52 Ancestors #20 – Another Language – Matthew Lymburner

In 2002, Bob and I had the privilege of visiting our Canadian relatives who up until then, I’d only met on the internet! God forbid that they weren’t axe murderers!!! My new found relatives were so accommodating and made us feel part of the family, except for the language barrier. They spoke a whole different language to us, French! Thankfully they could converse with us in English as well. 

Matthew Lymburner

Photograph of original painting held at the Chateau de Ramezay

So, for this blog about another language, I’m bringing you the story of Matthew Lymburner (1757-1842), the youngest brother of my 5 times great-grandmother Agnes Crawford nee Lymburner and 5 x great-granduncle Adam Lymburner whom I blogged about recently.

The original portrait of the photo on the left is of Matthew Lymburner, at the Chateau de Ramezay. a museum and portrait gallery in Montreal. When we were there in 2002, my cousin Jean (John) Lymburner took me to see this painting. But, would you believe, the museum was undergoing a refit and the painting had been removed to a safe location off the premises. That was so disappointing, but you get that!


John took me to the Montreal and the Quebec archives and even though I didn’t understand a word anyone was saying, I got to see the signatures on letters and parish records of the Lymburner brothers and their nephew, John Crawford, who was my direct ancestor. I brought home a bundle of papers, all in French and over the years have received many copies of documents from the National Archives of Canada. The copy below is a page from Matthew Lymburner’s Inventory, transcribed for me by Alix Howatt (dec) in 2002.


To understand where the French Canadian Lymburner’s came into being we go back to the three Lymburner brothers, John, Adam and Matthew who took up businesses in Quebec. Unfortunately, John died at sea, so it was Adam and Matthew who ran the business. Adam moved back to England where the air wasn’t so cold as it was affecting his asthma and Matthew took on the running of the business.

On the 24 July 1803, Matthew, major son of John Lymburner and Agnes Dickie of Kilmarnock, Scotland, merchant, Quebec City, married Adelaide Evans, major daughter of John Evans, Esquire, previously Lieutenant in a Company of the Forces of His Britannic Majesty and Josephete Catherine Louise deCouagne, of Repentigny in the district of Montreal. The couple resided in Quebec City where church records indicate the birth of only one child. However, further research has found that there were 5 children born, although only one, a daughter, survived to adulthood.

As there were no sons to inherit Matthew’s business, it appears he had 2 children out of wedlock, one, a son, Marcel (Ayotte) Lymburner, was born 7 March 1804, then just a month later his wife Adelaide, gives birth to their first born, a daughter Agnes Catherine, 29 April 1804. The baby unfortunately dies a month later. Another daughter, Adelaide Julie is born in May 1805 and died January 1806. Their only child to survive is Agnes Adelaide Lymburner born 12 June 1806. She lived to adulthood and married in 1826. We met her descendants in Montreal in 2002.

Matthew and Adelaide nee Evans went on to have two more children, one a son, John Adam Lymburner  born in 1811,  lived for only four months, and another daughter, Catherine Eleonore Lymburner was born 1812 and died 1813.

Matthew was still seeing his mistress during this time as she gave birth to another child, a daughter, Marie Catherine (Ayotte) Lymburner. The only information I have on Marie is that she married in 1830.

As Matthew now has an eldest son (albeit illegitimate), we now have many, many cousins descended from the Lymburner’s of Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland and reside in Montreal, Quebec and other areas of Canada.

Lymburner, Matthew marriage to Adelaide Evans

Anglican Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal

At first it was thought that Matthew met his end near Montmorency Falls in 1823, but in fact he died in Edinburgh city in 1842 and is buried at the Laigh Churchyard in Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland. We had the opportunity in 1998 to visit Scotland and the graveyards of my ancestors. One interesting story to come out of that day, was that we were wandering around in knee-high grass, (as you do!) in the wrong churchyard (kirkyard) as pointed out to us by a local. Another local happened along and he gave us better directions. I walked up the steps and promptly over to where the Lymburner graves were. Does that give you goosebumps, or what!!?


Mathew’s Inventory was taken on the 30th October 1842. He died intestate and the probate was started by his daughter Agnes Munro. On the 4th July 1821, Jos Berenard Plant, notary drew up papers making Louis Guillet tutor (guardian) of Marcel and Marie. Matthew deeded a gift of land to the children in a contract of July 18, 1821. It is unknown who the mother of Marcel and Marie Catherine was, except that she is more than likely Margerite Ayotte. I have no further information about her.

Tracing my Lymburner family history has been a very interesting and a challenging one. The search began with this family tree printed on parchment that was given to my grandmother Annie Norma Cripps nee Lymburner. She left it to me when she died in 1989 and I’ve been deciphering the names and adding to the chart ever since. It is now framed and hanging in my living room.


Archives of Canada; Archives of Quebec; Archives of Montreal
Brenda Young; Jean Lymburner; Alix Howatt (Descendants of Marcel Ayotte Lymburner)
Michelle Mandeville (Descendant of Agnes Adelaide Munro nee Lymburner)



About Jenny MacKay

Just a person who is looking forward to retirement and enjoying the golden years!
This entry was posted in 52-Ancestors-52-Weeks, Blog, Lymburner and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 52 Ancestors #20 – Another Language – Matthew Lymburner

  1. Jim Lymburner says:

    I too enjoyed your search story, having started 12 years ago to trace MY descent from Mathew
    Lymburner of Kilmarnock. ( Tho born in Montreal, I would have had similar challenges translating
    as I moved to English speaking BC at an early age) Brenda Young has been a heroine for the
    Lymburner descendents. Bless her. Jim Lymburner

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      Thank you for reading my blog Jim. The language was a small barrier, but we had the best time in Montreal and also travelled to visit and stay with Brenda and her husband. Wishing we could go again. Jenny in Western Australia.

  2. Pingback: 52 Ancestors #45 – Bearded | jenealogyscrapbook

  3. This has prompted me to look more deeply into my French speaking family too – from the Isle of Jersey. Keep a look out!
    Its always such a pleasure to read your stories Jenny. Thank you.

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