West Virginia: Consolidated Chronology of State and County Boundaries

West Virginia Atlas of Historical County Boundaries

John H. Long, Editor; Peggy Tuck Sinko, Historical Compiler; Gordon DenBoer, Historical Compiler; Laura Rico-Beck, GIS-Specialist and Digital Compiler; Peter Siczewicz, ArcIMS Interactive Map Designer; Emily Kelley, Research Associate; Robert Will, Cartographic Assistant.

Copyright The Newberry Library 2003


[Note: Full chronologies and maps for all counties, both in Virginia and in West Virginia, before 20 June 1863 are in the section on Virginia.]


20 June 1863

The state of West Virginia was formally separated from Virginia and admitted to the Union. Most of West Virginia had been effectively independent of Virginia since June 1861. West Virginia was defined only in terms of the counties it included: BARBOUR, BOONE, BRAXTON, BROOKE, CABELL, CALHOUN, CLAY, DODDRIDGE, FAYETTE, GILMER, GREENBRIER, HAMPSHIRE, HANCOCK, HARDY, HARRISON, JACKSON, KANAWHA, LEWIS, LOGAN, McDOWELL, MARION, MARSHALL, MASON, MERCER, MONONGALIA, MONROE, MORGAN, NICHOLAS, OHIO, PENDLETON, PLEASANTS, POCAHONTAS, PRESTON, PUTNAM, RALEIGH, RANDOLPH, RITCHIE, ROANE, TAYLOR, TUCKER, TYLER, UPSHUR, WAYNE, WEBSTER, WETZEL, WIRT, WOOD, and WYOMING. (Swindler, 10:363)

5 August 1863

BERKELEY was separated from Virginia and became a county in the state of West Virginia. (U.S. Rpts., 78:39 [Wallace, vol. 11]; U.S. Stat., vol. 14, res. 12 [1866]/ p. 350; W.Va. Acts 1863, 1st sess., ch. 35, sec. 1/pp. 3335)

7 October 1863

WIRT gained from WOOD. (W.Va. Acts 1863, 1st sess., ch. 59, sec. 1/pp. 5859)

8 October 1863

RITCHIE gained small area from GILMER to accommodate local landowner [not mapped]. (W.Va. Acts 1863, 1st sess., ch. 61, sec. 1/pp. 5960)

9 October 1863

TAYLOR gained small area from HARRISON to accommodate local landowners [not mapped]. (W.Va. Acts 1863, 1st sess., ch. 62, sec. 1/p. 60)

2 November 1863

JEFFERSON was separated from Virginia and became a county in the state of West Virginia. (U.S. Rpts., 78:39 [Wallace, vol. 11]; U.S. Stat., vol. 14, res. 12 [1866]/ p. 350; W.Va. Acts 1863, 1st sess., ch. 90, sec. 1/pp. 103105)

1 August 1865

RANDOLPH exchanged with UPSHUR. (W.Va. Acts 1865, 3d sess., ch. 43, secs. 1, 4/p. 32)

1 February 1866

MINERAL created from HAMPSHIRE. (W.Va. Acts 1866, 4th sess., ch. 7, sec. 1/pp. 78)

14 February 1866

GRANT created from HARDY. (W.Va. Acts 1866, 4th sess., ch. 29, sec. 1/pp. 1719)

13 February 1867

JACKSON gained from MASON. (W.Va. Acts 1867, 5th sess., ch. 27, sec. 1/pp. 4041)

23 February 1867

LINCOLN created from BOONE, CABELL, KANAWHA, and PUTNAM. (W.Va. Acts 1867, 5th sess., ch. 61, sec. 1/pp. 7679)

3 March 1868

PUTNAM gained from LINCOLN. (W.Va. Acts 1868, 6th sess., ch. 119, secs. 12/pp. 108109)

4 March 1868

TYLER gained small area from WETZEL to accommodate local landowners [not mapped]. (W.Va. Acts 1868, 6th sess., ch. 159, sec. 1/p. 129)

WAYNE gained from LOGAN. (W.Va. Acts 1868, 6th sess., ch. 160/p. 130)

20 July 1868

BOONE gained from LINCOLN. (W.Va. Acts 1868, June ext. sess., ch. 68/pp. 5051)

27 July 1868

LINCOLN gained from BOONE, CABELL, and LOGAN; exchanged with KANAWHA. (W.Va. Acts 1868, June ext. sess., ch. 92/pp. 6364)

1 January 1869

MINERAL gained from HAMPSHIRE [repealed 8 February 1872]. (W.Va. Acts 1868, 6th sess., ch. 86, secs. 1, 5/pp. 8485)

26 February 1869

LINCOLN gained from LOGAN and WAYNE, lost to CABELL. (W.Va. Acts 1869, 7th sess., ch. 56, secs. 12, 8/pp. 3436)

7 February 1871

TUCKER gained from BARBOUR. (W.Va. Acts 1871, 9th sess., ch. 12, sec. 1/pp. 1920)

16 February 1871

Boundary between BARBOUR and HARRISON clarified [no discernible change]. (W.Va. Acts 1871, 9th sess., ch. 49, sec. 1/p. 68)

RALEIGH gained from WYOMING. (W.Va. Acts 1871, 9th sess., ch. 56, sec. 1/p. 74)

27 February 1871

SUMMERS created from FAYETTE, GREENBRIER, MERCER, and MONROE. (W.Va. Acts 1871, 9th sess., ch. 134, sec. 1/pp. 178180)

8 February 1872

HAMPSHIRE gained from MINERAL [repealed act of 1 January 1869]. (W.Va. Acts 1872, 10th sess., ch. 13/p. 19)

13 February 1872

WIRT gained from ROANE. (W.Va. Acts 1872, 10th sess., ch. 26, sec. 1/pp. 3940)

27 February 1872

WAYNE gained from LINCOLN. (W.Va. Acts 1872, 10th sess., ch. 106, sec. 1/p. 155)

19 April 1882

WEBSTER gained from GREENBRIER and NICHOLAS. (W.Va. Acts 1882, January adj. sess., ch. 5, sec. 1/p. 6)

23 May 1883

CALHOUN gained small area from GILMER [not mapped]. (W.Va. Acts 1883, 16th sess., ch. 35, sec. 1/pp. 5253)

30 January 1895

MINGO created from LOGAN. (W.Va. Acts 1895, 22d sess., ch. 68, sec. 1/pp. 212214)

21 February 1910

The United States Supreme Court ruled that the Deakins Line of 1788 had become the true western boundary of Maryland with West Virginia through long de facto observance [no change]. (Paullin, 79; U.S. Rpts., 217:1)

25 July 1927

KANAWHA gained small area from JACKSON [not mapped]. (W.Va. Acts 1927, 38th sess., ch. 156/pp. 336338)

17 February 1955

LINCOLN boundaries redefined and established [no discernible change]. (W.Va. Acts 1955, 52d sess., ch. 190, sec. 1/pp. 542543)

8 March 1955

Boundary between KANAWHA and PUTNAM redefined [no discernible change]. (W.Va. Acts 1955, 52d sess., ch. 186, sec. 1/pp. 536539)

2 June 1959

Boundary between MONROE and ALLEGHANY (Va.) redefined [no change]. (W.Va. Acts 1959, 54th sess., ch. 26, secs. 1, 5/pp. 135137)

13 March 1998

Boundary between JEFFERSON and LOUDOUN (Va.) clarified [no discernible change]. (W. Va. Acts 1994, 71st leg., ch. 15/pp. 4648; W. Va. Acts 1998, 73d leg., ch. 74/pp. 338339; Va. Acts 1998, ch. 123/pp. 213214)