Nansemond County, Virginia
Nansemond County is an extinct county which was located in Virginia Colony and the Commonwealth of Virginia (after statehood) in the United States, from 1646 until 1972. Most of its former territory is now the independent city of Suffolk.
17th Century 
Under the Virginia Company of London, in 1619, the area which became Nansemond County was included in Elizabeth Cittie [sic], a one of four large "boroughs", or "incorporations". In 1624, the Virginia Company lost its proprietary charter, and Virginia became a royal colony.
In 1634, the King of England directed the formation of eight shires (or counties) in the colony. One of these was Elizabeth River Shire, which included land area on both sides of Hampton Roads, as had the earlier Elizabeth Cittie. Two years later, New Norfolk County was formed in 1636 from Elizabeth River Shire. It included all the area in South Hampton Roads now incorporated in the five independent cities located there in modern times. The following year, in 1637, New Norfolk County was divided into Upper Norfolk County and Lower Norfolk County. Upper Norfolk County was officially redesignated the County of Nansimum by the House of Burgesses in March 1646; by the October session, this was also being spelled as Nansimund.
18th Century 
In the 1720s, John Constant settled along the Nansemond river (in what is now Suffolk) and built a home, wharf, and warehouse. Thus the site became known as "Constant's Warehouse." 
Under the Tobacco Inspection Act of 1730, three of the 40 tobacco inspection warehouses were chartered in Nansemond County, under two inspectors, as follows:
At Waynwright's Landing, Isle of Wight; and Laurence's, in Nansemond County, under one inspection. At the widow Constance's[sic], at Sleepy-Hole Point, in Nansemond County, under one inspection.
In 1742, the Virginia House of Burgesses chartered a new town at Constant's Wharf and renamed it "Suffolk" 
In 1750, the county seat of Nansemond County was moved from Jarnigan's or Cohoon's Bridge to Suffolk, a new town which had been formed at Constance's Warehouse at Sleepy Hole Point on the Nansemond River in 1742. It was named for the hometown in England of Royal Governor William Gooch. 
19th Century 
Suffolk became an incorporated town in 1808 and an independent city in 1910. Even after Suffolk became politically independent of Nansemond County, the county seat and courts remained at Suffolk.
20th Century 
Nansemond County joined a wave of political consolidations in southeastern Virginia between 1952 and 1976, and the county became the independent city of Nansemond in July, 1972. Only 18 months later, the new city merged with the existing city of Suffolk on January 1, 1974 to form the present-day city of Suffolk. The merger created the largest city in Virginia by land area.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.