Saturday, September 2, 2017

Surname Saturday ~ TILLEY of the Mayflower

My 11th great grandfather, John Tilley (1571 – 1620) sailed to the New World on board the Mayflower in 1620 with his wife, Joan Hurst, and his youngest child, Elizabeth.  His brother Edward and sister-in-law, Agnes, were also aboard the ship.  John Tilley signed the Mayflower Compact, helped with the first explorations of Cape Cod in the shallop, and participated in the “First Encounter” with Native Americans on the beach near present day Provincetown .  All these Tilley family members died during that first harsh winter in New England except for young Elizabeth, who was about 14 years old.

John Tilley was born in Henlow, Bedfordshire, England.  He was married there, and his children (Rose, John, Rose again, Robert and Elizabeth) were baptized there in Henlow at the parish church. There is no record of him living in Leiden, although Edward was recorded living there.  You can see John Tilley’s English ancestry at an article in The American Genealogist, Volume 52, pages 198 – 208.

John Tilley married Joan Hurst, the daughter of William Hurst of Henlow.  She was first married to a Thomas Rogers (not the Thomas Rogers of the Mayflower).  

John Carver, Governor of the Plymouth Colony, was named as guardian of the orphaned Elizabeth Tilley.  When he died a year later, his servant John Howland, became the head of the Carver household.  Elizabeth Tilley and John Howland were married about three years later.  Elizabeth lived fifteen years longer than her husband, and witnessed King Philip’s War, which began in 1675. .  Elizabeth Tilley gave her husband John Howland ten known children, 88 grandchildren,  and thousands, perhaps millions, of descendants including Presidents George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Franklin D. Roosevelt;  poets Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; actors Christopher Lloyd, Humphrey Bogart, Anthony Perkins, and the Baldwin Brothers;  and founder of the LDS church Joseph Smith.   

Some TILLEY resources

English origins in an article in The American Genealogist, Volume 52, pages 198 – 208.

Additional information on John Tilley The American Genealogist, Volume 60, 171 – 173.

The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620 - 1633, by Robert Charles Anderson, 1995, Volume III, (Edward Tilley on pages 1819 – 1820, and John Tilley on page 1822.

Pilgrim Migration, by Robert Charles Anderson, pages 462 – 463,

My TILLEY genealogy:

Generation 1: John Tilley, son of Robert Tilley and Elizabeth Unknown, born about 1571 in Henlow Bedfordshire, England, died during the winter of 1620 - 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts; married on 20 September 1596 in Henlow to Joan Hurst, widow of Thomas Rogers and daughter of William Hurst and Rose Marshe.  She was baptized on 13 March 1568 in Henlow, and died between Jan and April 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Five children.

Generation 2:  Elizabeth Tilley, baptized 30 August 1607 in Henlow, and died 21 December 1687 in Swansea, Massachusetts (now Rhode Island); married about 1623 in Plymouth to John Howland, son of Henry Howland and Margaret Aires.  He was born about 1592 in Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England and died 23 February 1673 at Rocky Nook, Plymouth (now Duxbury), Massachusetts.  Ten children.

Lineage A:

Generation 3: Hope Howland m. John Chipman
Generation 4: Hannah Chipman m. Thomas Huckins
Generation 5: Hope Huckins m. Benjamin Hamblin
Generation 6: Hannah Hamblin m. Jonathan Crosby
Generation 7: Ebenezer Crosby m. Elizabeth Robinson
Generation 8: Rebecca Crosby m. Comfort Haley
Generation 9: Joseph Edwin Healy m. Matilda Weston
Generation 10: Mary Etta Healey m. Peter Hoogerzeil
Generation 11: Florence Etta Hoogerzeil m. Arthur Treadwell Hitchings
Generation 12: Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)

Lineage B:

Generation 3: Desire Howland m. John Gorham
Generation 4: Desire Gorham m. John Hawes
Generation 5: Elizabeth Hawes m. Thomas Daggett
Generation 6: Elizabeth Daggett m. John Butler
Generation 7: Keziah Butler m. Samuel Osborn
Generation 8: Samuel Osborn m. Sarah Wass
Generation 9: Sarah Osborn m. Charles Skinner
Generation 10: Ann Skinner m. Thomas Ratchford Lyons
Generation 11: Isabella Lyons m. Rev. Ingraham Ebenezer Bill
Generation 12: Caleb Rand Bill m. Ann Margaret Bollman
Generation 13: Isabella Lyons Bill m. Albert Munroe Wilkinson
Generation 14: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ TILLEY of the Mayflower”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 2, 2017, ( accessed [access date]). 


  1. Elizabeth Tilley is also my great grandmother through her daughter Desire who married John Gorham.

  2. 1.Jarvis Tompkins

    2. William Allen Tompkins
    3. Anna Eva Shea
    4. Lydia Connell
    5. Elizabeth Capron
    6. Hannah Jencks
    7. Hannah Bosworth
    8. Hannah Howland
    9. John Howland -m- Elizabeth Tilley (Mayflower)
    10. Henry Howland -m- Anne M. Aires (Mayflower)

    John Howland, Elizabeth Tilley and Hannah Howland are my 8th and 9th great grandparents.