|New Kent County, Virginia|
New Kent County Courthouse, built circa 1907
Location in the U.S. state of Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
|Named for||Kent, England|
|o Total||223 sq mi (578 km2)|
|o Land||210 sq mi (544 km2)|
|o Water||14 sq mi (36 km2), 6.1%|
|o Density||91/sq mi (35/km2)|
New Kent County was established in 1654 from York County and was organized and settled by William Claiborne. The county's name originated because several prominent inhabitants, including William Claiborne, recently had been forced from their settlement at Kent Island, Maryland by Lord Baltimore upon the formation of Maryland. Claiborne had named the island for his birthplace in Kent, England. New Kent County is the birthplace of two U. S. Presidents' wives - Martha Washington and Letitia Christian Tyler. The church where George and Martha Washington are believed to have been wed, St. Peters, still holds services today. The Chickahominy Indians frequented this area as well as nearby Charles City County and two tribes are still well-established in this area.
Among the earliest settlers of New Kent County was Nicholas Gentry, who settled in New Kent in 1684. The parish register books of St. Peter's Parish show that Nicholas Gentry's daughter was baptized in the church in 1687. The records also reflect other Gentrys, probably Nicholas Gentry's relations, Peter and Samuel Gentry. As the result of arson confessed to by John Price Posey and Tho Green, and, allegedly, involving "a negro boy belonging to W. Chamberlayne" on 15 July 1787, many later county records were burned, making identifying relationships between family members difficult.
Due to the "many Inconveniencys" suffered by the "Upper Inhabitants by reason of their Great distance from the Court house and other places usually appointed for publick meetings", New Kent County was divided "into Two distinct Countys and that that part of the County lyeing below the parish of Saint Paul shall for Ever thereafter be called and knowne by the Name of New Kent County And that that part of the County which lyeth in the parish of Saint Paul Shall be called and knowne by the Name of Hannover County" In 1720, a portion of New Kent County known then as St. Paul's Parish was formed into a separate county, now Hanover County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 223 square miles (579 km²), of which 210 square miles (543 km²) is land and 14 square miles (36 km²) (6.23%) is water. The Chickahominy River borders the county to the south, the Pamunkey and York rivers border it to the north and east.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 18,429 people residing in the county. 81.7% were White, 13.5% Black or African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.5% of some other race and 2.3% of two or more races. 2.1% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 15.2% were of English, 11.7% American, 10.6% German and 9.4% Irish ancestry.
At the 2000 census, there were 13,462 people, 4,925 households and 3,895 families residing in the county. The population density was 64 per square mile (25/km²). There were 5,203 housing units at an average density of 25 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 80.26% White, 16.20% Black or African American, 1.29% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. 1.31% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,925 households of which 34.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.60% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.90% were non-families. 16.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 2.97.
Age distribution was 25.00% under the age of 18, 5.90% from 18 to 24, 32.00% from 25 to 44, 27.70% from 45 to 64, and 9.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.90 males.
The median household income was $53,595, and the median family income was $60,678. Males had a median income of $40,005 versus $28,894 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,893. 4.90% of the population and 3.40% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 7.40% are under the age of 18 and 7.00% are 65 or older.
New Kent County has four schools within the school system. There are two elementary schools, New Kent Elementary, and George W. Watkins Elementary. The school system also includes New Kent Middle School and New Kent High School. All four schools are fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. At the high school level various honors and advanced placement courses are available along with dual enrollment through Rappahannock Community College. Gifted and enrichment programs are offered in all grades K-12.
There are over 430 employees including 220 licensed teachers, seven guidance counselors, four media specialists, four principals, five assistant principals, and a central office staff composed of 1 Superintendent and 5 Directors. The current superintendent is Rick Richardson, and the assistant superintendent is Ed Smith.
New Kent County received a new site for Rappahannock Community College in 2015, located at the renovated "historic" New Kent High School site. The site offers engineering, nursing and basic college-level courses in New Kent.
New Kent Airport (W96) is in the county's western end near Quinton. It is a general aviation facility. Commercial passenger services and cargo services are offered at Richmond International Airport, which is located in adjacent Henrico County, about 10 miles west of Bottoms Bridge.
There are no incorporated towns in New Kent County. Unincorporated towns and communities include:
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2010)