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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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Nelson County, Virginia

Nelson County Education, Geography, and History

County Seat: Lovingston
Year Organized: 1808
Square Miles: 472
Court House:

P.O. Box 336
County Courthouse
Lovingston, VA 22949-0336

Etymology - Origin of County Name

Nelson is named for Governor of Virginia Thomas Nelson, Jr..


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

Nelson County, Virginia formed from Jefferson County. Legislative enactment in 1784. Organized in 1785. [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.]

Nelson County was named for Thomas Nelson, Jr., governor of Virginia from June to November 1781. It was formed in 1807 from Amherst County. Its area is 471 square miles, and the county seat is Lovington.


According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 474 square miles (1,228 km2), of which, 472 square miles (1,223 km2) of it is land and 2 square miles (5 km2) of it (0.41%) is water. The Blue Ridge Mountains form the northwest boundary of the county; the James River forms the boundary to the southeast. Internally, Nelson consists of the Rockfish, Tye and Piney Rivers, along with many known creeks.

Neighboring Counties:

  • Augusta County, Virginia - northwest
  • Albemarle County, Virginia - northeast
  • Buckingham County, Virginia - southeast
  • Appomattox County, Virginia - south
  • Amherst County, Virginia - southwest
  • Rockbridge County, Virginia - west


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