Botetourt County is a United States county that lies in the Roanoke Region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Located in the mountainous portion of the state, the county is bordered by two major ranges, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains.
Botetourt County was created in 1770 from part of Augusta County, and was named for Norborne Berkeley, known as Lord Botetourt. Like Augusta County, Botetourt was originally a huge area; part of its land was later removed to form the entire state of Kentucky.
Botetourt County is part of the Roanoke Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the county seat is the town of Fincastle. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 33,148. The area has seen growth in recent decades, with the population increasing more than thirty percent since the 1990 census.
First proposed in the House of Burgesses in 1767, Botetourt County was created in 1770 from Augusta County. The county is named for Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt, more commonly known as Lord Botetourt (1718–1770), who was a popular governor of the Virginia Colony from 1768 to 1770, when he died suddenly while in office.
In the 1770s, when Virginia claimed most of the Northwest Territory which would later form all or part of six states, the land was initially divided between Botetourt and Augusta Counties. The territory that would eventually become the state of Kentucky was quickly removed from Botetourt, however, and became Fincastle County in 1772 and then Kentucky County in 1776.
Botetourt County is a part of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the southern parts of the county have become increasingly suburban in recent decades. Much of the area's former farmland and orchards have been developed into residential subdivisions and businesses.
Note: Botetourt's 1860 census boundaries were essentially the same as those of 1890-1990. See also note 22.
Evolution of the County
Following its creation in 1770 until the establishment of its final boundaries in 1851, Botetourt county was repeatedly subdivided into successively finer polities. The evolution of these polities is presented at Rootsweb, and is based on Source:Doran, 1987