Map of New Kent, Charles City, James City and York counties. (Offsite)
Confederate States of America. Army. Dept. of Northern Virginia. Chief Engineer's Office.
New Kent County Records
The Colonial Records of
New Kent County were destroyed by a fire in 1787, which was set by John Price
Posey, for which he was hanged. It was the greatest loss suffered because the
early records of many counties were in the New Kent Clerk's Office: King and
Queen, 1654-1691; King William County, 1654 to 1691; Hanover County, 1654 to
1721; Louisa County, 1654 to 1728; and part of Caroline County, 1654 to 1691.
(Caroline Co., Va. was formed in 1728 from Essex, King and Queen, and King
King and Queen Co., Va. was formed from New Kent Co., Va. in 1691, and King
William Co., Va. was formed in 1702 from King and Queen Co., VA.)
The records for New Kent between 1787 and 1864 were burned at the time the
village of New Kent Courthouse suffered a disastrous fire. The records for New
Kent since 1864 are intact and are in good condition. (Contributed by Raymond
W. Ryan - Powhatan, Va.)
The Vestry Book of Blisland Parish in New Kent and James City Counties,
Virginia 1721 to 1786, edited by Dr. C.C. Chamberlayne, 1935, and published by
Virginia State Library.
The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter's Parish, New Kent County, 1684
to 1786, edited by Dr. C.C. Chamberlayne, 1937, and published by Virginia
The Land Patent Books, Virginia State Library
Petitions to the New Kent County to the General Assembly, 1654-1976
The Land Tax Returns from 1782 to present.
New Kent County Courthouse
P.O. Box 98
New Kent, VA 23124-0098
Telephone: (804) 966-9520
New Kent County History
New Kent County, was
named either for the English county of Kent or for Kent Island, in the
upper waters of the Chesapeake Bay. William Claiborne, a native of Kent
who had been driven from Kent Island by Lord Baltimore, was a prominent
resident of the New Kent area when the county was formed. (Source:
"The Hornbook of Virginia History")
became county seat in 1691. New Kent County was formed in 1654 and
reduced in size in 1691 with the formation of King and Queen County.
(Source: "Virginia, A Guide to the Old Dominion")
An Act For dividing New Kent County [Passed November 26, 1720]
Hanover County, Virginia was formed in 1721 from New Kent County, Virginia.
["Journals of the House of Burgesses"
published by the Virginia State Library, 1905-1915.]
"WHEREAS many Inconveniences attend the Upper Inhabitants of the said County by
reason of their Great distance from the
Court house and other places usually appointed for publick meetings.
BE it therefore ENACTED by the Lieut Govr Council and Burgesses of the present
General Assembly And It is hereby
Enacted by the Authority of the Same That from and Immediately after the ffirst
day of May next the Said County of New Kent
be divided into Two distinct Countys And that that part of the County lyeing
below the parish of Saint Paul shall for Ever thereafter
be called and knowne by the Name of New Kent County
And that that part of the County which lyeth in the parish of St Paul shall be
called and knowne by the Name of Hannover County
and for the due Administration of Justice
BE it further ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid And it is hereby Enacted That
the Time aforesaid a Court for the said County of Hannover be constantly held
by the Justices thereof upon the First Friday of
Every Month in Such manner as by the Laws of this Country is provided and Shall
be by their Commission directed."
ex) J. Randolph C H B
Reference: "Virginia Counties: Those Resulting from Virginia Legislation" by
Morgan Poitiaux Robinson.
[Originally written as "Bulletin of the Virginia State Library, Vol. 9 January,
April, July, 1916. Nos. 1, 2 and 3."
Mr. Robinson held the position of "Archivist" on the "State Library Staff" and
made several trips to England to access archived documents
pertaining to the history of the "Commonwealth" prior to the American
Revolution. His trips abroad resulted in updates and corrections to
what had previously been done by "Hening."
[Contributed by Ray Ryan, Powhatan, Va.]
The history of New
Kent County begins long before the county was settled in 1644 and
incorporated a decade later. The region was a thriving confederacy of
Indian tribes ruled over by Chief Powhatan and later by his brother,
The first encounter between European settlers and Native Americans
occurred in 1607. Capt. John Smith discovered Moysenec, a settlement of
the Chickahominy Tribe that is now listed in the National Register of
Historic Places and is an important archeological site.
A series of encounters followed, some peaceful and some violent. A peace
treaty was signed in 1644, but not before countless battles occurred and
two Indian massacres in 1622 and 1644 left hundreds of settlers dead.
New Kent County has a history of survival and determination, from the
followers of Nathaniel Bacon who rebelled against the English in the town
of Brickhouse, to the soldiers who marched to battle on New Kent's roads.
George and Martha Washington frequently attended serviced at St. Peter's
Church, built in 1701 as the home of one of the oldest congregations in
Virginia. Rev. David Mossom, the pastor who baptized Martha and presided
over both of her weddings, is buried in the northeast corner of the
newspaper article written on April
14, 1998 by Charles Gerena. Thanks to Barbara LeMay for sending the
article to me)
1654- (also James City Co.)
(afterwards, King and Queen then King William)
(afterward Hanover Co.),
before 1674-1691(afterward King and Queen Co.)
Other New Kent County Information
(afterward King and Queen Co.)
New Kent County Resources at Rootsweb
Rootsweb has made new resource centers for each county in the U.S. From the New
Page you can perform searches in various parts of Rootsweb, join the New
Kent County Mailing List, leave an event on the calendar.
The Chamberlayne's of Virginia
An annotated genealogy of the Chamberlayne family descended from William and
Elizabeth Littlepage Chamberlayne of New Kent County and their predecessors in
England and Virginia.
Virginia Quit Rent Rolls
- Quit Rents were annual fees paid to the king in the right to live
on and farm property. These rolls are lists of those who paid these
Excellent list of
links for beginners by Cyndi Howells
Click on "Search Engines" to search the huge and growing
"RSL", also known as the "Roots Surname
List" to contact other researchers who may be working on your
- On page 3 of this .pdf document is a list of what information was
included on each Federal
Excellent on-line tutorial on old handwriting styles, with actual
examples to compare with (by Sabina J. Murray)
inflation, any $ amount, from the year 1800 through 1997, by
S. Morgan Friedman
Please take a moment to join our
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