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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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Madison County, Virginia

Madison County Education, Geography, and History

County Seat: Madison
Year Organized: 1793
Square Miles: 322
Court House:

P.O. Box 705
County Courthouse
Madison, VA 22727-0705

Etymology - Origin of County Name

Madison is named for the family of U.S. president James Madison.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

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 homes


According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 322 square miles (833 km2), of which, 321 square miles (832 km2) of it is land and 0 square miles (1 km2) 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.

Neighboring Counties:

  • Page County, Virginia - northwest
  • Rappahannock County, Virginia - north
  • Culpeper County, Virginia - east
  • Orange County, Virginia - southeast
  • Greene County, Virginia - southwest


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