Warwick River Shire Genealogy RecordsWarwick River Shire was one of the eight shires created in the Colony in 1634 when there were 5,000 inhabitants. It is located on the northern bank of the James River between Hampton Roads and Jamestown and was mostly inhabited by farms and small unincorporated villages until the arrival of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in 1881 which led to further development by industrialist Collis P. Huntington. Warwick River Shire took its name from Robert Rich, the second Earl of Warwick and a prominent member of the Virginia Company who was proprietor of Richneck Plantation. There was a colonial port located on Deep Creek of the Warwick River, on land of Samuel Mathews. The first courthouse and jail were established in Warwick Towne in 1680. By the 1790 Census, Warwick County recorded 1,690 persons, the third smallest county population-wise in Virginia. However, Warwick Towne was abandoned in 1809, and the county seat was moved to the area of Denbigh Plantation, near Stoney Run and the first brick courthouse was built a year later. This building served as the office of the clerk and and jail house until 1884 when a large courthouse was erected on the same site. During the War Between the States, some loose papers and pages were torn from record books and carried off by Union Soldiers. Most of these have been recovered, however, and are now at the Library of William and Mary in Williamsburg and contains ten pages.