52 Ancestors #37 – Closest to Your Birthday – Adam Lymburner Lymburner [1824-1893]

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)

Delisser, Adam Lymburner 1824 Baptisms Saint Pancras

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”.

Sabina Ebbols
Archives Assistant
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.

Shipping Intelligence Lymburner

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.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newbery%E2%80%93Vautin_chlorination_process

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.

The Nullarbor Plain

Sign at the Nullarbor Road House.

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.

Lymburner, Adam Lymburner [Delisser]_Headstone_Gympie, QLD

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.

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, Delisser, Lymburner and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to 52 Ancestors #37 – Closest to Your Birthday – Adam Lymburner Lymburner [1824-1893]

  1. sue ouzounis says:

    Just like to make a little comment about Adam Lymberner. My great great grandfather John Ebbels travelled on the Royal George at same time as Adam and his wife. Originally John was supposed to have travelled with his wife and children, but apparently some of the children became ill and had to travel at a later date. John & Adam must have become friendly as Adam put his name down as Depositor for Julia Ann Spring Ebbels and her children. I don’t know exactly what that entails but I assume it was similar to being a guarantor, it was done in a way that there was land involved. There are no Lands Titles records available from that early stage so I don’t know what that was all about. John Ebbels went on to Victoria and gold mining around Ballarat. He came back to Adelaide to meet his family then must have gone back to Victoria. He sent gold across for his family at least once then came back to Adelaide to take them to Victoria in 1853.

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      What an interesting story Sue. I wonder if they became lifelong friends? I wonder if there’s anything in the SA archives, although I guess you’ve checked. I have a title that was transferred from Alfred Delisser to Adam in 1868, later tgan the one you were looking for. They were brothers. The story should be on my blog about how Adam’s name changed. I’m about to head off for the weekend, but I’ll have a look at any documents I have and see if the name Ebbels shows up. Regards Jenny

      • sue says:

        Thanks for your reply Jenny. I believe your Adam Lymburner moved himself and his family to Queensland. I did some basic checking on Adam to see if there had been any other connection other than the sea voyage but found none. I did see the story about the uncle and change of name, very smart of Adam’s father.

        The only other information that I have on John & Julia Ebbels in South Australia that I have is that they had their first child, their only daughter, in Adelaide. She was the first Ebbels born here in 1851. They were living in Black Forest at the time but I cannot find anything other than it was a dense area of bush and located about 3 miles from Adelaide City Centre. The Village was created in 1850 when William Peacock cut up a section of land into allotments. Apparently the area was frequented by Bush Rangers & CattleThieves as it made a good place to hide in the forest. The first post office opened in 1899. There doesn’t appear to be any connection with Adam in that area.

        When the Ebbels family left South Australia Julia’s son, John Spring (Rew) Ebbels, by her first marriage stayed behind and travelled by horseback to meet them in Ballarat, he was about 17 at the time (can’t see any 17 year olds in this day and age doing that).

        I haven’t done any other research on Adam Lymburner as there appeared to be no other connection with the two families. They may have formed a link on the voyage due to Adam’s wife having the baby and John had left behind his wife & new born baby. John’s occupation before he left England was Assistant Overseer of the Poor for St. Thomas’s Union.

        I don’t know what state you are in but hope you are not affected by the recent rains. Enjoy your weekend.


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  4. crissouli says:

    I have included your blog in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at

    Thank you, Chris
    Can’t wait for me… great story.

  5. Eilene Lyon says:

    I didn’t have any trouble following your excellent story. Very interesting!

  6. Im sold- what happened to Benjamin King please…. what lives they all led and it will be the same for our generations really. But it still amazes me that some travelled so much and so far. I didn’t get lost but I’m certainly going to reread this to take in more. Eucla is fascinating to me as I know my grandpa visited there in the 1940’s with his uncle in-law who was a telegraph operator there in earlier times.

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      I have a little on him that someone has shared with me. I need to sign up to Ancestry again and go looking…but not today…convicts have been wanting me to release them from gaol!! 🙂

      • Jenny MacKay says:

        Whenever I talk to travellers about crossing the Nullarbor, I give them my piece of useless information (to them), but they might remember me when they go across and realise that it is a great adventure and not boring like people say it is. If they would only give a thought to the pioneers who crossed it with their horses and had to find water.

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      Oh wait. Wrong info. Mary Vice, Adams lady he had an affair with, married Benjamin King, so that’s not baby Adams name. I have the story now, but will keep you in suspense for the next episode. 😀

  7. Jamie Gates says:

    Another great post this week! I didn’t know what to expect next the entire time I was reading–such a fascinating story.

  8. Pam Batten says:

    What a story Jenny and once again you have pulled it all together so well. When you ask the question of those reading “If they are confused yet”, I have to admit ‘Yes’! And to think I came through Gympie just a couple of weeks ago!

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      That was pure coincidence that I wrote this story now and it wasn’t until I got to the end that I remembered you passing through Gympie. In 1994, we were actually parked at the gates of the cemetery but the teenage kids in the car at the time were arguing, so we drove on. I’ll get back one day. Hope the story wasn’t too confusing. Hard for the family let alone an outsider. 😎

  9. tstatton says:

    What an interesting story Jenny. I did read the sign at the Nullarbor Road House, but I didn’t realise it was connected to your ancestry at the time. What an exciting lot of ancestors you have. The challenges they met were almost insurmountable, but with their determination and grit, managed to overcome some terrible adversities and survive. A well written story. Thank you.

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      When I started pulling the story together and seeing some of the dates, I really started to wish I could ask gggrandfather, what really went down back there in mother England. Athough I do know that the illegitimate Adam, changed his name to Benjamin King. I need to give up so many activities and just knuckle down to see where he ended up.

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