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.

King William County, Virginia

King William County Education, Geography, and History

King William County, Virginia Courthouse


Etymology - Origin of King William County Name

King William is named for William III of England, aka William of Orange, aka one half of William and Mary.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

King William County History

For thousands of years before European contact, indigenous peoples of North America lived in the Tidewater area of present-day Virginia. At the time of the founding of Jamestown, 30 Virginia Native American tribes comprised the Powhatan paramountcy, numbering 14,000-21,000 people. The Algonquian-speaking Mattaponi Indian Tribe and Upper Mattaponi tribe, among the 11 tribes recognized by the state of Virginia, are located in the county. The Mattaponi are one of two Virginia Indian tribes who still occupy reservation land first allocated by the English under treaty in the 17th century.

One prominent family during Colonial Virginia times was that of William Aylett. The Tobacco Inspection Act of 1730 established a tobacco inspection warehouse at Aylett's. Aylett's daughters intermarried with other Northern Neck families.

English colonists formed King William County in 1702 out of King and Queen County. The county is named for William of Orange, King of England. The Courthouse, built in 1725, is the oldest courthouse in continuous use in the United States.

King William County, Virginia formed from King and Queen County. Legislative enactment in 1701. Organized in 1702. [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.]

King William County was named for William III and was formed from King and Queen County in 1701. Its area is 285.7 square miles, and the county seat is King William

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 286 square miles (740 km2), of which, 275 square miles (713 km2) of it is land and 10 square miles (26 km2) of it (3.58%) is water. King William County is bounded by the Mattaponi River to the north and the Pamunkey River to the south. The two rivers combine to form the York River, at West Point, the county's largest town.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Caroline County, VA to the northwest
  • Hanover County, VA to the southwest
  • King and Queen County, VA to the northeast
  • New Kent County, VA to the south


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