The origin of this name is particularly interesting, a 'winter- burn' was a stream (bur) which rose in winter, but almost disappeared in summer. The origin is Olde English pre 7th century. The surname deriving from one of the several places called Winterburn or Winterbourne. Walter Winterbourne (1225-1305) was the Confessor to Edward 1st and head of the English Dominican Order, whilst Thomas Winterbourne was Archdeacon of Canterbury in 1475. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Winterburna, which was dated 1175, in the Pipe Rolls of Dorset & Somerset during the reign of King Henry 11, known as the Builder, 1154 - 1189 Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.