Accomack County, Virginia

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Accomack County, Virginia
Accomack County Courthouse (Built 1899), Accomac ( Accomack County, Virginia).jpg
Accomack County Courthouse
Seal of Accomack County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Accomack County
Location in the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1671
Seat Accomac
Largest town Chincoteague
 • Total 1,310 sq mi (3,393 km2)
 • Land 450 sq mi (1,165 km2)
 • Water 861 sq mi (2,230 km2), 65.7%
Population (est.)
 • (2015) 32,973
 • Density 25/sq mi (10/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

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 2010 census, the total population was 33,164 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]


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

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 Accawmacke nation at the time numbered around 2000, and were governed by Debedeavon, a paramount chief called by the English the "Laughing King". He became a staunch ally of the English newcomers, 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 Accawmack, which meant "on the other side".[4] In 1642 the name was changed to Northampton, following a policy of eliminating "heathen names". Northampton was divided into two counties in 1663. The northern adopted the original name, while the south remained Northampton. 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.[5]

In 1670, the Virginia Colony's Royal Governor William Berkeley abolished Accomac County, but the Virginia General Assembly re-created it in 1671.[6]


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.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 13,959
1800 15,693 12.4%
1810 15,743 0.3%
1820 15,966 1.4%
1830 16,656 4.3%
1840 17,096 2.6%
1850 17,890 4.6%
1860 18,586 3.9%
1870 20,409 9.8%
1880 24,408 19.6%
1890 27,277 11.8%
1900 32,570 19.4%
1910 36,650 12.5%
1920 34,795 −5.1%
1930 35,854 3.0%
1940 33,030 −7.9%
1950 33,832 2.4%
1960 30,635 −9.4%
1970 29,004 −5.3%
1980 31,268 7.8%
1990 31,703 1.4%
2000 38,305 20.8%
2010 33,164 −13.4%
Est. 2016 32,947 [8] −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2013[2]

As of the census[13] 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[edit]

Board of Supervisors[edit]

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

Constitutional Officers[edit]

Clerk of the Circuit Court: Samuel H. Cooper, Jr. (I)

Commissioner of the Revenue: Leslie Savage (I)

Commonwealth's Attorney: Gary R. Agar (D)

Sheriff: Todd E. Godwin (I)

Treasurer: Dana T. Bundick (I)

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

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]



Major highways[edit]


The county is served by Accomack County Public Schools[permanent dead link].[14]

The schools in this district are:[15]

Elementary schools[edit]

Middle schools[edit]

High schools[edit]


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 Media General, the parent company of WAVY/WVBT.

Salisbury, Maryland CBS / Fox affiliate WBOC-TV, though within that city's own market, has long-included 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)



Census Designated Places[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  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 (PDF). p. 23. 
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Accomack County, Virginia Genealogy, History and Records
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  14. ^ Education, Virginia Department of (2009). "Virginia Public School Division Staff". Virginia Department of Education. Retrieved 2009-12-19. [permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Accomack County Public Schools (2008). "Accomack County Public Schools - Eastern Shore of Virginia". Accomack County Public Schools. Retrieved 2009-12-19. [permanent dead link]
  16. ^ a b c d e f Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 

External links[edit]

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