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Independent City of Newport News
The town was originally located in Warwick County. The name first appears in records in 1619 and appears to be associated with Christopher Newport, who made five voyages to Virginia during the first two decades of its establishment. Newport News remained as a tiny community until it became the eastern terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad in the late nineteenth century. Then it began to grow rapidly and in rapid succession (1880, 1896) it became an unincorporated town and then a city. In 1958 Newport News consolidated with the city of Warwick and absorbed the latter area.
The city of Warwick was first incorporated in 1952 when it took in the entirety of Warwick County (one of the eight original shires of 1634, originally named Warwick River County).
The only early records maintained by the clerk of Newport News are marriage and land records from the latter part of the nineteenth century. The Union army burned the county's early records in 1863. Since that time, all records prior to the First World War have been sent for preservation to the Library of Virginia.A small collection of Warwick County records are also on file in the Swem Library at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg.
For a better understanding of county boundary changes, see our new section Virginia in Maps
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