Elizabeth City County, one of the
eight original shires, was created in 1634. It was originally known by
of Kecoughton. The name was later changed to
Elizabeth City (or citiie as it was then called) was one of four incorporations established in the Virginia Colony in 1619 by the proprietor, the Virginia Company. The plantations and developments were divided into four "incorporations" or "cities", as they were called. These were Charles City, Elizabeth City, Henrico City, and James City. The latter included the seat of government for the colony at Jamestown. Each of the four "citiies" (sic) extended across the James River, the main conduit of transportation of the era. In 1634, under Royal authority, a portion became Elizabeth City Shire, later Elizabeth City County.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_City_(Virginia_Company)"
Elizabeth City County (shaded in green) was located at the eastern tip of the Virginia Peninsula on this 1895 map. Originally created as Elizabeth River Shire in 1634, it is now part of the independent city of Hampton, Virginia.
Elizabeth City County was a county in eastern Virginia which is now extinct. Originally created in 1634 as Elizabeth River Shire, it was one of eight shires created in colonial Virginia by order of the King of England. In 1636, it was subdivided, and the portion north of the harbor of Hampton Roads became known as Elizabeth City Shire. It was renamed Elizabeth City County a short time later.
Elizabeth City was originally named Kikotan (also spelled Kecoughtan and Kikowtan), presumably a word for the Native Americans living there when the English arrived in 1607. They were friendly to the English, but Sir Thomas Gates either worried about safety (including potential attack by the Spaniards and the Dutch) or coveted their corn fields after the "starving time" of the 1609-10 winter. The English seized their land while the men were out hunting, and for some reason, the natives never attacked the settlement in response.
The town of Hampton, established in 1680, became the largest town in Elizabeth City County, and was county seat. In 1908, Hampton was incorporated as an independent city. The county and the former town of Phoebus in the county were merged into the independent city of Hampton in 1952.
The original boundaries of Elizabeth City County in the mid 17th century essentially form those of current city of Hampton today. Since the English settlers occupied Kecoughtan in 1610, and Jamestown was eventually abandoned, the city of Hampton now claims to be the oldest continuously-settled English city in North America.
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