Why would we have both a Surry County, Virginia and a Surry County, Virginia Colony category. Why not just one?

+14 votes
Some people have used the County category for colonists, others have used the Colony tag, and others have used both.  It seems very confusing to me.
in Policy and Style by Jane Lindsey G2G1 (1.5k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Before the American Revolution, it was a colony of England. After the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the war that followed it was won in 1783, Virginia became a free and independent state.
Therefore, extending on Frank's excellent answer, Surry County, Virginia Colony should only be used on profiles of people before 1776.
Thanks, but... (in my opinion) it is confusing and causes people to misapply the categories.  Which then causes others to not see a possible connection.  It seems one category for Surry County would be more useful. However, I will follow your advice and remove the Surry County category from my 17th century profile.

You can use both Jane. It is helpful especially for knowing which County the historical County falls within - current day - for any historical papers that may be stored locally.

My two cents,


Add a Hatnote at the top of the category to describe the difference between the categories

{{Hatnote| Surry County, Virginia Colony should only be used on profiles of people before 1776}}

{{Hatnote| Surry County, Virginia should only be used on profiles of people after 1776}}

To do it more obvious you can set up a disambiguous page compare wikipedia Surry_County

This information is incorrect.

1607 - 1707 -- Colony of Virginia or Virginia Colony of England

1607 - 1699 -- Capital -- Jamestown, James City County

1699 - 1780 -- Capital -- Williamsburg, Jameses City County

1707 - 1775 -- Colony of Virginia or Virginia Colony of Great Britain

1775 - Present -- Commonwealth of Virginia

1780 - Present -- Capital -- Richmond

It gets more complicated when the Virginia Company, Crown Colony, plantations, shires, parishes, creation of independent cities separate from counties

2 Answers

+3 votes
There is no "Sury" city or county in Virginia.

There are both a "Surry" city & county in Virginia.
by Living Boynton G2G4 (4.5k points)
+7 votes
You will run into these issues with most of the original 13 colonies.  You will have the same county pre and post independence.  You will also have the same place in various counties as the frontier moved westward.  Land one of my ancestors patented in 1730 was in Prince Georges County, Maryland, but in 1748 it became part of Frederick County and in 1776 it became part of Montgomery  County.  

Naming Counties what they were called at the time is also important.  Many early settlers in Virginia were in "Lower Norfolk County" which no longer exists.  

A knowledge of history is really the glasses you need to view genealogy!

You can learn things when like profiles are grouped together.  Having a pre-1776 Surry County and a post-1776 Surry County helps group like profiles.   When you think of the birth and death dates, involved, of course every single Virginia Revolutionary War soldier will be in both the pre-1776 and post-1776 Surry County.
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (467k points)

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