m. 20 Sep 1596
m. bet 1624 and 1625
Facts and Events
She came with her parents on the Mayflower in 1620. Both her parents died the first winter at Plymouth, leaving her orphaned at the age of 13 in the New World. After the death of her parents she became the ward of Governor John Carver. She married to Mayflower passenger John Howland around 1625 at Plymouth.
Elizabeth Tilley had a more quiet life, but she excelled her associates among other girls of Plymouth in one way, she could write her name very well. Possibly she was taught by her husband John Howland, who left in his inventory an inkhorn, and who often wrote records and letters for the colonists. For many years, until the discovery and printing of Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation in 1856, it was assumed that Elizabeth Tilley was either the daughter or granddaughter of Governor Carver. Such misstatement even appears upon the Howland tombstone in the old burying-ground at Plymouth. Efforts to explain by assuming a second marriage of Carver or a first marriage of Howland fail to convince, for surely, such relationships would have been mentioned by Bradford, Winslow, Morton or Prence. After the death of her parents, during the first winter, Elizabeth remained with the Carver household until that was broken by death. Afterwards she was included in the family over which John Howland was considered "head". According to the grant of 1624 he was given an acre each for himself, Elizabeth Tiley, Desire Minter, and the boy, William Latham. The stepmother of Elizabeth Tilley bore a Dutch name, Bridget Van De Veldt. Elizabeth was at least ten or twelve years younger than her husband, for he was twenty-eight years old in 1620. They were probably married by 1623-4, for the second child, John, was born in 1626. It is not known how long Howland had been with the Pilgrims at Leyden. He may have come there with Cushman in 1620; or possibly he joined the company at Southampton. His ancestry is still in some doubt in spite of the efforts to trace it to one John Howland, "gentleman and citizen and salter" of London. Probably Carver furnished the necessary outfit for the voyage. The debt was to be paid in some service, clerical or other. In no other sense was he a "servant." He signed the compact of The Mayflower and was one of the "ten principal men" chosen to select a site for the colony. For many years he was prominent in civic affairs of the state and church. He was among the liberals towards Quakers as were his brothers who came later to Marshfield: Arthur and Henry. At Rocky Neck, near the Jones River in Kingston as it is now called, the Howland household was prosperous with nine children to keep Elizabeth Tilley's hands occupied. She lived until past eighty years and died in 1687 at the home of her daughter Lydia Howland Brown, in Swanzey. Among the articles mentioned in her will are many books of the religious type. Her husband's estate as inventoried was not large, but mentioned such useful articles as: silk neckcloths, four-dozen buttons and many skeins of silk.
From "Women Who Came in the Mayflower", by Annie Russell Marble, 2003, 10th edition, and paraphrased to be easier to read.
Elizabeth (Tilley) Holland's Will.
Transcribed from the original records. By George Ernest Bowman.
"Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland, widow of John Howland and daughter of John Tilley, died at Swansea on Wednesday, 21/31 December, 1687, at the house of her daughter Lydia, the wife of James Brown. Her will is recorded in the Bristol County, Mass., Probate Records, Volume I, pages 13 and 14. No inventory is on record and the original will has disappeared from the files.
'In ye Name of God Amen I Elizabeth Howland of Swanzey in ye County of Bristoll in ye Collony of Plymouth in New Engld being Seventy nine yeares of Age but of good & perfect memory thanks be to Allmighty God & calling to Remembrance ye uncertain Estate of this transitory Life & that all fflesh must Yeild unto Death when it shall please God to call Doe make constitute & ordaine & Declare This my last Will & Testament, in manner & forme following Revoking and Anulling by these prsents all & every Testamt & Testamts Will & Wills heretofore by me made & declared either by Word or Writing And this to be taken only for my last Will & Testament & none other. And first being penitent & sorry from ye bottom of my heart for all my sinns past most humbly desiring forgivenesse for ye same I give & Comitt my soule unto Allmighty God my Saviour & Redeemer in whome & by ye meritts of Jesus Christ I trust & believe assuredly to be saved & to have full remission & forgivenesse of all my sins & that my Soule wt my Body at the generall Day of Resurrection shall rise againe wt Joy & through ye meritts of Christs Death & passion possesse & inheritt ye Kingdome of heaven prepared for his Elect & Chosen & my Body to be buryed in such place where it shall please my Executrs hereafter named to appoint And now for ye settling my temporall Estate & such goodes Chattells & Debts as it hath pleased God far above my Deserts to bestow upon me I Do Dispose order & give ye same in manner & forme following (That is to say) First that after my funerall Expences & Debts paid wc I owe either of right or in Conscience to any manner of person or persons whatsoever in Convenient tyme after my Decease by my Execrs hereafter named I Give & bequeath unto my Eldest Son John Howland ye sum of five pounds to be paid out of my Estate & my Booke called Mr Tindale's Workes & also one pair of sheetes & one pr of pillowbeeres & one pr of Bedblanketts, Item I give unto my son Joseph Howland my Stillyards & also one pr of sheetes & one pr of pillobeeres Item I give unto my son Jabez Howland my ffetherbed & boulster yt is in his Custody & also one Rugg & two Blanketts yt belongeth to ye said Bed & also my great Iron pott & potthookes Item I give unto my son Isaack Howland my Booke called Willson on ye Romanes & one pr of sheetes & one paire of pillowbeeres & also my great Brasse Kettle already in his possession Item I give unto my Son in Law Mr James Browne my great Bible Item I give & bequeath unto my Daughter Lidia Browne my best ffeather-bed & Boulster two pillowes & three Blanketts & a green Rugg & my small Cupboard one pr of AndyIrons & my lesser brasse Kettle & my small Bible & my booke of mr Robbinsons Workes called Observations Divine & Morrall & allso my finest pr of Sheetes & my holland pillowbeeres, Item I give unto my Daughter Elisabeth Dickenson one pr of Sheetes & one pr of pillowbeeres & one Chest Item I give unto my Daughter Hannah Bosworth one pr of sheets & one pr of pillowbeeres, Item I give unto my Grand Daughter Elizabeth Bursley one paire of sheets and one paire of Pillowbeeres Item I give & bequeath unto my Grandson Nathanael Howland (the son of Joseph Howland) and to the heires of his owne Body lawfully begotten for ever all that my Lott of Land with ye Meadow thereunto adjoyning & belonging lying in the Township of Duxbury neare Jones River bridge, Item I give unto my Grandson James Browne One Iron barr and on Iron Trammell now in his possession, Item I give unto my Grandson Jabez Browne one Chest Item I give unto my Grand Daughter Dorothy Browne my best Chest & my Warming pan Item I give unto my Grand Daughter Desire Cushman four Sheep, Item I give & bequeath my wearing clothes linnen and Woollen and all the rest of my Estate in mony Debts linnen or of what kind or nature or sort soever it may be unto my three Daughters Elisabeth Dickenson, Lidia Browne and Hannah Bosworth to be equally Devided amongst them. Item I make constitute and ordaine my loving Son in Law James Browne and my loving son Jabez Howland Executors of this my last Will and Testament, Item it is my Will & Charge to all my Children that they walke in ye Feare of ye Lord, and in Love and peace towards each other and endeavour the true performance of this my last Will & Testament In Witnesse whereof I the said Elisabeth Howland have hereunto sett my hand & seale this seventeenth Day of December Anno Dm one thousand six hundred Eighty & six.
The mark of Elisabeth E H Howland (sigittu)
Signed Sealed & Delivd in ye prsence of us Wittnesses Hugh Cole Samuel Vyall John Browne
Know all men that on ye tenth Day of Janry Ann0 Dm 1687/8 Before me Nathanl Byfield Esqr Judge of his Majties Inferiour Court of Plea's for ye County of Bristoll, present Jno Walley Esqr one of ye Members of his Majties Councill in New England & Capt Benjam Church Justice of Peace The abovewritten Will of Elizabeth Howland was proved approved & allowed And ye Administracon of all & singuler ye goodes Rights and Creditts of ye said Deced was Committed unto James Browne & Jabez Howland Execrs in ye same Will named well & truly to Administer ye same according to the Will of ye Deced In Testimony whereof I have hereunto Sett ye Seale of ye Office for Probate of Wills & granting Lettrs of Admincon ye yeare & Day by me abovewritten
(Sigittu officij) Nathanael Byfield
Thus Entred & ingrossed this 26: of Janry Anno Dm 1687/8 pr Steph Burton'"