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Hanover County, Virginia
Seal of Hanover County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Hanover County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1720
Seat Hanover
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

474 sq mi (1,228 km²)
473 sq mi (1,225 km²)
1 sq mi (3 km²), 0.30%
 - (2010)
 - Density

213/sq mi (82.2/km²)

Hanover County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2010, the population was 99,863[1]. Its county seat is Hanover Courthouse[2]. It is located in the Richmond-Petersburg region and is a portion of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).


Rural Plains, located on the grounds of the Richmond National Battlefield Park, Hanover County

Hanover County was created on November 26, 1720, from the area of New Kent County called St. Paul's Parish. It was named for the Electorate of Hanover in Germany, because King George I of Great Britain was Elector of Hanover at the time.

Hanover County was the birthplace and home of noted American statesman Patrick Henry. He reportedly married Sarah Shelton in the parlor of Rural Plains, also known as Shelton House because of her family's residency. At the Hanover Courthouse, he argued the case of the Parson's Cause, attacking the Crown's attempt to set the salaries of clergy in the colony. The historic Hanover Courthouse is pictured in the county seal. Hanover County was also the birthplace of politician Henry Clay, author of the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

Hanover County at its closest point is only 5 miles (8.0 km) from the current city limits of Richmond. However, the Chickahominy River is located at this closest point, which is in the Mechanicsville area. Although the Union Army came within earshot of the bells of Richmond's churches during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign of the American Civil War, they learned that the river was a major obstacle. Union General George B. McClellan failed in the attempt to get all of his troops across it to overwhelm the smaller-sized Confederate forces defending Richmond. This failure to take Richmond could be said to have prolonged the War almost 3 more years. Hanover County was the site of a number of Civil War battles, including the Seven Days Battles of the Peninsula Campaign and Battle of Cold Harbor in 1864.[3]

In 1953, Barksdale Theatre was founded at the historic Hanover Tavern, becoming the nation's first dinner theatre and Central Virginia's first professional theatre.[4] Barksdale continues to produce live theatre at the Tavern, as well as at several locations in Richmond. It is recognized today as Central Virginia's leading professional theatre.

Kings Dominion amusement park opened in 1975 in Doswell and added to the county's economy.

In January 2007, America's Promise named Hanover County as one of the top 100 communities for youth.

The incorporated town of Ashland is located within Hanover County. Ashland is the site of Randolph-Macon College.

Notable natives and residents[]

  • Patrick Henry, American statesman and lawyer.
  • Dr.Thomas Hinde, personal physician to Patrick Henry and physician during the American Revolutionary War.
  • Henry Clay, U.S. Secretary of State, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kentucky State Senator.
  • Thomas S. Hinde, real estate speculator, Methodist minister, and founder of Mount Carmel, Illinois.
  • London Ferrill (1789–1854), Baptist minister; born here, he gained freedom as a carpenter from slavery and migrated with his wife to Lexington, Kentucky. Ordained by First Baptist Church, in 1824 he was called as the second preacher of the First African Baptist Church, the oldest black Baptist church west of the Allegheny Mountains. He served for 31 years, building to 1,820 members in 1850, when it was the largest church in Kentucky, white or black.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 474 square miles (1,227.7 km2), of which 473 square miles (1,225.1 km2) is land and 1 square mile (2.6 km2) (0.30%) is water.

Hanover County is about 90 miles (140 km) south of Washington, D.C., and about 12 miles (19 km) north of Richmond.[5]

Adjacent Counties[]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 14,754
1800 14,403 −2.4%
1810 15,082 4.7%
1820 15,267 1.2%
1830 16,253 6.5%
1840 14,968 −7.9%
1850 15,153 1.2%
1860 17,222 13.7%
1870 16,455 −4.5%
1880 18,588 13.0%
1890 17,402 −6.4%
1900 17,618 1.2%
1910 17,200 −2.4%
1920 18,088 5.2%
1930 17,009 −6.0%
1940 18,500 8.8%
1950 21,985 18.8%
1960 27,550 25.3%
1970 37,479 36.0%
1980 50,398 34.5%
1990 63,306 25.6%
2000 86,320 36.4%
2010 99,863 15.7%

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 86,320 people, 31,121 households, and 24,461 families residing in the county. The population density was 183 people per square mile (71/km²). There were 32,196 housing units at an average density of 68 per square mile (26/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.32% White, 9.34% Black or African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. 0.98% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 31,121 households out of which 39.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.40% were married couples living together, 9.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.40% were non-families. 17.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.10% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 30.70% from 25 to 44, 24.80% from 45 to 64, and 10.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $59,223, and the median income for a family was $65,809. The median income was $42,523 for males and $30,689 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,120. About 2.50% of families and 3.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.90% of those under age 18 and 5.80% of those age 65 or over.


Hanover County has fifteen elementary schools, four middle schools, four high schools, one alternative school, and one technology school. The four high schools are Atlee High School, Hanover High School, Lee-Davis High School, and Patrick Henry High School. Forbes magazine named Hanover County as one of the top fifty counties in the United States for student achievement vs. cost per student.


  • Ashland

Unincorporated communities[]

List of highways[]


  • I-95
  • I-295

U.S. Highways:

  • US 1
  • US 33
  • US 301
  • US 360

State Highways:

  • SR 2
  • SR 30
  • SR 54
  • SR 326

See also[]

  • Hanover County Sheriff’s Office
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Hanover County, Virginia


  1. ^ [1]. Weldon Cooper Center 2010 Census Count Retrieved September 9, 2011
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "History of Hanover County". Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  4. ^ Auburn, David. "Barksdale Theatre: History." Barksdale Theatre in Richmond and Hanover Virginia at WIllow Lawn, the Tavern and the Empire Theater -- Central VA S Leading Professional Theater -- Souvenir, Boleros for the Disenchanted. Web. 23 July 2010. <>.
  5. ^ "About The County". Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

4. Hanover County District Information

External links[]

Coordinates: 37°46′N 77°29′W / 37.76, -77.49

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