Featured article: 



By Craig S. Chartier

Plymouth Archaeological Rediscovery Project

(2018 report has been moved to the Rocky Nook Page)

Read 2019 Article Here


Home Page

the 2020 annual meeting ~ New Information

We will be rolling out the full weekend schedule very soon, including pricing and payment options. For now please notice the annual meeting and the banquet will be held on Friday, September 11, 2020.

The society will be offering a special members tour event in the greater Plymputh Massachusetts area on Saturday, September 12. More details will be coming soon both online and in the upcoming Quarterly, due in the mail soon as well.  

Friday, September 11, 2020

Pilgrim John Howland society Annual Meeting and Banquet 

The Society’s annual meeting and banquet will be held on Friday, September 11 in the Gainsborough Hall in the Henry Hornblower II visitor’s Center at Plimoth Plantation.  The first of two opportunities to be party of a Howland Society Commemorative group photo will take place just before the start of the annual meeting in the Gainsborough Room. Note: This time is firm with a professional photographer. (The second chance is during the cocktail reception at the Howland House on Saturday.) To get to Plimoth Plantation, take route 3A south. From mid-town to the Plantation is about 3 miles. Look for the sign on your right. Note that traffic is very heavy so allow extra time.

Costs: $60 - Members

             $65 - Nonmembers

Schedule for Meeting and Banquet:

 5:45 --- Arrive for check-in

6:00 --- Society Group Photo

6:30 --- Annual Meeting

7:15 --- Dinner

8:00 --- Guest Speaker

The wine bar is open 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Pilgrim John Howland Society Tour

Cocktail reception at the Jabez Howland House

Saturday Members Tour

On Saturday, September 12 the society is offering a tour of our historically significant sites in the Greater Plymouth, Massachusetts area. It is open to all members and their families, includes lunch and a copy of our new Pilgrim John Howland Society guide book.


Adults --------- $40.00

Children ------$25.00

Children under 4 free

Seating on the buses will be limited so be sure and sign up early.

The deadline to sign up for this event is postmarked by July 15, 2020.

The tours will run from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. All buses will start and end at the Nathanial Morton School, 6 Lincoln Street, as short walk to the Howland House. Members must leave their vehicles at the school. Parking is very limited at the Howland House and must be available for visitors. Lunch will be provided at Rocky Nook where a tent with tables, chairs, and restroom facilities will be set up for all tour participants.

The Tour

Buses will take different routes so they will not be at the same place at the same time to avoid overcrowding. The stops will include:

Jabez Howland House

The Jabez Howland House located on Sandwich Street in Plymouth. This

is the only existing house in Plymouth where Pilgrims spent time. Jabez Howland, lived here with his family until they sold the house in 1680. Expanded in the early 1700 and again in the 1750, the house was a private residence until 1912 when it was purchased for a museum by the John Howland Society. The Jabez Howland House is on the National

Shallop, Elizabeth Tilley

This work boat is a replica of the shallop used by our Pilgrim ancestors. The boat is 38 feet long, is usually moored in Plymouth Harbor and is visible from the Plymouth Rock site. We will visit the shallop at a boat-slip at Safe Harbor Marina accessed via a ramp to a floating dock.

Burial Hill

This historic cemetery is the burial site of many Pilgrims and early settlers of Plymouth

Colony. We will view John Howland’s memorial stone and other Howland family members’ markers. There is a commanding view of the Plymouth Harbor and Cape Cod Bay from this vantage point.

Leyden Street

We will walk down the hill, pass by the Pilgrim Meeting House, to Leyden Street, named for Leyden Holland, a pilgrim refuge. Originally called First Street, it is rumored to be the oldest continuously inhabited street in the original thirteen colonies. A bronze plaque marks the site of John and Elizabeth’s first home site. (The property is now a private residence.)

Rocky Nook

Now part of Kingston, Massachusetts, this is the site of John and Elizabeth’s 80 acre farm they occupied from 1634 until John’s death in 1673. Still visible are the foundation, hearth stones and the locations of a number of outbuildings associated with the farm. The source of the farms’ drinking water is visible a short walk along a tended trail through the woods from the main site. John and Elizabeth’s son Joseph and his wife, Elizabeth Southworth’s home site is visible across Howland Lane. Lunch will be provided at the Rocky Nook site.

The tour buses will return to Nathanial Morton.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Jabez Howland House, Cocktail Reception

The society will host a cocktail reception at the Howland House from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. The house is located at 33 Sandwich Street. This event is open to all members, whether they have taken the Saturday tour or not. We will offer complimentary hors d’oeuvres with a cash bar along with live 17th century style music. Attire is casual. There will also be an opportunity to have a group picture taken in front of the Howland House to commemorate the anniversary year promptly at 6:00 pm.

Monday – Friday September 14-18, 2020           

Archeological dig at the Rocky Nook Howland homestead with Craig Chartier

You may attend any or all days. On the reservation form, please check the days you plan to attend. If you decide later to attend, or stay more days, you may. Come and see what treasures lie in the soil of our ancestors’ home!

The dig site is located at 67 Howland Lane, Kingston, Massachusetts. (Between Standish Road and Leigh Road.)

From Plymouth, take Route 3A North abut 3 miles. Turn right on Howland Lane (also says Grays Beach and Rocky Nook). Go about .8 miles and you will see big boulders on you right. Pull over and park along the road. Go a short distance up the hill and see the kiosk wth information and directions.

For more information on the dig, please contact Eldon Gay, Historian at: [email protected].












PJHS trip to england

Wondering what you can do to celebrate 2020? 

Come join President Ashley Smith and a group of your cousins on a trip to England to retrace the steps of our ancestors Elizabeth Tilley, John Howland, and other Pilgrims. 

We are planning a ten-day trip in July 2020. Details to follow in the next Quarterly Newsletter. Stay tuned. For more information email the organizers at [email protected].

The Fall 2019 edition of the howland quarterly is now available online

Login with your member password to see the latest issue!

Renew your membership!

It's not too late to renew your membership!  You can do this online by logging into your account via the Member Area tab above (you should have received login instructions in a welcome email).  You can also renew by mailing your dues payment ($25 for annual members) to:

Pilgrim John Howland Society
PO Box 1479
Plymouth, MA 02362-1479

Please note that if you mail in your dues, it may take some time for this information to be updated on the website.

Membership Drive!
The society has set a membership goal of 400 new members by 2020.
136 new members have already joined since our annual meeting!

Do you have family members who haven't joined the society yet or friends who would like to join in the Friends category?  Now is a great time to encourage them to join ahead of the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's arrival in New England. Entrance fees are waived through December 2020 (annual or life dues fees still apply). See here for more information and application forms.

ROCKY NOOK archaeological dig 2020

Annual archeolgical dig will be at the site of the John Howland's homestead at Rocky Nook, KIngston, MA on the week of September 14th - the 18th. For more information contact [email protected]

You can learn about findings from past excavations here.

Read More


The Jabez Howland House is open now until October 31st.  Be sure to visit us if you're in the Plymouth area!

Members, did you know that you can read and download high-quality PDFs of the Howland Quarterly, NOW dating back to 2011? Access these under the Member Area tab.


If you would like to see pictures of the Shallop Elizabeth Tilley sail, visit our Facebook page.

The Tilley had a wonderful sail to the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society Picnic on Clark's Island on July 15th. Learn more about the DRHS here and about Clark's Island's important role in Pilgrim history here.

The Crew of the Shallop Elizabeth Tilley at Clark's Island (photo credit Matt Villamaino/Ninky Savage)

photo credits (left: Pulpit Rock: Michael Goldstein, right: The Crew of the Shallop Elizabeth Tilley at Clark's Island: Matt Villamaino/Ninky Savage)


Letter From the President 

PJHS Website – President’s Welcome Letter 2019

Dear Members, Friends, and Visitors,

Welcome to the Pilgrim John Howland Society website! We hope that you find the site informative and helpful in learning about the organization, events and membership.

For the last 122 years, The Pilgrim John Howland Society (PJHS) has provided a forum for the celebration and recognition of two pilgrim ancestors, John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley. Our mission is simple: to preserve and celebrate the legacy of these two courageous individuals through education and stewardship of their properties, the Jabez Howland House and Rocky Nook. PJHS has over 1,400 members who proudly fulfill our mission through their generosity, encouragement and enthusiasm.

Any organization as old as ours has gone through a lot of growth and changes over the years. Moving PJHS forward as your new president, a primary goal of mine, shared by my fellow board members, is to expand our media presence and improve communication with members and the general public. Fortunately, we have enthusiastic board members who see the benefits of media initiatives, this website being a wonderful example. Our goal with the website and other initiatives is to bring you timely information on events and exhibits at the properties, PJHS organizational updates; educational links and information, and current research findings.

An exciting new development has been the creation of the new position of Executive Director. This addition allows us to have a presence in the Plymouth community with an increased focus on partnerships, education activities and membership engagement and support, year-round. Keep visiting our website and Facebook page as we continue to expand our presence and provide updates. The Jabez Howland House remains a Plymouth landmark and national historic site. It is the only surviving house in which Mayflower a passenger actually lived; John and Elizabeth stayed there with their son Jabez for some time. Similarly, Rocky Nook, one of the most pristine and undisrupted pilgrim era sites in the nation, remains a rich site for Howland family archeology. Artifacts can be found in the Plymouth area at the Jabez Howland House, at Plimoth Plantation, and Pilgrim Hall Museum.

PJHS efforts over the last two years will culminate with the 400thAnniversary of the Mayflower landing with celebrations that will take place in Plymouth. The Executive Board is still finalizing our schedule of activities, but we hope you’ll be there with us to recognize the incredible journey of our pilgrim ancestors, and the rich legacy they have bestowed upon us. Anniversary event information will be posted to the website as details become available.

Critical to our progress forward is your support. PJHS is a volunteer non-profit organization with only our paid personnel being our new Executive Director. Quality programming, special events, and maintenance of the historical sites require your support. Whether you have time, talent or treasure to contribute – please reach out to us! We hope to see you at future meetings and events.

Thank you!

Read More

PJHS Charms, Medals, Pins

What we have all been waiting for! The PJHS miniature charm, medal and lapel pin are now available from Hamilton Insignia at this link.

Gold filled is $59.00; sterling silver is $55.00.  Many thanks to our president and board who approved this project to show our pride and affection for our ancestors.  Special thanks to PJHS member Lynda Hylander who coordinated this project.  Order now!  Christmas is coming!!!

Order Charms NOW

Howland  Books

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants meticulously investigates primary records that substantiate the identity of individuals and families that descend from the Pilgrims who traveled on the ship Mayflower in 1620.  The Five Generations Project books, also called the Silver books, are now being researched beyond the first five generations. These avidly collected books are an invaluable tool in genealogy research.

Order BOOKS Today