Recorded in the spellings of Limbourn, Limborn, Limebourne, Limeburn and Limeburner, this is a surname of English medieval origins. It can be occupational and describe a person who operated a lime kiln, or it may be locational from a place called "Lymbourne", in the county of Hampshire. The place name has nothing whatsoever to do with "lime". It is is believed to be at least 7th century, and to derive from the Ancient British word "lim" meaning a small river, plus the later 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". The 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. For centuries lime kilns were to be seen wherever limestone existed, and remains are still to be seen in some districts. Examples of the surname recordings taken from the London registers of the post medieval period include such examples as Sara Limberne, who married Robert Hoxton, at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on March 30th 1615, and Susan Limburne, who married William Garnier at the church of St Lawrence Jewry, on October 30th 1651. Other recordings are those of Alexander Lymbourne at Holborn Lying in Hospital, on August 12th 1759, and Alexander Limeburn, at St Pancras Old Church, on January 23rd 1857. The first recording is believed to be that of John le Lymberner, in the Curia Regis rolls of King Edward 11nd of England, in the year 1314.
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