Lunenburg County, Virginia

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Lunenburg County, Virginia
Lunenburg Courthouse.jpg
Lunenburg County Courthouse
Seal of Lunenburg County, Virginia
Motto: The Old Free State
Map of Virginia highlighting Lunenburg County
Location in the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1746
Named for Brunswick-Lüneburg
Seat Lunenburg
Largest town Victoria
 • Total 432 sq mi (1,119 km2)
 • Land 432 sq mi (1,119 km2)
 • Water 0.7 sq mi (2 km2), 0.2%
 • (2010) 12,914
 • Density 30.36/sq mi (12/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Lunenburg County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,914.[1] Its county seat is Lunenburg.[2]


Lunenburg County was established on May 1, 1746, from Brunswick County. The county is named for the former Duchy of Brunswick-Lunenburg[3] in Germany, because one of the titles also carried by Britain's Hanoverian kings was Duke of Brunswick-Lunenburg. It is nicknamed "The Old Free State" because during the buildup of the Civil War, it let Virginia know the county would break off if the state did not join The Confederacy.[4]

Among the earliest settlers of the county was William Taylor, born in King William County, Virginia. He was the son of Rev. Daniel Taylor, a Virginia native and Anglican priest educated at Trinity College, Cambridge University[5] in England, and his wife Alice (Littlepage) Taylor. William Taylor married Martha Waller, a daughter of Benjamin Waller of Williamsburg, Virginia.[6]

In 1760 Taylor purchased three adjoining tracts of land in Lunenburg County totaling 827 acres (3.35 km2). Taylor soon became one of the county's leading citizens, representing Lunenburg in the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1765 until 1768.[7] In that capacity, Taylor voted in 1765 to support statesman Patrick Henry's Virginia Resolves in 1765.[8] Taylor served as County Clerk for 51 years (1763–1814).

Taylor was succeeded as County Clerk by his son William Henry Taylor, who held the office for another 32 years—from 1814 until 1846. Another son, General Waller Taylor, represented Lunenburg in the Virginia legislature, then moved to Vincennes, Indiana. There he became a judge and subsequently Adjutant General of the United States Army under General William Henry Harrison in the War of 1812. General Waller Taylor later served as one of the first United States Senators from the newly created state of Indiana from 1816 to 1825. He died on a visit home to see his relatives in Lunenburg County in 1826.[9]

During much of the American Civil War, the family of Missionary Bishop Henry C. Lay lived in Lunenberg County, where Mrs. Lay (the former Eliza Withers Atkinson) grew up. Both of Bishop Lay's brothers served as Confederate colonels, and Mrs. Lay's uncle, Thomas Atkinson was bishop of North Carolina.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 432 square miles (1,120 km²), of which 432 square miles (1,118 km²) is land and 1 square mile (2 km²) (0.16%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major Highways


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 8,959
1800 10,381 15.9%
1810 12,265 18.1%
1820 10,662 −13.1%
1830 11,957 12.1%
1840 11,055 −7.5%
1850 11,692 5.8%
1860 11,983 2.5%
1870 10,403 −13.2%
1880 11,535 10.9%
1890 11,372 −1.4%
1900 11,705 2.9%
1910 12,780 9.2%
1920 15,260 19.4%
1930 14,058 −7.9%
1940 13,844 −1.5%
1950 14,116 2.0%
1960 12,523 −11.3%
1970 11,687 −6.7%
1980 12,124 3.7%
1990 11,419 −5.8%
2000 13,146 15.1%
2010 12,914 −1.8%
Est. 2014 12,466 [10] −3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 13,146 people, 4,998 households, and 3,383 families residing in the county. The population density was 30 people per square mile (12/km²). There were 5,736 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 59.12% White, 38.58% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. 1.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,998 households out of which 27.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.50% were married couples living together, 13.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were non-families. 28.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.30% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 25.80% from 45 to 64, and 16.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 113.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,899, and the median income for a family was $34,302. Males had a median income of $26,496 versus $20,237 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,951. About 14.90% of families and 20.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.30% of those under age 18 and 22.80% of those age 65 or over.



Unincorporated communities

Notable people

  • Lewis Archer Boswell, experimented with flying aircraft. Local legends claim he achieved heavier-than-air flight before the Wright Brothers, though there is no historical evidence.
  • Justice Paul Carrington (1733–1818), second member appointed of the Virginia Supreme Court.
  • Roy Clark, born in Meherrin, he became a highly acclaimed country musician and a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.
  • Henry W. Collier, born in the county, was elected fourteenth Governor of Alabama, from 1849 to 1853.
  • Alfred L. Cralle, born in the county, became an inventor and businessman in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is best remembered for inventing the lever-operated ice cream scoop in 1897.
  • Anthony Davis, an NFL football player, currently for the New Orleans Saints (beginning 2009). From Lunenburg County, he attended Central High School in Victoria, Virginia.
  • Richard Ellis, born and raised in Lunenburg County, settled in Alabama where he was a member of Alabama’s Constitutional Convention in 1818 and an Associate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court (1819–1826).
  • James Greene Hardy, a county native, was elected Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, serving from 1855 to 1856.
  • John A. Murrell (1806?-1844), born in the county, bandit, known for the Mystic Clan or Mystic Confederacy and Murrell Insurrection Conspiracy
  • Verner Moore White (1863-1923), born in the county, was a noted landscape and portrait artist.
  • Thomas C. Wright, Jr. Member of House of Delegates (2001–present) Lifelong resident of Victoria, VA

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 3, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 192.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. The Old Free State: A Contribution to the History of Lunenburg County and Southside Virginia. Landon Covington Bell. 1927. Pp. 578ff. Reprint: 1974, 2005, Genealogical Publishing Company. ISBN 9780806306230. Google Books.
  5. Admissions to the College of St. John the Evangelist in the University of Cambridge, Part III, Robert Forsyth Scott, The University Press, Cambridge, 1903
  6. Listing: "Rev. Daniel Taylor", Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. VIII, Virginia Historical Society, Printed by William Ellis Jones, Richmond, Va., 1901
  7. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Vol. I, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York, 1915
  8. At his death in 1820, a Richmond newspaper noted in its obituary of William Taylor that he was the last man known to be alive who had heard Patrick Henry's famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech in the Virginia House of Burgesses.[1]
  9. Pattie B. Seay, Survey Report, The Taylor Cemetery, Library of Virginia Digital Collection
  10. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 3, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 3, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 3, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 3, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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