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County Formation in Northern Virginia, 1664-1997
(excluding the formation of the independant cities, which began in 1887)

"Northern" is defined as Rockingham, Page, Madison, Culpeper, and Stafford Cos. northward (inclusive).

There are usually two dates associated with the formation of a county.
One is the date it was legislatively created (at the state level), the other is the date the county was locally organized.

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YEAR CHANGE:  when a county reached its current (1999) form, its name is highlighted in red.
1664 Stafford Co. formed de novo and from Westmoreland Co.
1692 Richmond and Essex Cos. formed de novo and from splitting Rappahanock Co.
1720/21 King George Co. formed from Richmond and Westmoreland Cos.
Spotsylvania Co. formed from Essex, King & Queen, and King William Cos.
1730/31 Prince William Co. formed from Stafford and King George Cos.
1734 Orange Co. formed de novo and from Spotsylvania Co. (includes all of west and northwest VA)
1738/43 Frederick Co. formed de novo and from Orange Co. (encompasses all of northern VA)
1734/45 Augusta Co. formed de novo and from Orange Co. (encompases all of western VA)
1742 Fairfax Co. form ed from Prince William Co.
1749 Culpeper Co. formed from Orange Co.
1753/54 Hampshire Co. formed from Frederick Co.
1757 Loudon Co. formed from Fairfax Co.
1759 Fauquier Co. formed from Prince William Co.
1772 Dunmore Co. formed from Frederick Co.
1772 Berkeley Co. formed from Frederick Co.
1777 Exchange between Stafford Co. and King George Co. 
1778 Name of Dunmore Co. changed to Shenandoah Co.
1778 Rockingham Co. formed from Augusta Co.
1785/86 Hardy Co. formed from Hampshire Co.
1787/88 Pendleton formed from Augusta, Hardy, and Hampshire Cos.
1791 Part of Fairfax Co. ceded to form the District of Columbia
1792/93 Madison Co. formed from Culpeper Co.
1796 Fairfax Co. gained from Loudon Co.
1801 Jefferson Co. formed from Berkeley Co.
1820 Morgan Co. formed from Berkeley Co. and Hampshire Co.
1830 Page Co. formed from Rockingham Co. and Shenandoah Co.
1833 Rappahannock Co. formed from Culpeper Co.
1836 Clarke Co. formed from Frederick Co.
Warren Co. formed from Frederick Co. and Shenandoah Co.
1846 Part of District of Columbia ceded to Fairfax Co.
1847 Alexandria Co. formed from Fairfax Co.
Highland Co. formed from parts of Pendleton Co. and Bath Co.
1863 Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan, Hampshire, Hardy, Pendleton, and 44 other Virginia Cos. ceded to form the new state of West Virginia.
1866 Mineral Co. (WV) formed from Hampshire Co. (WV)
Grant Co. (WV) formed from Hardy Co. (WV)
 1871 Hampshire Co. (WV) gained from Mineral Co. (WV)
   
Source:

1.  AniMapPlus:  County Boundary Historical Atlas. Gold Bug Software, Alamo, CA.

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