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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.
Madison County, Virginia
Madison County History, Geography, and Demographics
County Seat: Madison
Year Organized: 1793
Square Miles: 322
P.O. Box 705
Madison, VA 22727-0705
Etymology - Origin of County Name
Madison is named for the family of U.S. president James Madison.
Census Bureau Quick Facts
Madison County, Virginia formed from Lincoln County. Legislative enactment in 1785. Organized in 1786. Now part of
Kentucky. [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.]
Madison County was named for James Madison, a prominent Virginian and a member of Congress in 1792 when the
county was formed from Culpeper County. Its area is 321 square miles, and the county seat is Madison. The population
is 12,520 according to the 2000 census.
Madison County was granted a charter in December 1792 well after the earliest colonists had settled the area. It was
named for the Madison family that owned a tract of land along the Rapidan River. This family produced one of our
nation's early presidents, James Madison whose estate is in neighboring Orange County. Madison County has been a
crossroads of history for over 11,000 years. Paleo-Indians, the royal governor Alexander Spottswood and the Knights
of the Golden Horseshoe, as well as Civil War Generals Stonewall Jackson and J. E. B. Stuart along with their men
have all been visitors to Madison County. Trails and early roads led through the Piedmont area of Madison and up
into the Blue Ridge Mountains enabling 18th and 19th century travelers to enter the Shenandoah Valley. Early
settlers included German, English and Scots/Irish families in the 18th century. Descendants of these families still
live in Madison. President Herbert Hoover bought land in the mountain area of Madison and built his summer camp
there. His official visit to the town of Madison in August 1929 is commemorated annually. The county has retained
its rich agricultural tradition and has maintained the architectural heritage of 18th and 19th century buildings and
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 322 square miles (833 kmē), of which, 321
square miles (832 kmē) of it is land and 0 square miles (1 kmē) of it (0.11%) is water.
A significant portion of western Madison County is within Shenandoah National Park, including Old Rag, one of its
most popular tourist destinations, and Rapidan Camp, the presidential retreat built by Herbert Hoover.
- Page County, Virginia - northwest
- Rappahannock County, Virginia - north
- Culpeper County, Virginia - east
- Orange County, Virginia - southeast
- Greene County, Virginia - southwest
Cities and Towns:
- Madison (County Seat)
Enter County Resources and Information Here
The history of our nation was a prolonged struggle to define
the relative roles and powers of our governments: federal, state, and local.
And the names given the counties
, our most locally based jurisdictions,
reflects the "characteristic features of this country!"