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Prince George County, Virginia, Research


Prince George County, Virginia, covers 266 square miles, has a population of about 33,000 people, and the county seat is Prince George. Farming and forestry have been important economic activities in the county. Because of its close proximity to the urban areas of Petersburg, Colonial Heights and Hopewell, shopping centers and housing developments are beginning to change the character of the county. Prince George County is now the home of Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary. The County is bordered on the northeast by James River. Historic Sites along this shoreline include Fort Powhatan, Upper and Lower Brandon, Flowerdew Hundred, Jordan's Point and City Point. Other historic sites include Merchant's Hope Church, Kippax, Beechwood, and Cedar Level. There are, of course, many other historic places in the county. For more information about them, consult the sources listed in the Bibliography. and the Prince George County Links page.

Prince George County was formed from that part of Charles City County that lay on the south side of James River. The Virginia General Assembly authorized the formation of the county in 1702, but it was not finally organized until July 1703. Queen Anne ascended the English throne in 1702, and the new county was named to honor her husband, Prince George of Denmark.

The area of Prince George County was reduced in 1732, when Brunswick County was formed from its area south of Nottoway River, and in 1752, when Dinwiddie County was cut off from its remaining southwestern end. There were three parishes, Westover, Weyanoke and Bristol, in the area encompassed by Prince George County. Westover and Weyanoke originated with Charles City County in 1618. A 1720 act of the General Assembly, which took effect on 1 January 1721, united the parts of Westover and Weyanoke on the south side of James River into Martin's Brandon Parish. Bristol Parish was established by a 1643 Act of the Assembly to serve the inhabitants of the Appomattox River valley and was contained within the land that formed Prince George County in 1703. Bristol Parish now lies in Dinwiddie County, and Prince George County now encompasses Martin's Brandon Parish.

Although Prince George County's records have suffered the depredations of war, not all of them were lost. There are circuit court records, deeds, wills, estate inventories, county surveyor's plat books and some parish records. Abstracts of some records have been published. For details, see the Bibliography.

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