VIRGINIA SHORT HISTORIES!

In the beginning there was NORFOLK.
Then there was Norfolk & Nansemond or later day Suffolk.
Then there was Norfolk & Princess Anne Counties.
Norfolk's church was the Elizabeth River Parish (aka St. Paul's, which u can read about under historical accounts) and Princess Anne County Parish was Lynnhaven.
To try and give you any kind of Land View of this is Hard. But I'm going to try.
And please don't hold me to these boundaries. 
The beginning point of the boundary as the mouth of Little Creek, more specifically " the first creek shooting out of the Chesapeake Bay called the Little creek and all branches of the creek". And continuing towards the Lynnhaven River and heading Towards the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River and to the Broad Creek on it's north side and to Indian River.


Happy Birthday Virginia Beach! Your 40 years YOUNG!
The old land marker reads, Princess Anne County is 279 square miles of land.
Formed in 1691 by a Division of Lower Norfolk into Norfolk & Princess Anne, named for Queen Ann. Then Princess Anne. The first Settlers First landed at Cape Henry April 26 1607. They recently changed Sea Shore State Park to First Landing State Park.
This Story has been published several times according to the Beacon, Which is the Local Section of the Virginia Pilot.
"AS the clock chimed midnight to usher in the New Year on Jan 1 1963, a city was born.
At that moment, two localities disappeared into the dusty recesses of history the old, seaside 2 square mile city of Virginia Beach & suburban rural country of Princess Anne.
In their place on that new years day stood the fledging merged city of Virginia Beach, the product of a controversial & hastily conceived consolidation between the 49 block long, 57 year old resort city & county that was established nearly a century before the revolutionary war. 
It was a marriage of convenience to block the expansionist dreams of Norfolk, the dominant port city in southeastern Virginia. Norfolk was poised to annex ever-larger chunks of tax generating, affluent subdivisions & shopping centers in Princess Anne County.
The political chieftains of Princess Anne viewed this threat darkly.
They had labored for 30 years to fashion a virtually impregnable machine that wielded tremendous economic & political power over the county & resort town. They weren't going to let the politicians of Norfolk whittle away at their sprawling domain.
Today, the city of Virginia Beach a 310 square mile hodgepodge of cozy suburbs, glass & steel offices towers thriving industrial parks, hunting grounds & tourist packed beaches is the monument of their triumph in a classic turf fight over two decades ago.

The county that Mr. Kellam lived in still exists figuratively speaking south of the VA Beach Municipal center on both sides of the winding two lanes Princess Anne Road South of Pungo to the North Carolina line. 1950o's developers couldn't sub divide the areas farms fast enough to satisfy the demands for housing as veterans began raising families & as new service men were being shipped to staff war enlarge naval installations.
To survive Norfolk had to grow, the believed, & that meant the annexation of surrounding county land to expand the tax base & keep the city economically & socially balanced & healthy.
In Jan 1959, son 13.5 square miles of Princess Anne County housing 38, 000 residents were formally annexed into Norfolk, including commercial & residential areas.
It was all perfectly legal. In other states, this wouldn't cause the ruckus; it always created in Virginia, because the cities & counties over lapped.
But in Virginia, Cities & Counties are independent entities. In the VA scheme of things, cities existed to provide the high degree of services required in urban centers, & counties were supposed to provide the minimal services required in rural, agricultural areas.
This worked until World War 2 ended & suburbs began to flourish in county fringe areas around cities.
So the 1959 annexation of Princess Anne territory sent a shudder through the county's Kellam organizations, which feared that Norfolk would try to take the entire Kempsville and bayside sections in the next round.
In April 1960, Kellam a major figure in the dominant Byrd organizations that had rule Virginia since the depression went before the Norfolk city council with an intriguing proposal.
He promised not to seek any changes in the state law limiting a city's right to annex in exchange for Norfolk agreement not annex any part of Princess Anne County for 5years.
Norfolk would also continue extending water service to the new developments springing up in the northern half of the county.
In addition, & this was perhaps the most intriguing provision of the deal, Kellam suggested that serious study begin immediately on a metro concept that would merge all Hampton Roads Cities & counties into one super government, with the individual localities as boroughs alone the lines of the NYC set up.
With the assent of Norfolk city officials, a 7 member Metro committee was established with Kellam as the Chair.
Meanwhile at the state capitol, the laws on consolidations of two localities were being liberalized quiet to allow a merger between Richmond and Neighboring Henrico County.
The voters there ultimately rejected the consolidation, but the preliminary moves to facilitate the Richmond Henrico merger referendum resulted in changes in state law that had potential applications in other section of Virginia, such as Hampton Roads.
This didn't escape the attention of Kellam and his allies, but it seemed to elude the notice of the city boys in the legislature. To their everlasting regret.
On Sept. 13, 1961, 17 months after Kellam's Metro pronouncement, Princess Anne County & Virginia Beach officials released a terse statement announcing that a merger study was possible, with an eye toward creating a city that would be legally invulnerable to annexation by Norfolk.
The news stunned Norfolk officials, who realized the dire implications. A new city at their eastern border would foreclose expansion permanently.
At a carefully planned Oct. 4 1961 meeting at the new geodesic dome that served as a convention center for Virginia Beach, some 200 residents of Princess Anne & Virginia Beach resort businessmen & civic leaders overwhelmingly endorsed the merger concept.
The consolidation would be less challenging that most mergers. The resort community of Virginia Beach was legally 2nd class city under state law. That is it's shared some of its officials with the county, largely for economic reasons.
So, the city & county shared much of their judiciary, commonwealth's attorney & school superintendent, although the treasurers, commissioners of revenue & police courts were separate. The county had a traditional board of supervisors as it's governing body. The city had it's own council, major & city manager a professional administrator.
Next Norfolk tried to with hold new water services for new developments in PAC.
But in the end, they finally worked things out.
The Nov. 6 meeting lasted for 4 hours & except for some loose ends, the issue was headed for referendum on Nov 10, the Princess Anne County board & VA beach council each approved the merger agreement & proposed charter of the new city that the general assembly would be asked to approve if the referendum proved successful.

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I am writing this brief summary of the history of Suffolk County to help you with your Genealogy Research in the County of Suffolk.
The original name of this county was Upper Norfolk, but in 1645 its name changed to Nansemond in the 1700's.
The town of Suffolk was established by law in 1742.
From here on out the names are used interchangeably. The references are to the County of Nansemond and the town of Suffolk. There is a quote that says, "At a vestry held in the court house in Suffolk Town for the Upper Parish of Nansemond County.
Suffolk was then a town of one street and contained a population of 1000.
The lower part of the town contained most of the merchants.
Some of the more prominent Surnames in Suffolk during the 17 & 1800's were:
Riddick, Borland, Cohoon, Fisher, Godwin, Green, Murdaugh, Porter,Richardson, Sharples, Whitlock, Jones, Wilkinson, Teare,Daley, Flynn, McGuire, and Smith.
With the best known of these Surnames to be those Descendants of James Andrew Riddick.  The First know record of the Riddicks is a payment of rent for 550 Nansemond county acres in 1704.
In 1974 it became the present city of Suffolk, consolidating the towns of Holland and Whaleyville and the County of Nansemond. The city of Suffolk is 430 square miles, making it the largest city in land area in Virginia and the 11th largest in the country. 
Suffolk today is still very much just farm area.

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When Captain Christopher Newport came to Virginia, Chesterfield was his choice for Virginia's first settlement, However, he was overruled by the powers that be that choose Jamestown.
In the beginning it was considered part of Henrico and it wasn't until 1749 when Sir William Gooch, the Royal Governor of Virginia, signed the "Commission of Peace" which officially created the Chesterfield County. Chesterfield began to emerge as a separate county largely due to the fact that there were two natural trading posts that were established in the Future northern "Richmond" & Petersburg to the south.
In 1807 The first pave road appeared on Midlothian Turnpike.
In 1811 the States first tramway , 2nd in the nation, was in Chesterfield , operated from the Brown, Page & Burr gunpowder plant on FallingCreek to it's storage magazine a mile away.& and in 1929 Virginia's first railroad made its way thru Chesterfield.

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A little Something to Keep in Mind when Researching in Alleghany County!

In 1822 Alleghany County was formed out of Botetourt County, Bath County &Monroe County.It is said that some of the earliest settlers were a combination of German,English Scottish & Irish.
Also keep in mind that you will find a Majority of Monroe Marriage bonds in the Alleghany courthouse in Covington, because Monroe was part of Alleghany until 1863 when Monroe became part of West Virginia!.



Accomack County is 502 square miles. It's on the Eastern Shore and Accomack is an Indian Term meaing "across the water place." It was one of the orginial shires formed in 1634. The name was changed to Northampton in 1643.
In 1663 the present Accomack County was made from Northampton.
I have driven up I 13 and let me tell you, it's mostly farms even today.
and Don't forget those two Chicken Factory's Purdue & Tyson, right next to each other on that highway, just Past Stuckey's Resturant & Gift Shop.
There are also a couple of HUGH cemeteries up there, that one Day I want to go thru.
Now that they have built the 2nd span of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, I bet there will be a lot more intergration between the Southside & the Eastern Shore.  
OTHER TIDBITS:
1. Henry Alexander Wise (1806-1876) The Governor of VA from 1856-1860 & a General in the Confederate Army was born here.
2. The first place recorded in the U.S. was presented in Accomack on August 27 1665 at The court house (Pungoteague).
3.One of the oldest Sunday School services begun by William Elliott in his home in 1785 & later moved to Burtons Chapel and then in 1870 to the Oak Grove Methodist Church.

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History of Chesapeake

I am writing this short Biography of Chesapeake in hopes that it will help you in your Genealogy research. If you are doing Genealogy research in Chesapeake before 1970 then the Documents you seek will SAY NORFOLK but they will be FILED IN Chesapeake. Confused? Here let me try to explain. IN the beginning there Was Norfolk. Norfolk was made up of the ENTIRE SOUTHEAST PORTION OF VIRGINIA. Then in 1637 Norfolk was subdivided into Upper Norfolk, and lower Norfolk. Somewhere along the lines of time, a Piece of Upper Norfolk broke off (western edge) and became Nansemond which later became Suffolk County. Around 1691 Lower Norfolk split and became Norfolk & Princess Anne Counties (see PAC for additional info.) Then to make life more confusing, Norfolk then split into Norfolk & Portsmouth. So around 1860 you had Norfolk, Portsmouth, Nansemond aka Suffolk and Princess Anne Counties. Then the Southern Tip of Norfolk split and Became Chesapeake around 1963. While the Eastern Edge of Princess Anne County Merged with Virginia Beach. So in today's world you have: Portsmouth,Chesapeake, Norfolk & Virginia Beach. If you are looking for relatives in the GREAT BRIDGE AREA OR AREAS LISTED ON THE CENSUS AS SOUTH NORFOLK. Then in today's world your records are located in Chesapeake, and you will have to write to the City of Chesapeake for those records. any questions, need help, feel free to email me, frmrnyr@aol kristina

NOTE: PORTSMOUTH STARTED AS A "TOWN" IN NORFOLK COUNTY,
THEN BECAME A CITY. SEE THE PORTSMOUTH LINK FOR MORE INFORMATION.
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Appomattox County is 342 square miles.
It was formed in 1845 out of Buckingham, Prince Edward, Charlotte & Campbell Counties and it was named for the indian tribe.
OTHER TIDBITS:
It was at the Mclean house here in Appomattox where Lee & Grant met to negotiate the terms for surrender of the army of northern virginia on April 9 1865.
Appomattox was also the home to Thomas S. Bocock, who was a member of both the United States Congress & Speaker of the Conderate House of Representatives.
He was born May 18 1815 & Died aug. 25 1891.
And hey, if you are going to go Do Family treeing, and you are going in the summer, or in winter, keep in mind your getting near those mountains and it's breezy even in the summer. And hey while you are out there I highly recommend going a little bit out of your way and taking a drive on the blue ridge parkway,
questions, comments, etc. email Kristina, frmrnyr@aol.com 
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The first settler's who arrived in Bath County in 1745 were of Scotchish-Irish Decendents.When they came they found 545 square miles of farm land , mountains, hills, trees etc. Or in better terms: it is 35 miles long and 25 across. It is watered b y the head branches of the James, Cow Pasture and Jackson Rivers.
And was formed into a County on Dec 14 1790 from Augusta, Greenbrier, & Botetourt by an act of the Virginia Assembly.
And was named for the town of Bath in England.
You will find the Warm Springs and Hot springs in this County.
Fort dickinson is located in Bath County, it was one of a chain of frontier forts ordered erected by the Virginia legislature early in 1756. The Chain extended from West VA. to Patrick County on the North Carolina border. these forts were established uner the supervision of Col. George Washington who made an inspection tour of the chain.
The fort was attacked once by indians in 1756.
If you plan on Going to Bath County even in the summer you'd better take a sweater & a coat, cause it's cold. The average winter temp is 32 & summer is 70.
And watch your car in those higher elevations, my car huffed and puffed the whole time in the mountains, the minute we got back to lower elevations, she was fine again. 
You will find the Bath County Court house in Warm Springs, it was built in 1915, after the previous court house burned in 1912. It's on U.S. Rt 220 & the road is a curvey one.

 
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Bedford County is 791 Square Miles or 35 miles long and 25 miles wide.
It was formed in 1753 from Lunenburg & Albemarle, and is named for the 4th Duke of Bedford, English Statesman. It is bounded on the North by James River and the south by the Staunton. Goose and otter creeks flow thru it.
In 1782 The county seat was moved from New London to Bedford.
First called Liberty (incorporated in 1839), the town changed it's name to Bedford City in 1890 and to Bedford in 1912. A 3rd Courthouse built in 1834, was replaced by the present building in 1930.  
An Historic Churchin Bedford was built in 1828 by Rev. Nicholas Cobb, St. Stephen's Church also has a cemetery were many members of the community were buried.
You will also find Thomas Jefferson's Bedford estate here, he came here in june 1781 after his term as governor expired, and while here was thrown from a horse and injured. Jefferson called it the "solitude of a hermit".
Poplar Forest remained in private property until 1984.
The Bedford County residents thought about replacing the 1833 Court House in 1914.
However, due to lack of funds and other political things, it wasn't physically built 1930 with a final cost of $212,000.

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Brunswick county was formed in 1720 from Prince George, Surry & isle of Wight.
Governor Alexander Spotswood formed the County our of fear of the French. To prevent any invansions from the West. He built Brunswich out of Settlements. It is named for the house of Brunswick, which came to the throne of England in 1714, when George I was crowned King.
The county went largely unsettled for a number of years and did not build it's first courthouse until 1732.
The first Methodist school was established here in Brunswick County in 1793 by Bishop Asbury.
In the beginning Brunswick county followed the rubrics of regulations for marriages which was dated in the colonial period. In 1660 a law reuirng a bond was first enacted. But because of the limited # of ministers, the colony required that all p ersons wishing to be married by license must go to the county clerk and be given a bond with a security (money guaranntee), that there was no lawfull reason to prevent the marriage.
County records which have survived the times, as defined by a legal definition did not begin until 1853. Before that time you need to rely on ministers returns. and then they can be sometimes lacking in information.


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Gloucester County, Virginia is a rural community located in the Tidewater belly of Virginia along the Atlantic seaboard.
It is one of the counties that make up the Middle Peninsula. It is bounded on the south by the York River, on the north by the Piankatank River on the west by the Mobjack Bay and on the west by Pororotank Creek. It covers 233 square miles.
At one time York County & Mathews County were a part of the Gloucester. About 1642 York County was named and Gloucester, a happy land was born. It is believed to have been named for the duke of Gloucester, son of King Charles.
Some say it was named for Gloucestershire, a County in England
The motto for Gloucester and Mathew Counties today is "fertile farms on smiling waters". In the beginning, there were four parishes:
Ware, Peasley, Petsworth and Kingston. IN 1781 Kingston became part of Matthews.

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Goochland was formed in 1727 from Henrico, and named for William Gooch, Governor of VA from 1727-1749.
It lies on the  north side of James river and is 30 miles long and has a with of about 10 miles in some places.
Thomas Jefferson once owned a Tavern here around ELK HILL.
Lord Cornwallis made his headquarters there , June 7-15 1781.
James A. Seddon a member of both Congress and Confederate Secretary of War 1862-1865, built a home here in 1855. ON March 1, 1864 the Union Calvary burned the barn and robbed the home.
Alot of French Settled here according to the Douglas Register.
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Greene County was formed in 1838 from Orange County and was named for General Nathaniel Greene, commander of the Army of the South in the Revolutionary War.
It is 15 miles long and 10 miles wide. The blue Ridge runs on it's western line.
It is watered by Branches of the Rivanna and the Rapid Ann. It's surface is mountainous and broken and the soil in the valley is always fertile.
The early marriage statues for Virginia contained the stipulation thatin the case of infants ( those under 21) wishing to be married, the parents or guardians must signify consent either in person or in writing.
After 1705 a minor had to have the consent of the parent in person to the clerk.
During the colonial period, the law required that every  marriage be recorded in a true and perfect register. After 1780 ministers were required to report all marriages to the county court clerk whose duty it was to see that the returns were entered into ta book.
In 1783 they realized there was a lack of ministers in the western counties.
So in 1784 they removed the restiction of having only 4 ministers per religion and allowed any ordain minister to perform marriages.
On the average marriages were reported yearly, although sometimes several y ears past before the records  were turned over to the clerk.s
Marriage registers for Virginia were not standardized and updated until 1853 with the creation of the Bureau of Vital Records.

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HALIFAX COUNTY
If you are going to research here, start with where your ancestor would be on today's map and work your way backwards.
In other words pay attention to where the boundaries were at the time your ancestor lived compared to today's boundaries.
Halifax county was named for the Earl of Halifax, of the distinguished family of Montague, who was the first lord of the Board of Trade at that time.
It started as Isle of Wight in 1634.
Then it Lost a piece to Surry in 1652.
Then Surry broke away and gave a piece to Brunswick in 1720.
Then Brunswick gave way to Lunenburg in 1746.
And from Lunenburg came Halifax in 1752.
Later on Halifax divided it self up into Pittsylvania, Henry, Franklin & Patrick counties.
Confused? you are not the only one! (smile)

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Do you love a good Mystery? Do you love to Do Genealogy? Well than Greenville is the place for you.
When Researching Genealogy in Greensville, it's another one of those places that
you have to pay attention to not only LOCATION but also TIME FRAME.
READY? HERE WE GO!
In the Beginning, (well sorta Virginia's early record Beginning)
There was Charles City in 1634.
When a little piece broke away and became Prince George 1703.
In 1732 Another Piece Broke away and became Brunswick.
Amelia evolved in 1735 & dinwiddie in 1752.
Then Brunswick broke off into two more pieces: Lunenburg in 1746
and finally Greenville in 1781.
Greenville is 28 miles long and goes anywhere from 8 to 24 miles wide.
The Nottoway river runs to it's north and the Maharani runs dead center of the County.
There are a couple of theory's as to how Greenville got it's name,
(if u have a theory, email me! frmrnyr@aol.com)
1. Is that Greensville was named for Sir Richard Greenville , earl temple, brother in law of Sr. William Pitt, Earl Chatham , Pitt having married hester greenville, sister of Richard.
2. another theory is that Greenville was named after General Green, who, after the Battle of Guilford Court house Marched into this county.
3. The first court in the new county was held at hicks ford on Feb 22, 1781. the first clerk was Peter Pelham.

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When New Kent County was formed in 1654, it was a combination of Pieces From York, King William, Hanover & King & Queen Counties.
The order read "that the upper part of York County shall be a distinct county called New Kent, from the West side of Scimino creek to the heads of Pamunkey and Mataponie River, and down to the head of the West side of Poropotanke creek. The Pamunkey runs on it's northern and the chickahominy on it's southern boundary.
It's 26 miles long and about 9 miles wide.
Some interesting Land marks in New Kent County are:
Providence Forge- Here about 1770 Charles Jeffery Smith, Presbyterian Minister settled and with William h olt, built a forge for making farm implements. Francis Jordan became a partner in 1771. A militia camp was established here in 1781, and Lafayette were here in July & August 1781.
Soane's Bridge
State Game
Chickahominy Indians
Fort James
Tyree Plantation
Diascund Bridge
St. Peter's Church
New Kent Court House
Eltham a mile north was long the home of the Bassett family & one of the largest & finest colonial houses in Virginia. Burwell Basset, the owner at the time of the revolution, was a patriot leader. Washington was frequent visitor at Eltham & was there in Nov. 1781, at the death bed of his stepson, John Parke Custis, a solider of yorktown. the old house burned in 1875: foundations remains.
and Stuart's ride around McClellan: Stuart, on his famous ride around McClellan's army June 12-15 1862 arrived here in the early night of June 13, coming from Hanover Courthouse. he rested here several hours and then pressed on to the chickahominy River, rejoining Lee's army on June 15.
And the home of Martha Custis was here. According to legend, George Washington first met her at Poplar Grove, near by, in 1758. on Jan 6 1759, Washington & Martha Custis were married, it is believed at the white house. The estate descended to W.H.F. Lee, son of Robert E. Lee. The house was burned by  union troops when McClellan made the white house his base of operations in May 1862. 
Questions, Comments, please feel free to email me,
thanks Kristina (frmrnyr@aol.com)   
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