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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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City of Portsmouth, Virginia

City of Portsmouth Education, Geography, and HistoryPortsmouth, Virginia Courthouse

Portsmouth is an independent city located in the US commonwealth of Virginia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 95,535. It is part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area.

Etymology - Origin of City of Portsmouth Name

Portsmouth was located in Norfolk County, which is now extinct. It was named by its founder, William Crawford, for the English seaport and was established in 1752.

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: City of Portsmouth

Portsmouth City History

Portsmouth is an independent city located in the US Commonwealth of Virginia

Portsmouth is located on the western side of the Elizabeth River directly across from City of Norfolk. In 1620, the future site of Portsmouth was recognized as suitable shipbuilding location by John Wood, a shipbuilder, who petitioned King James I of England for a land grant. The surrounding area was soon settled as a plantation community.

Portsmouth was founded as a town by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on behalf of 1752 by Col. William Crawford, a wealthy merchant and ship owner, who dedicated the four corners of High and Court Streets for a church, a market, a courthouse, and a jail. It was named for Portsmouth, England.

In 1855, the Portsmouth and Norfolk area suffered an epidemic of yellow fever which killed 1 of every 3 citizens. It became an independent city from Norfolk County in 1858.

Portsmouth, Virginia established in 1752. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

Portsmouth, Virginia incorporated as a town 1836 and incorporated as a city in 1858. Established in 1752. Located in Norfolk County until 1963 when Norfolk County and South Norfolk city merged to form the independent city, Chesapeake, Virginia. Adjacent to the independent cities of Chesapeake and Norfolk, Virginia. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

Geography: Land and Water

Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia from space in July 1996. (Portsmouth is in the center right portion of the photo)Portsmouth is located at 36049′52″N 76020′44″W / 36.83111, -76.34556 (36.831298, -76.345641).

As reported by the Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 46.6 square miles (120.7 km2), of which, 33.2 square miles (85.9 km2) of it is land and 13.5 square miles (34.9 km2) of it (28.87%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Portsmouth is located on the western side of the Elizabeth River directly across from City of Norfolk.

Education

Higher education

There are a number of institutions of higher education in and within close proximity to Portsmouth. The city is home to the Tri-Cities Higher Education Center of Old Dominion University (ODU), a public research university founded in 1930 whose main campus is located in Norfolk, Virginia. Portsmouth is also home to the Fred W. Beazley Portsmouth Campus of Tidewater Community College, a two-year higher education institution founded in 1968 in South Hampton Roads with additional campuses located in Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach.

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