New Kent County, Virginia

New Kent County, Virginia

New Kent County Courthouse, built circa 1907

Map of Virginia highlighting New Kent County
Location in the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1654
Named for Kent, England
Seat New Kent
  Total 223 sq mi (578 km2)
  Land 210 sq mi (544 km2)
  Water 14 sq mi (36 km2), 6.1%
Population (est.)
  (2015) 20,392
  Density 91/sq mi (35/km²)
Congressional district 7th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

New Kent County is a county located in the eastern part the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,429.[1] Its county seat is New Kent.[2]

New Kent County is included in the Greater Richmond Region.


New Kent County was established in 1654 from York County[3] and was organized and settled by William Claiborne.[4] The county's name originated because several prominent inhabitants, including William Claiborne, recently had been forced from their settlement at Kent Island, Maryland by Lord Baltimore upon the formation of Maryland.[5] Claiborne had named the island for his birthplace in Kent, England. New Kent County is the birthplace of two U. S. Presidents' wives - Martha Washington and Letitia Christian Tyler. The church where George and Martha Washington are believed to have been wed, St. Peters, still holds services today. The Chickahominy Indians frequented this area as well as nearby Charles City County and two tribes are still well-established in this area.

Among the earliest settlers of New Kent County was Nicholas Gentry, who settled in New Kent in 1684. The parish register books of St. Peter's Parish show that Nicholas Gentry's daughter was baptized in the church in 1687. The records also reflect other Gentrys, probably Nicholas Gentry's relations, Peter and Samuel Gentry.[6] As the result of arson confessed to by John Price Posey and Tho Green, and, allegedly, involving "a negro boy belonging to W. Chamberlayne" on 15 July 1787, many later county records were burned, making identifying relationships between family members difficult.[7]

In November 1719, a portion of New Kent County known then as St. Paul's Parish was formed into a separate county, now Hanover County.

In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau rated New Kent County among the top 100 fastest-growing counties in America.[8]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 223 square miles (579 km²), of which 210 square miles (543 km²) is land and 14 square miles (36 km²) (6.23%) is water. The Chickahominy River borders the county to the south, the Pamunkey and York rivers border it to the north and east.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201520,392[9]10.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2012[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 18,429 people residing in the county. 81.7% were White, 13.5% Black or African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.5% of some other race and 2.3% of two or more races. 2.1% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 15.2% were of English, 11.7% American, 10.6% German and 9.4% Irish ancestry.[14]

At the 2000 census,[15] there were 13,462 people, 4,925 households and 3,895 families residing in the county. The population density was 64 per square mile (25/km²). There were 5,203 housing units at an average density of 25 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 80.26% White, 16.20% Black or African American, 1.29% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. 1.31% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,925 households of which 34.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.60% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.90% were non-families. 16.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 2.97.

Age distribution was 25.00% under the age of 18, 5.90% from 18 to 24, 32.00% from 25 to 44, 27.70% from 45 to 64, and 9.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 102.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.90 males.

The median household income was $53,595, and the median family income was $60,678. Males had a median income of $40,005 versus $28,894 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,893. 4.90% of the population and 3.40% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 7.40% are under the age of 18 and 7.00% are 65 or older.


New Kent County has four schools within the school system.[16] There are two elementary schools, New Kent Elementary, and George W. Watkins Elementary. The school system also includes New Kent Middle School and New Kent High School. All four schools are fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. At the high school level various honors and advanced placement courses are available along with dual enrollment through Rappahannock Community College. Gifted and enrichment programs are offered in all grades K-12.[17]

There are over 430 employees including 220 licensed teachers, seven guidance counselors, four media specialists, four principals, five assistant principals, and a central office staff composed of 1 Superintendent and 5 Directors.[18] The current superintendent is Rick Richardson,[19] and the assistant superintendent is Ed Smith.

New Kent County received a new site for Rappahannock Community College in 2015,[20] located at the renovated "historic" New Kent High School site. The site offers engineering, nursing and basic college-level courses in New Kent.




The county is crossed by the railroad tracks of CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern, but has no passenger rail stations. The nearest Amtrak service is at stations in Williamsburg and Richmond.


New Kent Airport (W96[21]) is in the county's western end near Quinton. It is a general aviation facility. Commercial passenger services and cargo services are offered at Richmond International Airport, which is located in adjacent Henrico County, about 10 miles west of Bottoms Bridge.


New Kent Winery & Vineyards opened on May 31, 2008 and is located just off Interstate 64.


There are no incorporated towns in New Kent County. Unincorporated towns and communities include:


See also


  1. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. Notes from the Records of York County. The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Oct., 1913), p. 76. DOI: 10.2307/1914974
  4. Address delivered by J. Herbert Claiborne before the Maryland Society of New York, April 14th, 1919. (1921, April), p. 98. The William and Mary Quarterly. Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.
  5. Address delivered by J. Herbert Claiborne before the Maryland Society of New York, April 14th, 1919. (1921, April). The William and Mary Quarterly. Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.
  6. The Gentry Family in America: 1676 to 1909, Richard Gentry, The Grafton Press, New York, 1909
  7. New Kent County. The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Oct., 1895), p. 115.
  8. "100 Fastest Growing Counties". U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  10. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  11. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  12. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  13. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  14. "American FactFinder"
  15. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  16. New Kent County Schools. Retrieved 3/23/2014
  17. Virginia Department Of Education. Retrieved 3/23/2014
  18. New Kent County Public School Employees. Retrieved 3/23/2014
  19. New Kent County Schools. Retrieved 3/23/2014
  20. "Open House and Fair launch RCC's New Kent County site - Rappahannock Community College". Rappahannock Community College. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  21. Effective 03 April 2014

Coordinates: 37°31′N 77°00′W / 37.51°N 77.00°W / 37.51; -77.00

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