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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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City of Newport News , Virginia

City of Newport News Education, Geography, and HistoryNewport News, Virginia Courthouse

Newport News is an independent city located in the state of Virginia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 180,719. In 2013, the population was estimated to be 183,412, making it the fifth-most populous city in Virginia.

Newport News is included in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area.

Etymology - Origin of City of Name

Newport News was located in Warwick County, which is now extinct. The origin of the name is uncertain but the phrase "Newportes News" appeared in documents as early as 1619 and probably commemorated Christopher Newport, who made five voyages to Virginia between 1607 and 1619.

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: City of Newport News

City History

Newport News is an independent city in Virginia. It is at the south-western end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News Point on the harbor of Hampton Roads.

The area known as Newport News was part of Warwick County, one of the eight original shires of Virginia formed by the House of Burgesses in the British Colony of Virginia by order of King Charles I in 1634. The county was largely composed of farms and undeveloped land until almost 250 years later.

In 1881, 15 years of explosive development began under the leadership of Collis P. Huntington, whose new Peninsula Extension of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway from Richmond opened up transportation along the Peninsula and provided a new pathway for the railroad to bring West Virginia bituminous coal to port for coastal shipping and worldwide export. With the new railroad came a terminal and coal piers where the colliers were loaded. Within a few years, Huntington and his associates also built a large shipyard.

In 1896, the new unincorporated town of Newport News, which had briefly replaced Denbigh as the county seat of Warwick County, became an independent city, separating from the county. In 1900, 19,635 people lived in Newport News, Virginia; in 1910, 20,205; in 1920, 35,596; and in 1940, 37,067.

In 1958, by mutual consent by referendum, Newport News was consolidated with the former Warwick County (itself a separate city from 1952 to 1958), rejoining the two localities to approximately their pre-1896 geographic size, The more widely-known name of Newport News was selected as they formed what was then Virginia's third largest independent city in population.

Newport News, Virginia was established in 1880. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

Newport News incorporated as a city on 16 January 1896. Established in 1880. On 1 July 1958, the cities of Warwick and Newport News were consilidated. Newport News was located in Warwick County until 1952, when Warwick County became the city of Warwick. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

Norfolk, Virginia established in 1680. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

Norfolk, Virginia incorporated as a borough in 1736. Established in 1680 and incorporated as a city in 1845. Berkeley, Virginia was annexed in 1906. Norfolk was located in Norfolk County, Virginia until 1963 when Norfolk County and the city of South Norfolk merged to become the city of Chesapeake. Norfolk is adjacent to the independent cities of Chesapeake and Portsmouth. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

Warwick, Virginia chartered on 16 July 1952 from all of Warwick County, Virginia. Merged into city of Newport News in 1957. [County Courthouse Book, by Elizabeth Petty Bentley, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1990.] [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 119.1 square miles (308.3 km2), of which, 68.3 square miles (176.9 km2) of it is land and 50.8 square miles (131.5 km2) of it (42.64%) is water.

The city is located at the Peninsula side of Hampton Roads in the Tidewater region of Virginia, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The Hampton Roads Metropolitan Statistical Area (officially known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA) is the 34th largest in the United States, with a total population of 1,576,370. The area includes the Virginia cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Williamsburg, and the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, Surry, and York, as well as the North Carolina county of Currituck. Newport News serves as one of the business centers on the Peninsula. The city of Norfolk is recognized as the central business district, while the Virginia Beach oceanside resort district and Williamsburg are primarily centers of tourism.

Newport News shares land borders with James City County on the northwest, York County on the north and northeast, and Hampton on the east. Newport News shares water borders with Portsmouth on the southeast and Suffolk on the south across Hampton Roads, and Isle of Wight County on the southwest and west and Surry County on the northwest across the James River.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • The boundaries of the City of Newport News today are essentially the boundaries of the original Warwick River Shire and those of Warwick County for most of its existence, with the exception of minor border adjustments with neighbors.[

Education

The city contains Christopher Newport University, a public university. Other nearby public universities include Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University and The College of William and Mary. Hampton University, a private university, also sits a few miles from the City limits. Newport News Shipbuilding operates The Apprentice School, a vocational school teaching various shipyard and related trades.

Thomas Nelson Community College serves as the community college. Located in neighboring Hampton and in nearby Williamsburg, Thomas Nelson offers college and career training programs.

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