In all my writings over the past few years, it wasn’t until I was searching for whose birthday was closest to mine for the next blog prompt, that I realised I’ve not told the story fully about my 2nd great-grandfather Adam Lymburner Delisser. Other than the story of how he came to change his name to Adam Lymburner Lymburner here.
So, here is his story. And, as happens when writing up the history, one comes across new research to fill in some gaps. If I didn’t need to sleep, eat or exercise, I could sit here for hours and trawl the internet for more information. This is a long newsletter, so hold on!
Adam was born on the 10th of May 1824, some 130 years before me and nearly 200 years ago! My birthday is on the 13th of May, making us both Taureans. I wonder if we have the same traits? Adam is the eldest of seven children, born to parents Alexander Delisser and Deborah nee Crawford. See where Adam fits on the Cripps Family Tree see here and the ancestry of Lymburner’s & Delisser’s is on this tree.
At the time of his birth, Adam’s parents, Alexander and Deborah Delisser, were living on Judd Street, Brunswick Square in London, England. He was baptised Adam Lymburner Delisser the 9th of June 1824 at Saint Pancras Old Church in London. (See last entry)
Source: London Metropolitan Archives, St Pancras, Register of Baptism, p90/pan1, Item 014
In 1836, when Adam was just 12 years old, his name was changed to Adam Lymburner Lymburner as per the request of his great grand maternal uncle, Adam Lymburner. Read more of that story here. There were no legitimate sons born into the Lymburner family and if he hadn’t changed his name, the surname Lymburner would die out. Of course, there was a large sum of money to be had, so his father marched him down to the courts quick smart. His grand uncle Adam had only just died on the 10th of January 1836 and the name was changed on the 27th of February 1836. The only other Lymburner’s that carry the name were the descendants of Matthew Lymburner, Adam snr brother, from Quebec, although they are from his illegitimate son.
Adam was educated at King’s College in London and by private tutors on the continent of Europe. In 2002 I received this note from the assistant at the archives of Kings College. “As a proprietor, I beg to nominate Adam Lymburner Lymburner aged 15 years on the 10th of May last, as a pupil in the Senior Department of the Establishment. He has been educated at Home, and his parents reside at 1 Woburn Place Russell Square. The 21st of January 1840”.
Source: Nominations Senior Department (General Literature and Science)
We know that his father, Alexander Delisser, died in 1844 in Florence, Italy when Adam was 20. I’m not sure why Alexander was in Italy, or if all the family were there with him. When Adam was about 17 years old, he published two 3-volume novels “The Fall of the Nan Soung Dynasty” a Chinese historical romance and “Mohawk Chief” a North American tale. (I’ve yet to read the books.)
The Mohawk Chief Review
Download from Google Books
On the 14th of July 1845, when the Delisser family were living back in London, Adam’s oldest brother, Ellis William Delisser died at the age of 19 from pains in the head. He had been studying medicine, most probably following in his father Alexander’s footsteps who had been a surgeon. Tragically, his youngest sister Adelaide, who was just 14 years old, died four days after their brother, on the 18th of July 1845. Adelaide slipped and fell from a window, two stories high when leaning out, trying to see into the room where the inquest into her brother’s death was being held across the road. Both Ellis and Adelaide were buried in the Kensal Green Cemetery in London but were later exhumed and their bodies buried in Florence, Italy with their father.
Source: Florence Cemetery, Italy photographed by my good friend Jeni King 2012
At the time of Adelaide’s death in 1845, the newspaper reported that the ‘lady’s-maid” Miss Elizabeth Jeffs, was the principal witness. It so happens that Elizabeth became the wife of Adam but not before they had a daughter, Agnes Elizabeth Mary Lymburner, born on the 4th January 1847. However, they didn’t marry until the 27th of May 1848. In the meantime, he’d had an affair with Mary James Vice who bore him a son, also named Adam Lymburner, on the 12th of August 1848. Long after Adam and Elizabeth left England!! Is this another case of making sure the name Lymburner is carried on? I am beginning to think so! Who’s confused yet? Read on to see if Adam has any sons and does the name Lymburner still exist today?
What went down is anyone’s guess because, as on the 25th of May 1848, the Royal George set sail for Australia from London and via Plymouth on the 1st June with the young Lymburner family on board! Adam and Elizabeth couldn’t have boarded in London as they didn’t marry until two days after the ship set sail. So, did they hot foot it down to Plymouth to catch her there on the 1st of June? Was Adam running away, knowing that he had a woman who was six months pregnant with his child? The South Australian newspaper Shipping Intelligence column, dated the 19th of September 1848, lists Mr and Mrs A Lymburner and child amongst the passengers that disembarked in Adelaide on the 15th September.
Their first child born on Australian soil is Adelaide Emma Lymburner, on the 7th February 1849, they went on to have seven more children, five sons and three daughters. Four sons survived adulthood, the youngest being my great grandfather Charles Harry Norman Lymburner, born the 24th April 1864. My grandmother was an only child so that meant there were no more boys to carry on the name through that line, however, there are other Lymburner descendants in Queensland.
The Kangarilla Historical records of South Australia wrote that Mr Lymburner was an early settler at the head of the Dashwood’s Gully, south of Adelaide. He acquired sections 4170 and 4178 and lived there for some years. He tried his hand at farming without success, and also had a go at growing a vineyard. In 1870, Adam moved his family to Gympie in Queensland and became an assayer. Someone who analyses ore, alloy etc to determine the quantity of gold or other metal in it. He was the first to adopt chlorination to the treatment of gold ores. Interesting to read that this method was first discovered in 1848, but Wikipedia does not refer to Adam Lymburner as being the first.
Adam’s two remaining brothers, Edmund Alexander Delisser and Alfred Delisser followed him out to South Australia in 1854 and became surveyors. In the South Australian Advertiser of the 17th of January 1874, Adam L Lymburner wrote to the newspaper that their “Western Australian correspondent made a misstatement as derogatory to South Australia as it is unjust to one long resident in your colony.” The correspondent had written that the place of Port Eucla was discovered by Mr. Forrest (i.e., John Forrest). However, Adam pointed out to them that it was Mr Delisser (Edmund Alexander, his brother) who discovered and named Port Eucla in 1866 when executing his arduous survey from Fowler’s Bay to the Western boundary. He went on to say “Mr. Delisser reported the discovery to Mr. Goyder, who promptly induced the Marine Board to dispatch Captain Douglas to the spot, who verified Mr. Delisser’s discovery. I well remember the sensation that Mr. Forrest’s arrival from the West created in Adelaide, by having ridden through a country, part of which—that lying between Eucla and Fowler’s Bay—Mr. Delisser had come years previously marked with a continuous line of mileposts, duly figured and numbered. Mr. Delisser and his party’s successful exertions in dragging their chain over the waterless plains of the West never attracted any public notice, difficult and daring as was their enterprise, but this can constitute no reason that Mr. Delisser should be robbed of the honor of the very useful and important geographical discovery he made, and the credit of confirming which belongs to your colony, through the energy of your then Surveyor-General, and that of the members of your then Marine Board, of whom I would especially particularise Mr Linklater. I am, Sir &. A.L LYMBURNER. Gympie, Queensland, December 27.”
I shall add a note here that Edmund Alexander Delisser named the Nullarbor Plain (No-Trees). His name does appear on a board at the Nullarbor Roadhouse. But, I think Mr John Forrest has taken the notoriety for any other discoveries of that time. There was no mention of Delisser at the small Eucla museum when we visited in 2014.
Adam died on the 31st of December 1893 and is buried in the Gympie Cemetery, Queensland along with his wife Elizabeth who predeceased him on the 5th of June 1886.
Adam and Elizabeth’s grave at the Gympie Cemetery, Queensland
This was a long story. I do hope it wasn’t too convoluted to understand.
To see the Lymburner family tree, Click HERE
For Adam’s family, Click HERE
Yes, I know people will take the information from here and use it for themselves, I just ask you to acknowledge where you got it from. Thank you.