Elizabeth City County was a county in eastern Virginia which is now extinct. Originally created in 1634 as Elizabeth City Shire, one of eight shires created in colonial Virginia, it became a county in 1643.
Elizabeth City was originally named Kikotan (also spelled Kecoughtan and Kikowtan), presumably a word for the native americans living there when the English arrived in 1607. They were friendly to the English, but Sir Thomas Gates either worried about safety (including potential attack by the Spaniards and the Dutch) or coveted their corn fields after the "starving time" of the 1609-10 winter. The English seized their land while the men were out hunting, and for some reason the natives never attacked the settlement in response.
The shire and county were named for Elizabeth of Bohemia, daughter of King James I.
The town of Hampton, established in 1680, became the largest town in Elizabeth City County, and was county seat. In 1908, Hampton was incorporated as an independent city. The county and the former town of Phoebus in the county were merged into the independent city of Hampton in 1952.
The original boundaries of Elizabeth City County established in 1643 essentially form those of current city of Hampton today. Since the English settlers occupied Kecoughtan in 1610, and Jamestown was eventually abandoned, the city of Hampton now claims to be the oldest continuously-settled English city in North America.
This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopędia Britannica.
List of extinct U.S. counties