Elizabeth Tilley Howland

The Mayflower brought John Tilley with his wife Joan who had lived in Henlow, Bedfordshire, England. Henlow Parish records show a John Tilley, baptized December 19, 1571, married September 20, 1596 to Joan (Hurst) Rogers.

Elizabeth was baptized there August 30, 1607, (In her will written December 17, 1686, Elizabeth Howland says she is seventy-nine years of age which places her birth date about 1607).

While she was the youngest of five children she was the only child to accompany them. She was also the only member of her family to survive the first winter. It is believed that Elizabeth then lived in the Carver household. John Carver died in the spring of 1621 and his wife Katherine died that summer.

There is no record of the date of marriage between John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley. We know that by the Division of Cattle in 1627 they were married with two children, Desire and John. If Desire was born in 1624 or 1625 it seems John and Elizabeth were married in March 1623 when Elizabeth was almost 16.

After John’s death, Elizabeth lived in Plymouth with her son Jabez. When the house was sold in 1680, she lived with her daughter Lydia (married to James Brown), in Swansea (now a section of East Providence, Rhode Island). She died there on December 21, 1687.

In 1949 our Society erected a monument to her memory in the Brown lot at Little Neck Cemetery, Riverside, East Providence, Rhode Island.