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Washburn Name Study

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Surnames/tags: Washburn Washburne
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How to Join

Please contact the project leader Cassie Wicks or leave a comment at the foot of the page. If you have any questions, just ask. Thanks!


This is a One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about one surname and the variants of that name. The hope is that other researchers like you will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect.

Task List

This is a place to post your Washburn family lines to see how we are all connected.

Ideas for posts:

Meaning of the Washburn surname, geographical origin of the Washburn surname, Washburn veterans, famous Washburn family members

Please post any questions or other items of interest!

The Washburn Name and Variations

The Name—anciently Wasseburn or born. C. W. Bardsley's Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames states that Wasse was anciently and still is a common surname in Yorkshire. It is a place name derived from the various river and sea beaches subject to overflow by floods and tides, hence known as wasses and now as cashes. Wasseburn to our ancestors signified a flowing stream. The little ham that stood upon its banks took its name from the stream, and the proprietor or lord of the village was so and so de Wasseborn, just as the parson was the most important person in the parish. The form Wasseborn is the form first met with about 1100; and Wasseborn or burn continued in common use by the family with the occasional addition of a final "e" till about the middle of the 17th century when the family wrote the name Washbourne, a form which still prevails in England. Through all the first two periods, writers of public documents, even of wills, felt themselves at liberty to suit their own convenience or taste in spelling the name, so that great varieties of spelling are found in public documents and varieties in the same document. Thus in the will of John Washburn of Bengeworth, it is Wassheburns; in his wife's Wasborn; in his son's Wasburne and in the inventory Wasborne; in the burgess' will Washborne; in his wife's Wasburne and Washborne; in the public registers of Bengeworth pretty uniformly Wasborne. John the emigrant wrote his name Washborn. In America three forms of spelling have prevailed,—Washburn, the most common, Washborn, and Washburne, with even a greater variety of freak spelling of the name than is found in England, and not always by outsiders..

From; "Ebenezer Washburn: His Ancestors and Descendants" by Geo. T. Washburn

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Hello, I am a descendant of John Washburn, 1621-1685, m. Elizabeth Mitchell, through their son, Joseph.
posted by Teresa Coffman
I am a direct descendant of John Washburn Jr. and Elizabeth Mitchell. I had three pair of 12th GG on the Mayflower.
posted by Lee Ann Smith
I am a direct descendant of John Washburn and Elizabeth Mitchell through two of their sons, Samuel and Joseph. I also have several Mayflower passengers in my family line.
My maternal great-grandmother, Lydia Washburn, was born in Iowa, in 1873. In 1947, her elder brother, Elmer Edson Washburn, wrote a 70-page piece, "Westward Across Four Frontiers: From New Bedford, MA; to Ostego County, NY; to Erie County, PA; to Iowa, to Oregon" (he was almost 13 years old in 1883 when his family left Iowa for Oregon).

If you're interested in reading the pdf, let me know.

posted by Margaret Wright
I've added several profiles to the list, virtually all of the Washburn's in America hail from one of these men.

Added some content here that basically gives the origin and variations of the name.