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Accomack County, Virginia
Seal of Accomack County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Accomack County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1671
Seat Accomac
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,310 sq mi (3,393 km²)
455 sq mi (1,178 km²)
855 sq mi (2,214 km²), 65.25%
 - (2010)
 - Density

73/sq mi (28.1/km²)

Accomack County, formerly Accomac Shire, is a U.S. county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2010, the population was 33,164.[1] Its county seat is Accomac.[2]

Accomack and Northampton Counties comprise the Eastern Shore of Virginia, part of the Delmarva Peninsula.


An English expedition landed in the region in 1603, some years before the Jamestown Colony. Captain John Smith visited again in 1608. The native Accawmacke nation numbered around 2000, and were governed by a paramount chief Debedeavon, also known as "The Laughing King". He became a staunch ally to the English, and bestowed them several large land grants within his dwindling territory.

Accomac Shire was established in 1634 as one of the original eight shires of Virginia. The shire's name comes from the Native American word Accawmack, meaning "on the other side".[3] In 1642 the name was changed to Northampton by the English, to eliminate "heathen" names in the New World. Northampton was split into two counties in 1663. The northern section assumed the original Accomac name, the southern, Northampton. In 1940, the General Assembly officially added a "k" to the end of the county's name to arrive at its current spelling. The name of "Accomack County" first appeared in the Decisions of the United States Board on Geographical Names in 1943.[4]

The first Sheriff in the United States, William Stone, was appointed to serve Accomack County in 1634.

In 1670, the Virginia Colony's Royal Governor William Berkeley abolished Accomac County, but the Virginia General Assembly re-created it in 1671.[5]

Unlike most of Virginia, during the Civil War, the county was not under Confederate control, but held by the forces of the United States government.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,310 square miles (3,400 km2), the largest county in Virginia, of which 455 square miles (1,180 km2) is land and 855 square miles (2,210 km2) (65.25%) is water.

The state of Delaware is roughly 36 miles away from the Virginia and Maryland state-line in Greenbackville.


  • Accomack County Airport

Adjacent counties[]

National protected areas[]

  • Assateague Island National Seashore (part)
  • Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (part)
  • Martin National Wildlife Refuge (part, Watts Island portion)
  • Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 13,959
1800 15,693 12.4%
1810 15,743 0.3%
1820 15,966 1.4%
1830 16,656 4.3%
1840 17,096 2.6%
1850 17,890 4.6%
1860 18,586 3.9%
1870 20,409 9.8%
1880 24,408 19.6%
1890 27,277 11.8%
1900 32,570 19.4%
1910 36,650 12.5%
1920 34,795 −5.1%
1930 35,854 3.0%
1940 33,030 −7.9%
1950 33,832 2.4%
1960 30,635 −9.4%
1970 29,004 −5.3%
1980 31,268 7.8%
1990 31,703 1.4%
2000 38,305 20.8%
2010 33,164 −13.4%

As of the census[6] of 2010, there were 33,164 people, 15,299 households, and 10,388 families residing in the county. The population density was 84 people per square mile (32/km²). There were 19,550 housing units at an average density of 43 per square mile (17/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 65.3% White, 28.1% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.9% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. 8.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Black or African American (28%), English American (15%), German (9%), Irish (9%) and Mexican (4%).

There were 15,299 households out of which 28.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.20% were married couples living together, 14.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.10% were non-families. 27.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.30% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 24.70% from 45 to 64, and 16.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 94.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.00 males.

Accomack and adjacent Northampton County are the two poorest counties in the Commonwealth of Virginia.[7]


  • Accomac
  • Belle Haven, Partially within Northampton County as well
  • Bloxom
  • Chincoteague
  • Hallwood
  • Keller
  • Melfa

  • Onancock
  • Onley
  • Painter
  • Parksley
  • Saxis
  • Tangier
  • Wachapreague


The county is served by Accomack County Public Schools.[8]

The schools in this district are:[9]

Elementary schools[]

Middle schools[]

High schools[]


The county maintains and is the licensee of eight television translator stations on two towers, with four located on a tower off US 13 in unincorporated Mappsville licensed to Onancock, and the other four licensed to unincorporated Craddockville on a tower near Route 178. Each translator tower has four signals to relay the signals of Hampton Roads's major network affiliates to the county, including WAVY, WHRO, WTKR and WVEC. Meanwhile, Fox programming via WVBT is provided by WPMC-CA (Channel 36) from the Mappsville tower, a station owned by LIN Media, the parent company of WAVY/WVBT.

Call letters Channel City of license Station relayed Network
W14DY-D 14 Onancock WAVY NBC
W42DP 42 Craddockville WAVY NBC
W25AA 25 Onancock WHRO PBS
W20CW 20 Craddockville WHRO PBS
W18EG-D 18 Onancock WTKR CBS
W22DN 22 Craddockville WTKR CBS
W34DN 34 Onancock WVEC ABC
W48DO 48 Craddockville WVEC ABC

Notable residents[]

  • William Anderson, born in Accomack County, United States Congressman from Pennsylvania[10]
  • Thomas Evans, (c.1755-1815), born in Accomack County, United States Congressman from Virginia[10]
  • George T. Garrison, (1835–1889), born in Accomack County, member of Virginia state legislature and United States Congressman from Virginia[10]
  • James Hamilton, (c.1710-1783), born in Accomack County, lawyer and mayor of Philadelphia[10]
  • James Henry, (1731–1804), born in Accomack County, lawyer and delegate to the Continental Congress[10]
  • Henry A. Wise, (1806-1876), Minister to Brazil, Governor of Virginia and Confederate General [10]

Colonial Settlers[]

  • Henry Carsley (1602-1635), he immigrated in 1623 from England on the ship Providence and he was the proprietor for 2,500 acres in Newport News.

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Accomack County, Virginia


  1. ^ [1]. Weldon Cooper Center 2010 Census Count Retrieved January 26, 2011
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. pp. 23. 
  4. ^ Topping, Mary, comp., Approved Place Names in Virginia: An Index to Virginia Names Approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names through 1969 (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1971), 1.
  5. ^ Accomack County, Virginia Genealogy, History and Records
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ Accomack and Northampton County EC on USDA Rural Development
  8. ^ Education, Virginia Department of (2009). "Virginia Public School Division Staff". Virginia Department of Education. Retrieved 2009-12-19. 
  9. ^ Accomack County Public Schools (2008). "Accomack County Public Schools - Eastern Shore of Virginia". Accomack County Public Schools. Retrieved 2009-12-19. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 

External links[]

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Coordinates: 37°46′N 75°46′W / 37.76, -75.76

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Accomack County, Virginia. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.