Recorded in the spellings of Limebear, Limebeare, Limebeer, Limbourn, Limborn, Limebourne, Limeburn and Limeburner, this is a surname of English medieval origins. For most namebearers its origin is almost certainly locational either from a place called Lymbourne, in the county of Hampshire, or from a now 'lost' medieval place possibly in Devonshire. The place names probably have nothing to do with "lime". The more likely explanation is that they originate from the Ancient British word "lim" meaning a small river, plus the later 7th century Olde English "burna", which also means a small river or stream. Place names consisting of elements with identical meanings are not unusual. Pendle Hill in Lancashire has three elements, all meaning "hill". This surname when occupational, was originally spelt "Lymberner", and as such represented one of the most important agricultural activities of the past, and to some extent, the present. Examples of the surname recordings taken from early surviving London church registers of the post medieval period include examples as Sara Limberne, who married Robert Hoxton, at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on March 30th 1615, Alexander Lymbourne at Holborn Lying in Hospital, on August 12th 1759, and John Henry Limebeare at St Andrews Holborn, on May 23rd 1838.
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