52 Ancestors #38 – Unusual Source – Adam Lymburner / Hocken [1848-

In last weeks newsletter, I alluded to an illegitimate child of Adam Lymburner Lymburner and we read how the name Lymburner had died out in the direct lineage due to their being no sons to carry on the name and I wondered if perhaps that was the reason for Adam snr having an affair, to see if he could produce a son. He already had a daughter, also born out of wedlock to his future wife, Elizabeth Jeffs. Although, this son was not born until after he arrived in Australia. The plot thickens!

To read back on that story, click HERE.

I’ve changed this story around that many times, to try and make it readable to the family and non-family members. I’ve tried to keep it as chronological as I could and used capital letters for the surnames, as many first names and surnames were similar, but it wasn’t easy with all the marriages, deaths, remarriages! I’ve drawn a family tree to help with working out who is who. See below.

The prompt for this week is Unusual Source and mine came in the form of an email in August 2015, while I was travelling around our wonderful country in our caravan. The email from England was in reply to a query I had posted on a genealogy forum in 2003, asking for any information of Adam LYMBURNER, son of Adam Lymburner LYMBURNER and Mary James VICE. The writer was the great great granddaughter of Mary James VICE and husband Benjamin John KING. My cousin Marie, was also putting out requests to see if we could find out more about young Adam. This source is not so unusual, nor the fact that it came twelve years after the initial request. The motto of that story is, never give up!

From the email, we were told that Adam had been adopted by his grandparents and became known as Henry HOCKEN. Up until I wrote last weeks newsletter, I hadn’t followed up the story, I’d gotten sidetracked, as I do and now that I’m writing these stories online and have some enthusiastic followers, my hunger for the knowledge was piqued again. I needed to know a bit more than just being told this story from an email. Being the pedantic historian that I am, I needed documents as proof. So in the last week, I signed up for an Ancestry monthly subscription. Life gets busy and there are no good deals around at the moment to sign up any longer than a month.

I started hunting around for a change of name for Adam jnr to Henry HOCKEN. But nothing was showing up. Previously, when I had researched his father’s change of name from Adam Lymburner DELISSER to Adam Lymburner LYMBURNER (what a mouthful!), I’d found his information in the London Gazette.

I’ve searched some online newspapers using my National Library card to access their free e-resources, searched Ancestry and used my friend Mr Google, but no adoption or change of name record was found. That’s not to say it didn’t happen. Formal adoption did not exist in England and Wales until 1927 and was usually an informal arrangement. In a few cases, there was some legal documentation, but there is no central register.

My next question was, why was Mary James VICE’S second name, James? I found that one out fairly quickly by first using Family Search and found a Mary JAMES married to John VICE, in Devon, England. It seemed pretty conclusive that I had found the right couple. Now with proper names and dates to work with, I looked on Ancestry and pulled out the marriage entry. John VICE, a taylor [sic] and Mary JAMES, spinster, both of the parish of Stoke Damerel, County Devon, were married on the 26th of December 1818.

1818_Vice, John and Mary James marriage

I’ve not searched out their other children to date. However, the daughter I’m interested in, Mary James VICE, was born on the 11th of August 1829 and baptised on the 7th of September, in Stoke Damerel, Devon.

1829_Vice, Mary James birth

So where did the name Hocken fit into things? Mary James VICE’S grandparent’s (who are supposed to have adopted Adam) surname surely should be VICE? I guess we are now looking for another marriage. Did her first husband John VICE die?

The 1841 census of St George’s Hanover Square, Westminster, lists James HOCKEN, tailor, Mary HOCKEN and a daughter Elizabeth, all not born in the County. So that proved that Mary was a Hocken by at least 1841.

After another late night of research, I found the marriage entry for James HOCKEN and Mary VICE, on Family Search, however, the image of the certificate linked to Find My Past and I didn’t really want to purchase another subscription just now, so I called on a friend (thanks Jean). The marriage was definitely correct. James HOCKEN married Mary VICE, a widow, in 1836. Well, now that was starting to make sense. Mary’s first husband John must have died.

1836 Marriage Mary Vice & James Hocken

Having a closer date to work with now, i.e. before 1836, an Ancestry search into the deaths, revealed that on the 12th of June 1833, John VICE was buried in the parish of St Andrew, Plymouth, Devon at the very young age of 38. No cause of death is given on these records. So now that we have John VICE out of the picture and Mary VICE nee JAMES has gone on to marry James HOCKEN, what about this adoption?

The puzzle was starting to come together, now I needed some proof that Adam LYMBURNER jnr was adopted by his grandparents, Mary VICE nee JAMES and James HOCKEN.

I picked up the trail again for Mary James VICE, single woman, living with her step-father James HOCKEN, a master tailor, mother Mary and son Adam LYMBURNER aged 2, in the 1851 census. Take Note of the last name on this schedule below, Benjamin KING, Visitor, unmarried, aged 27, no business or profession, born Covet Gardens, Middlesex!

1851 Census_Lymburner, Adam

It turns out that Mary James VICE married Benjamin John KING, a licensed Victualler in 1853, in the parish of Lewisham, Kent. A witness to the marriage is her step-father, James HOCKEN.

1853_Vice, Mary James, marriage to Benjamin King

In the 1861 Census, Mary and Benjamin KING are living in Fulham, Middlesex with two of their children, Benjamin (7) and Walter (1). Where is Adam LYMBURNER? or is he Henry HOCKEN now?

1861_King, Benjamin & Mary James_Census.JPG

Well, he shows up in the 1861 census in Devonport, as an adopted child aged 12, scholar, born in Essex, living with his grandmother Mary from Devon and Benjamin SAMBELL from Cornwall. Apparently, Mary has married again!!

1861_Hocken, Henry_1861_Census_[Born Adam Lymburner jnr living with Benj Sambell & Mary Hoken nee James]_Devon, England

Sadly, Mary James KING, nee VICE, died in 1870 at the very young age of 40 years. Once again, there is no cause of death on these entries.

By the time of the 1871 Census, Henry HOCKEN (28) is a boarder, living with Benjamin J KING a widowed licensed Victualler at the Three Horse Inn, Harrow, with his stepbrother Edward King, a cousin Amelia and a servant Emily Hope. I’m pretty certain this is Adam/Henry due to the fact he’s living with his step-father Benjamin J KING, but he gives his birthplace as Surrey, Richmond when it should have been Essex. The age 28 is a bit obscure too, as picked up by a fellow reader. There was no occupation entered to be able to follow him without conclusive evidence that I have the right Henry HOCKEN.

1871_Henry Hocken

For now, the mystery is partially solved, but I can see there are still many hours of research to be done to answer some more questions. All this takes time.

Some questions I have:
Did Henry HOCKEN marry?
Perhaps he left England and travelled to another land, Australia to find his father?
There is a criminal record for a Henry HOCKEN in 1888, but I cannot say without doing further research as to who this is. How many Henry HOCKEN’s are there?

For now, this has helped me to build a portion of a story around Adam LYMBURNER illegitimate son of Adam Lymburner LYMBURNER. Thanks for the push Sue and Kathy.

Family Tree showing Adam LYMBURNER who became Henry HOCKEN.

Vice Family Tree

Adam LYMBURNER jnr is the step-brother of my great grandfather Charles Harry Norman 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.

9 Responses to 52 Ancestors #38 – Unusual Source – Adam Lymburner / Hocken [1848-

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

  2. Good job Jenny = even if you did burn the midnight oil. I am going to re-read it now for clarification and to set those jigsaw pieces into the brain. Its what keeps my mind (and yours) ticking.

  3. kardu13 says:

    Wow Jenny! I am sometimes envious of your wonderful ancestry, however, I should be grateful that mine isn’t always difficult to research. LOL
    Sent from my iPad

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      The fun of the chase Karen. I’m always amazed at how much we can find out so quickly now. Imagine in years to come with all these privacy rules coming in. They’ll probably extend that out to be 200 years.

  4. tstatton says:

    Wow Jenny! You have such interesting twists and turns in your family tree, it certainly keeps you on your toes. One day, you will be able to unlock all those ambiguities and no-one will have slid under the radar! Well done again. I hope your families appreciate all your work and sleuthing to find the truth behind so many oddities. A great read from a great researcher.

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      There certainly are twists and turns in this one. I just wish now that the older generation were around to read this. Some might be a bit taken back with some of these skeletons that are coming out in the wash!

  5. Eilene Lyon says:

    So Henry was 12 in 1861, and 28 in 1871? Shouldn’t he be 22? I know that census records are frequently inaccurate, but that is a bit odd. Great detective work, though!

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      Thank you so much for picking that up. My eyes were glazing over with all the information. I used the email as a reference and then went off to get those original records, plus some others. That one had me concerned due to the place of birth and it looks like 28 on the schedule. The fact Benjamin King is there makes us think it is him. Thank you again for following along.

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