This is a condensed timeline of some of the significant events in the development of Mathews County, Virginia.
1635 - 19 December 1635, Hugh Gwin, Gent. is granted by order of court 1000 acres. [This patent is the earliest grant of land to be found for the area which later became Kingston Parish.] 
1644 - The second great Indian massacre occurs in Virginia. Hundreds of Colonist are savagely killed.
1649 - North & East Rivers, off the Mobjack Bay, opened to homesteaders.

Kingston Parish Timeline
1651 - Gloucester County was formed from York County, Virginia. Gloucester was comprised of 4 parishes: Abingdon, Kingston, Petsworth and Ware.
1704/05 - Quit Rent Roll: Kingston Parish
  • Total number of acres granted … 46,537 acres
  • Total number of land owners … 116 persons
  • Largest estate belonged to Capt. Armistead … 3,675 acres
1776 - 7 May 1776, Captain Thomas Posey of the 7th Virginia Regiment marched his company to New Point Comfort and set up a camp “to guard against any alarm or surprise made by the enemy upon the troops stationed at the courthouse (Gloucester), or to prevent depredations being commited [sic] upon the inhabitants.”
1781 - 1 August 1781, a detachment of the Earl Cornwallis’s army, under the command of Brigadier General O’Hara, landed near the mouth of the York River in Gloucester County, Virginia, and it was asserted they planned to erect a “strong fortification” on New Point Comfort.
  • 246 Heads of Families
  • 1359 White Souls
  • 233 Dwellings
  • 689 Other Buildings
1790 - 11 November 1790, a petition to divide Kingston Parish from Gloucester County was presented to the House of Delegates.

Mathews County, Virginia
1791 - Effective 1 May 1791, by Act of Assembly of 1790, Kingston Parish is divided from Gloucester Co. Virginia and named Mathews for Thomas Mathews, Speaker of the House of Delegates, who was instrumental in securing passage of the legislation establishing the new county.
 1801 - Jan 17 New Point Comfort Lighthouse began operations.
 1821 - Lightship stationed on Wolf Trap Shoal.
 1827 - First three –masted schooner in America, Ferrata, was built on the East River by Capt. Isaac Foster
 1834 - New Court House built
 1859 - Westville Christian Church formed
 1861-1865 - Mathews Light Artillery formed
 1924  - Fire destroys buildings on Main Street
 1927  - Thomas Hunter School opened to serve the African-American community.
 1933 - August storm
 1930 - Mathews Memorial Library was established
 1939 - Gwynns Island Bridge  opens


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Mathews Oral History Project

The Mathews County Historical Society is engaged in an ongoing project to record and create permanent records of stories that residents have to tell. Read more.

Families of Mathews

Over 10,000 families of Mathews County, Virginia and their connections!

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