Isle of Wight County, Virginia

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Isle of Wight County is a county located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. As of 2000, the population was 29,728. Its county seat is Isle of Wight[1] As of 2007, its population was 35,035 and the median household income was $58,840.



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 1618. 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, renamed Isle of Wight County in 1637, after the island off the south coast of England of the same name. The name was probably changed because the Isle of Wight had been the home of some of the principal colonists, although the Native American name also went through multiple Anglicisations, eventually becoming "Warwicke Squeake".

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