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The Commonwealth of Virginia is divided into 95 counties and 39 independent cities, which are considered county-equivalents for census purposes.
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Bedford County, Virginia

Bedford County Education, Geography, and History

County Seat: Bedford
Year Organized: 1753
Square Miles: 755
Court House:

122 E. Main Street, Suite 202
County Administration Building
Bedford, VA 24523-2000

Etymology - Origin of County Name

Bedford is probably named for John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford, who handled Great Britain's colonial affairs as Secretary of State for the Southern Department from 1748 to 1751.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

Bedford County, Virginia formed from Albemarle and Lunenburg Counties. Legislative enactment in 1753. Organized in 1754. [Virginia Counties: Those Resulting from Virginia Legislation, by Morgan Poitiaux Robinson, originally published as Bulletin of the Virginia State Library, Volume 9, January, April, July 1916, reprinted 1992 by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD.]

Bedford County was probably named for John Russell, fourth duke of Bedford, who, as secretary for state for the southern department from 1748 to 1751, had general supervision of colonial affairs. It was formed from Lunenberg County in December 13, 1753. Parts of Albemarle County were added in 1754, and an additional part of Lunenberg County was added later. In 1782, Campbell County was formed for parts of Bedford County. Also in 1786, Franklin County was formed from Bedford County. Its area is 746 square miles, and the county seat is Bedford. According to the 2000 census, its population is 60,371.

Bedford County may have also been named for the Fourth Duke of Bedford, a British Government official. In 1839, the Town of Liberty (now the City of Bedford) was established. Originally an agricultural economy, Bedford's industrial development began in 1880, and since that time industrial growth has been consistent and often fostered by the involvement of local citizens. In the early 1980s, the city undertook renovation of its historic downtown district and became one of Virginia's first Main Street Cities

Neighboring Counties:

  • Amherst County, Virginia - northeast
  • Rockbridge County, Virginia - northwest
  • Botetourt County, Virginia - northwest
  • Roanoke County, Virginia - west
  • Franklin County, Virginia - southwest
  • Pittsylvania County, Virginia - south
  • Campbell County, Virginia - east
  • Lynchburg, Virginia - east


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