Birth: 1571 in Henlow, Bedford, England
Death: During the Winter of 1620-1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts
John Tilly was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Tilly. He was baptized on 19 November 1571 in England. He was raised with his four sisters and three brothers.
On 20 September 1596, John married Joan Hurst. Together the couple had five children: Rose Tilly (died as a child), John Tilly, Rose Tilly, Robert Tilly and Elizabeth Tilly.
In 1620, John boarded the Mayflower with his wife and youngest daughter, Elizabeth. Upon their arrival to America, John Tilly became a signer of the Mayflower Compact and a witness to the “First Contact” with the Native Americans in their area.
The first winter in Plymouth was brutal, killing many of the pilgrims. John and his wife were among those that died. William Bradford wrote:
“Edward Tillie, and his wife both dyed soon after their arrivall; and the girle Humility their cousen, was sent for unto Ento England, and dyed ther But the youth Henery Sampson, is still liveing, and is maried, & hath .7. children. John Tilley and his wife both dyed, a litle after they came ashore; and their daughter Elizabeth maried with John Howland and hath Isue as is before noted.”
This left their daughter Elizabeth an orphan in the New World.
John and Elizabeth’s probable burial site is recognized with this monument at Cole’s Hill, Massachusetts, where their names are listed with other Mayflower passengers that died.