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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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James City County, Virginia

James City County Education, Geography, and History

James City County, Virginia Courthouse

James City County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 67,009. The county seat is Williamsburg.

Located on the Virginia Peninsula, James City County is included in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is often associated with Williamsburg, an independent city, and Jamestown which is within the county.

Etymology - Origin of James City County Name

James City is named for James I of England.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

James City County History

James City County, Virginia formed. Original shire. Later, portions gained from New Kent and from York. [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,,, p. 125].

James City County was named for James I. It was one of the eight shires established in 1634. Parts of New Kent and York Counties were added later. Its area is 144.1 square miles, and the county seat is Williamsburg.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 180 sq mi (465 km2), of which 143 sq mi (370 km2) is land, and 37 sq mi (95 km2, or 20.47%) is water. The James City County GIS office specifies the county as being 115,011.9 Acres

James City County straddles two major watersheds, the James River Watershed and the York River Watershed. (Both are sub watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which stretches from Pennsylvania to Virginia). Within the James River and York watersheds are eleven sub watersheds: Diascund Creek, Ware Creek, Yarmouth Creek, Gordon Creek, Powhatan Creek, Mill Creek, College Creek, James River, York River, Skiffe's Creek and Chickahominy River.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • New Kent County, Virginia - northwest
  • King and Queen County, Virginia - northeast
  • Gloucester County, Virginia - northeast
  • York County, Virginia - east
  • Williamsburg, Virginia - east
  • Newport News, Virginia - southeast
  • Surry County, Virginia - south
  • Charles City County, Virginia - west


The local public school division is jointly operated with City of Williamsburg, and is known as Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (often abbreviated locally as simply "W-JCC").

The area is also served by Walsingham Academy, and Williamsburg Christian Academy, each independent schools.

Higher education

A campus of Thomas Nelson Community College is located near Warhill High School in the Lightfoot area.

Portions of the College of William and Mary (which is actually a university with post-graduate programs) are located in the county, and the main campus straddles the city-county border with Williamsburg.

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