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Trial Power (Shepard)

Also Known As: "Tryal", "Tryall", "Powers"
Birthplace: Weymouth, (Present Norfolk County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
Death: February 22, 1708 (62-70)
Littleton, Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Dea. Ralph Shepard and Thankslord “Thanks” Shepard
Wife of Walter Powers and Walter Powers
Mother of Mary Harris; William Powers; Mary Wheeler; Isaac Powers; Thomas Powers and 13 others
Sister of Sarah Shepard; Thomas Shepard; John Shepard; Isaac Shepard, I; Abraham Shepard, of Malden and 5 others

Occupation: Powers Burying Ground
Managed by: George Sheppard Root
Last Updated:

About Trial Power

Tryall Shepard Powers

  • BIRTH 19 Dec 1641 Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • DEATH 22 Feb 1708 (aged 66) Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • BURIAL Power Burying Ground, Littleton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • MEMORIAL ID 88750345 Photos by Patrick, Created by: Stanley Shepard Record


Married to Walter Power(1639-1708) on 11 March 1660 had 9 Children (see below).

Historical Background

Ralph Shepard married Thankslord Perkins in 1632 in London. They emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1635, with their eldest child, Sarah. They moved often between the early towns of the colony, having children in Dedham, Weymouth, and Malden, before buying the farm in 'Concord Village', which became Littleton. He was also one of the founders of Rehoboth, in Plymouth Colony, but he never lived there, so he his land was taken back by the town. Late in his life, he established a farm in what is now Littleton, but was then part of Concord, bordering on the Praying Indian town of Nashoba. That is where the marker you included is located.

Thankslord Shepard was famous for having signed a petition to the General Court in 1651, along with other highly educated women of Malden, supporting their minister. Her signature on this petition can be found online. Women rarely appeared in government records for that time, certainly not in a petition that would seem to be critical of the Court's actions, so those who signed it are still noted in history.

Unfortunately, in 1920 those who erected the marker in Littleton were misinformed about the original families in the area. Ralph and Thankslord Shepard did not have a daughter, Mary. They did have two sons, Isaac and Jacob Shepard, who were killed by attacking Natives in February, 1676. They had placed a young girl on a rock nearby, to keep watch, but the Natives were able to surprise her before she was able to give an alarm, taking her back to the Lancaster area after killing the Shepard men.

The teenaged girl is now thought to have been Mary Power, daughter of Ralph and Thankslord Shepard's daughter, Triall, who married Walter Power in 1661. The Power farmstead was next to the Shepard farm in Littleton (then called Concord Village). The age of the girl on the marker is probably close to correct - Mary Power was born in 1663, and would have been about 12-13 at the time of the attack on her uncles, Isaac and Jacob Shepard.

Thankslord Perkins Shepard was born about 1612 and would have been too old to have had a daughter Mary about 1663-64. Her last child was born in 1653. Mary Power was the second child born to Walter and Triall Shepard Power, born about two years after their marriage.

Mary Power's adventure was surely traumatic to her. When she escaped and returned home, she tended to 'run wild' by Puritan standards. Her parents were tried for at least one of her misdeeds while she was young, but she did eventually marry and settled down to lead a responsible life.

Mary Power married Joseph Wheeler in 1681, but she was dead by the time their daughter, Ruth, administered her father's estate in 1705. However, another family source said she died in 1740. Either way, no burial places were noted. As both of them were from Concord Village, which became Littleton, they may well have been buried in the Power Family Cemetery on the Walter Power farm. Several generations were buried here before the farm went out of family hands and was purchased by the Reed brothers. To the horror of the community, the Reeds plowed over the old burying ground in 1850, using the surviving tombstones to build a fence and leaving no trace of the graves. There was no law at that time about descecrating graves - there is now.

Inscription not a grave marker. from Littleton Historical Society Original Settler Cemetery 89 Great Road text on plaque "1676 The burial place of the first white settlers in Lilleton is 1300 feet east of this tablet. Erected by the town 1937"


Parents Ralph Shepard 1606–1693
Thankslorde Perkins Shepard 1612–1681

Walter Powers 1639–1708 (m. 1660)

Sarah Shepard Tompson 1633–1679
Thomas Shephard 1635–1719
John Shepard 1637–1699
Isaac Shepard 1639–1676
Abraham Shepard 1642–1716
Thanks Shepard Dill 1651 – unknown
Jacob Shepard 1653–1676
Daniel Shepard 1659–1697

William Powers 1661–1710
Mary Powers Wheeler 1663–1740
Isaac Powers 1665–1724
Thomas Powers 1667–1707
Daniel Powers 1669–1730
Increase Powers 1671–1747
Walter Powers 1674–1738
Jacob Powers 1679–1759
Sarah Powers Barron 1683–1711


view all 44

Trial Power's Timeline

December 19, 1641
Weymouth, (Present Norfolk County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
December 19, 1641
Weymouth, (Present Norfolk County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
December 19, 1641
Weymouth, Norfolk, MA
December 19, 1641
Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts
December 19, 1641
Weymouth, Norfolk, MA
March 16, 1661
Littleton, Middlesex County, MA, United States
Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Colonial America
January 1, 1663
Littletown, Middlesex, Massachusetts
January 1, 1663
Littleton, Middlesex County, MA, United States