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Parish Histories & Land Descriptions
Note: The following is not at all complete, and certainly not certified accurate, serving only as a "research tool" for the Combs &c. Research Group's Virginia Land Project by using parish descriptions in conjunction with county boundary descriptions (See Also specific Virginia Combs Counties). In most instances, Parishes and their land are only described in so far as, and for the time period of our research; thus other changes may not be entered herein. Except where otherwise noted, source is Parish Lines, Diocese of Virginia, Charles Francis Cocke, Virginia State Library, Richmond, VA, 1978 reprint. Other sources include Hening's Statutes and William and Mary College Quarterly (WMCQ).
|Index to Parishes|
|Brunswick||King George, 1732-|
|Cameron||Fairfax, 1749-1757; Loudoun, 1757-|
|Dettingen||Prince William, 1745-|
|Farnham||North (Old Rappa., 1683-1692; Richmond, 1692-); South (Old Rappa., 1683-1692; Essex, 1692-)|
|Hamilton||Stafford, 1730-1732; Prince William, 1732-1759; Prince William & Fauquier, 1759-1770; Fauquier, 1770-.|
|Hanover||Richmond, 1714-1720; King George, 1720-|
|Lower||Stafford Co & Parish, ca 1664-1680, then Chotank, then St. Paul's Parish|
|Overwharton||Stafford, 1664- (formerly Potomac Parish, then Upper Parish, then Stafford Parish until ca1664)|
|Potomac||Westmoreland, 1653-1664; Stafford, 1664, then (1) Upper Parish (Overwharton), and (2) Lower, then Chotank (St. Paul's)|
|St. Mary's||Old Rappa., 1677-1692; Essex, 1692-1728; Caroline, 1728-; and Richmond, 1692-1713|
|St. Paul's||Stafford, ca1664-1777; King George, 1777-|
|Sittingbourne||Old Rappa., 1661-1692; Essex, 1692-1704; Richmond, 1692-1732|
|Truro||Prince William, 1732-42; Fairfax, 1742-.|
|Upper||Stafford Co & Parish, ca 1664-ca1680, then Stafford Parish, ca1680-1702, then Overwharton Parish|
Overwharton Parish of Stafford Co was officially designated by at least 1702, was formed from Potomac, then Upper and Lower Parishes - skipping lengthy descriptions which are further covered below as other Parishes were created, in summary, Overwharton Parish was all of "upper" Stafford Co VA until the creation of Hamilton Parish (and Prince William Co) in 1730 (See Next). The remainder of Stafford County; i.e., "Lower" Stafford was part of St. Paul's Parish .
Hamilton Parish of Prince William was created by an Act of the Assembly adopted May 1730, effective 01 Jan 1730/31, providing that effective that date that the parish of Overwharton "be divided into two distinct parishes, by Chopawansick Creek, and a southwest line to be made from the head of the North branch of the said Creek to the parish of Hanover, and that all that part of sd. parish which lies below the said bounds shall forever thereafter remain and be called and known by the name of Overwharton, and that all that other part of the said parish which lies above the said bounds, shall thereafter be called and known by the name of Hamilton. " (4 Hening 304). In other words, the county boundary lines of Prince William, created in 1730/1, and the Parish lines of Hamilton were practically the same. (See Also Truro Parish & Leeds Parish of Fauquier)
Truro Parish of Prince William & Fairfax. By an act of the Assembly adopted in 1732, Hamilton Parish of Prince William was divided into two parishes, the second named Truro (later part of Fairfax County); i.e., " Prince William be divided into two distinct parishes, by the river of Ockoquan and Bull Run (a branch thereof), and a course from there to the Indian Thoroughfare of the Blue Ridge of Mountains; and all that part of Prince William which lies below the said bounds shall forever thereafter retain the name of Hamilton. And all that other part thereafter be called and known by the name of Truro. (4 Hening 367) Note: When Fairfax was formed in 1742, the Hamilton & Truro Parish boundaries were slightly changed by the Assembly; i.e., " all that part lying on the south side of Occoquan and Bull Run, and from the head of the main branch of Bull Run, by a straight course to the Thoroughfare of the Blue Ridge of Mountains, known by the name of Ashby's Gap or Bent, shall be one distinct County and retain the name of Hamilton Parish other part thereof, known as parish of Truro shall be one other distinct County and called and known by the name of Fairfax." (5 Hening 207)
Dettingen Parish of Prince William. In 1745 the parish of Hamilton, by an act of the Assembly was divided as follows: " a line to be run from the dividing line of Stafford and Prince William counties, a straight course to the head of Dorrell's run, thence down the said run to Cedar run, thence to the fork of Broad Run near the lower line of Colonel Charles CARTER'S tract, called Broad run tract, thence to the mouth of Bull Lick run, opposite to Jacob SMITH'S in Fairfax County all that part situate below said line to be erected into . parish of Dettingen, and all that other part thereof, scituate above the said line to be erected into one other distinct parish and retain the name of Hamilton. (5 Hening 259)
Cameron Parish of Fairfax and Loudoun was established in 1749, divided from Truro Parish, and a 1752 act of the Assembly described the division of Truro and Cameron as " divided by Difficult Run and its meanders from the mouth to the head thereto, and from thence by a line to the head of Pope's head Run and thence down the said run to the mouth thereof, and that all situate on the lower side should be Truro and all other part thereof Cameron " (6 Hening 271). Note: The above line crossed Fairfax Co approx. NNE and SSW. In 1757 when Loudoun was formed from Fairfax, most of Cameron fell into Loudoun Co, and in 1762, the General Assembly decreed that all that part of Cameron that "lies below the present established lines" be reunited with Truro Parish. (7 Hening 612). See Also Next re Shelburne Parish for additional.
Shelburne Parish of Loudoun was formed by an act of the General Assembly from Cameron Parish in 1770, its bounds described as " by Goose Creek beginning at the mouth thereof, and running up the same to the mouth of Little river, thence up the said Little river to the Intersection of the line dividing the land of James MERCER, esq. and John EVANS, thence along the said line, and the several line dividing the lands of the said MERCER and WILKINSON and HUNTER, Charles WEST and Robert BURWELL, esq. to the line of Fauquier County; and all that part of the present parish of Cameron which lies to the southwest of the said Goose Creek, Little River, and the several lines between the said MERCER, EVANS, WILKINSON and HUNTER, WEST and BURWELL, shall be one distinct parish and retain the name of Cameron; and all the remainder Shelburne. (8 Hening 425)
Leeds Parish of Fauquier (est. 1759 from Prince William) was created in 1770 from Hamilton Parish, which had previously included all of Fauquier County (and part of Prince William). When the division was decreed, the two parishes were described as " by a straight line to begin at thenorth fork of Broad run at an angle made by the line that divides the said parish of Hamilton from the parish of Dettingen and to end at two red oaks, on the bank of the north fork of the Rappahannock River in the plantation of Jesse WILLIAMS; and all that part on the lower side shall retain the name of Hamilton and all that other part Leeds "
St. Paul's Parish of Stafford (and later King George) County was originally part of Potomac Parish, then Chotank, but officially St. Paul's by 1702. It included land between Machodoc Creek and Passapatanzy Creek, and remained part of Stafford County until 1777 when it was added to King George County. (The Register of St. Paul's Parish, George S. King) When the boundary between Stafford and King George counties was alter and the present line est. in 1776, and St. Paul's became part of King George, the description was as follows (abstracted): " Beginning at the mouth of muddy Creek on the river Rappa. and running up the sd. creek, and the northwest branch thereof, to a small red oak, maple and persimmon trees, at or near the head of the said branch, and between the plantations of Thomas and James JONES, thence north 71 degrees, east twenty five poles to a spring, said to be the head spring of Whipsewaughson Creek, thence down said Creek to Potowmack Creek, thence down Potowmack Creek to Potowmack River, and thence down said river, pursuing the old bounds of Stafford and King George, until it strikes Rappa. Riv., tence up the river to the beginning, and those parts of the said counties of Stafford and King George, shall be the lower county, and known by the name of King George; and for the upper ocunty, beginning at the mouth of Potowmack creek and running up the river Potowmack, and along the old bounds of Stafford and King George untill it strikes the river Rappa., thence down the river to the mouth of muddy Creek, the beginning of the dividing line, thence along the dividing line to the beginning, and those parts of the said counties of Stafford and King George within the said boundaries, to be known by the name of Stafford " (9 Hening 244)
Sittingbourne Parish (Old Rappa., 1661-1692; Essex, 1692-1704; Richmond, 1692-1732) a.k.a. Sittenburne Parish, was formed from Farnham Parish in 1661, with each lying on both sides of the Rappa. River, with Sittingbourne being the western (a.k.a. "frontier") parish. In 1677, Sittingbourne was divided and St. Mary's Parish was formed (See Next), with both still on both sides of the Rappa. River, but with St. Mary's now being the westernmost parish. In 1704, Sittingbourne was again divided with the north side of the river retaining the name Sittingbourne, but the south side becoming St. Anne's Parish. Sittingbourne was abolished in 1732 when that part of the parish in Richmond and King George counties was divided between Hanover Parish in King George and the new parish of Lunenburg in Richmond County.
St. Mary's Parish (Old Rappa., 1677-1692; Essex, 1692-1728; Caroline, 1728-; and Richmond, 1692-1713) appears to have been established from the western portion of Sittingbourne Parish in 1677, and is described in a 1713 act of Assembly as " lying on both sides of Rappahannock River in the Countys of Richmond and Essex " which, due to inconvenience for parishioners resulted in a new division whereby in Jan 1713/14, " that part of said Parish (St. Mary's) which is and lyes on the South Side of the Said River shall remain and hereafter be called and known by the name of St Mary's Parish, and that the other part of said Parish which is and lyes on the North side of the said River shall hereafter be called and known by the name of Hanover Parish " (4 Hening 49 and WMCQ (2) 117). Note: All of St. Mary's Parish was included in Caroline Co when the latter was formed in 1728, at which time four parishes existed in Caroline Co: St. Mary's (Essex), St. Anne's (Essex), St. Margaret's (King William); Drysdale (King & Queen)
Hanover Parish (Richmond, 1714-1720; King George, 1720-) was created from St. Mary's Parish by an Act of the General Assembly adopted in 1713, and is described as "that part of [St. Mary's] which is and lyes on the Nort side of said [Rappa.] River. When King George Co was formed from Richmond in 1720, Hanover Parish constituated the upper part of King George County. In 1732, another Act of the Gen'l Assembly, divided the parishes and Hanover and Brunswick became the only two parishes in King George County. In 1778, that portion of Hanover Parish which was in Westmoreland County was added to Washington Parish, while the portion of Washington Parish I King George was added to Hanover Parish (18 WMCQ (2) 108, 109; 4 Hening 366; 9 Hening 526)
Brunswick Parish (King George, 1732-) and Hanover Parish were described by the act of assembly as (abstracted) " from the bounds of Prince William County, at Deep Run, to the head of the Dogue Swamp, and down that swamp to Rappa River; and all that part of the said county of King George, which lies below the said bounds shall be Hanover and all that other part above those bounds shall thereafter be called and known by the name of Brunswick.(4 Hening 367)
North Farnham Parish (Old Rappa., 1683-1692; Richmond, 1692-), on the north side of the Rappa. River, and South Farnham Parish (Old Rappa., 1683-1692; Essex, 1692-), on the south side of the Rappa. River, were created from Farnham Parish in 1683. Lunenburg Parish was created from North Farnham in 1732. South Farnham embraced all of Essex lying southeast of the line between it and St. Anne's Parish.
Lunenburg Parish (Richmond 1732-) in 1732 was formed from North Farnham and Sittingbourne, and described as " be divided into two distinct parishes; by Totaskey, and the Cross Creek thereof, to Colonel John TAYLOE'S mill, and up that mill branch, to the Forest-Quarter road, and by that road till it intersects with Westmoreland County, and that all that part of the said county of Richmond, which lies below the said bounds, shall North Farnham; and all that other part of the said county which lies above those bounds, shall thereafter be called and known by the name of Lunenburg " (4 Hening 367)
Washington Parish (Westmoreland, 1664-) was formed by the court of Westmoreland County upon creation of Stafford Co, its bounds described as: " from upper Muchotick (Machodick) downward to the foot of the westernmost side of Mr. POPE'S Cliffs for one Parish and to be called Washington Parish, from thence to the northwest side of lower Muchotick River for another parish, and to be called Westbury and thence to the end of the County for the third Parish [Cople] " (6 WMCQ (2) (258))
Notes: Westbury Parish apparently dissolved and divided between Washington and Cople bef 1680. "Mr. Pope's Cliffs" were on Pope's Creek. Reminder: In 1778, when the county boundaries were changed, the lines between Washington Parish and Hanover Parish in King George changed.
Cople Parish (Westmoreland, ca1664) embraced the eastern portion of Westmoreland County and extended westward to unmarked eastern line of Washington Parish. In 1923 [sic] the Council of the Diocese [CofE] established the boundary between Cople and Montrose Parish (est. 1850) as: " beginning on the Maryland line [nb: water line] at the mouth of Nomini Creek, thence up the said Creek to a headwater thereof approximately one half mile southeast of Nomini Grove, on main County road, thence by a line between Cople and Montross Magisterial districts to the line of Richmond County, All that portions of Westmoreland County lying east of this line to be and remain Cople Parish " (DV, 1923, 24)
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