Accomack County
Accomack County Courthouse
Accomack County Courthouse
Official seal of Accomack County
Map of Virginia highlighting Accomack County
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 37°46′N 75°46′W / 37.76°N 75.76°W / 37.76; -75.76
Country United States
State Virginia
Founded1671
SeatAccomac
Largest townChincoteague
Area
 • Total1,310 sq mi (3,400 km2)
 • Land450 sq mi (1,200 km2)
 • Water861 sq mi (2,230 km2)  65.7%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total33,413
 • Density26/sq mi (9.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.co.accomack.va.us

Accomack County is a United States county located in the eastern edge of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Together, Accomack and Northampton counties make up the Eastern Shore of Virginia, which in turn is part of the Delmarva Peninsula, bordered by the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The Accomack county seat is the town of Accomac.[1]

The Eastern Shore of Virginia was known as "Accomac Shire," until it was renamed Northampton County in 1642. The present Accomack County was created from Northampton County in 1663. The county and the original shire were named for the Accawmack Indians, who resided in the area when the English first explored it in 1603.

As of the 2020 census, the total population was 33,413 people.[2] The population of Accomack has remained relatively stable over the last century, though Accomack is one of the poorest parts of Virginia.[3]

History

Notice to persons "desiring to establish supply stores" in Accomac and Northampton Counties, Virginia, September 19, 1864
Notice to persons "desiring to establish supply stores" in Accomac and Northampton Counties, Virginia, September 19, 1864

The county was named for its original residents, the Accomac people, an Eastern Algonquian-speaking Native American tribe.

Members of an English voyage of exploration landed in the area in 1603, four years before the founding of the Jamestown Colony. Captain John Smith visited the region in 1608. The Accomac people at the time numbered around 6,000 and was led by Debedeavon, a paramount chief, whom the English colonists called the "Laughing King." He became a staunch ally of the colonists, granting them several large areas for their own use.

Accomac Shire was established in 1634 as one of the eight original shires of Virginia. The name comes from the native word Accawmacke, which meant "on the other side".[4] In 1642 the name was changed to Northampton by the colonists. Northampton was divided into two counties in 1663. The northern adopted the original name, while the south remained Northampton.

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

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.[6]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,310 square miles (3,400 km2), of which 450 square miles (1,200 km2) is land and 861 square miles (2,230 km2) (65.7%) is water.[7] It is the largest county in Virginia by total area.

The state of Delaware is roughly 36 miles (58 km) away from the Virginia and Maryland state-line in Greenbackville.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
179013,959
180015,69312.4%
181015,7430.3%
182015,9661.4%
183016,6564.3%
184017,0962.6%
185017,8904.6%
186018,5863.9%
187020,4099.8%
188024,40819.6%
189027,27711.8%
190032,57019.4%
191036,65012.5%
192034,795−5.1%
193035,8543.0%
194033,030−7.9%
195033,8322.4%
196030,635−9.4%
197029,004−5.3%
198031,2687.8%
199031,7031.4%
200038,30520.8%
201033,164−13.4%
202033,4130.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010[12] 2020[13]

2020 census

Accomack County, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[12] Pop 2020[13] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 20,266 19,825 61.11% 59.33%
Black or African American alone (NH) 9,253 8,639 27.90% 25.86%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 97 65 0.29% 0.19%
Asian alone (NH) 177 249 0.53% 0.75%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 34 1 0.10% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 44 99 0.13% 0.30%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 443 1,105 1.34% 3.31%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 2,850 3,430 8.59% 10.27%
Total 33,164 33,413 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2010 Census

As of the census[14] 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%)[citation needed].

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.[3]

Government and politics

Board of Supervisors

Board of County Supervisors
Name Party District
  William J. "Billy Joe" Tarr Ind 1
  Ron Wolff Dem 2
  Vanessa Johnson Dem 3
  Paul E.J. Muhly Ind 4
  Harrison W. Phillips, III Ind 5
  Robert Crockett Ind 6
  Jackie Phillips Ind 7
  Donald Hart, Jr. Dem 8
  C. Reneta Major Dem 9

Constitutional officers

Accomack County is represented by Democrat Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr. in the Virginia Senate, Republican Robert Bloxom in the Virginia House of Delegates, and Democrat Elaine Luria in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Presidential politics

United States presidential election results for Accomack County, Virginia[15]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 9,172 54.07% 7,578 44.68% 212 1.25%
2016 8,583 54.26% 6,740 42.61% 495 3.13%
2012 8,213 51.17% 7,655 47.69% 183 1.14%
2008 7,833 50.14% 7,607 48.69% 183 1.17%
2004 7,726 57.85% 5,518 41.31% 112 0.84%
2000 6,352 53.27% 5,092 42.70% 481 4.03%
1996 5,013 43.02% 5,220 44.79% 1,421 12.19%
1992 5,666 43.17% 4,950 37.71% 2,509 19.12%
1988 6,926 60.01% 4,443 38.49% 173 1.50%
1984 8,047 64.55% 4,355 34.94% 64 0.51%
1980 5,371 50.21% 4,872 45.54% 455 4.25%
1976 4,494 47.13% 4,807 50.41% 235 2.46%
1972 6,496 71.97% 2,406 26.66% 124 1.37%
1968 3,231 35.19% 2,467 26.87% 3,483 37.94%
1964 3,145 47.06% 3,528 52.79% 10 0.15%
1960 2,676 47.95% 2,884 51.68% 21 0.38%
1956 2,823 54.25% 2,213 42.52% 168 3.23%
1952 2,626 53.99% 2,220 45.64% 18 0.37%
1948 1,088 35.05% 1,669 53.77% 347 11.18%
1944 1,045 37.39% 1,747 62.50% 3 0.11%
1940 882 37.28% 1,476 62.38% 8 0.34%
1936 670 29.66% 1,583 70.08% 6 0.27%
1932 527 17.53% 2,458 81.74% 22 0.73%
1928 1,367 42.81% 1,826 57.19% 0 0.00%
1924 307 12.64% 2,087 85.92% 35 1.44%
1920 409 16.49% 2,026 81.69% 45 1.81%
1916 299 14.44% 1,745 84.30% 26 1.26%
1912 153 7.24% 1,825 86.33% 136 6.43%


Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Transportation

Airport

Major highways

Education

The county is served by Accomack County Public Schools.[16]

High schools and K-12 schools in this district are:[17]

Eastern Shore Community College is located in Melfa.

Media

The county maintains and is the licensee of six television translator stations on two towers, with four located on a tower off US 13 in unincorporated Mappsville licensed to Onancock, and the other two 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 Nexstar Media Group, the parent company of WAVY/WVBT.

Additionally, Salisbury, Maryland CBS / Fox affiliate WBOC-TV has long claimed Accomack County as part of its coverage area.

Call letters City of license Channel Station relayed (Network)
W14DY-D Onancock 14 WAVY (NBC)
W42DP Craddockville 42 WAVY (NBC)
W25AA-D Onancock 25 WHRO (PBS)
W18EG-D Onancock 18 WAVY (NBC), 18.1
WVEC (ABC), 18.2
WTKR (CBS), 18.3
WHRO (PBS), 18.4
W22DN Craddockville 22 WTKR (CBS)
W34DN Onancock 34 WVEC (ABC)

Communities

Towns

Census Designated Places

Notable people

In popular culture

Music

In Sydney Brown's lyrics for the Maple Leaf Rag, the first line states "I come from ol' Virginny, from de County Accomack"

See also

References

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  2. ^ "Accomack County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Accomack and Northampton County EC Archived July 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine on USDA Rural Development
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. pp. 23.
  5. ^ Accomack County, Virginia Genealogy, History and Records
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "Decennial Census by Decade". US Census Bureau.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Accomack County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  13. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Accomack County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  15. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  16. ^ Education, Virginia Department of (2009). "Virginia Public School Division Staff". Virginia Department of Education. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
  17. ^ Accomack County Public Schools (2008). "Accomack County Public Schools - Eastern Shore of Virginia". Accomack County Public Schools. Retrieved December 19, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ a b c d e f Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.

Further reading

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