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Elizabeth City County (shaded in green) was located at the eastern tip of the Virginia Peninsula on this 1895 map. Originally created as Elizabeth River Shire in 1634, it is now part of the independent city of Hampton.

Elizabeth City County was a county in eastern Virginia which is now extinct. Originally created in 1634 as Elizabeth River Shire, it was one of eight shires created in the Virginia Colony by order of the King of England. In 1636, it was subdivided, and the portion north of the harbor of Hampton Roads became known as Elizabeth City Shire. It was renamed Elizabeth City County a short time later.

Elizabeth City was originally named Kikotan (also spelled Kecoughtan and Kikowtan), presumably a word for the Native Americans living there when the English arrived in 1607. They were friendly to the English, but Sir Thomas Gates either worried about safety (including potential attack by the Spaniards and the Dutch) or coveted their corn fields after the "starving time" of the 1609-10 winter. The English stole their land while the men were out hunting, and for some reason, the natives never attacked the settlement in response.

The shire and county were named for Elizabeth of Bohemia, daughter of King James I.

The town of Hampton, established in 1680, became the largest town in Elizabeth City County, and was the county seat. In 1908, Hampton was incorporated as an independent city.

In 1952, the county and the former town of Phoebus in the county were merged into the independent city of Hampton.

The original boundaries of Elizabeth City County in the mid 17th century essentially form those of current city of Hampton today, with the exception of a small area annexed by the City of Newport News in 1927.

Since the English settlers occupied the former Indian village of Kecoughtan in 1610, and the town at Jamestown was eventually abandoned, the city of Hampton now claims to be the oldest continuously-settled English city in North America.

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Elizabeth City 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.