VAGenWeb

New Kent County, Virginia

Genealogy Project


Welcome to New Kent County


This County is in need of a new administrater.
For information contact fspradlin@earthlink.net



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.

 

INDEX

Surname Register, A-G

New Kent Co. Ancestor Queries
Surname Register, H-O Message Board

Surname Register, P-Z

Parishes

Records

Archives

History

Mailing List
Photo Gallery Chandler & Cooke Cemetery Listings
Biographies Other New Kent Co. Information
Wills Virginia Genealogy Resources
Pensions Other Genealogical Sites
Land Grants , Patents & Records Shortcuts to Neighboring Counties
Bible Records VAGenWeb Project
Lookup Volunteers, Magazine, Books USGenWeb Project

 

 

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 William Counties. 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 State Library.

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")
  • New Kent 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 after 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, Opechannough.

    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 church's interior.
    (Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper article written on April 14, 1998 by Charles Gerena. Thanks to Barbara LeMay for sending the article to me)

Parishes:

  • Blisland 1654- (also James City Co.)
  • Saint John's 1680-1691 (afterwards, King and Queen then King William)
  • Saint Paul's 1704-1720 (afterward Hanover Co.),
  • Saint Peter's 1679 -
  • Saint Stephen's before 1674-1691(afterward King and Queen Co.)
  • Stratton Major 1655-1691 (afterward King and Queen Co.)
Other New Kent County Information
  • New Kent County Resources at Rootsweb
    Rootsweb has made new resource centers for each county in the U.S. From the New Kent County 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 Genealogy Resources:

  • 1704 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 fees.

Other Genealogical Sites

  • "How To"   Excellent list of links for beginners by Cyndi Howells
  • RootsWeb   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 families.
  • Deciphering Old Handwriting   Excellent on-line tutorial on old handwriting styles, with actual examples to compare with  (by Sabina J. Murray)
  • Inflation Calculator Adjusts for inflation, any $ amount, from the year 1800 through 1997,  by S. Morgan Friedman

Shortcuts to Neighboring Counties


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If you have genealogical and historical information you would like to share with others such as photos, old records, and such, please send by email or snail mail. I will add a page to the site for this information. I am unable to conduct any personal genealogical research for you or to provide you with individual help in your requests. Such requests will be ignored.

County Coordinator


Copyright 2010