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Virginia Counties

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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Essex County, Virginia

Essex County Education, Geography, and History

County Seat: Tappahannock
Year Organized: 1692
Square Miles: 258
Court House:

P.O. Box 1079
County Courthouse
Tappahannock, VA 22560-1079

Etymology - Origin of County Name

The county is named for either the shire or county in England, or for the Earl of Essex.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

Essex County, Virginia formed from (Old) Rapphannock County (extinguished). [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.]

Essex County was named for the English county. It was formed from Old Rappahhannock County in 1692. Its area is 261 square miles, and the county seat is Tappahannock. According to the 2000 census, the population is 9,989. Courthouse also has records from Old Rappahannock County.


According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 286 square miles (740 km2), of which, 258 square miles (668 km2) of it is land and 28 square miles (73 km2) of it (9.84%) is water.

Neighboring Counties:

  • Caroline County, VA to the west
  • King and Queen County, VA to the south
  • King George County, VA to the north
  • Middlesex County, VA to the southeast
  • Richmond County, VA to the east
  • Westmoreland County, VA to the northeast


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