I have been enjoying my role as county coordinator for Arlington County in the VAGenweb Project. This website always is in need of more submissions. If you find documents on your ancestors, if you have old photos, or anything you would like to share, please email it to me at EmbryProject@gmail.com. If you are interested in notification emails (personally sent out by me, not automated) then sign up in the box below.
~Alice Warner Brosey
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HISTORY OF ARLINGTON COUNTY
Fairfax County ceded the land of current day Arlington County to the Federal Government in 1789 as part of the District of Columbia, was returned to Virginia in 1846. First called Alexandria, in 1920 it took the name of the Custis-Lee estate.
Shortcuts to Neighboring Counties
Here's a brief outline of the court system's history for Arlington County:
1789-1801 Jurisdiction of Fairfax County
- 1789 - General Assembly cedes land to the federal government to create the permanent federal govenment seat in Washington, DC
- 1791 - Survey of District of Columbia
- 1801 - Federal offices move to their new home in D.C. from Philadelphia
1801-1846 Jurisdiction of District of Columbia
- 1801 - Alexandria Co. And the Circuit Court, D.C. Is formed. Also formed is the Admiralty Court (1801-1802) and Orphans' Court.
- 1802 - U.S. District Court is restored. Consolidated with Admiralty Court.
- 1824 - Levy Court is established
- 1838 - Criminal Court is created
1846-1920 Retrocession to Virginia
- 1846 - Alexandria County returned to Virginia
- 1847 - Alexandria County Court is organized, assuming the functions of the Levy and Orphans' Courts.
- 1852 - Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery is formed. Takes over function of the D.C. Circuit and Criminal Court functions.
- 1904 - County Court ceases to exist. Jurisdiction is passed on to the Circuit Court.
- 1920 - County name is changed to Arlington. Alexandria Co. ceases to exist.
1748-1870 City of Alexandria History
- 1748 - Town of Alexandria is chartered in Fairfax County.
- 1779 - City re-chartered as a city. Hustings Court established.
- 1801 - Hustings Court abolished. Jurisdiction passes to the Circuit Court of D.C.
- 1846 - City of Alexandria reverts back to Virginia.
- 1863 - Alexandria becomes the capitol of the restored Virginian government. Is the capitol until 1865.
- 1870 - Alexandria becomes a city independent of Alexandria Co. The Corporation Court is organized (similar to a county Circuit Court)