Amherst County, Virginia
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Amherst County History

By the late 1600's English explorers and traders traveled up the James River into this area. Early trading posts formed between 1710 and 1720. By 1730, many new families moved into the land currently known as Amherst County drawn by the desire for land and the good tobacco-growing soil.

In 1761, Amherst County was formed from the southern half of Albemarle County. The original county seat had been in Cabelsville, now Colleen, in what would later become Nelson County. The county was named for Sir Jeffrey Amherst who commanded the British forces that successfully secured Canada from the French.Jeffrey Amherst was named Governor of Virginia, although he never came to the colony. In 1806 the county assumed its present proportions when Nelson County was formed from its northern half. At that point, the county seat was moved to the village of Five Oaks, later renamed Amherst. The present county courthouse was built in 1870 and has served the county ever since.

Amherst County was formed in 1761 from the southern half of Albemarle County. The County was named for Sir Jeffrey Amherst, known as the "Conqueror of Canada". Jeffrey Amherst was named governor of Virginia although he never came to the colony.

The original county seat had been in Cabelsville, now Colleen in what would later become Nelson County. The county was named for Sir Jeffrey Amherst who commanded the British forces that successfully secured Canada from the French. In 1806 the county assumed its present proportions when Nelson County was formed from its northern half. At that point, the county seat was moved to the village of Five Oaks, later renamed Amherst. The present county courthouse was built in 1870 and has served the county ever since.

Native Americans were the first humans to populate the area. They hunted and fished mainly along the countless rivers and streams in the county. With the establishment of the Virginia Colony in 1607, English emigrants arrived in North America. By the late 1600s English explorers and traders traveled up the James River to this area. Early trading posts formed between 1710 and 1720. By 1730, many new families moved into the land currently known as Amherst County drawn by the desire for land and the good tobacco-growing soil. In the early days, the major crop raised in Amherst County was tobacco. Apple orchards were part of mixed farming that replaced tobacco, especially in the late 19th century. Timber, mining and milling were also important industries. The introduction of the railroad in the late 19th century greatly influenced the county's growth.

Communities
Amherst
Madison Heights - Sweet Briar


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Amherst County Data

 

Birth Records

Church Histories / Records

Death Records

Family Bibles and Records

History Topics

Miscellaneous Data

School Records

Slavery Records

Wills/Probate Records

Website Updates:
Oct 2015: obits for NEWBELL, DAY, KENT, HARLEY, PAYNE, WHITE


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Surrounding Counties
Rockbridge County, Virginia - northwest
Nelson County, Virginia - northeast
Appomattox County, Virginia - southeast
Campbell County, Virginia - south
Lynchburg, Virginia - south
Bedford County, Virginia - southwest

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