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 John Howland

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John Howland

  • Birth 1591 Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire District, Cambridgeshire, England
  • Death 23 Feb 1672 Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Burial Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA
  • GPS
  • Memorial ID 6613808

American history legend from the voyage of the Mayflower and founding of Plymouth Rock in 1620. American children discover John Howland when they learn of the Pilgrims, Plymouth Rock, and the first Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims' leader Governor William Bradford wrote a first hand account of the Pilgrim history from 1620 to 1647. This account was first published in 1952, and is considered one of the best first hand accounts of any kind on American history. In Bradford's account of the voyage over on the Mayflower, he tells of how John Howland washed overboard in violent storm. Howland was 29 years of age at the time. Howland was able to grab some ropes from the sails and gradually pull himself back on board the ship. This event and Bradford's account of it made John Howland a legend. Howland's name and account has been published in hundreds of publications and in school history books. As myths can grow, the story had changed that he had died and was the first pilgrim to die, thus the oldest burial in the Plymouth cemetery, Burial Hill. In fact, he survived, married and had a number of children with Elizabeth Tilley Howland, and lived to 80 plus, according to his grave stone. His grave stone also states from Plymouth records that he was the last male to die from the original pilgrims of the Mayflower.

Bio by: Bruce


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Here ended the Pilgrimage of JOHN HOWLAND who died February 23, 1672/3 aged above 80 years. He married Elizabeth daughter of JOHN TILLEY who came with him in the Mayflower Dec. 1620. From them are descended a numerous posterity. "Here was a godly man and an ancient professor in the ways of Christ. Hee was one of the first comers into this land and was the last man that was left of those that came over in the Shipp called the Mayflower that lived in Plymouth."


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peterborough "K"
  • Added: 17 Jul 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6613808
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Howland (1591–23 Feb 1672), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6613808, citing Burial Hill, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .