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Isle of Wight  Co.

Virginia, USA


A Guide for Your Family History Research


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Isle of Wight County is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. Its county seat is Isle of Wight.  Isle of Wight County features two incorporated towns, Smithfield and Windsor. The original courthouse for the county was built in Smithfield in 1750. The original courthouse and its associated tavern (The Smithfield Inn) are still standing. A new courthouse was built near the center of the county in 1800. The 1800 courthouse and its associated tavern (Boykin's Tavern) are also still standing.

During the 17th century, shortly after establishment of the settlement at Jamestown in 1607, English settlers explored and began settling the areas adjacent to Hampton Roads.  Captain John Smith in 1608 crossed the James River and obtained fourteen bushels of corn from the Native American inhabitants, the Warrosquyoackes or Warraskoyaks. They were a tribe of the Powhatan Confederacy, who had three towns in the area of modern Smithfield. The Warraskoyaks were driven off from their villages in 1622 and 1627, as part of the reprisals for the Great Massacre of 1622.

The first English plantations along the south shore within present-day Isle of Wight were established by Puritan colonists, beginning with that of Christopher Lawne in May 1628. Several members of the Puritan Bennett family also came to settle the area, including Richard Bennett who led the Puritans to neighboring Nansemond in 1635, and later became governor of the Virginia Colony.

By 1634, the Colony consisted of eight shires or counties with a total population of approximately 5,000 inhabitants. One of these was Warrosquyoake Shire an Aglicisation of the indigenous name, which was renamed Isle of Wight County in 1667, after the island off the south coast of England of the same name. The name was probably changed because the Isle of Wight had become the home of some of the principal colonists, namely the families of Richard Bennett, Thos. Spain, Christopher Lawne, and James Peterson (among others), though the Native American name went through multiple Anglicisations, eventually also being known as "Warwicke Squeake" among the local inhabitants.

St. Luke's Church, built in 1632, is the nation's only original Gothic church and the oldest existing church of English foundation. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in recognition of its significance.

In 1732 a considerable portion of the northwestern part of the original shire was added to Brunswick County; and in 1748 the entire county of Southampton was carved out of it.

The following counties and independent cities lie adjacent to Isle of Wight County: Newport News, Virginia — northeast; Suffolk, Virginia — southeast; Southampton County — south and west; Franklin, Virginia — southwest; and Surry County — northwest.

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Rootsweb (mytree2)

Researching by surname

by Surname

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The following are names of persons, found within our databases as having been either born, married or died in this location. Names in dark red denote direct ancestral lines. To find out more about each surname listed click on the corresponding Link.

McVicker; Moreland; Pinnell; Scruggs and allied families  (MMPS)

Godwin;   Taberer;   Webb;   Wilkinson

Bozarth; Peiffer; Quigley; Rhubart and allied families (BPQR)


Dellinger; Knecht; Pfeffer; Silar and allied families  (DKPS)

Click on this link to find out more about each surname listed above as well as other surnames found within our three family databases.

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This link will also lead you to surname resources at Rootsweb, and information about the world-wide distribution of a surname.

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Free Surname
 Search Engine

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Use this free genealogy site to help you get the best genealogy searches from Google™ by using your family tree, for your research. It will create a series of different searches  using tips or "tricks"

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that will likely improve your results. The different searches will give you many different ways of using Google and the Internet to find ancestry information about  this  or  any  other  Surname. 

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Where in the World do These
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Click on the LINK to the right to see more information about the World distribution of any surname. 

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You can get greater detail for any of the maps by clicking on the area, i.e state, county that you are interested in.

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ancestral gen-sites

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Family History Notes

Map of the County

Gen-Site Profiles

Family History Notes

It is possible that James Webb, son of Giles Webb  came to Isle of Wight County from Richmond County around 1670.  He is said to have married Elizabeth Godwin, daughter of Thomas Godwin, at Isle of Wight County.  Apparently James Webb died about 1675 after producing four known children in Isle of Wight County.  It is believed that Elizabeth Godwin Webb continued to live in Isle of Wight County until her death in 1718.  Elizabeth Webb, daughter of the aforementioned James and Elizabeth Godwin Webb first married a William Wilkinson at Isle of Wight County around 1690.  After the death of William Wilkinson, Elizabeth Webb married Theodrick Carter, of Henrico County, in 1704. She probably removed from Isle of Wight County at that time and went to live at her Theodrick Carter’s home in Henrico County.   Of Elizabeth Webb’s siblings it appears that James Webb, Jr. lived his entire life in Isle of Wight County, and William Webb married a Mary Taberer at Isle of Wight County in 1691/92 but removed from the county westward to Spotsylvania County, Virginia where he died in 1742.

Map of the county

Map of the County

The Red Starin the map designates the location of the seat of government for this county.  Yellow Stars designate seats of government in adjacent counties.   A Purple Dotshows the location of identified ancestral Gen-Site(s). 

Isle of Wight Co., VA (Gen-Sites)

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Gen-site profiles

Gen-Site Profiles

Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight

LOCATION:  Country: United States;  State: Virginia;  County: Isle of Wight;  Coordinates/Map: 36° 54′ 28″ N, 76° 42′ 28″ W

36.907778, -76.707778

DESCRIPTION OF GEN-SITE: Isle of Wight is an unincorporated community in and the county seat of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, United States. Originally, Isle of Wight County, was named Warrosquyoake Shire. This was changed to the current name of Isle of Wight in 1637.



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LOCATION:  Country: United States;  State:;  County:;  Coordinates/Map:




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LOCATION:  Country: United States;  State:;  County:;  Coordinates/Map:




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populated places

by Location

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Gazetteer of Places

 in This County

Changes of County Boundaries

Link to State-Wide Resources

Where in the World

are My Ancestors?


Gazetteer of Places

The list below will assist in your research regarding the matching of your ancestor’s birth, marriage, death dates and the place(s) within this locality at which these events may have occurred.


US Home Town Locator

Profiles for  59 cities, towns and other populated places in Isle of Wight County, Virginia

Map of Isle of Wight County Virginia

Isle of Wight County Physical, Cultural & Historic Features | Schools

Isle of Wight County ZIP Codes | Area Codes

Isle of Wight County Land - Property, Farms & Ranches


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Isle of Wight Co., VA, United States

Details | Resources | Cities | Cemeteries |

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Links To Populated Places Within This County

Incorporated towns

Unincorporated towns and communities

Find Physical Features* Within This County

USGS (link)

* includes but not limited to Cemeteries, Churches, Locales, Schools,

Military Installations;  Populated Places, Post Offices, Streams, and Trails

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County boundary changes

Historical Changes in the Boundaries of this County

     Conducting genealogical research in the United States requires an understanding of county boundaries.  As the population grew more counties were created to meet the public’s need for localized governments.  This phenomena was common in all states during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.  As such you must be sure that you are not looking for records in the wrong county or state. 

     The web-site for the Atlas of Historical County Boundary Project provides interactive maps for all states. This Atlas is meant to be a resource for people seeking records of past events, and people trying to analyze, interpret and display county-based historical data like Land Records, Probate Records, Court Records, Tax Records, and Vital Records that document birth, death, and marriage.   Listed below are the boundary changes for this county, the dates they occurred, as well as the government statute that decreed the change.  To see actual changes in a mapping format follow this LINK to the Atlas of Historical County Boundary Project .

ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY: Map(s) and descriptions of Historical Boundary Changes

Click on thumbnail buttons for Map images


1634 - WARROSQUYOAKE (now ISLE OF WIGHT) created as one of the original eight shires (counties).



1640 - ISLE OF WIGHT boundaries redefined [no change].

1647 - Boundary between ISLE OF WIGHT and NANSEMOND (extinct) clarified [no change].


1656 - ISLE OF WIGHT gained from NANSEMOND (extinct).

06 Aug 1701 - Southern boundary of ISLE OF WIGHT clarified [no change].

29 May 1702 - Boundaries of ISLE OF WIGHT clarified [no change].


31 Oct 1723 - ISLE OF WIGHT lost to BRUNSWICK. 


01 Jan 1733 - [1 January 1732/1733] ISLE OF WIGHT lost to BRUNSWICK.


20 May 1749 - ISLE OF WIGHT lost to creation of SOUTHAMPTON.


15 Dec 1769 - ISLE OF WIGHT gained from NANSEMOND (extinct).


13 Mar 1772 - ISLE OF WIGHT gained from NANSEMOND (extinct).

Use this link to find more resources regarding the

Historical County Lines

historical changes of county boundaries in all 50 U.S. States.

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Links to More About This U.S. State

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State-Wide Resources

For more information about the U.S. State in which this county is located  click  on  these  LINKS:


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Resources which enhance our knowledge of the places inhabited by our ancestors are almost as important as their names.

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This LINK will take you to Maps, Gazetteers,   and other helpful  resources  that will assist you in discovering Ancestral Locations. 

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Tool Kit (pink)


Gen Tool-Kit

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Tool Kit (pink)2

Our “Gen-Tool Kit” has been primarily designed for those researchers who may be traveling to this location to perform on-site studies of their family history, or to just visit some of the interesting historical sites located in the area.  It can be very satisfying to mix research with sightseeing at historical and scenic spots.  Such activity not only gives you an understanding of the land but a needed break from intense research sessions.  When visiting an ancestral county for genealogical research we’ve found that the three most important places to visit are the county courthouse; the county library; and the county historical and/or genealogical societies.  It is also good to plan ahead by contacting any site you intend visiting in order to ascertain where it is and when it will be open.  This is especially true with regard to historical and genealogical societies.  We hope that the following information will provide you with a better idea of what resources are available, within this county, to the family historian.


County History

Libraries, Museums

& Archives

Maps and Gazetteers

 County Records


(History & Genealogical)




·         Antioch

·         Battery Park

·         Beaver Dam

·         Bethany

·         Christian Home

·         Evergreen

·         Mill Swamp

·         Saint Lukes

·         Shiloh

·         St. Lukes (*)

·         Town of Windsor (*)

·         Tyler

·         Windsor Cemetery Town

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National Register of Historic Places listings in Isle of Wight County, Virginia

·         Isle of Wight County

·         Isle of Wight County

·         Isle of Wight County 1608-1907 ($)

·         Windsor History

·         Isle of Wight County Post Offices

·         Isle of Wight County Post Offices 1846

·         Isle of Wight County Bibliography

·         Isle of Wight County Historical Markers

·         Isle of Wight County Historical Markers

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Libaries, Museums, Archives

Libraries, Museums & Archives

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Maps and Gazetteers

Maps and Gazetteers

·         Isle of Wight County 1895 U.S. Atlas)

·         Isle of Wight County Gazetteer

·         Isle of Wight County Topo Maps and Aerial Photos

·         Quad List of Battery Park, Virginia

·         Quad List of Carrysville, Virginia

·         Quad List of Isle Wight, Virginia

·         Quad List of Rescue, Virginia

·         Quad List of Smithfield, Virginia

·         Quad List of Walters, Virginia

·         Quad List of Zuni, Virginia

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County Records


·         Isle of Wight County Marriages

·         Isle of Wight County Virginia Birth Records, 1867-96 ($)

·         Isle of Wight County Vital Records

·         Isle of Wight County Vital Records

·         Marriages of Isle of Wight County, Virginia 1628-1800 ($)

·         U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880 ($)

·         United States Census (Mortality Schedule), 1850 I

·         Virginia Marriage Records ($)

·         Isle of Wight County Clerk of the Circuit Court has Marriage Records from 1771, Land Records from 1636, Probate Records from 1636 and Court Records from 1636 and is located at the County Courthouse on 17122 Monument Circle, Isle of Wight, VA 23397; 757/365-6233.

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Societies (Historical & Genealogical)

·         The Library of Virginia

·         Virginia Genealogical Society

·         Virginia Historical Society

·         Family History Library

·         Isle of Wight County Historical Society

·         Isle of Wight Historical Society

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