to Anne, daughter and co-heir of Sir G. Browne, by whom he had three sons and three daughters: the sons were—1. George-Beresford, married to Elizabeth Reeves, by whom she had one son (Samuel) and one daughter (Dorothea-Carttor); 2. Samuel; 3. Rev. Henry. The daughters were —1. Anna, married to D. Blake, Esq.; 2. Elizabeth; 3. Georgina.

[6] John: This John was twice married: first to Anna Ross, by whom he had three children—1. Pierce, 2. Elizabeth, married to W. L. Ogilby, 3. Mary, married to J. Farrell; his second marriage was to Jane Bennett, by whom he had five children—1. Samuel, married to Rebecca Danver, 2. Philip, 3. John, 4. Philip, 5. Anna-Ross. The children of this Samuel Power and his wife Rebecca Danver, were—1. John-Danver, 2. Florence-Danver, 3. Frederick-Danver, 4. Arthur-Danver, 5. Lilian Danver, 6. Philip-Danver, 7. Norman-Danver, 8. Arnold-Danver.