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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 Williamsburg, Virginia

City of Williamsburg Education, Geography, and HistoryWilliamsburg, Virginia City Hall

Williamsburg is an independent city in the state of Virginia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 14,068. In 2014, the population was estimated to be 14,691.

Located on the Virginia Peninsula, Williamsburg is in the northern part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. It is bordered by James City County and York County.

Williamsburg was founded in 1632 as Middle Plantation as a fortified settlement on high ground between the James and York rivers.

Etymology - Origin of City of Williamsburg Name

The City of Williamsburg, in James City and York Counties, was established by the General Assembly as Middle Plantation in 1633. After the capitol building at Jamestown burned in 1698, the assembly decided to move the capital of the colony to Middle Plantation, which was renamed Williamsburg in 1699 in honor of William III.

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: City of Williamsburg

Williamsburg City History

Williamsburg is a city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads region in southeastern Virginia. It is bordered by James City County and York County, and is an independent city.

Originally Middle Plantation, a 1632 fortified settlement located on high ground on the Peninsula between the James and York rivers, it was renamed Williamsburg after the capital of the Virginia Colony was moved there from Jamestown in 1698. The town received a royal charter as a city in 1722, and was the center of political events in Virginia leading to the American Revolution.

Middle Plantation, Virginia (later called Williamsburg) established in 1632/33. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

Williamsburg, Virginia chartered as an independent city in 1722. Established in 1632/33 and called Middle Plantation. When the capitol at Jamestown burned in 1698, the capitol was moved to Middle Planation. Renamed and established as Williamsburg in 1699. Located in James City and York Counties, Virginia. County seat for James City County. [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 8.7 square miles (22.5 km2), of which, 8.5 square miles (22.1 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2) of it is water. The total area is 1.50% water.

Williamsburg is spread upon a ridge on the peninsula between the James and York Rivers. Queen's Creek and College Creek (called in early days Archer's Hope Creek) partly encircle the city.

The city is located on the I-64 corridor on the Virginia Peninsula, 45 miles southeast of Richmond and approximately 37 miles northwest of Norfolk. It is in the northwest corner of the greater Hampton Roads area, (officially known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA), which 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. While Virginia Beach is the most populated city within Hampton Roads, it currently functions more as a suburb. The city of Norfolk is recognized as the central business district, while the Virginia Beach seaside resort district and Williamsburg are primarily centers of tourism.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • York County, Virginia - north and east
  • James City County, Virginia - south and west

Education

The public school system is jointly operated by the city of Williamsburg and James City County.

The Wren Building on the campus of The College of William & Mary.
The city has also been the home to The College of William & Mary since its founding in 1693, making it America's second oldest college (behind Harvard University). Technically a university, William & Mary was also the first US institution to have a Royal Charter, and the only one to have coat-of-arms from the College of Arms in London.

There are also three community colleges, offering associate degrees and college transfer programs, within a twenty-five mile radius of Williamsburg: Thomas Nelson Community College, Paul D. Camp Community College, and Rappahannock Community College. A branch of Thomas Nelson Community College is located just east of the city limits in James City County.

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