Virginia Map & Atlas Guide

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Any Historical Virginia Map can indicate who owned specific property in the state and which towns held the county seat at the time.  This information is a valuable starting point for your research pointing you to the right location of records.

Solving Research Problems with a Virginia Maps – If you have started your family research, you might have experienced trouble with trying to identify Virginia city borders and names that have changed over the course of time. This can make it difficult to understand where your ancestors’ information is kept.

Because Virginia historic maps were usually commissioned by the county seat, they often display information about the county, including town names. Reading a Virginia map from the time period you are researching can help tremendously in solving these problems by leading you to the correct town records. It can also give you other leads, such as the location of city directories or old post offices in Virginia.

Virginia Map of Counties

Virginia Map of Counties

Choosing the Best Virginia Map – If you have a large source of maps to choose from, try starting with the area where your ancestors resided and looking for the maps with the most detail.  You can determine a lot by seeing if the area was still rural or more developed, and how far it was to the nearest city.  This can shed light on your family’s lifestyle and occupation. Were they farmers who lived in the country, or merchants who traveled often to a nearby city?  A map can give you an idea of what occupations were possible.

In the 1500s the first Virginia maps, were made. More and more maps, gazetteers, and atlases have been created over the years since then. The Library of Virginia collection consists of in excess of 40,000 maps and is also managed online and also also links to the Map Collection Index. See also Using the Map Collection in the Archives of The Library of Virginia. The number of easily available maps of Virginia is rather lengthy. Maps displaying watercourses are essential for tracking down land grants and property referred to in deeds. Pinpointing no longer used place-names furthermore troubles researchers.

Virginia Map of County Formations For The Years 1617-1995

These Virginia maps shows the historical changes to Virginia counties from 1617 to 1995. NOTE: A key boundary change occurred between Nansemond & Southampton counties in 1785-86. Prior, the boundary continued in a straight line to the NC border. After citizens on the west side of the Blackwater River petitioned, the boundary was changed to make the river be the boundary from old South Quay, south to the NC line. The interactive map does not include this information. Pre-1786 records for that section survive in Southampton Co.

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Virginia Map Abbreviations
unorg. = unorganized
g. = gained
w. = with
fr. = from
atmt. = attachment
exch = exchanged
nca.= non county area
ch. = changed
Aco - Accomack
Alb - Albemarle
All - Alleghany
Ame - Amelia
Amh - Amherst
Ap - Appomattox
Ar - Arlington
Au - Augusta
Bar - Barbour (WV)
Bat - Bath
Bcn - Buchanan
Bed - Bedford
Ber - Berkeley (WV)
Bkm - Buckingham
Bl - Bland
Boo - Boone (WV)
Bot - Botetourt
Bra - Braxton (WV)
Brn - Brunswick
Bro - Brooke (WV)
Cab - Cabell (WV)
Cal - Calhoun (WV)
Cam - Campbell
CC - Charles City
Che - Chesterfield
Clk - Clarke
Clt - Charlotte
Cly - Clay (WV)
Cr - Craig
Crl - Carroll
Crn - Caroline
Cul - Culpeper
Cum - Cumberland
Dic - Dickenson
Din - Dinwiddie
Do - Doddridge (WV)
EC - Elizabeth City
Es - Essex
Fai - Fairfax
Fau - Fauquier
Fay - Fayette (WV)
Flo - Floyd
Flu - Fluvanna
Fra - Franklin
Fre - Frederick
Gl - Gloucester
Gls - Giles
Gmr - Gilmer (WV)
Go - Goochland
Gra - Grant (WV)
Gra - Grayson
Grb - Greenbrier (WV)
Grn - Greene
Gvl - Greensville
Hal - Halifax
Ham - Hampshire (WV)
Hck - Hancock (WV)
Hco - Henrico
Hdy - Hardy (WV)
Hi - Highland
Hry - Henry
Hsn - Harrison (WV)
Hvr - Hanover
IW - Isle of Wight
Jac - Jackson (WV)
JC - James City
Je - Jefferson (WV)
Ka - Kanawha (WV)
KG - King George
KQ - King and Queen
KW - King William
La - Lancaster
Ldn - Loudoun
Lee - Lee
Lew - Lewis (WV)
Li - Lincoln (WV)
Log - Logan (WV)
Lsa - Louisa
Lu - Lunenburg
Mad - Madison
Mas - Mason (WV)
Mat - Mathews
Mc - McDowell (WV)
Mec - Mecklenburg
Mer - Mercer (WV)
Mgl - Monongalia (WV)
Mid - Middlesex
Mnl - Mineral (WV)
Mno - Mingo (WV)
Mon - Montgomery
Mor - Morgan (WV)
Mrn - Marion (WV)
Mro - Monroe (WV)
Msl - Marshall (WV)
Na - Nansemond
Nel - Nelson
Nfk - Norfolk
Nhn - Northampton
Ni - Nicholas (WV)
NK - New Kent
Not - Nottoway
Nud - Northumberland
Oh - Ohio (WV)
Or - Orange
PA - Princess Anne
Pag - Page
Pat - Patrick
Pe - Pendleton (WV)
PE - Prince Edward
PG - Prince George
Pi - Pittsylvania
Pl - Pleasants (WV)
Poc - Pocahontas (WV)
Pow - Powhatan
Pr - Preston (WV)
Pul - Pulaski
Put - Putnam (WV)
PW - Prince William
Ral - Raleigh (WV)
Ran - Randolph (WV)
Rap - Rappahannock
Rbr - Rockbridge
Rhm - Rockingham
Ric - Richmond
Rit - Ritchie (WV)
Rne - Roane (WV)
Rnk - Roanoke
Ru - Russell
Sc - Scott
Sh - Shenandoah
Sm - Smyth
So - Southampton
Sp - Spotsylvania
St - Stafford
Su - Summers (WV)
Sur - Surry
Sus - Sussex
Tay - Taylor (WV)
Taz - Tazewell
Tu - Tucker (WV)
Ty - Tyler (WV)
Up - Upshur (WV)
Was - Washington
Way - Wayne (WV)
Web - Webster (WV)
Wes - Westmoreland
Wet - Wetzel (WV)
Wir - Wirt (WV)
Wis - Wise
Wod - Wood (WV)
Wrn - Warren
Wwk - Warwick
Wy - Wythe
Wyo - Wyoming (WV)
Yor - York
[Independent - cities:
[Alexandria
[Bristol
[Buena Vista
[Charlottesville
[Clifton Forge
[Danville
[Fredericksburg
[Hampton
[Harrisonburg
[Hopewell
[Lynchburg
[Newport News
[Norfolk
[Petersburg
[Portsmouth
[Radford
[Richmond
[Roanoke
[Staunton
[Suffolk
[Williamsburg
[Winchester

Virginia Maps & Atlases

1836 Virginia mapThe David Rumsey Historical Virginia Map Collection are scanned from the original copies so you can see Virginia and Virginia counties as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago.

Some Virginia maps years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the avid genealogist in Virginia.

External Links for Virginia Maps

U.S. State Map Guides