Isle of Wight County
Isle of Wight Courthouse and Confederate Monument (removed May 8, 2021).[1]
Isle of Wight Courthouse and Confederate Monument (removed May 8, 2021).[1]
Official seal of Isle of Wight County
Map of Virginia highlighting Isle of Wight County
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 36°55′N 76°43′W / 36.91°N 76.71°W / 36.91; -76.71
Country United States
State Virginia
Founded1634
Named forIsle of Wight
SeatIsle of Wight
Largest townSmithfield
Area
 • Total363 sq mi (940 km2)
 • Land316 sq mi (820 km2)
 • Water47 sq mi (120 km2)  13.0%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total38,606
 • Density110/sq mi (41/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websitewww.co.isle-of-wight.va.us

Isle of Wight County is a county located in the Hampton Roads region of the U.S. state of Virginia. It was named after the Isle of Wight, England, south of the Solent, from where many of its early colonists had come.[2] As of the 2020 census, the population was 38,606.[3] Its county seat is Isle of Wight, an unincorporated community.[4]

Isle of Wight County is located in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its northeastern boundary is on the coast of Hampton Roads waterway.

Isle of Wight County features two incorporated towns, Smithfield and Windsor. The first courthouse for the county was built in Smithfield in 1750. The original courthouse and its associated tavern (The Smithfield Inn) are still standing.

As the county population developed, leaders thought they needed a county seat near the center of the area. They built a new courthouse near the center of the county in 1800. The 1800 brick courthouse and its associated tavern (Boykin's Tavern) are still standing, as are the 1822 clerk's offices nearby. Some additions have been made. The 1800 courthouse is used daily, serving as the government chambers for the Board of Supervisors, as well as the meeting hall for the school board. The chambers are sometimes used as a court for civil trials if the new courthouse is fully in use. The new courthouse opened in 2010; it is across the street from the sheriff's office and county offices complex.

History

During the 17th century, shortly after establishment of the settlement at Jamestown in 1607, English settlers explored and began settling the areas adjacent to the large Hampton Roads waterway. Captain John Smith in 1608 crossed the James River and obtained fourteen bushels of corn from the Native American inhabitants, the Warrosquyoack or Warraskoyak. They were a tribe of the Powhatan Confederacy, who had three towns in the area of modern Smithfield. English colonists drove the Warraskoyak from their villages in 1622 and 1627, as part of their reprisals for the Great Massacre of 1622, in which the Native Americans had decimated English settlements, hoping to drive them out of their territory.

The first English plantations along the south shore within present-day Isle of Wight were established by Puritan colonists, beginning with that of Christopher Lawne in May 1618, and Edward Bennett (colonist) in 1621. Several members of the Puritan Bennett family also settled there, including Edward's nephew, Richard Bennett. He led the Puritans to neighboring Nansemond in 1635, and later was appointed as governor of the Virginia Colony.

By 1634, the entire Colony consisted of eight shires or counties with a total population of approximately 5,000 inhabitants. Warrosquyoake Shire was renamed in 1637 as Isle of Wight County, after the island off the south coast of England. The original name had come derived from the Native Americans of the area; it went through transliteration and Anglicisation, eventually becoming known as "Warwicke Squeake".

On October 20, 1673, the "Grand Assembly" at Jamestown authorized both Isle of Wight County and Lower Norfolk County to construct a fort.[5]

St. Luke's Church, built in the 17th century, is Virginia's oldest church building.[6] In the late 20th century, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark in recognition of its significance. Many landmark and contributing structures on the National Register are located in Smithfield including the Wentworth-Grinnan House.

In 1732 a considerable portion of the northwestern part of the original shire was added to Brunswick County, and in 1748 the entire county of Southampton was carved out of it.

During the American Civil War, Company F of the 61st Virginia Infantry Regiment of the Confederate Army was called the "Isle of Wight Avengers."

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 363 square miles (940 km2), of which 316 square miles (820 km2) is land and 47 square miles (120 km2) (13.0%) is water.[7]

The county is bounded by the James River on the north and the Blackwater River to the south. The land is generally low-lying, with many swamps and pocosins.

Adjacent counties and independent cities

Major highways

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
17909,028
18009,3423.5%
18109,186−1.7%
182010,13910.4%
183010,5173.7%
18409,972−5.2%
18509,353−6.2%
18609,9776.7%
18708,320−16.6%
188010,57227.1%
189011,3137.0%
190013,10215.8%
191014,92913.9%
192014,433−3.3%
193013,409−7.1%
194013,381−0.2%
195014,90611.4%
196017,16415.1%
197018,2856.5%
198021,60318.1%
199025,50318.1%
200029,72816.6%
201035,27018.6%
202038,6069.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2020[12]

2020 census

Isle of Wight County, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[13] Pop 2020[12] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 24,969 26,410 70.79% 68.41%
Black or African American alone (NH) 8,656 8,579 24.54% 22.22%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 104 139 0.29% 0.36%
Asian alone (NH) 275 391 0.78% 1.01%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 13 31 0.04% 0.08%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 54 202 0.15% 0.52%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 541 1,655 1.53% 4.29%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 658 1,199 1.87% 3.11%
Total 35,270 38,606 100.00% 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 35,270 people, 11,319 households, and 8,670 families residing in the county. The population density was 94 people per square mile (36/km2). There were 12,066 housing units at an average density of 38 per square mile (15/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 71.8% White, 24.7% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. 1.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 11,319 households, out of which 34.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.40% were married couples living together, 12.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.40% were non-families. 20.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.40% under the age of 18, 6.60% from 18 to 24, 29.60% from 25 to 44, 26.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,387, and the median income for a family was $52,597. Males had a median income of $37,853 versus $22,990 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,235. About 6.60% of families and 8.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.80% of those under age 18 and 11.90% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Board of Supervisors

Constitutional officers

State and federal elected officials

House of Delegates:

Senate:

U.S. House of Representatives:

United States presidential election results for Isle of Wight County, Virginia[15]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 13,707 58.44% 9,399 40.07% 350 1.49%
2016 12,204 57.91% 7,881 37.40% 990 4.70%
2012 11,802 56.67% 8,761 42.07% 264 1.27%
2008 11,258 56.30% 8,573 42.87% 166 0.83%
2004 9,929 62.56% 5,871 36.99% 71 0.45%
2000 7,587 58.59% 5,162 39.86% 201 1.55%
1996 5,416 47.64% 4,952 43.56% 1,001 8.80%
1992 5,370 47.16% 4,380 38.46% 1,637 14.38%
1988 5,779 60.07% 3,747 38.95% 95 0.99%
1984 5,664 60.18% 3,650 38.78% 98 1.04%
1980 3,526 45.30% 3,951 50.76% 307 3.94%
1976 2,718 38.78% 4,145 59.14% 146 2.08%
1972 3,555 59.27% 2,305 38.43% 138 2.30%
1968 1,312 23.28% 1,977 35.08% 2,346 41.63%
1964 1,737 39.49% 2,656 60.38% 6 0.14%
1960 1,141 35.91% 2,020 63.58% 16 0.50%
1956 1,298 47.08% 1,324 48.02% 135 4.90%
1952 996 44.52% 1,227 54.85% 14 0.63%
1948 442 27.78% 1,064 66.88% 85 5.34%
1944 430 26.74% 1,178 73.26% 0 0.00%
1940 208 15.45% 1,138 84.55% 0 0.00%
1936 207 16.76% 1,025 83.00% 3 0.24%
1932 284 22.27% 982 77.02% 9 0.71%
1928 555 51.10% 531 48.90% 0 0.00%
1924 190 22.97% 631 76.30% 6 0.73%
1920 245 24.38% 759 75.52% 1 0.10%
1916 140 17.07% 679 82.80% 1 0.12%
1912 75 8.48% 708 80.09% 101 11.43%


Public services

Blackwater Regional Library is the regional library system that provides services to the citizens of Isle of Wight.

Communities

Towns

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ Fisher, Marc (May 30, 2021). "The Confederacy's final resting place". Washington Post.
  2. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 167.
  3. ^ "Isle of Wight County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "America and West Indies: March 1676." Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 9, 1675-1676 and Addenda 1574-1674. Ed. W Noel Sainsbury. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1893. 355-365. British History Online Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 5, 2007. Retrieved May 28, 2007.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), Historic St. Luke's website
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Archived from the original on August 11, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  12. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Isle of Wight County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  13. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Isle of Wight 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. Archived from the original on December 9, 2020.

Coordinates: 36°55′N 76°43′W / 36.91°N 76.71°W / 36.91; -76.71