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Virginia Counties
Virginia County map
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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.

Bedford County, Virginia

Bedford County Education, Geography, and History

Bedford County, Virginia Courthouse

Bedford County is a county located in the Piedmont region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its county seat is the town of Bedford, which was an independent city from 1968 until rejoining the county in 2013.

Bedford County was created in 1753 from parts of Lunenburg County, and several changes in alignment were made until the present borders were established in 1786. The county was named in honor of John Russell, an English statesman and fourth Duke of Bedford.

Bedford County is part of the Lynchburg, Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area. Based on the 2010 census, Bedford's population was 68,676.

Etymology - Origin of Bedford 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.

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Bedford 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

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 769 square miles (1,990 km2), of which 753 square miles (1,950 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (2.1%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • 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

Education

Virginia Colleges, Universities, & Schools
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County Resources
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