Gorham Family Tree

John Howland

John Johnson and Hannah Parmelee
Samuel Hotchkiss and Sarah Talmadge
Edward Sturgis and Elizabeth Hinckley
Joseph Easton and Hannah Ensign
Richard Miles and Hannah Easton
Generational chart
Generations to King
Henry Howland and Margaret

It is asserted that Queen Elizabeth gave the Howlands their grant of coat -armor in 1584 which is no

John Howland b.  1599 or as early as 1592) in Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England. d. Feb 23 1672 Plymouth Colony, MA.  John's parents as Henry and Margaret Howland of Fenstaton.) Son of Humphrey Howland m. Elizabeth Tilley  on 25 March 1623

It has been traditionally reported that John Howland was born about 1592/3, based on his reported age at death in the Plymouth church records. However, ages at death were often overstated, and that is clearly the case here.  John Howland came as a servant for John carver, which means he was under 25 years old at the time (born after 1595).  William Brandford, in the falling overboard incident, refers to Howland as a "lusty young man", a term that would not likely have applied to a 28 year old given that Bradford himself was only 30. Howland's wife Elizabeth was born in 1607 her 17 and him being 32 would have also been unlikely.  Note that since he signed the Mayflower compact, we can assume that he was probably 21 in 1620 and so estimate his birth at 1599. (Mayflower History.com/passengers/JohnHowland.php)

In 1646 Humphrey Howland, a citizen and draper (pattern maker) of London.  He  left his brothers: Arthur, John, and Henry money out of a debt due that was paid to him from Mr. Ruck, of New England.  This places the family Arthur and Henry as brothers of John the pilgrim, who came to Plymouth Colony about 1633.

Bradford's journal tells of a mishap which befell Howland on the journey over on the Mayflower.  In a mighty storm John Howland, a passenger, a stout young man by a keel of ye ship was thrown into ye sea.  But it pleased God, He cought hold of ye Top sail Halliards we hung overboard, and run out ye length, yet he kept his hold the several fathoms under water, till he was drawn up by ye rope to ye surface and by a boat hook and other means got into ye ship; and tho' somewhat ill upon it, lived many years and became a useful member both in Church and common wealth. 

John Howland was 28 years old when he arrived in the Mayflower in 1620.  He came as a manservant for Governor John Carver. During the Mayflower voyage.
A Godly man, and an ancient professor of the ways of Christ, one of the first comers, and proved a useful instrument of good in the place.  Governor Bradford's confidence in John Howland was implicit.  He called him among the ten principal men. 

  • John Howland in 1633 was listed of Plymouth freemen [PCR 1:3]((PCR = Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, ed. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff and David Pulsifer, 12 volumes in 10 (Boston 1855- 1861)) 
  • In Charge of the fur trading post at Kennebec, 1634 [MD2:10 -11]  (MD= Mayflower Descendant, Volume 1 through present (1899 - 1937, 1985+)
  • In Plymouth section of the 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms (as "John Howland Sen.")[PCR 8:187]
  • In 1623 Plymouth division of land John Howland received four acres as a passenger on the Mayflower [PCR 12:4]

John was the 13th signer of the Mayflower Compact; He commanded the Kennebec Trading post in 1634


John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley was married before 1624 and one of the earliest weddings in the colony. 

He was one of the leading men in the colony, and a partaker of their hazardous undertakings, and eminent for his devotion to its interests both in civil and religious matters.  Office sought him from the first, for John Howland, in conscious dignity, never usurped another's place.  On this basis he was deputy and assistant the greater part of his long and useful life.

Plymouth Colony Record: "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.”

* Note: Text marked in green have conflicting source information.

No Date
Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy The Standard Genealogical Encyclopedia of "The First Families of America" Vol 3. by Frederick A Virkus


John Crosby of Yorkshire and some of his descendants: 1440- 1940. Hartford, CT: Priv Print by
Albert Hutchings Crosby.


Smith, with collateral lines : Chipman, Divine, Huckins, Jones, Lewis (Barnstable branch) and Mayflower connection : ancestral record of Frances Amelia (Smith) Lewis
Philadelphia: by Harriet Southworth Barnes Lewis.

29 May 1672

Will of John Howland


"The Great Migration Begins; Immigrants to New England 1620 - 1633 Vol. II "New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston.; by Robert Charles Anderson


Mayflower Increasings 2nd edition by Susan E. Roser (which included sources from Mayflower, vol.1, and 2, The First Five Generations Documentated decendants through his first child Desire Howland and her husband Captain John Gorham. by Elizabeth P. White, 1990, 1993.