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Virginia Counties
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Virginia Counties

The Commonwealth of Virginia is divided into ninety-five counties and thirty-eight independent cities, which are considered county-equivalents for census purposes.

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Virginia Counties: History and Information

Find a brief history of Virginia CountiesBrief history of Virginia Counties: Flags of Our Nation

There are 134 Counties in Virginia including 38 Independent Cities. Virginia is divided into independent cities and counties, which function in the same manner. As reported by the Census Bureau, independent cities are considered county-equivalent. As of 2006, thirty-nine of the forty-two independent cities in the United States are in Virginia. Incorporated towns are recognized as part of the 95 counties in Virginia, but are not independent. There are also hundreds of other unincorporated communities in Virginia. Virginia does not have any further political subdivisions, such as villages or townships.

Birth of Virginia Counties

The Virginia General Assembly soon found it necessary to create eight shires in which to govern the colony and hold court. There were six kinds of courts in Virginia: (1) Magistrate's court (2) Parish court (3) Monthly court (4) General court (5) General Assembly (6) Court of Admiralty. In 1623-1624, courts were kept in Charles City, Elizabeth City, and James City. In February 1631-162, the Virginia General Assembly added five more shires.

The eight original shires: Charles City; Henrico; James City; Elizabeth City; Warwick River; Warrosquyoake, later Isle of Wight; Charles River, later York; and Accawmacke (Accomack)

The creation of these shires, which later became known as counties, was to make the administration of justice more accessible to the colonists.

During the period 1750-1770, 26 new counties were formed. The westward trek of settlers demanded the government provide courts in their areas. As the westward expansion continued, Virginia created Kentucky county and Illinois county. Kentucky County was eventually split into 3 counties: Jefferson; Fayette; and Lincoln. Illinois county (the Northwest Territory) was ceded to the nation and became a territory. This included all of the Ohio Valley and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan. The counties of Mercer, Madison and Bourbon were created in 1786, and later became part of the State of Kentucky in 1792 when it was organized as a state. Madison, Woodford and Fayette Counties were also formed while Kentucky was still a part of Virginia. By the time Kentucky received statehood, it was comprised of 9 counties. The records of those counties are housed in Kentucky. West Virginia was also a part of Virginia until it ceded to the Union in 1863 and became a state.

Find a brief history of Virginia Counties
County 2000
Population
Square
Miles
 Seat Created
Accomack County 38,305 455 Accomac 1663
Albemarle County 79,236 723 Charlottesville 1744
Alleghany County 12,926 446 Covington 1822
Amelia County 11,400 357 Amelia Court House 1734
Amherst County 31,894 475 Amherst 1761
Appomattox County 13,705 334 Appomattox 1845
Arlington County 189,453 26 Arlington 1801
Augusta County 65,615 972 Staunton 1745
Bath County 5,048 532 Warm Springs 1790
Bedford County 60,371 755 Bedford 1753
Bland County 6,871 359 Bland 1861
Botetourt County 30,496 543 Fincastle 1796
Brunswick County 18,419 566 Lawrenceville 1732
Buchanan County 26,978 504 Grundy 1858
Buckingham County 15,623 581 Buckingham 1785
Campbell County 51,078 504 Rustburg 1782
Caroline County 22,121 533 Bowling Green 1728
Carroll County 29,245 476 Hillsville 1842
Charles City County 6,926 182 Charles City 1634
Charlotte County 12,472 475 Charlotte Court House 1765
Chesterfield County 259,903 426 Chesterfield 1749
Clarke County 12,652 177 Berryville 1836
Craig County 5,091 330 New Castle 1851
Culpeper County 34,262 381 Culpeper 1748
Cumberland County 9,017 298 Cumberland 1749
Dickenson County 16,395 333 Clintwood 1880
Dinwiddie County 24,533 504 Dinwiddie 1752
Essex County 9,989 258 Tappahannock 1692
Fairfax County 969,749 396 Fairfax 1742
Fauquier County 55,139 650 Warrenton 1759
Floyd County 13,874 382 Floyd 1831
Fluvanna County 20,047 287 Palmyra 1777
Franklin County 47,286 692 Rocky Mount 1785
Frederick County 59,209 415 Winchester 1743
Giles County 16,657 358 Pearisburg 1806
Gloucester County 34,780 217 Gloucester 1651
Goochland County 16,863 284 Goochland 1727
Grayson County 17,917 443 Independence 1793
Greene County 15,244 157 Stanardsville 1838
Greensville County 11,560 296 Emporia 1780
Halifax County 37,355 814 Halifax 1752
Hanover County 86,320 473 Hanover 1720
Henrico County 262,300 238 Richmond 1634
Henry County 57,930 382 Martinsville 1777
Highland County 2,536 416 Monterey 1847
Isle Of Wight County 29,728 316 Isle Of Wight 1634
James City County 48,102 143 Williamsburg 1634
King And Queen County 6,630 316 King And Queen Court House 1691
King George County 16,803 180 King George 1721
King William County 13,146 275 King William 1702
Lancaster County 11,567 133 Lancaster 1651
Lee County 23,589 437 Jonesville 1793
Loudoun County 169,599 520 Leesburg 1757
Louisa County 25,627 498 Louisa 1742
Lunenburg County 13,146 432 Lunenburg 1746
Madison County 12,520 322 Madison 1793
Mathews County 9,207 86 Mathews 1791
Mecklenburg County 32,380 624 Boydton 1765
Middlesex County 9,932 130 Saluda 1673
Montgomery County 83,629 388 Christiansburg 1777
Nelson County 14,445 472 Lovingston 1808
New Kent County 13,462 210 New Kent 1654
Northampton County 13,093 207 Eastville 1634
Northumberland County 12,259 192 Heathsville 1648
Nottoway County 15,725 315 Nottoway 1789
Orange County 25,881 342 Orange 1734
Page County 23,177 311 Luray 1831
Patrick County 19,407 483 Stuart 1791
Pittsylvania County 61,745 971 Chatham 1767
Powhatan County 22,377 261 Powhatan 1777
Prince Edward County 19,720 353 Farmville 1754
Prince George County 33,047 266 Prince George 1703
Prince William County 280,813 338 Manassas 1731
Pulaski County 35,127 321 Pulaski 1839
Rappahannock County 6,983 267 Washington 1833
Richmond County 8,809 192 Warsaw 1692
Roanoke County 85,778 251 Roanoke 1838
Rockbridge County 20,808 600 Lexington 1778
Rockingham County 67,725 851 Harrisonburg 1778
Russell County 30,308 475 Lebanon 1786
Scott County 23,403 537 Gate City 1814
Shenandoah County 35,075 512 Woodstock 1772
Smyth County 33,081 452 Marion 1832
Southampton County 17,482 600 Courtland 1749
Spotsylvania County 90,395 401 Spotsylvania 1721
Stafford County 92,446 270 Stafford 1664
Surry County 6,829 279 Surry 1652
Sussex County 12,504 491 Sussex 1754
Tazewell County 44,598 520 Tazewell 1800
Warren County 31,584 214 Front Royal 1836
Washington County 51,103 564 Abingdon 1777
Westmoreland County 16,718 229 Montross 1653
Wise County 40,123 403 Wise 1856
Wythe County 27,599 463 Wytheville 1790
York County 56,297 106 Yorktown 1634
Independent City 2000
Population
Square
Miles
City Seat Created
City of Alexandria 128,283 15 Alexandria 1920
Town of Bedford 1968
On September 14, 2011, the Bedford City Council voted to transition into a town, ending its independent city status. The supervisors of Bedford County also voted to accept the town of Bedford as part of the county when it lost city status. The transition occurred on July 1, 2013
City of Bristol 17,367 12 Bristol
City of Buena Vista 6,349 7 Buena Vista
City of Charlottesville 45,049 10 Charlottesville
City of Chesapeake 199,184 341 Chesapeake 1963
Town of Clifton Forge     1906
Clifton Forge was an independent city during the 2000 census. However, in 2001, Clifton Forge gave up its city status and reverted to a town. In previous decades, the railroad was a major employer.
City of Colonial Heights 16897 8 Colonial Heights 1928
City of Covington 6,303 4 Covington 1952
City of Danville 48,411 43 Danville 1793
City of Emporia 5,665 7 Emporia
City of Fairfax 21,498 6 Fairfax
City of Falls Church 10,377 2 Falls Church
City of Franklin 8,346 8 Franklin
City of Fredericksburg 19,279 10 Fredericksburg 1782
City of Galax 6,837 8 Galax
City of Hampton 146,437 52 Hampton
City of Harrisonburg 40,468 18 Harrisonburg
City of Hopewell 22,354 10 Hopewell
City of Lexington 6,867 2 Lexington
City of Lynchburg 65,269 49 Lynchburg
City of Manassas 35,135 10 Manassas
City of Manassas Park 10,290 2 Manassas Park
City of Martinsville 15,416 11 Martinsville
City of Newport News 180,150 68 Newport News
City of Norfolk 234,403 54 Norfolk
City of Norton 3,904 7 Norton
City of Petersburg 33,740 23 Petersburg
City of Poquoson 11,566 16 Poquoson
City of Portsmouth 100,565 33 Portsmouth
City of Radford 15,859 10 Radford
City of Richmond 197,790 60 Richmond
City of Roanoke 94,911 43 Roanoke
City of Salem 24,747 15 Salem
Town of South Boston      
The city of South Boston reverted to the county in 1995.
City of Staunton 23,853 20 Staunton
City of Suffolk 63,677 400 Suffolk
City of Virginia Beach 425,257 248 Virginia Beach
City of Waynesboro 19,520 14 Waynesboro
City of Williamsburg 11,998 9 Williamsburg
City of Winchester 23,585 9 Winchester
County Resources
US Counties
Names given the counties, our most locally based jurisdictions, reflects the "characteristic features of this country!"
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