Washburn (alternatively Washbourne, Washburne, Washborn, DeWashborne, Washband, Washbon, Washbond, etc.) is an uncommon surname of English origins. The family can be traced back to the lands in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, England called "Little Washbourne" and Great Washbourne. The name comes from the Saxon for "from the flooding brook," with "wash" meaning "swift moving current of a stream," and "burn" referring to a brook or a small stream. It may originate from the River Isbourne, which flowed near Little and Great Washbourne, or it may have also originated from Waseborn in Devonshire.
The first known Washburn was Sir Roger Washbourne who lived in the 11th century. John Washburn, a descendant sailed to the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in the 17th century. He later married Elizabeth Mitchell who was the granddaughter of Francis Cooke, who sailed to America on the Mayflower. According to the 1990 U.S. Census, there were 17,409 Washburns in the United States making it the 1,763rd most common name in the U.S. There are also a number of Washburns in Canada, many of whom are descendants of United Empire Loyalists (Ebenezer Washburn was as loyalist).
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Great Washbourne from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:
Online sources which may also be helpful: