Parents: John and at least two of his siblings came early to Plymouth Colony. They have been traced back to Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England, which is near Newport, County Essex. The parents of the Howland brothers were probably a Henry Howland and Margaret Unknown. He had at least four brothers, Arthur, George, Henry and Humphrey. Arthur and Henry came to America about 1623/4 and later joined the Society of Friends. 
Marriage: About 1624 to fellow Mayflower Passenger, Elizabeth Tilley. The marriage is credited with 10 children: Desire, John, Hope, Elizabeth, Lydia, Hannah, Joseph, Jabez, Ruth, and Isaac.
Significance: "Mayflower passengers John Howland and [his wife] Elizabeth Tilley were married in 1623/4. John was about thirty-one and Elizabeth was about sixteen. They spent their entire lives in Plymouth, and between them participated in every aspect of the Pilgrim experience from its beginning in Leiden up to the merger of the Bay and Plymouth colonies." 
Death: February 23, 1672/3 at Plymouth, Plymouth Colony.]].The 23th of February Mr. John Howland Senir of the Towne of Plymouth Deceased. Hee lived until hee attained about eighty yeaes in the world and was the last man that was left of those that Came over in the ship Called the May flower, that lived in Plymouth hee was with honor Intered att the Towne of Plymouth on the 25 of February 1672.
Burial Place: Burial Hill, Plymouth. John Howland's grave stone has been replaced over the years: "On Burial Hill is a monument to John Howland erected in 1897 with funds raised by Mrs. Joseph Howland. This replaces a stone erected about 1836 by John and Henry Howland of Providence, Rhode Island. The earlier stone was buried under the new one. This earlier stone stated that John Howland's wife was a daughter of Governor Carver, but after the discovery in 1856 of Governor William Bradford's manuscript Of Plimoth Plantation, it was known that he married Elizabeth Tilley, daughter of John and Joan Tilley who were also passengers of the Mayflower."
1603: Jan 16, Christened at Holy Trinity, Ely, Cambridge, England
1620: Sept, Boarded the Mayflower as servant of Gov. Carver
1620: Fall, Swept overboard. Saved by grabbing halyard of the Mayflower
1620: December John Howland signed the Mayflower Compact
1621: Winter, Death of about half the passengers on the Mayflower, including Gov. Carver and the entire Tilley family except Eilzabeth. John Howland was apprenticed (indentured) to Govenor Carver and was part of his household family. The Governor and Leggett-169his wife]] were among the fifty Pilgrims who died during the first year at Plymouth. At this point John Howland seems to have been released from his indenture to the Carvers. it is believed that John Howland inherited John Carver's estate as the Carvers had no children of their own.
1623: August Married Elizabeth Tilley, also a Mayflower Passenger
1623: Plymouth Division of Land
1624: First child born, a daughter named Desire.
1625: Accompanied Edward Winslow to Kennebuck in Maine to explore trading with Indians.
1626: Agreed to be an "Undertaker, who assumed the Colony's debt
1627: Plymouth Division of Cattle. The Howlands had two children listed.
1627: Placed in charge of trading station on the Kennebec River.
1629: The Howlands acquired land.
1632 - 1670: John Howland held public offices, including assistant govenor.
1633: John (age forty-one) was admitted a freeman in Plymouth.
1633: The Howland family now has five children.
1633-5: Plymouth Colony Assistant.
1637-9: Acquired more land.
1639: The Howland family moved to Rocky Nook.
1641: Plymouth Deputy to the General Court for about 30 years
1643: Dispute with a rival group of traders in Maine. Two men killed.
1649: Tenth and youngest child born, a son named Isaac
1650: Surveyor of highways.
1655 - 1662: The Quakers became active in Plymouth Colony. They attracted converts to their beliefs. These beliefs were not tolerated by the ruling establishment. Some were jailed. John Howland's brothers became Quakers. John remained a "Separatist".
1659: John Howland served on the committee for Fur trade.
1665: Plymouth selectman.
1673: February 23, John Howland died. He was the last man to die, of the adult pilgrims that came in the Mayflower.
1687: Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland died, 15 years a widow.
Excerpts from Seventeenth Century Documents
John Howland Will's:
JOHN HOWLAND'S WILL AND INVENTORY. Transcribed from the original records, BY GEORGE ERNEST BOWMAN
John Howland died at Plymouth, on the twenty third of February 1672/3. His will and inventory were recorded in the Plymouth Colony Wills and Inventories, Volume III, Part I, pages 49 to 54.
[p. 49] "The Last Will and Testament of mr John Howland of Plymouth late Deceased, exhibited to the Court held att Plymouth the fift Day of March Anno Dom 1672 on the oathes of mr Samuell ffuller and mr Willam Crow as followeth Know all men to whom these prsents shall Come That I John howland senir of the Towne of New Plymouth in the Collonie of New Plymouth in New England in America, this twenty ninth Day of May one thousand six hundred seaventy and two being of whole mind, and in Good and prfect memory and Remembrance praised be God; being now Grown aged; haveing many Infeirmities of body upon mee; and not Knowing how soon God will call mee out of this world, Doe make and ordaine these prsents to be my Testament Containing herein my last Will in manor and forme following; Imp I Will and bequeath my body to the Dust and my soule to God that Gave it in hopes of a Joyfull Resurrection unto Glory; and as Concerning my temporall estate, I Dispose therof as followeth;"
"Item I Doe give and bequeath unto John Howland my eldest sonne besides what lands I have already given him, all my Right and Interest To that one hundred acrees of land graunted mee by the Court lying on the eastern side of Taunton River; between Teticutt and Taunton bounds and all the appurtenances and privilidges Therunto belonging, I belonge to him and his heires and assignes for ever; and if that Tract should faile, then to have all my Right title and Interest by and in that Last Court graunt to mee in any other place, To belonge to him his heires and assignes for ever;"
"Item I give and bequeath unto my son Jabez Howland all those my upland and Meddow That I now posesse at Satuckett and Paomett, and places adjacent, with all the appurtenances and privilidges, belonging therunto, and all my right title and Interest therin, To belonge to him his heires and assignes for ever,"
"Item I Give and bequeath unto my son Jabez Howland all that my one peece of land that I have lying on the southsyde of the Mill brooke, in the Towne of Plymouth aforsaid; be it more or lesse; and is on the Northsyde of a feild that is now Gyles Rickards senir To belonge to the said Jabez his heires and assignes for ever"
"Item I give and bequeath into Isacke Howland my youngest sonne all those my uplands and meddowes Devided and undivided with all the appurtenances and priviliges unto them belonging, lying and being in the Towne of Middlebery, and in a tract of Land Called the Majors Purchase neare Namassakett Ponds; which I have bought and purchased of Willam White of Marshfeild in the Collonie of New Plymouth; which may or shall appeer by any Deed or writing that is Given under the said Whites hand all such Deeds or writinges Together with the aformensioned prticulares To belonge to the said Isacke his heires and assignes for ever;'
"Item I give and bequeath unto my said son Isacke Howland the one halfe of my twelve acree lott of Meddow That I now have att Winnatucsett River within the Towne of Plymouth aforsaid To belonge to him the said Isacke Howland his heires and assignes for ever,"
"Item I Will and bequeath unto my Deare and loveing wife Elizabeth Howland the use and benifitt of my now Dwelling house in Rockey nooke in the Township of Plymouth aforsaid, with the outhousing lands, That is uplands [p. 50] uplands and meadow lands and all appurtenances and privilidges therunto belonging in the Towne of Plymouth and all other Lands housing and meddowes that I have in the said Towne of Plymouth excepting what meadow and upland I have before given To my sonnes Jabez and Isacke howland During her naturall life to Injoy make use of and Improve for her benifitt and Comfort"
"Item I Give and bequeath unto my son Joseph Howland after the Decease of my loveing wife Elizabeth Howland my aforsaid Dwelling house att Rockey nooke together with all the outhousing uplands and Meddowes appurtenances and privilidges belonging therunto; and all other housing uplands and meddowes appurtenances and privilidges That I have within the aforsaid Towne of New Plymouth excepting what lands and meadowes I have before Given To my two sonnes Jabez and Isacke; To belong to him the said Joseph howland To him and his heires and assignes for ever"
"Item I Give and bequeath unto my Daughter Desire Gorum twenty shillings"
"Item I Give and bequeath To my Daughter Hope Chipman twenty shillings"
"Item I Give and bequeath unto my Daughter Elizabeth Dickenson twenty shillings"
"Item I Give and bequeath unto my Daughter Lydia Browne twenty shillings"
"Item I Give & bequeath to my Daughter Hannah Bosworth twenty shillings"
"Item I Give and bequeath unto my Daughter Ruth Cushman twenty shillings"
"Item I Give to my Grandchild Elizabeth Howland The Daughter of my son John Howland twenty shillings"
"Item my will is That these legacyes Given to my Daughters, be payed by my exequitrix in such species as shee thinketh meet; Item I will and bequeath unto my loveing wife Elizabeth Howland, my Debts and legacyes being first payed, my whole estate: viz: lands houses goods Chattles; or any thinge else that belongeth or appertaineth unto mee, undisposed of be it either in Plymouth Duxburrow or Middlbery or any other place whatsoever; I Doe freely and absolutly give and bequeath it all to my Deare and loveing wife Elizabeth Howland whom I Doe by these prsents, make ordaine and Constitute to be the sole exequitrix of this my Last will and Testament to see the same truely and faithfully prformed according to the tenour therof; In witnes wherof the said John Howland senir have heerunto sett my hand and seale the aforsaid twenty ninth Day of May, one thousand six hundred seaventy and two 1672"
Signed and sealed in the John Howland presence of Samuell ffuller And a seale Willam Crow, 
Inventory of John Howland's Estate3 March 1672/1673.
[p.51] A trew Inventory of all the goods Cattles and Chattles and Lands of Mr John Howland lately Deceased taken and aprised by Elder Thomas Cushman Serjeant Tinkham and Willam Crow the third of March Anno Dom 1672 and exhibited to the Court held att Plymouth the fift of March 1672/73 on the oathe of mrs Elizabeth Howland widdow as followeth
In the outward or fier Rome L s d
Impr I muskett 1 long Gun 1 Cutlas 1 belt, att 02 10 00
Item 1 Chimney Iron barr 2 paire of pot hangers 00 09 00
Item 1 fier shovell 1 paire of tonges 1 paire of Cob irons 00 07 00
Item 1 frying pan 1 smoothing box and Irons 00 05 06
Item 1 adds 2 axes 1 mortising axe 1 hoe 00 11 06
Item 3 augers 1 pikaxe 00 05 00
Item 1 hammer 1 paire of Pincers 1 Drawing knife 1 spliting kniffe 00 02 00
Item 2 Cow bells 1 old Chaine, and Divers peeces of old Iron Aules & a box 00 05 00
Item 2 presshookes 1 paire of sheep sheers 2 sickles 00 04 00
Date: 04 MAY 1655 Place: Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachuestts
Note: 1656 "A writing apointed to bee Recorded" ref. land dispute
Wheras there was a diference fell out betwixt John howland senir Thomas Bourne and John Dingley about the Range of a pcell of marsh meddow lying in Marshfeild and not eazye to be knowne;
These are therefore to put an end to the aforsaid Diference; It is agreed by and between the said John Howland senir Thomas Bourne and John Dingley senir: that the line or Range shall begin att the beach next the sea upon a west line sett by a compas to a homacke in the marsh whre there lyes an old Ceader tree there being noe other nor no more trees neare next to the great Iland but that onely And from the aforsaid homacke and tree to Run upon the aforsaid west line to the Basse creeke To which agreement all the aforsaid pties have freely assented unto as abovesaid; alsoe that this agreement bee put upon Record both att Marshfeild and the court booke att Plymouth to avoid all further Diference for time to Come about the prmises; in witnesse wherof wee the said John howland senir: Thomas Bourne and John Dingley have put to our hands this fourth of May 1655
'On or about what was then New Year's Day, 25 March 1623 (old style), John Holwland married his fellow Mayflower passenger, Elizabeth Tilley. Elizabeth was baptized at Henlow, Huntingdonshire, England, 30 August 1607, the fifth and youngest child of a sild-weaver named John Tilley, and his wife, Joan (Hurst) Rogers. She was the only child of her parents recorded as coming with them to American. At the time of her marriage she was not quite sixteen years of age. The early records of the Colony of New Plymouth contain an account of the Division of Land in 1623, in which John Howland, as head of a household, received four acres 'on the Southside of the brook to the woodeard.'
'In 1639 the Old Comers were given a choice of several additional plantations for themselves and their heirs, around Yarmouth, Dartmouth and Rehoboth. Part of the land which John Howland chose was in Yarmouth, out on Cape Cod, where his son, John, Jr., and daughters, Desire (Howland) Gorham and Hope (Howland) Chipman, settled. It was also in the early part of 1639 that John paid L82 for John Jenny's land and dwelling house at Rocky Nook, now in Kingston but then part of plymouth, which had been built in 1628. And there he lived with his family for the rest of his life.
'John Howland also owned a tract of land in Marshfield. Among the deeds that have survived the vicissitudes of time is one that settled an argument between John Howland, Sr., Thomas Bourne and John Dingley, concerning the boundaries of a 'parcel' of amrsh meadow there. It was agreed that 'the line or Range shall begin att the beach next the sea upon a west lien sett by a compas to a homacke in the marsh where there lvs an Old Ceader tree there being noe other nor no more trees next to the great Iland but that onely And from the aforesaid west line to the Basse creek To which agreement all the aforesaid parties freely assented unto as aforesaid; alsoe that this agreement bee upon Record both att Marshfield and the court book att Plymouth to avoid all further diference for time to Come about the prmises; in witness whereof we the said John Howland senir: Thomas Bourne and John Dingley have put to our hands this fourth of May 1655.' This document was signed in the presence of Myles Standish and recorded in 1656.
'The following year, on 5 March 1657, John Howland exchanged land in Marshfield for a 'farme of land' in the Township of Barnstable owned by Christopher Winter, described as 'the Govrs farmes,' since it had belonged to Governor Bradford. It contained 'fourscore and ten acres of upland according to the bounds be it more or less and ten acres of meddow...lying next unto the land of William Crocker.' The exchange was acknowledged by Mr. John Howland and Christopher Winter in Plymouth. The ownership of this land was confirmed by deed to John Howland, Jr., 10 January 1667/8, when John, Sr., made a gift to him of 'upland and meadows at Barnstable being late in possession of John Howland, Jr.'
Quotations from Bradford's History
"In sundry of these storms the winds were so fierce and the seas so high, as they could not bear a knot of sail, but were forced to hull for divers days together. And in one of them, as they thus lay at hull in a mighty storm, a lusty young man called John Howland, coming upon some Ocasion above the gratings was, with a Seele of the ship, thrown into the sea; but it pleased God that he caught hold of the topsail halyards which hung overboard and ran out at length. Yet he held his hold (though he was sundry fathoms under water) till be was hauled up by the same rope to the brim of the water, and then with boat hook and other means got into the ship again and his life saved. An though he was something ill with it, yet he lived many years after and became a profitable member both in church and commonwealth."
The following is quoted from William Bradford's Mayflower passenger list:
Mr. John Carver, Kathrine his wife, Desire Minter; & 2 Man-servants - John Howland and Roger Wilder. William Latham, a boy, & a maid servant. & a child yet was put to hime called, Jasper More.
These being aboute a hundred sowls came over in tis first ship: and began these biginings. And that the great works of his providence are to be observed. I have thought it not unworth my paines, t take a view of the decreasings, & Increasigs of these persons, and such change as hath pased over them, & theirs, in this thirty years. It may be of some use to such as come after; but however I shall rest in my owne benefite.
I will therefore take them in order as they lye.
mr. Carver and his wife, dyed the first year, he in ye spring, she in ye somer; also his man Roger, and ye lisle boy Jasper, dyed before either of them, of ye commone infectio. Desire Minter, returned to her friend & proved not very well, and dyed in England. His servant boy Latham after more than .20. years stay in the counrty went into England; and from thence to the Bajamy Ilands in ye west Indees; and ther with some others was starved to want of food. His maid servant maried, & dyed a year or two after her in this place. His servant John Howland maried the doughter of John Tillie, Elizabeth and they are both now living; and have .10. children now all living and their eldest doughter has .4. children and ther .2. doughter, one, all living and other of their children mariagable, so 15. are come of them.
Of these 200 persons which came first over, in this first ship togeth; the greater halfe dyed in the general mortality; and Most of them in .2. or .3. monthes time. And for those wich survifed though some were ancient & past precreation; & others left ye place and cuntrie, yet of those few remaining are sprunge up above. 160 persons; in this .30 year. And are now living in this present year. 1650. beside many of their children which are dead and done not within this account.
And of the old stock, (of O e, & other) ther are yet living this present year. 1650. nere .30. persons. Let the Lord have ye praise; who is the High preserver of men.
Another account of his fall from the Mayflower is as follows:
At a young age, John Howland learned what it meant to take advantage of an opportunity. Leaving the docks of London on the Mayflower as an indentured servant to Pilgrim John Carver, John Howland little knew that he was embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. By his great good fortune, John survived falling overboard on the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, and he earned his keep ashore by helping to scout a safe harbor and landing site for his bedraggled and ill shipmates. Would his luck continue to hold amid the dangers and adversity of the Pilgrims' lives in New England? John Howland's tale is masterfully told in his own voice, bringing an immediacy and young perspective to the oft-told Pilgrims' story. P.J. Lynch captures this pivotal moment in American history in precise and exquisite detail, from the light on the froth of a breaking wave to the questioning voice of a teen in a new world.
Author's note: It was fortunate for John Howland he did not return to England on the Fortune. On the voyage home she, and her valuable cargo, were taken by French pirates. It was also fortunate for the Plymouth Colony because John Howland went on to become one of its foremost citizens.
The ancestry of John Howland is discussed in John Howland of the Mayflower through Desire Howland for Five Generation", by Elizabeth Pearson White.
John Howland is the son of Henry and Margaret Howland of Fenstanton, Huntingdon, England. Henry died on 17 May 1635 in Fenstanton, and Margaret was buried on 31 July 1629. Besides son John, who came on the Mayflower, they also had Humphrey, Arthur, Henry, George, and Margaret. Henry came to Plymouth sometime before 1633, and Arthur came sometime before 1640.
John Howland is an ancestor to President George Bush, to First Lady Edith (Carrow) Roosevelt (Mrs. Theordore Roosevelt), and to former Vice President Dan Quayle. Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford are descendants of John Howland's brother Henry. Winston Churchill is descended from John Howland's brother Arthur.
The colonial records say, "He was a godly man and an ancient professor in the ways of Christ, and proved a useful instrument of good in his place." His descendants are quite numerous. The late Reverend John Howland of Carver, Mass. , was grandson of Mr. Howland . He was the last man of them that came over in the Mayflower, who settled in Plymouth. On the passage to this country in the Mayflower the weather was tempestuous, and in a severe storm Mr. Howland fell overboard and came near losing his life.
The following is a record of the accident in Bradford's own words: "And in one of them as they thus lay at hull, in a mighty storme, a lustie yonge man (called John Howland ) coming upon some occasion above ye grattings, was, with a seele of ye shipe throwne into [ye] sea; but it pleased God yt he caught hould of ye tope-saile halliards, which hunge over board, & rane out at length; yet he held his hould (though he was sundrie fadomes under water) till he was hald up by ye same rope to ye brime of ye water, and then with a boat hooke & other means got into ye shipe againe, & his life saved; and though he was something ill with it,
yet he lived many years after, and became a profitable member both in church and comone wealthe."
Memorial . . . John & Elizabeth TILLY HOWLAND and John & Joan TILLEY.
1601 John HOWLAND (MAYFLOWER) Descendant Chart.
25 March 1623 Plymouth, Plymouth, MA.
Birth Date for John Howland: Elizabeth Pearson White and Robert Charles Anderson agree John was born about 1592. In Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to N.E. 1620-1633, Vols. I-III, page 1022, Anderson cites Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, by Nathaniel B. Shurtleff and David Pulsifer, Vol. 8, page 34, with the quote "above eighty years" at his death.
Baptismal location for Elizabeth Tilley, John's wife: In Great Migration Newsletter, Vol 6, page 26, Anderson corrects Tilley's baptismal location error in Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to N.E. 1620-1633, Vols. I-III, page 1022. It was not Henlow, Huntingdonshire. It was Henlow, Bedfordshire.
↑ "John Howland" by Anderson, Robert C., The Pilgrim Migration, Boston: Great Migration Study Project, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2006; John Bell to Lee Martin, "Query," email, 11 Apr 2013
↑ Possible citation(?): Edward Norris Wentworth, Jr. The Genealogy of Edward Norris Wentworth Junior. Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA; June 1928. A Special Project Submitted in Courses in Community Life and Advance Biology at the University High School, University of Chicago
Hanna, Doreen Potter. A Potter-Richardson Memorial: the ancestral lines of Wiliam W. Potter of Michigan, and his wife, Margaret (Richardson) Potter, published 1957, city and publisher unknown. Reproduced in facsimile by HeritageQuest.com. ProQuest Information and Learning Company Address: 300 North Zeeb RoadPO Box 1346 / Ann Arbor / Michigan / U.S.A. / 48106-1346 / 734.761.4700. HeritageQuest Online is owned by ProQuest Information and Learning Company and is protected by copyright. Also online at archive.org.
John Howland, The Pilgrim John Howland Society, Founded 1897
Roberts, Gary Boyd. Notable Kin, Volume One. Carl Boyer, 3rd; Santa Clarita, California; 1998. Published in cooperation with the New England Historic genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. The Mayflower Descents of President George Herbert Walker Bush, First Lady Barbara Pierce Bush, and Vice President James Danforth Quayle.
Ward, Robert Leigh. 'English Ancestry of Seven Mayflower Passengers,' The American Genealogist (Oct. 1976) 52:203
Bangs, Jeremy Dupertuis. 'The Pilgrims and Other English in Leiden Records: Some New Pilgrim Documents,' New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1989) 143:209
The Mayflower Descendant (Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants) 3:54-57: Bristol Co. Probate 1:13-14 (Elizabeth Howland). Plymouth Colony Wills and Inventories 3:1:49-54 (John Howland). 2(1900):70-77
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with John by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:
Cousins, we have a problem on this profile for John Howland. Several pages of "John Howland of the Mayflower" Vol 1 by Elizabeth Pearson White have been copied verbatim under the section "Additional Information". I will be removing most of it, as it is a copyright issue of major proportions. She is a living author and the book has a c. date of 1990. My copy is the 7th printing, 2014. Very little of the text under 'Additional Information' will remain when I'm done. Much of it is elsewhere in the text box, from other sources, or is not directly related to Howland's life.
Just to let you know a major change will occur on this profile, and why. It is to protect WikiTree.
Howland-1928 and Howland-21 appear to represent the same person because: DOB on Howland-1928 is incorrect but he's surely a duplicate, as are his wife and daughter. Their three profiles are unconnected and should be merged away.
The John Howland: : Christening: Date: 16 Jan 1602/1603 at Holy Trinity, Ely, Cambridge, England <ref>Holy Trinity Church (Cambridge), "Parish Register," P67/1/1, 1, John Howland baptismal record (1603); unnumbered, Cambridgeshire Archives, Cambridge, England</ref>
was NOT the Pilgrim John Howland. see Caleb John's article in the MAR 2016 Howland Quarterly for more information.