Elizabeth City Parish, Virginia
HistoryElizabeth City and Warwick counties. In the early 1600s, it was first known as Kecoughtan Parish. After two centuries of being called Elizabeth City Parish, it was renamed St. John's (the fourth church building in the parish) following the Civil War.
"The fourth church of Elizabeth City Parish was completed in 1728. The Parish is the oldest Parish in continuous service in America. The church building has changed considerably because of the tragedies of war. It was twice under the control of the British, in the Revolutionary War and in the War of 1812. The church was severely damaged in the War of 1812. It was destroyed again in 1861 during the Civil War. The citizens of Hampton set fire to the town to keep it from falling into the hands of the Federal Forces. It was restored again to its present day structure."
A list of burials in at the Second Church of Elizabeth City Parish dated 1624 survives and has been published: FHL Book 975.5412 V3m (page 4). Transcripts of the graves at the Third Church of Elizabeth City Parish have also been published in the same source (pages 6 to 11).
A survey of the thousands of graves found at the fourth church was published in 1975:
- Gravestone Inscriptions from the Cemetery of St. John's Episcopal Church, Hampton, Virginia. Hampton, Va.: Hugh S. Watson Jr. Genealogical Society of Tidewater Virginia, c1975. FHL Book 975.5412 V3b.
- Mason, George Carrington. "The Earliest Known Church of Elizabeth City Parish," The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 54, No. 1 (Jan., 1946), pp. 17-20. FHL Book 975.5 B2v; digital version at JSTOR ($).
- St. John's Church, Elizabeth City Parish, Hampton, Virginia. 1960s. FHL Film 2055219 Item 2.
Colonial parish registers have been lost.
Nineteenth-century parish registers have been published:
- Hayes, Francis W. Elizabeth City Parish, Hampton, Virginia: 19th Century Parish Registers. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1986. FHL Book 975.5412 K2hf.
- St. John's Episcopal Church, Hampton, VA (official website)
- First Church at Kecoughtan Marker, The Historical Marker Database
- St. John's Church Marker, The Historical Marker Database
- St. John's Church Marker, (another description) The Historical Marker Database
- Third Church at Kecoughtan Marker, Notable Burials in the Churchyard, The Historical Marker Database
- Third Elizabeth City Parish Church, The Historical Marker Database
- Barry W. Miles, Cemeteries of the City of Hampton, Virginia. Formerly Elizabeth City County (Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, Inc., 1999), 245.
- Freddie Spradlin, "Parishes of Virginia," VAGenWeb, accessed 29 January 2011; Hening's Statutes at Large; Emily J. Salmon and Edward D.C. Campbell Jr., The Hornbook of Virginia History (Richmond: Library of Virginia, 1994).
- Colonial Churches: A Series of Sketches of Churches in the Original Colony of Virginia (Richmond, Va.: Southern Churchman Co., 1907), 151-161.