John Howland

John Howland (abt. 1592 - 1673)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
John Howland
Born about in Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, Englandmap
Husband of — married (to ) in Plymouth Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died in Plymouth (Rocky Nook, now Kingston), Plymouth Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 11 Sep 2010 | Last significant change: 23 Dec 2018
10:57: Becky (Nally) Syphers edited the Suffix for John Howland (abt.1592-1673). (see g2g) [Thank Becky for this | 2 thank-yous received]
This page has been accessed 20,910 times.

Categories: Mayflower Passengers | Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire | Mayflower Family Member | Mayflower Compact signatories | Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts | Y-DNA Haplogroup R1b-Z8.

The Mayflower.
John Howland was a passenger on the Mayflower.
Join: Mayflower Project
Discuss: mayflower


Genealogical Summary

Birth: about 1599 "Based on age at death" [1]

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. [2][3][4]
Marriage: About 1624, in Plymouth Colony, to fellow Mayflower Passenger, Elizabeth Tilley. The marriage is credited with 10 children: Desire, John, Hope, Elizabeth, Lydia, Hannah, Joseph, Jabez, Ruth, and Isaac.[5]
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." [6]
Death: February 23, 1672/3 at Plymouth, Plymouth Colony.]].[7][3]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.[8]
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."[9]


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 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, [10]
Inventory of John Howland's Estate3 March 1672/1673.[11][12][13]
[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
Item 1 pruning Instrument 1 peece of steele 00 02 00
Item 2 staples 1 peec of a Chaine 00 01 06
Item 2 staples 4 peeces of a chaine 00 01 06
Item 1 Dagger three knives 2 paire of sissers 1 paire of stilliyards 00 06 00
Item 1 padlock 1 thwart saw 3 wedges 1 ploughshare 00 10 00
Item 3 Iron potts 1 paire of pothookes 1 Iron kettle 01 06 00
Item 2 brasse kittles 1 warming pan 01 15 00
Item 1 skimer 1 ladle 1 sawsse pan 1 brasse skillet 00 04 06
Item 6 pewter platters 3 bason 3 smale pewter thinges 01 07 00
Item a quart pot 1 candlesticke 1 beer bowle 00 05 00
Item 3 porringers 1 Dram cupp 1 Tunell 00 03 00
Item 2 salt sellers 2 chamber potts 7 spoones 00 10 00
Item 1 Iron candlesticke 1 latten pott 1 Ironsockettd 00 02 00
Item 1 shove Iron 2 washers 2 old sickles and old Iron 00 02 00
Item 4 earthen potts 1 pan and 1 Jugg and earthen ware 00 02 00
Item 1 hatchell 00 05 00
Item 1 great bible and Annotations on the 5 bookes of Moses 01 00 00
Item mr Tindalls workes mr Wilsons workes 7 more bookes 01 00 00
Item 3 wheeles 1 cherne 1 straning Dish 00 13 00
Item 3 cheesfatts 11 trayes 1 kimnell 00 05 06
Item 3 pailes six tubbs 1 ladle 1 cheese ladder 00 14 06
Item trenchers Roleing pins and some smale things 00 02 00
Item 3 Chaires stooles old barrells 3 Cushens 00 07 00
Items 3 beer vessells 00 04 00
16 06 00
[p.52] In the Inward Rome or bedchamber his wearing appaarell
Item 3 hatts 00 16 00
Item 3 great coates 02 00 00
Item 1 suite of cloth 03 00 00
Item 1 serge suite 01 10 00
Item 1 homespon suite and wastcoate 00 15 00
Item 1 suite 00 12 00
Item old clothes 00 06 00
Item 2 red wastcoates 01 05 00
Item 6 paire of Stockens 01 00 00
Item 1 Jackett and one paire of Mittens 00 13 06
Item 1 holland shirt 00 12 00
Item 4 shirts 00 18 00
Item 4 holland capps 4 Dowlis capps and 4 other capps 00 10 00
Item 2 silke Neckclothes 00 07 06
Item 1 paire of bootes 2 paire of shooes 01 00 00
15 11 00
In the said Rome
Item 4 remnants of clothe 00 19 00
Item 2 yards of serge 00 10 00
Item 3 yards 1/2 of carsey 01 15 00
Item 4 Dozen of buttons 1/2 10 skines of silke 3 yards of Manchester 00 04 00
Item 17 yards of fflax and cotton cloth att 02 11 00
Item 1 peece of fine Dowlis 00 08 06
Item 1 remnant of licye woolsey 00 08 00
Item about 16 yards of several remnants of homade Cloth vallued att 03 10 00
10 05 06
In the aforsaid Inward Roome
Item 1 pound of woolen yerne 00 03 00
Item 1 paire of sheets 01 05 00
Item 2 paire of sheets 01 10 00
Item 1 paire of sheets 1 halfe sheet 01 05 00
Item 1 paire of sheets att 00 10 00
Item 1 paire of holland pillowbeers 00 08 09
Item 2 paire of pillowbeers 00 15 00
Item 3 pillowbeers 00 06 00
Item 1 Table cloth and 7 napkins 00 13 00
Item 10 towells 00 07 00
Item 4 smale Table clothes 00 04 00
Item 2 smale pillowbeers 00 01 6
Item 1 Table and 2 formes 00 10 0
Item 1 cobbert and a framed chaire 00 08 0
Item 4 chest and 1 settle 01 00 00
Item 1 bedsted and box and coard 00 12 0
Item 1 seifting trough and 2 seives 00 04 0
Item 1 glass 2 glass bottles 2 earthen potts 00 03 0
Item 1 wineglasse gallipotts and spectacles 00 02 0
Item 2 paire of coards one bed cord 1 fishing line 00 05 06
Item some hobnailes & twelvepeny nailes 00 02 00
Item 5 peeces of Dresed lether one peece of taned lether 00 06 00
Item a smale prcell of hemp and hopps 00 02 00
Item 3 or 4 basketts 1 brush 1 file 00 01 00
[p. 53] Item Cotton woole about a Dozen pound 00 12 00
Item 3 old caske 00 02 00
Item 1 feather bed and bolster 3 great & 2 smale pillowes 05 00 00
Item 5 blanketts 03 15 00
Item 1 rugg and one blankett 01 15 00
Item 1 blankett att 00 15 00
Item in reddy mony 01 19 00
Item a smale prcell of powder shott and bulletts 00 03 00
Item 1 Inkhorn 00 00 06
24 14 03
In the uper Roome or Chamber
Item 1 feather bed bolster and pillow 04 00 00
Item 2 blanketts and a Rugg 01 05 00
Item 1 woole or fflocke bed 2 feather bolsters and a pillow 02 00 00
Item 2 blanketts 00 15 00
Item 1 bedstead cord and box 00 10 00
Item 1 prcell of sheep woole about fifteen pound 00 15 00
Item a prcell of feathers about 15 or 16 pound 00 15 00
Item a cupple of old hogsheds and an old candlesticke 00 02 00
Item 20 bushells or therabouts of Indian corne 03 00 00
Item 4 bushells of Mault or therabouts 00 16 00
Item 4 bushells of Rye or therabouts 00 14 00
Item 6 bushells of wheat or therabouts 01 07 00
Item 2 bushells and an halfe or barly or therabouts 00 10 00
Item 2 ffliches of bacon and 1 third of a barrell of porke 02 00 00
Item 1 halfe of a barrell of beeff and 2 empty barrells 00 15 00
Item 15 pound of Tallow and Candles 00 07 06
Item 34 pound of butter and lard 00 17 00
Item 14 pound of sugare 00 03 00
Item 1 halfe hogshed 00 03 00
Item 1 pad 1 pillian 1 bridle 1 sheepskin 00 05 00
Item 6 pound of Tobacco 1 pecke of beans 00 04 00
Item 1 grindstone and handles 1 ffan 00 09 00
Item 8 baggs 15s old Iron 1 shilling 00 16 00
22 14 06
Item 2 mares and one colt 03 00 00
Item 4 oxen 4 cowes 24 00 00
Item 2 heiffers and 3 steers of three years old 12 10 00
Item 2 two yeare old heiffers 2 yearling calves 03 10 00
Item 13 swine 04 15 00
Item 45 sheep young and old 15 00 00
Item the one halfe of a paire of Iron bound wheeles and cart and 12 bolts 2 shakles 02 02 06
Item 1 paire of hookes and a staple 00 01 06
Item 1 bullockes hyde 00 14 00
Item a cannooe 00 05 00
00 05 00
65 18 00
Debts Due to the Testator
ffrom John Branch of Marshfeild att 2 several pay-ments the sume of 08 00 00
Edward Gray 1 barrell of salt 00 12 00
Item a Debt Due from a frind 00 10 00
09 02 00
Brought from the other side 155 09 03
Sume 164 11 03
Debts owing by the Testator
To Elder Thomas Cushman 00 15 00
To Thomas Cushman Junir 00 05 00
To John Clarke 00 10 06
To Edward Gray 00 08 03
To William Crow 00 02 00
To John Gorum 01 12 00
To two or three smale Debts about 00 02 00
ffunerall Charges 03 08 00
Debts Deducted 07 02 02
The totale of the estate prissed 157 08 08
Wee find that the Testator Died posessed of these severall parcells of Land following;
Impr his Dwelling house with the outhousing uplands and meddow belonging therunt lying att Rockey nooke in the Towne of New Plymouth
Item a prcell of meddow att Jonses river meddow
Item the one halfe of a house and a prcell of meddow and upland belonging therunto lying and being att Colchester in the aforsaid Townshipp;
Item a prcell of meddow and upland belonging therunto; lying neare Joness river bridge in the Towne of Duxburrow
Item one house and 2 shares of a tract of land and meddow that lyeth in the Towne of Middleberry that was purchaced by Captaine Thomas Southward of and from the Indian Sachem Josias Wampatucke
Item 2 Shares of a tract of Land Called the Majors Purchase lying neare Namassakett ponds
pr nos Thomas Cushman senr
Ephraim Tinkam senir
William Crow[14]


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
in the prsence of Myles Standish
John howland
Thomas Bourne
John Dingley[15]

Land Transactions

'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.

Additional Information

The ancestry of John Howland is discussed in John Howland of the Mayflower through Desire Howland for Five Generation", by Elizabeth Pearson White.[17]
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."


John Howland.[18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][26]

Born 1591 Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England.[20][24][25][26]

Died Age: 80. 23 February 1673. Plymouth, MA, USA.[19][20][24][26]

Baptism: 16 Jan 1602. Ely, Cambridge, England.

Buried 25 Feb 1673. Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA.[24]

Arrival: 1620 Massachusetts[27]

Civil 14 Mar 1649. Plymouth Colony.[21] Age: 28. Departure 1620[20]

Residence New England.[21] Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA.[20] 1632 Plymouth, Plymouth County, MA.[18]

Origin: Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire.[20]


The Howland House in Plymouth Massachusetts.
Will of John Howland - 29 May 1672./
John Howland - Mayflower Passenger.
Mayflower Compact.
Memorial . . . John & Elizabeth TILLY HOWLAND and John & Joan TILLEY.
1601 John HOWLAND (MAYFLOWER) Descendant Chart.

Marriage 25 March 1623 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony.[25]

Research Notes

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.

A Brief Narrative History of John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley

John Howland was likely born the son of Margaret and Henry Howland in Fen Stanton, Huntingdonshire, England around 1592 (or possibly 1602). The family were originally Puritans, living near London.

In August 1607, Elizabeth Tilley was born the fifth child of Joan and John Tilley at Henlow, Bedfordshire, England. It is likely that when she was a small girl, she moved with her parents to the Netherlands, where her parents, her uncle Edward Tilley, and his ward Henry Samson were members of the Leiden Separatist congregation.

By then John Howland was assistant or indentured servant to John Carver, deacon of the Separatists church in the Netherlands. Carver and Howland left the Netherlands on the ship Speedwell to secure funds and passengers for the journey to the New World on the Speedwell and Mayflower in summer 1620. When the Speedwell proved unseaworthy, it was abandoned and 102 passengers and crew of 30 to 40 squeezed into the cramped and leaky cargoship Mayflower.

John Carver's children had died in the Netherlands, so he and his wife boarded alone with their indentured servant, John Howland. All of Elizabeth Tilley's siblings had died in Holland before she boarded with her father and mother. They were accompanied also by her aunt and uncle.

Sunny skies and favoring winds greeted the first half of their voyage, but about halfway across the ocean, wild storms shook the ship and cracked the main mast of their two masted bark. During one of the many battering North Atlantic gales, John Howland escaped topside. He lost his footing and toppled overboard. He managed to grab a topsail halyard trailing in the water and was hauled back in.

Assaulted by storms on their three month voyage, with creaking timbers and caulk crumbling from the bulkheads, the shabby Mayflower delivered all but two of her crew and passengers alive to the New World. But they were so weakened by poor rations and unsanitary conditions half of them would not survive the frigid winter.

Before disembarking, the men of the Mayflower drew up the Mayflower Compact – the laws of the colony – and signed it. Among those who signed were John Howland and John Tilley, Elizabeth Tilley's father. They were among the men who first met the Native Americans who greeted them. They explored their surroundings, began farms, and hunted for game and fur.

During that brutal first winter, Elizabeth Tilley was orphaned at the age of 14 when both her parents as well as her aunt and uncle died. Governor John Carver took her in to join his family.

Carver and his wife fared slightly better than the Tilleys. He survived the winter, but succumed, probably to a stroke or heart attack, while tilling his field the following summer. His wife Katherine died shortly afterward.

As the only surviving member of the Carver household, their servant John Howland inherited Carver's holdings and became a freeman. He took Elizabeth as a ward. Probably about a year later they married. They also cared for two other children from the Carver household.

In November 1624, the Puritan Pilgrims feasted, together with local Native Americans, to give thanks to God for those who had survived their first year in the New World.

John Howland and his new wife Elizabeth were successful in the new community. He served as a selectman and assistant and deputy governor. He was surveyor of highways, too. Howland was elected to the General Court for a five years. As a member of the fur committee, John was one of eight settlers who agreed to assume the colony's over £4000 debt to its investors in England in exchange for a monopoly in the fur trade. This allowed them to establish trading posts and to retain their profits and pursue their own goals. Sadly, competing trading posts led to poaching and trespass. A gunfight broke out on one of Howland's expeditions, in which two men were killed.

Elizabeth raised ten healthy children, all of whom grew to adulthood. They lived first in Plymouth, then moved later to a farm in Rhode Island. John Howland died at the age of 80, having outlived all but two of the other male Mayflower passengers. Elizabeth died fifteen years later at the home of her daughter Lydia.

The Howland's ten children and eighty-eight grandchildren founded a family that includes about one-fourth of the US population. Some notable figures are Franklin D Roosevelt, George Bush (both), Sarah Palin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Christopher Lloyd, Anthony Perkins, Chevy Chase, Brigham Young.


  1. "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
  2. MF 5 Gen by Lainhart & Wakefield
  3. 3.0 3.1 Families of the Pilgrims
  4. See discussion about proof of parentage later in this profile.
  5. Pilgrim Migration p 282-283
  6. This is the website of the Pennsylvania Society of Mayflower Descendants
  7. MF 5 Gen by Lainhart&Wakefield
  8. Citation unclear. Plymouth Colony Records?
  9. 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
  10. Found online at
  11. Plymouth Colony Wills 3(1):49-54
  12. Mayflower Descendant: 2(1900):70-77
  13. Online at
  14.; University of VA Plymouth Colony Archive Project; 27 June 1999
  15. Citation (?) Page: v. 10; April 1908; pp. 72 - 73
  16. The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower or John Howland's Good Fortune, author and illustrator P J Lynch, published by Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachucetts, copyrighted 2015
  17. 18.0 18.1 Massachusetts, Compiled Census
  18. 19.0 19.1 Holbrook Research Institute
  19. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 Anderson
  20. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Mayflower Deeds and Probates
  21. Mayflower Births and Deaths
  22. Hatcher
  23. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 Find A Grave
  24. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Yates
  25. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 Sons of the American Revolution
  26. 27.0 27.1 Filby
  • White, Elizabeth Pearson. John Howland of the Mayflower through Desire Howland for Five Generations (Picton Press, Camden, Maine, c1990-) vol.1, pages 1-7
  • Stratton, E.A., Plymouth Colony, Its History & People 1620-1691, Ancestry Publishing, Salt Lake City, UT, 1986. Other editions available.
  • Lainhart, Ann Smith. Mayflower Families through Five Generations, Volume 23,Part 1, Family of John Howland, General Society of Mayflower Descendents, Plymouth, MA., 2004
  • Banks, Charles Edward, The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers Who Came to Plymouth, (Baltimore, Genelogical Publishing Co., Inc. 1976)
  • Bowman, George Ernest, The Mayflower Reader, (Baltimore, Genelogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1978)
  • Willison, George F., Saints and Strangers (The Cornwall Press, Cornwall, NY, 1943) Third Printing
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • Massachusetts, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1790-1890 ( Operations Inc., Provo, UT, USA, 1999)
  • Mayflower Deeds and Probates, 1600-1850 ( Operations, Inc.)
  • Mayflower Births and Deaths, Vol. 1 and 2 ( Operations, Inc.)
  • Hatcher, Patricia Law. Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots (Pioneer Heritage Press, Dallas, Texas, 1987-) Volume: 2; Serial: 10950; Volume: 13.

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Memories: 1

On 10 Mar 2012 William Ramage wrote:

He and his wife both arrived on the "Mayflower" in 1620.

Login to add your own memory.

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

DNA Connections
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:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 3
John Howland - Plymouth Colony Records
John Howland - Plymouth Colony Records

Mayflower II
Mayflower II

[Elder] John and Hope Cehipuran [Chipman], their son John Chipman and his wife Elizabeth Handley, John Howland and his wife Elizabeth Tilley
[Elder] John and Hope Cehipuran [Chipman], their son John Chipman and his wife Elizabeth Handley,  John Howland and his wife Elizabeth Tilley


On 23 Dec 2018 at 06:50 GMT George Fulton wrote:

Why is he "John Howland V"? I suspect he never used such a name. He should simply be "John Howland."

On 30 Apr 2017 at 23:55 GMT April (Dellinger) Dauenhauer wrote:

After review, deleted text under copyright today (see Comment below).

I'm doing a personal study of Mayflower ancestors John and Elizabeth (Tilly) Howland and her parents, and will add sources/text not under copyright as I find them.

Onward and Upward, cousin.

On 29 Apr 2017 at 22:24 GMT April (Dellinger) Dauenhauer wrote:

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.

On 29 Apr 2017 at 18:28 GMT April (Dellinger) Dauenhauer wrote:

Please see Research Notes for a correction of my Comment (below) of John Howland's birthdate. It was not 1599. Both Richardson and White agree it was 1592.

On 15 Apr 2017 at 21:21 GMT April (Dellinger) Dauenhauer wrote:

The Mayflower arrived at Plymouth in 1620.

"The "Mayflower Compact" was signed on 11 November 1620 onboard the Mayflower shortly after she came to anchor off Provincetown Harbor."

John Howland signed the Mayflower compact. He could not have been born in 1638. Only adult men signed the Mayflower Compact. John Howland was born about 1599.

Please either approve and/or merge Howland-1928 into Howland-21.

thank you:)

On 15 Apr 2017 at 16:20 GMT Heather Husted wrote:

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.

On 25 May 2016 at 10:54 GMT Raymond Wing wrote:

Caleb Johnson wrote an article in the MAR 2016 "The Howland Quarterly" (pp. 10-20) documenting Henry Howland, father of John (and others) as well as his children.

On 25 May 2016 at 10:51 GMT Raymond Wing wrote:

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.

On 6 Mar 2016 at 11:47 GMT Vic Watt wrote:

Howland-21 and Howland-1290 appear to represent the same person because: If Howland-1290 married in 1623, then these are the same men.

On 31 Jan 2016 at 22:27 GMT Raymond Wing wrote:

Several Y-DNA descendants have tested and been found to fall under R1b-U106, A96/S10415. See and for more information.

more comments

John is 16 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 20 degrees from Katy Jurado and 13 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

H  >  Howland  >  John Howland